Garages need attention too!

For the last 10 months our garage has probably been the least organized room in our entire house. Even the jungle of the back yard could not compare with the chaos that was our prep area for every project. I often spent more time looking for the tools than I did actually fixing something. With my family coming into town for the weekend, I decided it was high time that it be whipped into shape. My family is notorious for having a messy garage, and I was determined to be different.

Even though there are a few projects that are not normally in the garage in the above picture, the overall image is one of clutter which definitely holds true under normal circumstances, too.

One of our favorite features about this garage was this large shelf that was already here when we moved in. However, as soon as we moved in we piled it with tools, junk, old furniture and other random items that somehow just never got moved into the house. We ended up with lots of stuff on the ground in front of it, too, which made it hard to get to anything on the shelf. There were also several catch all boxes (as in cardboard boxes) that held all our tools. You had to sort through several boxes to find anything.

This is the angle we saw everytime we exited the house. Not exactly an inviting work space, and we haven’t had any place to park the car for the last week, either.

We have been piling all our spare wood, trim, and other building materials on the far wall and it just kept eating away more and more space.

I started by removing everything that was on the right side of the garage and clearing the little white shelf. I then started to organize things in their predetermined sections. We decided we’d have a dedicated section for lawn/garden items, wood, tools, and painting supplies (mostly everything in the garage fits in one of those categories).

I used the pegboard on the right wall to hang all of our outside tools and the shelf next to it for all of the smaller ones and lawn care/gardening items. The pegboard on the back wall we’re hoping to paint soon and then use for whatever items we find ourselves using a lot.

The back corner of the garage is now being used to store all of our trim in a nice, neat fashion. I also was able to get rid of/make $10 on an extra door that was taking up space in our garage. Yay Craigslist! Even the wet vac has a dedicated spot on the wall for easy access in those emergency situations (like here and here). The little shelf is going to be used for paint (which I’m sure will soon become too much for the shelf and will creep into every area of our garage).

I had to put everything that was in the garage outside while I was sweeping and organizing it. But after taking everything out, it had to go back in! I was so excited to finish it.

And finally it went from this…

To this.

Look even the car fits…with plenty of room to walk on both sides!

Here’s a view of each different section of the garage.

Wood area: I was able to fit all of the plywood and hardibacker in one section, and I put all of the longer boards on the floor beneath the long shelf.

Lawn area: I’m really pretty stoked about this section. The weed eater and edger were wasting a lot of space on the ground. Also by putting the lawn mower behind the trash can it hides it from a street view when the garage door is open (though it’s probably not necessary considering that we’ve left our garage open all night long on multiple occasions and nothing went missing.)

Tools and painting supplies: Instead of dumping all of the tools back into boxes to put on this shelf, I organized them in tool boxes based on their core functions: a plumbing box, a tool box with mudding stuff, and a tool box with wrenches, screw drivers, and pliers. We found the tools boxes at Harbor Freight. They came as a set of 5 “nested” together and were a pretty good deal. They’re definitely not heavy duty tool boxes, but they’re great for organizing lesser used items. This picture also shows our two boxes of garage sale items under the furniture Arielle is currently redoing so hopefully we’ll get rid of that stuff soon, too. (I’m in purging mode!!)

Now all we need is a little shelf or cabinet to go right by the door with room for the recycling bin on top. Arielle wants one there to better organize her painting supplies.
My theory is that there are two types of garage people in the world, those with chaotic messes and those with organized spaces. After spending practically 12 hours in my garage, I got to change camps in one day! What camp are you in?

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