Garage Clean Out Part 2 | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Garage Clean Out Part 2

Monday, May 28, 2012

Garage Clean Out Part 2

In Garage Clean Out Part 1 I told you I joined the Great Garage Clean-Out Challenge and showed you how I followed the first 3 steps of Laura from OrgJunkie's PROCESS.  Today I'll show you the last 4 steps and reveal what the garage looks like now.  Here's a before and after shot of the whole garage:

Now for the steps:  Step 4 is Containerize, which involves finding storage solutions (containers establish limits and boundaries), designating a space for items to be kept, and consolidating where possible.  I already had plastic bins for our Christmas things and our camping equipment so those items were fine.  Keeping with my goal of not spending any money, I looked for containers from other parts of my house that I could repurpose for the various piles of like items I'd made in the garage. 

I found 2 old refrigerator drawers that were perfect for garage storage.  And I had 2 small clear plastic bins that I bought at the dollar store for another project but didn't use.  I had a fruit basket and a small foldable bin in the garage already and I had a small clear backpack that was previously in the backyard deckbox.  I broke down and spent $1 on a cute pink plastic basket for my daughter's sidewalk chalk (it was too cute to pass up and I wanted a bit of colour in the garage!).  You can see some of our containers here:

I made labels for each of the containers so we'd be able to see what's inside (and put things back where they belong!).

Next I designated areas in the garage for various purposes rather than having things all over the place like before.  One of my goals was to have as little as possible on the floor on either side of the garage so it would be easier to get in and out of the van without knocking things over, so I utilized the space on the wall to hold things up and added some nails to hold the big gardening tools up.  I also had more space on the shelves after purging so more items were able to be stored on them.  Here's a picture of the side of the garage now:

There's nothing left on the floor on that side except a few hockey sticks in the corner beside the garage door!  The other side of the garage just has the green organics recycling bin in the corner beside the garage door (the angle is slightly different on some of my pictures so it doesn't actually show up in any of them).

I'm excited about how the shelves turned out...I can see everything on them and if I want to take something off the shelf I don't have to move 3 things first or worry about things falling off!  On the shelves I designated zones for sports/activities (on the left), gardening (in the middle), and car/van (on the right). 

Yes, there's a big extension cord in the car/van section (didn't really have anywhere else to put it!) & the items flow into other sections a little bit, but overall it so much better!  Here's the other section of the shelves which is designated for camping items:

 The next zone I designated was for seasonal items / things we don't use often - on the big shelf at the back.  I kept the Christmas and camping bins up there and added winter items (snow shovels, toboggan, etc.), some items we don't use often but want to keep (golf cart, extra set of golf clubs, and a bin with car/van items such as the original floor mats), and there was space for the step ladder up there so it's not on the floor in the way of the hose anymore.  There's even space up there for more things!

Underneath this big shelf I designated a zone for seasonal things that we are currently using (golf clubs, bikes, and the hose reel).  Check it out now:

I LOVE how much space there is under there now!  We can access these things so much easier now.  And it is much more inviting to use these things when it's not as cluttered around them!  The only other things on the floor in the corner there are some extra tiles that we will use to replace a few broken ones and a couple of strollers which we are almost finished with but still use sometimes on day trips. 

The last steps in the process are Evaluate, Solve/Simplify any remaining issues, and Smile.  I pretty much evaluated and solved & simplified all the way through this project so there's not much to say about these steps.  So all that's left is to smile... and I definitely am smiling when I see these before and after pictures!

What a difference.  I'm so glad we tackled the garage!  It was so overwhelming before but it is much more usable now that it's organized.  And I met all my goals (except for the $1 I spent on that pink basket but I think it was worth it!).  From these pictures I can see we really need to paint the shelves and walls but I think we'll tackle that project after some of the other overwheming areas of our house are organized :)

Thanks OrgJunkie & Mom of 6 for hosting the Great Garage Clean-Out Challenge! 

Has anyone else turned their overwhelming garage into an organized space?  I'd love to see your pictures!

Happy organizing!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!