When my parents moved two years ago, I convinced my dad it was the perfect time to organize his garage. As a young girl, I always dreamed of having an organized garage (sounds weird, I know), and now I wanted to give my parents a new garage fit for their new home.
There were still a large number of boxes from the move still hanging out in the garage so it was an extensive operation. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the sorting/purging step. This was before the dream of becoming an organizer was fully realized.
Keep in mind, this photo is after all of the unwanted items were donated or trashed. This doesn’t even include some of the the hardier garage gadgets hidden away in the backyard until the makeover was complete and we found them permanent homes.
Once the floor and walls were completed, I had a blank canvas to work with. (Please pay no attention to the candid photos of my dad in these pics. This was pre-blog days before I started collecting mountains of pictures with various angles (and posed subjects)!)
My goal for the completed garage was to give everything a home. Each category needed its own area and of course I wanted to label everything! This was especially important since my dad is notorious for not always remembering where things go. Giving items a home is particularly important in a shared space like a garage where others will be looking for and returning supplies. We went a little label crazy! I even had to restock my trusty label maker a couple of times.
The finished unit had plenty of space to accommodate all of his tools and provided a flat, clutter-free surface to work on.
We looked at a range of options besides a traditional pegboard, but in the end the pegboard was the clear winner to keep everything off of the counter. Nothing else comes close to the ease, flexibility, and organizing power of a pegboard, particularly in a garage! There are options and additional features added to the pegboard, like jars and hanging containers. One container holds the extra pegs for easy additions or removal from the layout. This keeps the storage flexible as my dad adds (and hopefully continues to purge) tools.
Each individual cabinet and drawer has a designated theme. The top shelf holds awkward items that need to be kept up out of reach of little hands, like the saw and gas can. Since I didn’t take many pictures inside of the unit to show off my oodles of labels, here is an idea of how the cabinets are organized.
I do have a peek inside the auto supplies cabinet. The bin on the left holds all car wash necessities so you can easily pull out the whole bin whenever the car needs a good scrub down. The bin on the right is for less frequently used items and the box in the middle holds oil.
The upper cabinet holds more auto supplies including small repair items corralled in the small container on the top shelf. Car manuals for reference are stored in heavy duty magazine files. On the left are all the oil changing supplies: filters, funnels and the like.
The inside of the left cabinet features the original inspiration for my toy labels. My dad was storing all these empty oil filter boxes to reference at the auto parts store. He even had duplicates of boxes because he couldn’t always remember which ones he already had. I knew better than to try to convince my dad of simpler solutions.
So, instead of throwing out all of the boxes, I kept one copy of each box lid and threw out the rest. I then Velcroed the lid to the inside of the cabinet so he could take the lid to the store and simply return it to its Velcro home when finished.
And best of all, he’s stuck with the system. I have never again seen one of those box lids cluttering his workspace!
A very time consuming but rewarding task was going through my dad’s old nail and screw organizer. I wish I would have captured that before picture! He was treated to a new hardware organizer with labeled drawers (The ‘S’ hooks on top are out of place since they were about to be used- we really did find a space for everything).
Long term storage was relegated to the ceiling instead of taking up valuable and more easy to access real estate. Sporting equipment and toys are stored in the tall cabinet with bulkier, large items stored on the wall or hanging on ‘S’ hooks from the storage rack.
Here is the proud garage owner next to the sports cabinet.
Larger toys are hung up farther down on the same wall.
On the opposite wall are the gardening tools also on hooks to keep them up and out of the way but still accessible. The recycling bins are the lone items touching the floor.
We tried to use each inch of space effectively. Can you spot the seldom used tree clippers?
Now for the big final reveal and the after picture…. unfortunately, I don’t have one. The only pic I have contains goodwill furniture taking up all of the beautiful space that was created. Imagine it without that furniture smack dab in the middle. The furniture has since been given away; and one piece is now my daughter’s bed. (You can see the bed all painted and transformed in this post!)
But in the meantime here’s the unofficial “after” picture.
Oh how I wish I had a slew of different pictures to share with you because it really was a sight to behold. In case you don’t believe that we cleared out the single car garage and found a space for everything. Here it is in all its sparse glory with only some additional long term storage up and off of the floor.
Here’s that same before picture to show how many items we found a home for in their big garage. Everything has a home!
Are you itching for a side by side comparison? Remember, the pic on the left is the single car garage packed to the gills with items waiting for a home. And the pic on the left is the new and improved garage with everything in its new home (minus the furniture of course).
The makeover wouldn’t have been complete without my dad’s hard labor and my mom’s willing wrangling of my 1 and a half year old. I was also 7 months preggers at the time!It took quite of few weekends of work but it was well worth it and my parents finally have the organized garage I dreamed of in my youth! =)
Anyone else tackle a packed garage? Any of my fellow organizers ever complete a project only to remember you forgot to take your before pics? You’re still proud of the project, but you’re longing to capture how far it’s come!