Last week 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! And 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!
Today, we start with our Plan of Attack….. but first….
Before We Plan… Let's Assess the Situation First!
Our garage is detached from the house… which means that we do not need to go through the garage after getting out of our cars (especially since we don't/can't currently park them in the garage!), so the space mainly functions as a giant storage unit- holding kids gear and stuff we need to maintain our home and yard! 8 bikes, 6 scooters, and 3 skateboards take up a fair amount of space… and even though last summer we invested in bike racks to help define a parking area- we made the mistake of putting it in the back of the garage. Which means that if the front area gets cluttered, then kids can't get to the rear of the garage to park their bikes…. so they just stop them on the garage floor near the door and go. (Grrr…..)
We have 14 storage bins on the floor that are (supposed to be) sorted by “category”- such as soccer balls, baseball equipment, beach toys, football equipment, etc. However, the bins are overflowing with things that the kids have outgrown, and in the process of digging down into a bin to get at what they are looking for, everything else just spills over- onto the floor, into other bins, etc. We need to clean these out, and perhaps find a better organizing system.
We have stacks of chairs- more than 8- that we take in and out of the garage all of the time- to hang out together outside, to take to soccer games or on camping trips,etc. But the bin we store them in is too full. So they end up falling all over the place.
We have too many things hanging on the walls… and when I am looking for something- a garden shovel, a rake, a kite…. I never know where to find it! (Um… and why do we still have the giant scarecrow in the garage from a school project from 4 years ago?)
My husband enjoys building things (lately… 3 new beehives!) , and we have buckets full of scrap wood pieces. Do we need this stuff? And if so, can we find a better way to store it?
We use the ceiling space to hang long bulky items like ladders… but the way we are hanging them, they hang too low, maybe we can fix that?
One corner of the garage has an old desk on one side and inefficient shelving above it that was left here by the previous homeowner. I think that we can make much greater use of this space if we haul all of this out of here, and start over.
And we have this great space upstairs for storage…. but it is not organized or used efficiently either. There's camping equipment stored in two different areas…. winter gear like sleds, a huge stack of hoses that I am not even sure we use anymore, screens for the windows inside of the house (once the spring pollen stops I will actually install those again!). We need to declutter this area badly, and then set it up so that it is useful to us!
Step 1: Our Plan of Attack
The general game plan for the garage layout is to define the left side of the garage as a work area… the place to keep all of the gardening tools, car washing supplies, snow removal stuff- basically things that the grown-ups around here use to maintain our home and yard. AND we would like to be able to park my husband's car on this side too!
And my husband would like a workbench…… ya know, to build stuff on. I say- Go for it! It will certainly help commit him to this great garage clean out challenge, right?
And the upstairs needs to be cleaned out and organized to house off season items. This is primo storage space baby!
Step 2: Remove Items- Start with a Clean Space
Screech! Wait- um…. there is NO WAY that we can empty the entire contents of our garage in order to start fresh. Because it will literally take us an entire month of finding a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there to get this project completed.
So Laura? Any advice for me on this? Does it work just as well if I divide my garage into sections and empty a corner at a time and work on just one area first? Or should I start by trying to just get items out of my entire space that I know we won't be keeping and call for some donation pick ups first?
The one thing that we did do was to move all of the bikes out of the garage and a few other things too…. but it has already rained on them for several days in a row now- which is not ideal!
So let's DO THIS thing together!
Here's a button for you to put onto your blog and announce to the world that you are ready to take the “Great Garage Clean-Out Challenge”!
And 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 your starting point! We're all here to support one another!
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