Weekend Project: How to Organize Your Garage

Is your garage packed with stuff that you hardly ever use? You might not even know what’s in there, especially if you’ve been parking in the driveway. Maybe it’s time to tackle organizing the garage for your next weekend project. It might not be considered fun, but it will be rewarding once it’s done! Follow these tips from Callen Construction, Milwaukee’s leading exterior remodeling company, to get this space into shape.

Weekend Project: How to Organize Your GarageChoose a Weekend for Organizing the Garage

Don’t let the idea of giving up an entire weekend to work on this project keep you from doing it. If you follow the tips provided here, you may even get it done in a single day!

Create a Plan

Before you start, identify the items that you need to store in your garage. Sort all items into three categories: keep, donate, and discard. Sorting your items by category allows you to see how much stuff you have. If you take out all items that don’t belong in there, your organizing job will be that much easier to manage.

Purchase Shelves, Hooks, Tubs & Pegboards

Think ahead and stock up on shelving, pegboards, hooks, and plastic bins to help you store materials neatly. Make sure you take measurements before you purchase to ensure everything will fit on walls and in the storage space you have available.

Group Items and Choose a New Layout

Now that you know what you will keep, you can figure out the best layout for your garage. Hang cords, tools, and other frequently used items from hooks or pegboards. Place like items in stackable plastic bins and store neatly on shelves.

Perfect! Now that you’ve redesigned your garage, you might have noticed that your siding needs replacing or your entry doors should be repaired before winter. If so, Call Callen at 414-765-2585 for a free estimate on any exterior remodeling project. After all, the only thing better than a well-organized garage is a well-maintained home exterior that makes you proud every time you pull in the driveway!



Four Simple Ideas for Cleaning and Organizing Your Home

Four Simple Ideas for Cleaning and Organizing Your HomeWe all struggle with keeping our homes tidy from time to time. As a premier remodeling company, Callen Construction loves working with clients to make their homes as comfortable as possible. We’re happy to share these tips to help make your home a little neater and a little cleaner.

  • Hold off on buying storage bins and containers. Before heading for the store, take stock of the areas you want to clean up and organize, then sort through and decide what to keep and what to pitch. Once you have familiarized yourself with what is left, you’ll know which organizing products will work best, and as you shop, you will be able to picture exactly what will be going in them.
  • Don’t overload your space. Whether it’s books on the bookshelf, knick-knacks scattered around the room, or family pictures, too much of anything will make your rooms seem disorganized and over-crowded. When it comes to organizing and displaying your personal items, less is more. And the nice thing about having fewer belongings is that it’s easier to clean around them.
  • Incorporate mini cleaning sessions. What’s the best way to keep a room clean? Don’t let it get dirty in the first place! For example, take a few minutes each morning or evening to wipe down the bathroom mirror and do a once-over of the sink and counter. The same can be done in the kitchen for the sink, countertops, and table. A few minutes of cleaning every day can save you from heavy scrubbing later.
  • Move your message center. Nothing makes a kitchen look messier than a refrigerator buried under invitations, school papers, sticky notes, and photos, so clear off the fridge and instead hang a bulletin board in your kitchen that can be used to corral all those items. The best option could be a dry-erase/bulletin board combo that is designated as the message center of the house, where everyone knows to check for important reminders and messages.

From kitchen upgrades to basement refinishing, Callen staff the skills and training to tackle any size project within our realm of expertise. Give us a call today at 414-765-2585 and let’s get started on your next remodeling project.



How to Revamp Your Closets for Maximum Potential

When it comes to closet organization, it helps to know your options before making an informed decision that satisfies your storage needs and meets your budget. “Whether you’re creating more room in a narrow reach-in closet or putting everything in its place in a spacious walk-in, the closet systems installed by Callen have the quality and options to make the best use of closet space and enhance the access and style of any closet,” said Paulette Sodemann, designer with Callen. “We apply customizable design and installation techniques to create closets that hold more and function better,” she added.

How to Revamp Your Closets for Maximum Potential

Walk-in closets are commonly found in master bedrooms and are valued for their versatility and storage opportunities. “Compared to a traditional reach-in closet, a walk-in closet offers more depth and space. They can range anywhere from a few square feet to as a large as a bedroom,” said Paulette.

Extra space for a dressing area or a vanity may come in handy, however you still need to give careful consideration to your closet’s design. For organizational purposes, it’s helpful to set up different zones in your walk-in closet. For instance, the top of your storage system should be confined to seasonal storage, while the belt level zone or “hot zone” of your closet should be used to maximize storage for such items as jewelry or men’s watches. You’ll also want to keep shoes visible and accessible.

In order to free up even more storage space on your walls, a walk-in closet can include a center island. “A walk-in closet should be at least 6 ½ feet wide for easy access, if you are considering a center island,” said Paulette. In addition to the island suggestion, you will also want to be mindful of tricky corners and angles in a walk-in closet. When utilized correctly, they offer optimal storage capacity as well. “The walk-in closet system installed by Callen uses each available wall to its greatest extent and provides the best solutions for hard-to-reach corners. Your closet will be carefully planned based on the area’s size and shape to ensure the open area or aisle does not feel crowded,” she said.

“Conversely, reach-in closets are usually anywhere from three to eight feet wide with a limited depth of 24 to 30 inches,” said Paulette. Reach-in closets are typically found in hallways, kids’ rooms, and bedrooms of older homes. Originally, these closets were designed with a single rod for hanging clothes under a shelf, with return walls that limit inside access. However, nowadays there is a wide array of available products that allow you to create a more efficient space with numerous storage opportunities. “Our reach-in closet system, which generally goes wall-to-wall, improves the function of any size closet. Door placement and type, the most important considerations for these closets, affect the number of sections and where they are placed. Generally, the larger the closet, the wider the sections will be,” she said.

Remember, you want to maximize space as much as possible when it comes to reach-in closets. For example, stackable storage components like cube organizers and drawer units, will give you storage for folded items and accessories. If you have traditional hinged doors, you can add hooks or over door racks and pockets to the back of the door for items such as keys or shoes to increase storage. Wire starter kits are an option as well. They offer an adjustable mounting system that you can customize as your storage needs change. Finally, a double-tiered hanging system can be used for folded articles to gain space.

“Our systems at Callen can be both floor-based and suspended. Available features include 24 colors and 13 door and drawer profiles, as well as a choice of veneer, perfect edge matches, crown and base moldings, and more. In other words, whatever type of closet you’re looking for, we have the selection and the expertise to suit your specific needs,” Paulette said.

For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.



Tips to Stay Organized During a Remodeling Project

No doubt about it, remodeling is disruptive to your house, your family, your personal routine, and even your pets. But with some planning, it is possible to survive major renovations without excessive stress.

Callen offers some tips to minimize the inconvenience. First, and very important, have a designated place to keep the paperwork relevant to the remodel – quotes, invoices, receipts, contact information, contracts, and the like. While some correspondence will be done electronically, you will still have hard copies of items that you will want to access. When it comes to email, create a separate sent and received folder designated specifically for remodeling correspondence.

Stay Organized During A RemodelStaging your temporary kitchen

If you plan to stay in your home during a kitchen remodel, set up a temporary kitchen elsewhere – living room, dining room, spare bedroom, even the basement, with your microwave, electric frying pan, slow cooker, and toaster oven. You may be getting a new fridge with your project, so have your old one relocated to the garage or within another area of the house if you have room for it.

Stay organized when packing goods from the cabinets and pantry. When storing items you won’t need during the remodel, label the storage boxes specifically with what is inside them. Avoid the word miscellaneous. It will be much more pleasant when you are putting things back after the project is finished.

Prepare as many meals in advance as possible, freezing them in individual portions for easy-to-fix dinners. Keep a stash of granola bars, fruit, peanut butter, and crackers for easy snacking.

Plastic and paper rule as dishwashing will be a challenge. Pots and pans will most likely be washed in the bathtub or laundry tub. Be prepared with a dishpan, dish drainer, and lots of cloths for washing and wiping.

There may be times when water and electric will be shut off. Your project manager should alert you to those so you can make alternate plans, staying with relatives, arranging a sleep-over for your children with their friends, or booking a motel.

Bathroom strategies

Remodeling a bathroom may pose no extra inconveniences if you have a second full bath or at least a powder room. But if it’s your only facility, you need to plan in advance.

If your home has only one toilet, arrange with your project manager to take out and reset the toilet on a daily basis. However, there will be at least several days when you won’t be able to access the toilet at all, such as when flooring is installed.

Your contractor may also be able to arrange a temporary shower and toilet in the basement. But this may not be possible in every situation and you should inquire in advance.

If you had been thinking of joining a gym or health club, this might be the time to do it to get some time away from your house. Take advantage of showers, toilets, and play areas for the children while you work out.

Keep children and pets safe

If children are in the home while the workers are there, they no doubt will be fascinated by what is going on. But a work zone is hazardous and you will need to make sure they know their boundaries and stay clear of the project. Plus, distraction and interruptions to tradesmen on the job will prolong its completion date.

All the noise and strangers in the home can be very stressful to your pet. Have a place in the home where it can be contained away from the project. Have soothing music playing or the television on to help mask noises, and make sure the pet gets exercised more than normal to expend pent-up energy.

Remodeling may involve sprays, fumes, paints, and other toxic or irritating substances that could harm your children and pets. Have your project manager alert you when this may occur and insist on proper, even excessive ventilation. While this work is going on, it’s best to get everyone out of the house for the day.

Even though there will be plastic sheeting between the work area and the rest of the home, fine dust particles will still filter out. It’s advisable to remove or cover electronic equipment, fine furniture, or other valuables.

There will be many deliveries during the project. Let your project manager know where the staging area will be; inside the garage is a good choice. Keep your driveway clear of your own vehicles to facilitate delivery and parking of construction vehicles. If your community doesn’t allow on-street parking, visit the police department to get a variance for temporary parking.

Knowing what will occur and when, and planning in advance for disruptions, will help keep your family’s routine as normal as possible under the circumstances. The key to any successful remodel is extensive communication with your contractor and project manager. Planning to the most infinite detail, selecting and making product and material purchases well in advance, and having a start and completion date as well as a production schedule, are important elements that will ensure a predictable remodeling process that provides you and your family the home you desire.

Callen’s design specialists can assist you throughout the remodeling process. Call Callen, the leading remodeling company in Brookfield, to get the process started.