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How to Choose a Custom Closet Company

How to Choose a Custom Closet Company
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California Closets, Closets By Design, and a multitude of other closet companies are offering a simplified life and all of the wonderful benefits of new closets. Builders typically put in a simple rod and shelf, and these companies can make drastic improvements. If you are interested in having more efficient storage, how do you choose which one to work with?

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First: Is This Necessary?
When a closet company comes to do an estimate, they count how many shoes and handbags you have and measure the linear feet of shelving and hanging space that you require, and then they design a custom closet around what you have. It doesn’t make sense for them to design a closet around a bunch of stuff you never use, so the first thing to do is go through all of the clothing, shoes, and accessories and decide what to keep, donate, toss, repair, and store elsewhere.
Once you see what is left, you may see that you don’t need a new closet since you’ve pared down so much, or if you still have a problem, at least now the closet will be designed around what you truly use and need.

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What to Expect
Closet companies will usually come out for free to do a design and estimate. They may need to schedule another appointment with you to present the designs. You will want to have all decision-makers on hand for that meeting so you can decide whether to move forward. It will take several weeks, typically, to cut the parts for your design and schedule the installers. You can spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending upon the features you want.

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What to Ask

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  • How long have you been in business? Are you a franchisee?
  • What warranty do you offer? Does it apply only to me, or future owners of my home?
  • What colors do you have available for the melamine (laminate) material?
  • Is the melamine thermal-fused or cold processed? Thermal-fused melamine wears much better.
  • Is the particleboard furniture grade, or industrial grade? Industrial grade holds the screws better and is thicker.
  • Is there any plastic used in the hardware? Metal parts are preferred.
  • What is the standard shelf depth you use? Builders’ standard is 11.5 inches, but having deeper shelves such as 14” or 16” is greatly preferred for holding larger sweaters and even suitcases.
  • How are your drawer units constructed? How is the drawer handle hardware fastened? Are full extension glides included? Full extension glides provide the best support for your drawers and are a really good idea to put in, even if it is an upgrade. Construction of drawers can be a big differentiator in quality.
  • Do you offer oval clothing rods? Just like an egg’s oval shape provides strength, chrome oval-shaped clothing rods are stronger than rounded ones. Metal rods are usually a better choice than wooden ones.
  • Does your installation include tearing out the old closet? Will you do wall repairs and touch-up painting?
  • What accessories do you offer, and how much are they? Is there an alternative to these accessories? You will see accessories like valet rods, shoe fences, sliding belt racks, sliding tie racks, jewelry trays, acrylic shelf dividers, hampers, pull-out ironing boards, pull-down upper clothing rods, and many others. They are all great, but you need to watch how they might add up. My favorite accessory is a valet rod, which gives you a place to stage clothing for packing or put up the dry cleaning when you get it home.

Just like buying a car, there are standard features and there are upgrades, whether in quality of construction or in additional accessories. If you’re prepared and ask a lot of good questions, you’ll end up with a great closet for the best price.

Lorie Marrero is a Professional Organizer and creator of The Clutter Diet, an innovative, affordable online program for home organization. Lorie’s site helps members lose “Clutter-Pounds” from their homes by providing online access to her team of organizers. Lorie writes something insanely practical every few days or so in the Clutter Diet Blog. She lives in Austin, TX, where her company has provided hands-on organizing services to clients since 2000.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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