Four 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 1 month! We want all of you to join us in our last week of this adventure as part of our “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
Now next week is the last week…. the big wrap-up….the point at which I need to have this project completed (gulp!) And no, I am not yet ready for the “big reveal”!
This week we took some time to evaluate what items we were still left with that did not have a proper home in our garage, and my husband and I worked together to solve the remaining storage issues that we had…. Here is what we worked through:
How To Maximize Garage Wall Space
The good news is that we have made some progress! Namely, this week we focused on how to maximize our wall space in the garage. In the past, we stored 14 bins of kids “equipment” on the floor of the garage- each bin holding one category of “stuff” such as one bin of footballs, one of baseball mitts, one that holds water toys, etc. We had stored these bins down the center section of the garage, in two rows… and they took up a great deal of space. During the first round of “purging”, I did go through each bin, and eliminated all of the broken, deflated, and generally not-worth-keeping items, and they've gone on to new homes (garbage dump or donation bin). But I still need to go through what we have left with one of my older children (who is not first-class hoarder) to see if I still have some items that can be “re-located” to a better home (rather than continue to live in mine!).
But before we begin the” second-sort” process, I needed to determine our “maximum capacity” for kids equipment… which means figuring out how much space we will allot to kids storage…. and that meant understanding how to properly make the best use of our wall space. We knew that we had the following criteria:
1. Kids equipment bins need to be accessible to the kids… they need to be able to see what is in the bins…. and most of all, they need to be able to return items to the bins when they are done using them. If we were to store the bins on shelves, the couldn't be higher than 4 ft tall…. or 2 bins tall, which isn't very high at all!
2. Items that are not “kid friendly” such as sharp gardening tools, lawn chemicals and other potential harmful items needed to be stored in OTHER PLACES! (Yes, completey bizarre that we make this a priority AFTER our kids are over the age of 6, but better late than never!)
3. We want to clear up floor space…. so that we have enough room to park the bikes down the center of the garage and fit my husband's car inside (eventually!)
Which meant we needed to figure out a way to make these bins work into our wall space.
So Steve and I played around with several ideas…. could we hang the bins on the wall at an angle so they dipped outwards allowing a child to peak inside at their contents? Our concern there was that the kids would end up pulling the bins off of the wall as they tried to access them, and that over time they would break down the lip of the plastic bin as they continued to try to hang them on the wall. Shelves always ended up being too tall… so after much back-and-forth discussion… we settled upon:
Putting one row of bins on the floor, and then placing a shelf above it for a second row of bins, ball bags, and other storage. While we still own more stuff than will fit into this space at the moment…. it gives us parameters to work within. We know now that we need to purge down to only what will fit in this space (and I know that this is easily within our reach!)
Getting Creative with Garage Wall Storage:
We have some items that are just to tall to fit into storage bins, so we looked for inspiration at some of Laura's fantastic Pinterest boards! And there we found this idea to use some leftover pieces of wood to create storage spaces for larger items within the wall studs of the garage. The previous owner had left behind unused stairway spindles that Steve nailed across a set of wall studs to make perfect storage spaces for baseball bats and lacrosse sticks. But the best idea of all was when Steve used wood scraps to create “arms” that attached to either side of a wall stud, that you can slide a scooter's handlebars into to park a scooter against the wall! Steve designed it to be wide enough to hold 3 scooters in each arm, and he finished the ends with pieces from an old garden hose to use as a “bumper” so kids wouldn't be scraping up against unfinished wood, and it would also help to hold the scooter in place on the arms! Brilliant I tell you!
Truly- the man should open his own Etsy shop for goodness sakes!
So what's ahead?
Well, lots actually. Yes, we have finally gotten to the point where we can indeed park all 8 bikes down the center of the garage, and have enough room for the kids to access their toys and equipment, for Steve to have his workshop, and to be able to park his car inside of the garage. But there are still so many details ahead of us, so many smaller bins to still sort through and purge and organize. Will we have this project completed in the next week? Actually, probably not 100% done.
And that's mainly because that now that we have come so far, we are not satisfied until we have touched every wood scrap, piece of PVC pipe, long-ago discarded clay pots, and baseball gloves, and have examined each of them and determined whether or not each one has a future in our life. You know we've been converted to true de-clutterers when GONE are the days of throwing things into a pile or a bin with the intention of “dealing with it later:”. Later is now… or in the next few weeks at the most. Our time has come.
I can't wait to see your progress this week! And most of all- I look forward to each and every one of your “big reveals” here next week for our final link up of the Great Garage Challenge!
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!
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