Simply Done: Organized Garage – Phase 1

Apr 11

The garage.

The spot where everything goes until you figure out what to do with it. Or as is the case in my professional experience, the spot where items go until they end up getting donated. So I thought it was particularly funny the other day when I saw this comedy bit by Jerry Seinfeld…

“Garage may just be a form of the word garbage.”.

And I pretty much fell over laughing when he said “once you’re living in the same room as the garbage cans, well…it won’t be much longer now.”.He’s too much!

All jokes aside, do you notice how most of the stuff you bring out of the house and into the garage doesn’t end coming back in? Does it simply end up being donated when you finally get around to it? I think his little bit is a perfect example in making a conscious effort to think through a purchase before actually making it.

Garages are a huge issue when it comes to organization. It’s essentially a large room in your home where a car (or two, if you’re lucky) is supposed to live along with other random things like tools, bikes, and misc home products that don’t have a place to live inside. These days a lot of us park outside and use the garage as an extra room, work space, workout space, or play area for the kids. But mainly, what I’ve been seeing lately (whether I’m working for someone or not – you know you’ve driven by and seen “those” garages!) is that garages are super unorganized. This isn’t anyone’s fault – most people struggle with where to begin to get organized in a garage. Fact is, it took a while to get to this point…and that means it will take a little while to sort it out. But IT WILL get sorted out – don’t be down about it!Like every other area in your home, I love to see a garage that is organized and a space that makes it easy to find what you need when you need it. So, if you’re lucky enough to have a garage, make it work for you! This is easy if you create zones.

When I work with my weekly clients, the last space we work in together tends to be the garage. As we work our way through each and every space inside the house, items that are questionable end up sitting in the garage until we get there. And more often than not, those items end up being donated or sold. Give yourself some time by setting a few questionable items in the garage for a few weeks and then re-visit. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to let go once you know you haven’t used it or missed it!
One of my sweet weekly clients has neared the end of our time together (we’ve been really sad about this!) and we’re now working in her spacious garage. As with most garages, these take a few sessions. So far, we’ve spent 2 sessions in this space (for a total of 7 hours). Here is where we began…

 

No judging allowed! This is a lovely family with 3 young children.During our first session we touched everything on the left and right side of the space. We combined bins of baby clothes or clothes yet to be grown into, items for re-gifting, luggage, and more. Nothing glamorous and photo-worthy came out of session one. Eventually, this little nook on the left will be a workout spot for dad…

Before I returned for session 2, Mom sold a few bulky baby items, which helped clear space and add a little money to the bank account. Items like the changing table you see below…
The right side of the garage may have shelving down the road to maximize the garage and free up floor space. They are still considering my suggestions for this wall or possibly purchasing an outdoor shed…
It’s looking much better on the right and left. In the coming weeks you’ll see how each of those sides are shaping up. My main goal during session 2 was to reach the back wall workspace and hidden storage area…
And we did! Here’s the before shots…

 

 

 

And now…

Not only does it look great when you open that garage door, it truly is all sorted out and organized behind the cabinets and drawers!…

 

When they need to find something, they will find it!

Look at these drawers with compartment organizers! #hearteyes…

 

You guys know I love a good compartment organizer! I put her to work sorting screws, nails, bolts and nuts while I tackled the tall cabinets. She did a fabulous job!…

These cute, teal $1 bins from Target are great for containing light bulbs and batteries…

 

We created a drawer for extension cords…

A drawer for random electronics that Dad needs to sort through…

And still ended up with 2 completely empty drawers for future use!

But this clear little workspace?…

…I’m in love with that!

The tall open shelves now contain kid helmets, sport shoes and the black bin up top is for pool gear…

In 3 hours this…

…to this!…

Ummmmm, YES, seriously!

So proud of her for making some tough decisions, rolling up those sleeves and getting down to the nitty gritty.

If you’d love to see your garage more organized, consider these tips:

* Go through everything first to make sure you are really using it and really need it. Sort and purge!

* Consolidate items.

* Once you know what is staying, create zones. A garage is big and doesn’t always make sense, but if you break it down into zones it will work hard for you!

* Go vertical with storage options. Consider using the ceiling to hang bikes and other items.

* If money is an issue, don’t worry. Just find a way to consolidate and invest in inexpensive bins that are clear and can be stacked. Label them too!

* Speaking of labels, you don’t need a fancy label maker. We opted for painter’s tape and a sharpie in this garage!

* Hire a professional, like me, to help if you’re feeling overwhelmed! That’s what we’re here for!

Have a great weekend guys!

 

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