Three weeks ago I shared with you my latest home organization challenge…. my messy and cluttered garage, and my game plan for hooking up with Laura from OrgJunkie to tackle this project and turn it around in only 4 short weeks! We want all of you to join us in this adventure as part of the “Great Garage Clean-Out Challenge!” To battle our way through this organizing project, we are going to use Laura's PROCESS steps….which are:
P– Plan of attack – plan your project – which area(s) do you want to address – make a list – evaluate present system, what is working, what isn’t working, devise new system – determine budget – develop timeline
R– Remove items – empty the space completely so you can start from a clean slate – this is much more effective than just shuffling everything around. Remove then sort & purge
O– Organize into piles – donate/toss/sell/keep/relocate – sort like with like – purge excess – the more you purge the less you have to find a home. Your goal is to bring back into your space only what you love and use and can fit into the space you have available. Purge until it fits!
E-valuate plan – how is your system working for you – are you able to work your system? What needs to be modified? A good system should be easy to maintain
S- Solve/Simplify any remaining issues. Address anything that isn’t working for you – revise accordingly
S- Smile, relax and enjoy your hard work!
garage “before” picture
What We've Done So Far….
We started two weeks ago by developing a plan of attack! Steve and I decided that we want one side of the garage to contain a workbench and all of the tools and equipment that we use to maintain our home and yard. Oh, and Steve's car! We want the other side of the garage to be the “kids side” where we will keep all of the bikes and sports equipment. And we want the upstairs area of the garage to hold all of our off-season items and things that we do not need to access on a regular basis.
garage upstairs are “before” picture
Last week we spent a great deal of time clearing out items that we no longer needed or wanted (destined for either donation and trash), and began the process of organizing the remaining items into piles. This week, our goal was to tackle just the upstairs are of the garage, and begin to organize what we intended to keep up there and containerize it where possible. We felt that if we could get this storage space all set up, then there would be plenty of items currently housed on the main level of the garage that we could then move upstairs into the newly cleaned-out space.
Create Clearly Defined Areas
It was remarkable (even to us!) how much space we ended up with in this upstairs area once we purged all that we did! Once that happened, it was actually somewhat easy to see what we were left with, and we started to create “destinations” for different categories of items. The first space we created (upper left corner) was an area to hold all of our gardening equipment. Clay pots (over the years I have accumulated dozens of these!) in various sizes, gardening fertilizers, bird feeders, seed starting equipment, and literally dozens of soaker hoses were uncovered during the clean out. But it all could be contained nicely on top of and under a table.
If we owned such a table, which at first, we did not.
However, we did have three old wooden doors leftover…. so Steve headed to the local hardware store and purchased a bunch of 2×4's to make table legs…. and a few hours later, I had three new “tables” that I could use in this storage area for less than $20 in total! Nice!
Next to the gardening area is storage space for things related to the inside of our home (window screens, a travel dog crate), and then outdoor items such as golf clubs (not that Steve ever plays anymore!), snow sleds, another table that holds our camping gear and life vests for boating (for those times when we visit family members who actually have boats!), body boards, and other summer gear (upper right).
The other 1/2 of the upstairs contains a table for Steve's outdoor hobbies… his maple sugaring equipment and beekeeping supplies (yet to be moved into this space), a large area to hold all of the items he wants to keep around for future projects such as wood scraps, pieces of PVC pipe, and other related “treasures” (bottom left). And the last section holds cardboard moving boxes (hey- we used them to create fabulous halloween costumes this year!), a few replacement tires for his lawn equipment, as well as some other large pieces of building materials (bottom right).
Now we have the entire main floor of the garage to tackle…. and it's still not in pretty condition….
So starting Monday, I plan to spend an hour in there every day…. working from left to right- touching every single item and deciding what to do with it until we start to see this main floor area take some shape! I've given my husband a goal this weekend to complete the bee hives he is working on, and get them moved out of the garage by Monday… (I'll keep my fingers crossed!). Not only will that clear up some space, but once he's done, he can start finding a home for all of the large table saws and temporary workbenches that he has been using while he builds the hives. (Super cool, yes…. but I am ready to see it all cleaned up already!)
So as I approach working on this lower level…. one of my questions for Laura from Org Junkie is… how do I maximize this wall space with regards to all of the kids toys and equipment?
We were keeping about 14 bins of kids stuff on the garage floor… like this:
But I think we need to find a way to hang containers like this on the wall somehow, maybe in a tilted or slide-out manner so the kids can still access the contents. And most importantly, they need to be able to clean it all up and put it away themselves! ‘Cuz once we get this area organized… I certainly want to keep it that way!
Oh, and I did win one of these super-cool ball containers from the 29 Day Challenge….
So Laura- what are your best ideas for maximizing the wall space in the garage to house kids stuff?
Now if you are taking the challenge- it's time to link up your blog post here (this Linky is shared on both this site as well as OrgJunkie's) and show us how you did this past week with your own game plan! We're all here to support one another!
And to stay up to date on the latest tips and ideas from Momof6, please Like the Momof6 Facebook page!