Plumbing, Closets and Sensei Grasshopper??? You Bet Cha!

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart International AZ Broker BR030809000


Plumbing, Closets and Sensei Grasshopper???  You Bet Cha! 


Last weekend my husband, who is one of those guys that loves to do construction projects (his Dad was a contractor) started to work on expanding my master closet. To get started he first had to remove a tub in the guest bath. Well - as many remodeling projects go - astray - this one was no different.

I wrote a post about it last Sunday - Extended Remodel Not Almost Done.   Our plumber came Monday AM but the job was too big for him and he had to pass on it.  Oh great - now what?  I've got this big hole in the ground, the walls are gone and there are pipes sticking up from everywhere.....



Oh man now what?-  Maybe I should just give up the idea of an extended closet and put it back like it was? I don't know? For some reason Roger Mucci came to mind. I knew he has done a lot of decorating and remodeling for clients. Maybe he might be able to help me work this remodeling project through - to an end that made sense without breaking the bank. So I called Roger and he was more than willing to talk with me about what was going on and figuring out the best solution. 


figuring out a good organized closetHe asked me a bunch of questions:  


  • Why did you start this project to begin with? Because I want more closet space! 
  • So you don't have a big master closet already? No, it's an older home and it's just not big enough.
  • Do you have any idea of what the cost will be to finish the remodel? No idea at this point.
  • Can you call more plumbers to get a few more estimates?  Yes I will ask around for referrals and call. 
  • If for some reason it's a ridiculous amount to spend are you ok with putting it back the way it was?  Not really. 
  • Have you thought about using an organizing system in your  current closet ?  I have one but it's worthless!


After talking through various scenarios with Roger it became clear that first I needed to get a few more estimates to see if the project was a smart 'investment'. Being in the real estate business I like to know the dollars will add up when I sell the home at some point (ROI).  Another  plumber came today and he can't do the job because it's just too big for him right now. I called another plumber and he took one look at the project and said - are you sure you want to do this? It's going to be very expensive. I can do it but you're looking over $6K.  Really?  Seriously that is just nuts considering the amount of additional space it would give me in the master closet - plus I still would need to remodel the rest of the bathroom which puts the end dollar amount up towards $10K+.  Not a chance the ROI would come even close!


Sensei GrasshopperBack on the phone with Roger......


  • Ok let's talk about what solutions you have to work with? Ok I'm disappointed but let's figure it out.
  • Tell me what you mostly put in your closet?   Hanging clothes both short and long items plus other stuff.
  • Do you need a lot of drawers or do you have dressers? I have 2 other dressers but they're not well organized.
  • Shelving? Do you need space for purses etc?  YES! It drives me nuts to search for purses!
  • How about shoes? You need a place for shoes. Yes but not that many. I'm not a shoe nut.
  • Do you have other closets not being utilized well? As a matter of fact there are two that are not organized.
  • Would it be possible to use the other closets for 'seasonal' items or things you don't use as often? Yes!
  • I want you to go online and search for small closet organizer. Ok?  Sure!


After I looked online I figured out the best solutions for my main closet and 3 other closets as well.  Had it not been for Roger's help I'd still be trying to figure out how to organize my closet(s) and get my life back in order!  Talking back and forth and emailing him - for what seems like 3 days straight now..... was so helpful!  We even joked that 'we' got my husband to let the plumbing project go because it just didn't add up to big value in the short or long run. What I am going to end up with is 4 - count them - 4 organized closets - which makes so much more sense to me now! It took Roger to help me see the forest through the trees on this one...and I've lived in this home for 15 years!  I am a very Happy Grasshopper!  Thanks Master Sensei!


Roger says...."notice how I became part of the plan -that's how it works little grasshopper!!"  LOL


Plumbing, Closets and Sensei Grasshopper?  You bet cha!



Posted by




Anna “Banana” Kruchten

Broker, CRS, CRB

HomeSmart International


Certified Residential Broker  CRB

Certified Residential Specilist CRS

AZ DRE Certified Real Estate Instuctor


 Your Referrals & Testimonials Are Greatly Appreciated!











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Anna Banana Kruchten Broker, CRB, CRS
HomeSmart International - Phoenix, AZ

Wow Roger is right fast asleep at auto post works great! Cool!  Roger Dodger is so's amazing how simple it all seems now.  I'm rushing to get out the door for a brokers meeting - see you all later. Thanks All!

Mar 27, 2013 11:39 PM #17
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - - Chandler, AZ

Great story, Anna! One of the most frequent comments I receive on my older home listings is the small closet size.  Now I have something to share with them!  Bravo!

Mar 27, 2013 11:43 PM #18
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Anna, I do love happy endings and this is one thanks to the help of Roger, he sure knows how to work his magic! I know you are glad to put this one to rest as well. 

Mar 28, 2013 12:00 AM #19
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Anna -- it's nice when it all comes together, isn't it?   Photos -- we will need to see photos.

Mar 28, 2013 12:07 AM #20
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Aww - I'm a big fan of Banana's with a twist. Oh wait...

I just love this collaboration - I'll bet you two had great big fun working together to solve the closet dilemma. It will be fun to read more about the outcome - and yes - photos of your organized closets please! 


Mar 28, 2013 12:20 AM #21
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Moving and shaking and twisting and turning with Roger and it all worked out great!  How cool is that....

Mar 28, 2013 12:50 AM #22
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
ANNA - there's nothing like having that other point of view to help walk you through a situation and you can always count on Roger to tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear!
Mar 28, 2013 01:15 AM #23
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Go, Roger! Sounds like your closet and bathroom situation is under control now. Yay!
Mar 28, 2013 02:52 AM #24
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

I love happy endings, Anna!  So glad that you resolved your storage and organization issue in a way that works for you well ... and keeps expenses realistic.  You provide great proof of just how AR friends can be helpful and so worth having ...

Kudos to you and Roger! ... and AR, of course ...


Mar 28, 2013 02:58 AM #25
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker, CRB, CRS
HomeSmart International - Phoenix, AZ

Hillary - we've scratched the moving of all the plumbing as it's ROI is zip!  We have a new plan in place to increase the storage in the entire home and garage plus a lining closet in the quest bath.  It turned out so much better due to Roger's help that it's amazing!!  Grateful!!!!

Carra - they are good questions!  I wish I would have asked him before we got started!  Never again will I see small closets as an issue.  Thanks for the Cosmic Feature!

Roger you were the sensei - I was kind of at my wits end and you helped me make sense out of the mess AND get Gary onboard to scratch the plumbing changes - which he really wanted to do for me. Gotta love that part. But NOW we're having the whole house re-done with new closets and the garage too.  It's so much better it's kind of hard to believe....all because of you and you getting me to think outside the box.  Love it!  Love you too!!

Carol....I'm not sure we'd be as clear BY  A LONG SHOT at this point without Roger's advice and ideas.

Berni - truly it was Roger to the Rescue!!  And I needed it!

Lenn - I see it so differently now and it will clearly help my buyers/sellers better.  And to think I actually thought I was organized.  Ha that's a joke now.  I am so looking forward to the total re-doing of all the closets and the garage. Who knew! 

Larry & Sheila - not only less expensive but it came out SO MUCH SMARTER FOR THE ENTIRE HOME - AND LIFESYTLE! Seriously had I thought about all this before we thought getting rid of that tub was the answer - it would have looked a whole lot different from the start.  Money isn't the issue at all  - this whole shift makes so much sense it's a no brainer.

Paula - he probably is ready!  And he'll say go back and read Anna's post and then call me back!!

Kristin - Roger is the BEST!  Huggable hangers - what the heck are they. I must look into that as well:)

Michael - I don't know where else.  ActiveRain is amazing on so many levels it astounds me A LOT.

Roger - I am back!  Couple hour meeting with THE real estate commissioner which was excellent.  Roger - I know I've said this a lot - but thanks so much for helping me make sense of the whole mess.  It's unbelievable how VASTLY BETTER IT HAS BECOME OVERNIGHT!  Gary is excited about it as well as we're re-doing 'his' garage too!

Joanna - he knows his stuff. It really changed the way I look at organizing - and I used to think I was very organized and neat.  But that was so not the case!!

Debbie we haven't even begun to pick it all out but I've got lots of ideas. Roger gave me the right places to look and it's all right there.  I also have a girlfriend that is re-doing her closet so she sent me the name of the guy.  I am excited. Who knew I'd get so excited about organization!!

Bliz - is that amazing or what!  A few phone calls, a ton of emailing back and forth - and he's on speed dial now!  Or is that called 'favorites'. He's a favorite for sure!

Scott - I was totally open to different ideas....and he delivered!

Amy - absolutely we're both better able to suggest ideas now. And it's so darn simple!

Wanda - well it will be at least a month before it's all put to rest and we're still re-doing the quest bath plus I know everything will need to come out of closets - gone through - and decide what's relevant - what's not.  Just the thought of paring done to basics thrills me. I'll be able to find stuff now!  Woo Hoo!!  Can you tell I'm excited!! Who knew!!

Michael - photos and more stories to follow - I promise. I'm sure there will be much more to add. Roger is a task master you know!

Debb- it has been great fun.  And honestly I couldn't see the forest through the trees on Monday. And's been a total turn-a-round. The power of the ActiveRain Community - this is another example. 

John - yes and lots of that to follow.  It's going to be so cool!!  Little Organized MS Banana!

Kathy - that's what I love about him. He did tell me what I needed to hear.....and I am so grateful.  And he made it so much fun.  He's so darn funny!

Go Roger is right Margaret!   And we're on the way to organized bliss. Who knew there was such a thing!

Gene - it's actually a new beginning with a long way to go to the finish line.  But we'll get there now thanks to Roger!






Mar 28, 2013 03:51 AM #26
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Anna - I'm glad that worked out for you - Roger definitely knows what he's doing. (And it's "interesting" that you two conspirators have gotten together on something else besides tormenting me).

Mar 28, 2013 04:02 AM #27
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I'm from the school of thought that there are never enough closets in a home... the more the better!

Mar 28, 2013 04:36 AM #28
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

Now that's a success story in the Rain and one of the reasons I ♥ it in the Rain.

Mar 28, 2013 09:29 AM #29
Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

This is the best, doesn't it make you want to jump up and down and clap your hands.  You reached out to an expert in another field and they just solved all the issues for you.  You know real estate and Roger knows organizaiton and decorating.  We are some bunch, aren't we?

Mar 28, 2013 10:39 AM #30
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Anna, My solution would be to get rid of all the stuff!!!! I am not surprised that Roger came to the rescue. You have certainly had your hands (and closets) full.  So glad you have a solution!

Mar 28, 2013 01:20 PM #32
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

Wow....I am so jealous...i need an organizational overhaul of my closets!   I can't wait....I am on a roll this year as I make room for my hubby to be here permanently this fall!   SO much work to do though!  I am happy yours will be done soon! 

Mar 28, 2013 01:48 PM #33
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I had no idea where you were going with this post, so I kept reading and now it just makes sense!!  My solution should you have called me, would have been "sell your house and in to one that has a lot of closets,"  So much for my Sensei advice . . . not!!  L0L

Mar 28, 2013 02:08 PM #34
Erin Bates
CMG Financial and Expansion Marketing Services - Aurora, CO

I came over from Roger's blog - I love this story! So nice when one of us can help the other! Roger sounds like a pro and I bet your closets are AWESOME!

Mar 28, 2013 02:48 PM #35
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

I love this story, Anna.  Yes, when you move plumbing it always gets expensive and so much more expensive than people realize.  So glad Roger was able to help you find a much better solution.  Roger is amazing.

Mar 28, 2013 08:01 PM #36
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Anna, this is a great story! We have a 'newer' home (1997) and the master closet still isn't big enough. Love the fact that right here in the Rain was the perfect resource to help - Roger :)


Mar 30, 2013 12:27 AM #37
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