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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Organizing the Garage

Do you have a garage that has so much stuff in it you can’t park your car there? Isn’t it amazing how quickly stuff can take over a space if not maintained on a regular basis?

My daughter is going through this problem right now. They have so much stuff on one side of the garage; you can barely walk to the spare fridge.

They have gone through and organized the inside of the house. They’ve packed up stuff for the thrift store, piled stuff that goes to the dump, and created more piles for the things they want to store in the shed – all this put (or dumped) into the garage.

Part of the problem – they are piling on top of piles from the last time they cleaned out the house.

Now my daughter isn’t a messy person, her home is clean, she’s compulsively clean. But now she is so overwhelmed she’s stressing out, having anxiety issues because of the mess, and she just hasn’t had the time (with work, two kids - one of them actively in sports – and hubby working all the time) to do much about it.

They really need to organize and clean the one side of the garage. They need to be able to move around and get to things and for the car to be back in the garage.

My daughter needs to have a stress free (or less than it is now anyway) life.

I offered to come over and help my daughter get started. I’ve now helped a few times, the first time I could only stay a couple of hours and we barely put a dent in it. We did a lot better the other two times.

Their garage has been cleaned up and organized in a way that should be easy to maintain. We were in for a lot of rain so we couldn’t take things outside, in the beginning we had to move around the clutter but it quickly got easier.

So what did we do?

Recycle, recycled Boxes

To start we reused some of the boxes designated for the dump. We used these for garbage and for items that would end up at the thrift store or books to be brought to Half Price Books.

Clear plastic containers for Storage

Quite a bit of the stuff we were going through was also to keep and designated for the shed. As we were going through the boxes and bags of stuff in the garage – we had our recycled boxes for trash and donating.

The things we kept went into clear storage containers so she could easily now where to go to find something.
We also labeled each container with the contents.We bought these before we started in a few various sizes.

What went in the containers we bought for storing?

•    There was a container for each of the kid’s keepsakes.
•    A container for books to be kept.
•    Appropriate sized containers for photos.
•    Baby clothes to be stored.
•    Yard games and toys.
•    Seasonal clothing items.
•    Spare car parts, etc.

Storing more Accessible Items

My daughter’s house isn’t a large house so there are some things that needed to be stored in the garage that they could get to easily like movies, vases, things for cleaning, etc.

There are also things for the garage that need to stay in the garage like stuff for working on cars, laundry items, sporting equipment and yard items that get used on a regular basis.

What did we do for these items?

We went out and purchased some shelving and we also used more of the storage containers. We also recycled a dresser and a hutch that was going to go to the thrift store.

Recycled Furniture

Their home is older and the garage is deep and wide, so we put the dresser and hutch together on the side and put DVDs, vases, yard tools, outside toys and sporting equipment that is used frequently, coveralls, exercise items, etc.


The shelving we bought we put floor to within arm’s reach. We used some of the shelving space for blankets/sheets/comforters stored in the containers, shoes and boots, pantry items, games, seasonal decorations, car washing stuff, and pet supplies.


The washer and dryer are out in the garage and they also have a utility sink. There are things like laundry soap on the dryer and pet supplies under the sink so we bought a couple of cabinets (where before there was an old shelf ready to fall off the wall) and put up a new shelf above the sink.

Now the laundry supplies, cans of paint, are placed nicely in the cabinet and out-of-the-way and the Goop has a shelf to sit on.

Their garage is now clean and accessible and they can park the car inside. We accomplished what we set out to do and you can too!

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