Organization brings harmony to Blank householdWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | email@example.com
Editor’s note: Toledo Free Press will follow the Blank family of Millbury for the next year as they rebuild their lives after a June 5 tornado destroyed their Main Street home.
When Julie Blank stands in her new walk-in closet, she is surrounded by something the tornado stole: organization.
This newly regained order is comforting because her family’s belongings were either destroyed or strewn throughout the neighborhood after the June 5 tornado.
And the feeling of disorder didn’t end as their house was being rebuilt. The Blanks lived with friends and then stayed in a condo. The family kept the necessities with them and stored the rest.
It wasn’t until the family moved home in December that they finally felt whole. This is in part thanks to Audrea and Shawn Leach, who designed and built the storage units within their master closet. The couple owns Custom Storage Solutions, which provides custom storage solutions for closets, pantries, utility rooms and garages. They had worked with the Blanks on their first house.
“I am so happy for them to have rebuilt, but it has been bittersweet,” Audrea said. “It was an honor for them to call us, especially because I knew their builder had other people they worked with.”
She learned the Blanks had lost their home right after the tornado but did not contact them. She didn’t want to be a bother and figured many businesses were probably calling.
When Ed Blank did call, he made her laugh. He said the only thing left standing was the master closet.
“You are kidding?” she said.
“Yeah, I am,” Ed said.
“I know we build them strong, but not that strong,” she said, laughing.
When it came to the Blanks’ newest closet, her goal was to maximize the space from “floor to the ceiling” and “wall to wall.” She also wanted to design an aesthetic space because the bathroom looked into the closet.
“It would be nicer to look at drawers as opposed to clothes hanging,” she said.
The design included mostly double hanging space, shelving space for shoes and a few spots to hang long dresses.
“I also tried to create his and her space. They each have their own side of the closet. That way they aren’t fighting over whose is whose.”
Audrea said clients appreciate that everything can be made based on their needs. This was especially important to the Blanks.
“They don’t have that much yet, so I knew they would grow into the closet. They started with very little after the tornado,” Audrea said. “I liked bringing some order to the disorder.”
For more information, visit www.increaseyourspace.com.
The showroom is located at 7350 Airport Hwy.