We have been swamped with some mega organizing projects this summer at Kuzak’s Closet! I love projects like this because they allow me and the team to stretch our creative problem solving skills as well as our muscles. It’s also a treat to work on one big project over the course of several days instead of several projects over the course of several days. Yes, I said several projects over the course of several days. The average day at Kuzak’s Closet is filled with 2-3 projects going on simultaneously, we are constantly spread between organizing sessions, estate liquidations, consultations, and estate sale setups. Good thing we are organized!
There is nothing better for me personally that having a project run on time and on budget and the first project I’m going to share with you hit both of those markers and then some. We were brought into this project by the client’s Realtor who recommended us not because of our demolition skills but because she knew we would deliver results as promised. The clients purchased a really large lot that used to be the home of a carnation growing house up until the 1960’s. The couldn’t get real picture of what they could do with the property until it was organized and cleared.
I knew we would be able to mix our service offerings into one single package that would solve their problems but I needed to know my hauling team would be up for the challenge. Ese and I went to the consultation together and did a full estimate for how we would organize the project, manually demo the structures, sell off as much as we could to our email list, recycle as much as possible, leaving as little as possible for the dumpster. Ese was excited and it was fun to see him come back to the rest of the team with the details of this mega project that we might have the opportunity to organize.
As you can see, this project was HUGE! Just to put it into perspective, there are some remaining glass panels on the roof of the green house. Please imagine that the rest of the glass panels have fallen and shattered on the way down to the ground over the years which means a ton of racking for us. Ok, keep imagining…
This is a shot of the greenhouse from the opposite end…
Okay, here is what it looked like after we were finished. Magic right! We didn’t use any major tools, everything was done by hand so we could control and organize all of the parts and components along the way…
As you can see we left electrical lines, water lines, and outbuilding foundations so they could be repurposed or used for future planning…
There were several structures on the property that also needed to be organized and cleared. Most contained metal recycling, yard debris, and a sprinkling of treasures that our estate sale shoppers were able to snag during a fun salvage sale that we hosted at the property.
This beast weighed about a million pounds but we managed to find it a new home!
Vintage bamboo stakes anyone? As the project went on it seemed that these babies just kept multiplying!
We held a salvage sale for our email list and our shoppers really enjoyed it. We only gave the address and details to the first 40 shoppers to RSVP and everyone that signed up knew what they were signing up for. Rusty crusty greatness! It was a real digger sale and our clients were as thrilled as we were that shoppers rescued as many fun items and lumber as they did.
And for a teaser, here is an after photo of the above space…wow!
Check out this shopper’s pile…
And don’t let me forget to show you these old greenhouse fans, how amazing are these? One shopper snagged 4 of them!
An another shopper’s pile. Every dollar really adds up quickly and we were able to apply the profits to the client invoice in the end, a win win!
This property had some major areas to address and several minor areas like this one to address as well. Areas like this don’t seem like that big of a deal but once they are cleared out it really shows the potential of the property…
See what I mean! It’s doubled in size!
Here is another before and after…
Okay, I’m sure you might be wondering how this project fits into our services but it really checks all of the boxes! It was all about detailed project management and organization, estate sale service, and debris removal… three of the main aspects of Kuzak’s Closet! Our clients were also thrilled that they could come back and check on the progress at the end of each day. Prior to working at Kuzak’s Closet Billy had his own landscaping business so was able to help guide them into deciding what to keep and what to get rid of and the rest of the guys on the team loved using their old fashion demo and hauling skills!
I mean, of course we saved this amazing grape vine for them!
This project was bid out as a 5 day project but we finished a day early and under budget, a total win considering it was over 95 degrees during the week this project was completed.
This next project is a special project for me for many reasons. I really love people, I mean, I LOVE people and having the opportunity to meet really interesting people who are truly authentic. My mom tells me that all of my client’s are characters for the book I will write someday and she’s probably right. I am someone who doesn’t do small talk, I don’t have a ton of friends, I like to hang out by myself of with a very tight circle that mostly includes my staff. I know, it’s weird because if you’ve ever met me you’d know that I talk a lot but at the end of the day I don’t need to be social to have energy. One of my favorite parts of what I do is having the opportunity to walk into a stranger’s house and have them instantly tell me what they are struggling with. The conversation is most likely along the lines of…”I’m a perfectionist and I’m struggling with my husband’s junk”, “My mother just passed away”, “My father has dementia and I just moved him into a care facility”, “My husband and I are getting a divorce”, “I was just diagnosed with…”. No one ever tells me about the fluff in their life, just the real deal stuff they are struggling with. And along the way they show me inside the closets and drawers that NO ONE ever sees. For this project Sarah and I were the first people our client let into her home in 30 years. I could show a ton of photos but the point if this post is not to expose what we uncovered. It’s to show to what we are capable of as a company and a service provider.
This property had a sweet little house on it several small sheds and a back garage with so much chipping paint that I couldn’t help but take a picture just about every time I passed by during the day. We were set to organize this estate over the course of 3 days but because of the sensitivity of the project we were asked to accomplish our goals in one day. This is only tricky because the project was located in Atherton and it’s illegal to work past 5pm but we seemed to stay under the radar until almost 8pm when we finished. I promised the client we wouldn’t use dumpsters because I really just hate how they look. Not physically, just as a part of the story of the project. Having a dumpster outside indicates to me that nothing INSIDE is worthwhile. When in the case of projects like this EVERYTHING on the inside is worthwhile. Yes, there are thousands of items that appear to be clutter but for client’s like this who are highly intelligent and creative they know exactly what is inside, exactly.
I mean, hello! Isn’t this amazing!
I am only going to share one before and after for this project but it will give you an idea of the volume of what we sorted and organized. We had a list from our client of items that she wanted to keep and we also had categories of items we were looking like sentimental, financial documents, cash/coins, photos, jewelry, etc.
Taylor, Tammy, Kim, Sarah, and I divided up throughout this 1,100 square foot house while the guys processed our decisions. It was 98 degrees and 12 hours of pure fun! I live for projects like this mostly because of the complexity, the timeline, and the team effort.
Taylor worked in this zone for most of the day and as you can see it looked drastically different at the end of the day. You can see why it was so important for our client to move on and we were so thankful to be able to help her with this process. Taylor grew up in Palo Alto and found many items from her childhood during the day, she had an overwhelming feeling of “this is your life” throughout the day which I found to be funny. I had the same feeling at our recent Saratoga project, it was like constant deja vu!
Throughout the day I put together a pile of goodies that I knew our estate sale shoppers would treasure and found a buyer on @shopkuzakscloset on Instagram. She was thrilled with her haul and I was thrilled to see the items saved from the dump.
It’s always fun to find organizing humor during an project like this! I’m not quite sure what all of the figures are doing in the drawing but it’s funny!
We get through big projects like this one with social lunch breaks over great food. Lunch is a perk at Kuzak’s Closet (we are just like Google, ha!) and I tend to take turns asking for preferences on what sounds good. On this day I asked Save because was on top of the trash truck loading in the heat all day and he picked lamb so Nick the Greek was a great option, whoever invented DoorDash is a blessing!
We found over $1,200 during the day, tons of jewelry, vintage family photos, and treasures like original Star Wars cards that our client was thrilled about. We left items in the living room for review and eventually went back after she had a chance to take a look at things to move the categories to storage and to her new apartment. That is her dancing with her husband in the photo, what a neat neat lady and I’m thankful we’ve crossed paths! So many of my clients make my heart happy and this one really takes up a big chunk!
At the end of the day Sarah and I decompressed with the ultimate snack, a cold beer and deviled eggs at The Dutch Goose. My first employee Matt introduced me to this fine establishment and I love it! We were so grungy and hot when we walked in but no one even noticed, I mean with eggs like this who would pay attention to anything else!
Well, I’m glad I was able to give you a peek inside two mega projects from this summer. We are constantly cooking up something fun and that’s what I love about Kuzak’s Closet! One day we will be organizing a Penthouse in San Francisco and the next day a former carnation growing house in East Palo Alto! The bottom line is that we can solve and organize almost any problem that comes our way!