This was a big weekend project Mister Och and I have been putting off for the entire year we've been in this house. We've kinda sorta organized it when we moved in...but there was no specific system...and no motivation to keep it a particular way...so it turned out looking like this...
This is a ONE car garage people! (why ever would these dunces think families living in Alaska be OK with only one sheltered car with the other's battery being drained by the subzero temps outside is beyond me) But, just take note of all the junk sitting on the floor. We would have to climb over and around these articles going in and out of the car.
And check this out...
There's this hallway/storage area/exit to the backyard space towards the back of the garage. Strange configuration, I know, but extra space is always welcome. Yes, this is a queen mattress just sitting there from our previous home's guest bedroom (no space inside). There's also a pile of patio furniture cushions just thrown in front of that back door. Out of sight, but taking just as much space, are boxes of things we didn't have room for.
I've mentioned the mouse problem we had, right? Our unit butts up against a thick stand of trees, which provides a nice view from our windows, but apparently houses field mice as well. There was a ventilation shaft that wasn't properly screened that we believe was used as an entrance to the garage. When temps started to drop...the warmth of our heated garage beckoned to them like a siren song. The sight of mouse droppings up and down the walls was enough to get my ass in gear to clean all this up.
I didn't quite know how to go about organizing the space.
And then this picture from the Container Store grabbed ahold of my heart and didn't let go:
Wall-mounted shelving! So pretty!!! Solution to keep things out of the reach of mice! YES!!!
Price tag for this system: $1180.00
But I was so desperate to have this, I convinced myself it was worth it. But every time the "checkout" button was to be pressed, I just couldn't spend that much dough. So I yammered on and on about it until the hubby gave in and took leave one Friday so we can explore other options.
(Lowes and Home Depot, baby!)
Spending just a fraction of the Container Store sticker price we came up with this:
The Rubbermaid Fast Track system holds up golf pull carts, junior golf sets, and lawn chairs on one track. Underneath sits the recycling bin and the golf organization rack. The lower track holds the kids' sleds and balls plus hula hoop (they can get their stuff themselves!).
The wall-mounted shelving is a heavy duty Closetmaid system available at Home Depot.
Let's take a closer look at the bins, shall we? Before we purchased everything, I made an inventory of the things we had and drew in a rough plan of where on the shelves they will be kept:
It's all pretty self-explanatory. Grilling and gardening supplies are on the higher shelves since we only use them three months out of the whole year, if that. Auto coolant and wiper fluid are in another bin out of the kids' reach. I have a little silver bucket that holds my car cleaning kit next to it as well.
The hiking bin is our grab-and-go bin, should we get an impulse to go out and enjoy a beautiful day. It holds: two cans of bear spray, insect repellant spray and bracelets, water bottles, sunscreen, bear bells, and granola bars. Our hiking poles are already stowed away in the car, so we are all set to go explore a trail whenever the mood hits us.
The bottom shelf is for the girls. The current season's bin sits on top. The winter toy bin holds: snowball makers, igloo block molds, and a snowman kit. The summer toy bin holds: bubble solution and related accessories, sidewalk chalk, shovels, and pails.
We keep a tool tote/basket on top of the Mister's tool chest that holds frequently used tools like screwdrivers, hammer, and such so he can simply grab that when I nag him to put something up on the wall for me. :-)
And of course the lantern is out in an easy access spot in case of power outages.
Next to the wall system, another Rubbermaid Fast Track rail holds the kids' bikes (minus Liv's since we owe her a new one this summer). The big black bin holds all of our sleeping bags.
On the other side of the wall:
Everything is off the floor on a track as well. The shop vac is mounted to the wall, easy to use when cleaning out the car. Weed trimmer, rakes, snow shovels, and leaf blower are all on the track as well. The only thing on the floor in the corner is the bin that holds 10 gallons of ice melt.
We installed these closet shelves upside down to corral our mess of shoes that normally serve as the tripping hazard of the space.
And here we move on to the little hallway space:
The mattress thrown in the dumpster, and the freestanding shelf we had moved to the corner, we finally could walk through without wrestling with something. (Yes, that is a washer and dryer...base housing provides these, but forbids their removal from the unit if you don't want to use them...circa 1990...no thanks) The lawnmower, snow thrower, and steam vac run along this wall.
The top shelf holds the big bulky stuff like the miter saw, an extra car battery, portable heater fan, and our ever constant supply of Corona. LOL. The black bins hold a variety of stuff...one holds painting supplies, another holds misc home improvement/repair supplies, another has the circular saw. The bottom two shelves has our emergency supplies. 72-hour kits both for shelter-in-place and evacuation purposes. Thoroughly prepared, just not on a Doomsday Preppers crazy level. The bins give me easy access to update supplies and rotate food.
Well, that was long-winded enough, wouldn't you say? Anyone want to share their garage organization projects?