Organization gurus promise that getting rid of clutter is the secret to a happier, healthier life. They're selling books on Oprah and cleaning out guest rooms on The Learning Channel's Clean Sweep. It seems that a yard sale and a new set of bins in the closet can be quite liberating.
But plastic bins and stick-on labels aren't for everyone. For those who want to take their storage system to the next level, a remodeled room or addition can be just the thing. Following the trend of cabinetry looking more and more like furniture, storage companies are upgrading the look of their systems with more finish and hardware options. “We've found that consumers use [storage cabinets] in all rooms,” says Kevin Nicusanti of Estate Storage. Estate responded to the trend with a well-received full line of maple cabinets. Nicusanti thinks the cabinets have a “move-up” quality. “You can spend $300 to $400 on cheap, ready-to-assemble laminate cabinets, or you can spend $200 more and get a quality product with good hardware and thick shelving, or a maple interior instead of white.”
Rev-A-Shelf, maker of custom storage organizing products, also recognizes the trend toward upscale-looking accessories. “Consumers want high quality, functional pull-outs and are more than willing to pay for them,” says Rob Jenkins, the company's director of marketing. He also sees specialized products gaining popularity. “Our cookware organizers, mixer lifts, and pull-down shelves are quickly being added to the ‘must-have' list,” he says. These trends point to the desire to have ease and organization built in to a room, rather than added on later in separate units that may not match.
Estate also noticed that people are using cabinetry in unusual or odd spaces where there normally wouldn't be cabinet space — a stairwell or a laundry room, for example. “The modularity of the systems is very important,” Nicusanti says. “You can configure any design you need.” He sees homeowners discovering unused space in their homes.
The potential for this previously unusable space can be a boon for upsells. Kitchen, bath, and basement remodels can benefit from upgraded organization systems. Designing in a lazy Susan, spice drawer, sink front tip-out tray, or pull-out waste container gives the client more options to choose from and spend money on. Jenkins sees this as an easy way to add profits to a job.
Nicusanti adds that organization products provide a surprising amount of satisfaction. “People don't realize how much emotional relief you get with these projects. Five hundred bucks and you have a whole new room.”