Moving and Shaking: Relocation Highlights

Our home organizing schedule has been been packed with relocation projects this year.  We’ve organized dozens of moves within the Bay Area and also helped clients set up vacation homes in Carmel and Montana. The typical relocation project at Kuzak’s Closet starts on a Monday with packing day, Tuesday the moving company arrives and we start to unpack the kitchen at the new house, we continue to unpack and organize on Wednesday and Thursday and then fine tune and install organizing products on Fridays.  By the time the weekend rolls around our clients are done with another busy week at work and they are ready to relax and enjoy their new home. Sounds like a dream right? Well, we’d like to think so.  The key to our relocation services is that they can be as customized as the client needs them to be.  I am going to walk you through five of our recent moves to give you a behind the scenes peek at how our relocation process works.

WOODSIDE

Our clients can choose to be as involved in the process as they want to be. In the case of one of our recent relocations, our team coordinated with the house manager, allowing our clients to not miss a beat at work or family time with their children. Our clients were moving from Mountain View into a beautifully remodeled home in Woodside.

Taylor, Tammy, Sarah, Haleigh, Billy, and John were able to pack up the contents of the house on Monday as well as deliver kitchen boxes to the new house. This allowed the team to hit the ground running on Tuesday, unpacking and organizing the new kitchen with me while Taylor supervised the professional moving company, Caremore Moving and Storage. 

By the time the Caremore moving team arrived, we were nearly done unpacking and organizing the kitchen and pantry. This family loves to cook and bake so we had to be smart about setting up zones that were accessible for mom and dad as well as the small children who love to be involved. 

Once the kitchen and pantry was set up, our next priority are bedrooms and bathrooms to ensure a comfortable transition from the old house. The key goals on moving day is making sure beds are made, toiletries and unpacked, and the coffee pot is plugged it, ha!

We took special care packing up the shared room of the two youngest girls at the old house as they were dividing up into their own rooms at the new house. Taking the extra time to sort and label their treasures make unpacking and organizing their new rooms a snap!  This is one of the sweet room bedrooms! 

I just love love love the wallpaper!

Once the children’s rooms are unpacked and organized we move on to the master bedroom, master bathroom, and then dining room, linen closets, home office, etc.. By the end of the day Wednesday most zones are starting to shape up.

The garage is a zone that most clients would rather ignore.  It’s an easy dumping ground for unprocessed decisions which isn’t an option at Kuzak’s Closet! Sarah and Billy managed the garage unpack at this project and it was a big one! The house construction wasn’t quite completed on moving day so we had to start by creating a zone specifically for construction materials and help the contractors move their tools out so that they weren’t confused with our client’s items.

I’m glad that I snapped this photo of the laundry room during the unpacking process.  It always looks worse before it looks better! If you have an upcoming move follow this tip: always unpack all of the boxes in each zone before putting items away.  It’s best to take stock of what you have, make one more effort to purge, and then create an efficient system that works in the new space.

And the after…

We were able to repurpose bins from their old house, labels and all!

Once the relocation process was completed we converted this relocation project into a liquidation project.  The furniture that wasn’t being moved to the new house because of a change of style went on @shopkuzakscloset.

I took this empty kitchen photo and minutes later the new owners arrived to pick up the keys.  Talk about full service!

Highlight from this project: Having the client utilize our full range of services within a 7 day time span!

SAN FRANCISCO

We had the opportunity to work with the son and daughter-in-law of a previous client of ours. Our service was a house-warming gift from their mom and dad, so nice! They, along with their 8-month-old daughter, were “moving up” from an apartment in Presidio Heights to their first home with more room for their growing family just a few blocks away. 

Because of the short lead time for this project we couldn’t do the full pack on our own so we partnered with Caremore Moving and Storage to pack and move this family. On Monday we worked together to pack and do a bit of purging. On Tuesday, Sarah and Haleigh started unpacking the new kitchen while Taylor was tying up all the loose ends at the old house with the moving crew.

The kitchen at the new house had much more storage, upgrade! With so many options, it took a lot of analytical thinking to finalize a system would be the most efficient. for this family, but the end result included a coffee and tea bar, convenient storage for oils and spices right by the stove, and a designated area for all the baby food supplies, which had been completely taking over counter space in the old kitchen.

With every move, different items translate to different degrees when they’re relocated. Some things, like this display shelf in the dining room, end up looking exactly the same in the new house and help make the new space really start to feel like home. For things like this, we’ll take pictures and notes to make sure everything ends up back in its place once it’s unpacked. 

The move also included and upgrade for our clients’ new baby! She was previously staying in a nursery that had been converted from an office connected to the master bedroom. In the new house, she has her own room that she’ll be able to grow into.

Highlight from this project: Working and relying on Caremore to help us reach our client goals in a busy city, handling all of parking permits needed for the trucks and going the extra mile with their packing and unpacking services!

MONTANA

In some cases relocations take us in the air! It’s been a fun challenge to handle projects in Mexico, Lake Tahoe, Seattle, Florida, and now Montana over the last few years.  Moving day can be stressful and working in a new environment, away from familiar resources can  be tricky but we seem to be mastering it.  In some cases we are moving a household from point A to point B, in other cases are are setting up a brand new vacation home. Either way, the same concepts apply.

I cannot share details of the home for this project so I was tempted to skip this move but I wanted to share that we do travel outside of Silicon Valley, especially when cowboys are involved!

This particular move was very smooth despite having to shuttle items from one large truck to several smaller truck, using a crane to load furniture into the home, etc..  There are moments in this line of work when you think you might just have a heart attack but over the years I’ve learned that the importance of working with vendors that you trust and that there is nothing better than the sight of an empty moving truck!

The highlight of this project: Taking a week away from several other complex projects to handle a complex move, knowing that the rest of the projects on our calendar would be handled perfectly by the rest of the Kuzak’s Closet team!

LOS ALTOS HILLS

When my client called to let me know she had “big news” I never anticipated that it would involve a move to a new house.  Her current home was beautifully decorated and in a great location but when she said, “just wait until I show you the new house!” I knew it must be perfection. We met there to chat about storage and I was so confused, I saw shag carpet and a dozen different prints of wallpaper. I was even more confused when she said they would be doing a quick remodel over the next 3 weeks, if you are familiar with Silicon Valley construction there is no such thing as a quick remodel.  BUT, much to my surprise, she was right.  She did complete the world’s quickest remodel in just 3 weeks and the house was transformed.  We completed their move just as the remodel was wrapping up and it’s a great next step for her family, we are so happy for them.

We are also so happy to work with her anytime we can because she is a professional purger.  She LOVES to fill the van with donations! We got pre-move purging sessions on the calendar the instant she knew she was moving.  The new house is a completely different floor plan and the storage isn’t more or less, it’s just different. Sort, sort, sort!

With the move just a few weeks away we started to pack while we purged.  Taylor has turned art packing into a form of yoga, gotta love it!

Moving week started on a Monday with a packing day per the norm. I created our relocation Monday-Friday schedule about two years ago and I stick to it because there is a natural flow to the week, the moving companies are always available early in the week for the move, and you don’t loose momentum over the weekend, perfect. Plus it fits in with everything else we have regularly scheduled during the week at Kuzak’s Closet.

Once the kitchen was packed up the team divided up, half of us went to the new house to unpack and organize the new kitchen and the other half stayed behind to continue to pack.  With our pre-move purging and packing sessions behind us we had a leg up for sure!

We worked until late afternoon and I stayed late to fine tune the kitchen.  My client came over after she put her kids in bed to help me and we did exactly what she does best, purged even more! She’s a champ! I wish you could see before photos of this kitchen/living room space, it’s miraculous what paint, new flooring, and stock kitchen cabinets can do! You’ll notice that the backsplash isn’t completed in this photo from 8pm the night before…

But the next day it was! Amazing!

Here are some more after shots from the kitchen and pantry in the daylight…

Also happening the next day was moving day! Caremore worked with us on this move per the norm, they are truly the best.

We aren’t professional movers but sometimes we are in charge of precious cargo! All strapped in and ready to see the new house!

Taylor packed the art and created this simple system to help keep track of the hardware, to make for easy hanging at the new house.  Smart and efficient as always!

While the trucks were unloaded we worked to help place furniture and start tackling the bedrooms.  This little girls bedroom is just so sweet.  It has a wall of storage for toys that keeps them tucked away and lots of room to spread things out when they want to play.

Nothing cuter than seeing double when there are twin girls!

Next up, garage.  Typically Billy and Sarah unpack and organize the garages but they worked on a different project this day so it was up to John and I to put the puzzle together.

We had Junie’s help as well, she was exhausted by the time we had everything in place…

While the garage was being sorted and organized the living and dining areas were unpacked and fine tuned.

I especially loved unpacking this craft cabinet because it only took 5 minutes for it to go from boxes to functional. It’s a zone we set up for this family a few years ago and the system still works.

The zone that wasn’t working at the new house was the master closet! At the old house this couple had two large walk-in closets and at the new house they had two smaller reach-in closets that needed help! We unpacked and sorted the items, tried to trouble shoot the issue with some product ideas and genius work of a handyman but in the end we realized we needed to find a more custom solution.

Since they are planning to do a larger remodel down the road I suggested ELFA from The Container Store as the fix.  It’s more budget friendly than custom cabinets with a company like Valet and it can adjust as needed.  I shot my friend Lori who works with Contained Home a drawing and she sent over some designs.  A few days later we ordered the systems and a few weeks later they were installed.

The lag time of a few weeks worked out because the family left for a vacation a few days after our relocation and we managed the install and organization of the new closets before they returned.  Magic!

Pretty great! I just love these clients and I wish we could move them every year!

The highlight of this project: Working with a fabulous family who loves the Kuzak’s Closet team as much as we love them! Also, having clients who trust our expertise and take advantage of our strengths as a group.

LOS ALTOS HILLS

The original inquiry from our next project was for home organizing services and read…

“I need help getting rid of the unnecessary stuff in our lives.  Old equipment, old toys, old clothes, old papers.  We are hoping to move in the next year (still house shopping) but living in the current environment has become unbearable for me.  I need help getting rid of all the stuff that is overwhelmingly messy in my house.”

We scheduled a consultation for a date three weeks away and much to my surprise when we sat down to meet they let me know they just bought a new house and needed to move quickly.  This created the perfect opportunity to do a ‘reverse purge’ where we take only what they want to keep to the new house and leave everything else behind for an estate liquidation.  By completing the process this way they were able to save time by focusing only on they love and use and money by not needing to move everything out in stages over the course of several organizing sessions to donation sites and the dump. 

With this method of reverse purging the packing happens room by room as we sort the contents with the clients. It’s essentially like “shopping” out of your own house.  The team sorts like items with like items, the client chooses what is moving to the new house, those items are packed and the rest stays in place until we liquidate. Our client was an absolute champ throughout the process.

Taylor and Haleigh worked with the client on decisions while the rest of the Kuzak’s Closet team packed boxes, disassembled and wrapped furniture moving to the new house, and eventually moved everything to the new house.  Most of the furniture coming to the new house was new and ordered and delivered with the interior design company so we were able to complete the move in house.  It isn’t a normal practice but when we are doing a reverse move it’s smoother for the client for us to handle vs. having a moving company standing by and being confused about what goes and what stays. The move was also just a few miles away, from Los Altos to Los Altos Hills.

The new kitchen had much more storage and once everything was unpacked it was clear they had room to grow into the space. Taylor made sure the clutter wouldn’t build up too much with drawer organizers and dividers to contain whatever they choose to add to their kitchen. 

The laundry room was another priority for our client. At the old house, the majority of the four kids clothing was stored there but that system had become overwhelming. Sounds weird, I know.  It was a system that they used when the children were really young but now that they are all teenagers it was not functional and I’m still trying to figure out how they got dressed everyday.  During the pre-purge, we carefully sorted items that belonged to each child and made sure they ended up in their designated bedroom at the new house. We helped coordinate new closets systems are the new house so each child will have their own system to maintain. 

The laundry room at the new house was home to linens and cleaning products, no more family closet!

The master closet was a major upgrade at the new house as well.  This is the old system…

This is the new…

What a treat to have a grown up closet!

Everyone was happy to have a fresh start at the new home, especially this guy!

After the dust settled from the move and the summer travel wrapped up for this family we came back for a final liquidation at their old house to remove everything left behind from the reverse purge.

The highlight of this project: Changing gears with short notice to provide custom service that the client appreciated so much! We couldn’t have done it without her willingness to work side-by-side with us and trust the direction we headed with the project to reach her goals.

 

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