An organized garage can be such a difference maker for a busy family. Many of you likely spend your evenings carting children to sport practices and school activities. Our garage had gotten a bit out of control so I pushed our garage organization project to the top of my list in hopes of getting it ready for winter and to make our day-to-day life a little easier.
I recently spent some time painting the exterior garage doors. Click here to check out that post! I’m slowly checking projects off my list, but I’ve determined I’ll have enough to keep blogging for the rest of my life 😉
We had some shelves already in place, but we had let everything get thrown in corners and piles. We did not have a clear cut system of where everything belonged.I had some mismatched hooks (pink and red!) by the door for coats and bags. But, it was overloaded and not very pretty.
The unpainted dry wall had always bothered me. Countless times, my husband has told me, “It’s just a garage!”, indicating there was no reason for me to waste my time painting it. But, it’s something we all see several times a day, so it was important enough for me to address.
A few years ago, we created a mud room in a portion of the third garage space. I love having the kids’ dumping grounds here instead of inside our house (who are we kidding, though…they still leave stuff everywhere!)
But, as with everything else, the space had gotten out of control. There were random bins and shelves everywhere so no one had any real idea where to put their things. Of course that makes for a mess in the end!
Our first step with project garage organization:
We spent forever simply dragging everything out of the garage. But, this step was crucial to allow us to sort through all the things, purging anything we no longer used. A BIG donation to a local charity was made at the end of this organization project with things that were still in good shape but we had no use for any longer.
We were all amazed at all of the stuff we had accumulated over the years! I found duplicates of several things, making it very apparent that being better organized would save us time finding things, but also money as we wouldn’t end up buying multiples.
Time to organize!
Once everything was out, we could start sorting into like piles to make organization easier.
I used our leaf blower to get the majority of the dirt and debris out of the garage. We purged all of the old utility rugs as they were only allowing lots of dirt to be tracked into our home.
Cleaning the walls was necessary as I knew I would be painting. I didn’t spend a lot of time on this, just enough to allow the paint to go on smoothly.
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Painting the garage:
I used a paint sprayer to apply the paint. My painting certainly wasn’t perfect as I just used any white paint I had left over from other projects. But, you guys, it made all the difference to me! Even though it wasn’t a complete coverage, it looked so much cleaner.
The Wagner Power Paint Plus sprayer was what I purchased. Click here to check it out on Amazon. It worked like a charm. The hardest part was the clean up, but I am anxious to use it again!
Totally worth the effort in my opinion. My husband pitched in with the painting, which made it go a lot faster. Painting added 2-3 hours to the project, but it’s done! We didn’t worry at all about the edges or how it looked against the ceiling. Good enough;-)
Almost done with our garage organization project:
There were some left over carpet scraps from when we replaced our carpet after a recent spill of wood stain on our living room carpets (read about that here in my kitchen table transformation post). I trimmed some of the scraps to fit in the mudroom area as well as in front of the door leading to the house.
The makeshift mudroom space has a shoe rack (a good friend found it by her work dumpster and grabbed it for me!). It has hooks for their jackets and a bench. We are still using our old refrigerator in our garage. I keep lots of beverages there and use the extra freezer space to save room in our main freezer.
I made sure to add plenty of hooks to help the entire family keep things off the ground as much as possible!
One thing I ran out of time to complete was painting the door that leads to the house. That project was saved for another day. I’m thinking aqua would be a cheerful color to greet us every time we pull into the garage. What do you think?
It certainly isn’t perfect, but SO much better. It feels so nice to actually know where to find everything!
As winter approaches, consider these tips to get your garage ready for those chilly months that are coming our way.
Winter-ready garage tips:
1. Clean out and purge.
This will give you a much better idea of what you have and possibly more importantly, what you need to purchase. Plus, you will likely find several things you no longer need, freeing up some space!
2. Organize items so you can find them easily as needed.
I had big intentions of labeling all of my bins and making our garage look Martha Stewart worthy. BUT, we had lots of kids’ activities the day this project was completed and I had to prioritize with the little time I had.
I’m sure many of you can relate…lots of things to get done in just a little time. Just do your best! As I say over and again, this blog fully promotes real life. Sometimes even the little changes can make all the difference! Don’t let the fact that the end result won’t be “perfect” stop you from doing it.
Some organization take aways are to put like items together, with everything having a place! Use hooks or shelves as able to keep things off of the floor and to allow for more space. The more confined and cluttered the space feels, the easier it will be to get chaotic again. Believe me, I know from experience!
A tidier garage will be a great way to welcome you when you open that garage door every day.
3. Make a list of any winter items you might need and ensure they are accessible.
Some items to consider are:
- sand, road salt and/or cat litter for traction (store in a waterproof container)
- windshield scraper
- flashlight with extra batteries
- blankets for car trunk as needed. We have several old blankets we keep for this purpose.
- first aid kit. (This one looks like a great one. It got good reviews on Amazon!)
A winter survival kit would be a great thing to put together now. Click on this article for some great tips!
One thing we were reminded of during our clean out process was our broken snow blower. Getting this project taken care of early is allowing us plenty of time to fix it so we will have no worries when the first snow comes our way.
Some other garage organization ideas you might enjoy:
Check out this post from A Bowl Full of Lemons.
Safe Racks has some great overhead storage racks.
And, of course HGTV has some fantastic ideas.
That’s it for today!
Is a garage cleanup on your list? Hopefully you haven’t let yours get as bad as ours, but if you did, no better time than today to jump in and get started with your garage organization project.