Most epic clean out ever

Hey there! How was your weekend? Ours was great, even though we spent the day in the basement yesterday, ready for storms and tornados going through the area. Last I heard there were about 20 tornados that touched down in Indiana, but they expect that number to drop a bit. There is so much damage – my prayers to my fellow Hoosier and those in surrounding states who were affected.

Last week I finished up a truly HUGE organizing project. After going through the entire house (except for our closet), I had one final frontier that was the garage. It was BAD people. It was even worse a couple months ago, but over the past four or five weeks I worked on things here and there. I didn’t even take photos of that before because it was really that bad. ;)

BUT. We are always able to park in the garage – we pride ourselves on that! We may risk life and limb to get to the door but we. will. park. inside.

This decrapification (really, truest sense of the word this time) took me FOREVER. I worked on it all afternoon Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday a week or so ago. I figured I spent about 20 hours on it total. And my sis came and helped cause hubby was out of town – she was a huge help!

OK, so keep in mind this is a garage. It’s not pretty. This is one of those posts that doesn’t have pretty pics, but man, I worked my butt off so I figured I’d share it.

We have had three tall plastic storage containers in there for awhile but I was determined to get rid of one because I was moving them to another spot. We took everything out and moved them, and ended up with this pile:

That’s actually the “nice” view of it. :) I work better by just making a big pile (even though it can be overwhelming) first and then tackling it all at once. I can’t do little bits at a time.

Yet again, I realized how much MONEY I lose when I’m not organized. It drives me crazy! This was just the extra screwdrivers – not the ones I kept:

Too much stuff!!

I mean, I’m a DIYer, so I have a good amount of tools. But seriously? Argh.

Once I was done with that pile I started on this side of the room:

GoodNESS. Too much CRAP. I have a problem hoarding tools but my husband hoards sprinklers. We all have our problems. ;)

I wanted to completely change how we have the garage set up because over the years I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t. One thing that didn’t work was where I had our lawn tools in this corner:

That’s where my husband parks so it was a pain to get to them when we were doing yard work.

The area where I wanted to move it to was a disaster, of course:

So I took every bit out of each of those areas and moved stuff around. Now that area above looks like this: 

Wall storage in garage

Hello! Much better! We can get to it now! Whoot! You may notice I drywalled that area too – I had extra insulation and drywall and used scraps to close up that spot. (See here to see how to do both!)

And the other corner I showed you now holds the trash bins – again, they will be so much easier to get to here! We still have to move a car out but it works out so much better than where they were before: Using wall space in garage

You can see how much I try to use the height in here – for stuff that’s seasonal this works great. I only need to get the sleds a few times a year so they go up high. The baseball bag lives in my car during baseball season, so the rest of the year it goes up high. It works for us and gets stuff off the floor.

And that whole side that was a disaster before:

Now looks like this:

Yard tool organization

Ahhhhh…so much better!!

Now…the other side. This is the main reason I wanted to change up where everything was. We have a bump out that I had made into my work shop. But it wasn’t working:

It was always, ALWAYS, a mess. There just wasn’t enough room, with the trash bins off to the left and the piles of crap on the floor in front of it. And I couldn’t get eight foot pieces of wood in that area to cut them down.

So we moved the two plastic storage jobbies over there instead:

Organization in the garage

If you’re super observant you’ll notice we also finished up the insulation and drywalling:

insulating garage

I’m glad you can’t see detail in these pics cause that top piece…not so good. ;) But it’s up! And warmer!

Here’s a view of some of the storage we added back in there last year, more on that in a bit:

garage built in organization

That rug peeking out is going in hubby’s basement office soon – a winter project. :)

The trash bins used to sit over in this area and now it’s where we keep the outside toys for the kiddo:

kid toy garage organizationI got that rolling storage thing from the Container Store last year and it’s GREAT for that kind of stuff!

I moved my “work shop” over to the long spot at the back of the garage:

organized garage

It doesn’t look like much but I have a plan for that area that I’m working on now – SO stinking excited about it! It will be even more organized and functional when I’m done with it.

We have plenty of room to walk around there, even with our cars pulled in, so this will work much better as a work area. I have tons of space to stretch out in! And yes, I have my pretty rug that was in the mud room in there because it’s dirty beyond cleaning now. I didn’t realize when I bought it that the light areas are raised and therefore are impossible to keep clean. So instead of getting rid of it I’m using it in here till it’s total toast. :)

Who doesn’t want some pretty in their garage anyway? Maybe it’s just me? Could be.

Last year I had an epiphany of sorts – I realized our garage, with it’s 12 foot+ ceilings, was a gold mine of storage that we weren’t taking advantage of. And since the basement was finished, we didn’t have room for big faux Christmas trees and all that stuff down there. So we had a few storage shelves built, up to the ceiling. We started with a couple earlier last year and then a couple more in the fall. They are AWESOME:

Christmas decor organization

They were mostly filled with junk up till a few weeks ago when I moved most of the Christmas bins out here. I decluttered big time and was able to put all but a couple bins up here. So for those of you who were curious, here’s where all that went! ;)

I label my bins with Frogtape – it’s easy to read, easy to change out and actually stays stuck on there:

labeling bins with frogtape

I just put the tape on, write and then to clean them up a bit I use a razor to trim up the sides. Totally not necessary to trim them up but it makes them look nice. ;)

And after all work, finding a spot for everything, moving it all around -- I realized we didn’t have room for something important that we kept on those shelves all last winter – all the outdoor cushions from the patio. Wha whaaaa. Smart.

Sooo…we have a little bit of room on one of the shelves above the garage:

storage above garage door

And I think we’ll have another one installed over on the other side, hopefully before it snows. That should hold everything.

I’m on a mission to create/find a spot for everything in my house. I’m getting closer all, getting closer. It feels GOOD. And I said it years ago when I last cleaned out the garage, (to the day, how weird!!) but this time I mean it – NEVER again will I let it get this bad. Ever. You can declutter all you want, but unless the storage is functional and works for your family, it’s just going to pile up again. These changes will work so much better for us!

Next year I’d like to work on painting the floors in here – I love the look but our cars are OLD and occasionally leak. I haven’t wanted to go through all the work just to have stains on the floor.

So, there you go – my most epic clean out EVER! Numerous Goodwill trips and Craigslist sales later, and I’m done!! It feels so good! This is a great fall project because the temps are perfect for being inside/kinda outside. Do you have an organized garage? Do you always park in it? :)