Garage Makeover

A lot of people think I’m organized, but the truth is a mixed bag of really organized and really not at all organized. My brother Steve noted that recently: the pantry is sorted and my closet is color-coded but the laundry room looks like a bomb went off. Organization feels like a lot of effort – but – gosh, I am so happy when it all comes together. It’s hard for me to function when things are messy. Even in college, I could never study – I couldn’t even think – until the apartment was clean.

Anyway, the garage had become a truly frightening place where you’d imagine someone might catch typhoid or just go missing entirely. We had so many bicycles, scooters and half-completed craft project strewn about that Bryan had to navigate an obstacle course to get from his car into the house. He did not find this amusing. Picky picky. Now, it never got so bad that we had to park in the driveway, so technically it could have been worse.

I bought that bike rack on amazon.com for the re-organization project so we could stop piling bikes at the back door.

We had stuff just all over the place and quite a lot that needed to be thrown away or donated.

I know – yikes! We clean the garage about once a year and it goes right back to this mess. This time, I hauled everything into the driveway and started over. I thought this project would take a few hours… try all day! About 4 hours in, Dad came by and was freaking out at the mess and work to be done. He called Steve and they helped me until dark. (Yay!)

Dad’s managerial skills in action! Haha! Steve put a hook up high on the wall to hang our sleds.

Pinterest (sweet, beloved Pinterest) gave me this idea to create a designated “mud room” at the entry. So I decided to make it all purdy by spray painting the door. I usually spray paint outside which had given me a false sense of security about the overspray. Do not spray paint in your garage! The cleanup was a mess… I bet you knew that without having to spray any paint, huh?

Thank goodness my brother keeps a can of Kilz in his Jeep at all times!!!! He did the touch-ups.

At this point, I really thought we would have to replace the door. The first coat was a disaster. Unfortunately, this is when Dad showed up. No wonder he was concerned! This looked like something you do to a tree fort, not a house!

After using up a can of bright orange paint as a base coat, I switched to the darker orange and it began to look a teeny bit better. But I was still nervous. I ended up needing 4 cans to evenly cover the door. This picture was taken during can #1.

Everything started coming together by late afternoon. I spray painted Leah’s old kitty cat hooks gold to make them “fancy”. Now the kids have a designated place for their helmets which were always getting lost.

As we put things back into the garage, I grouped it by type: paint with paint, tools with tools, etc.

After sweeping and clearing out the cobwebs, I put together new heavy duty shelves to replace the wonky metal ones – and my parents gave me a little wood bookcase that was in my room in college.

Don’t get me wrong: we still have garage junk in the garage – stuff we use or plan to use – but it’s so much more tidy now!

I mounted a curtain rod to the wall with some hooks I found. We can use carabiners to hang pool bags and sports gear. The bench stores all the hats and mittens for winter. The pets still have their bowls in plain sight so we remember to feed them!!! And… Bryan has plenty of wide open space to get in and out of his car! (Please ignore that everything needs to be repainted. Not a priority!)

Ta da! This is my favorite part. My neighbor Kristina was throwing away this rug from her back porch. It’s perfect for our “mud room” space – note the grimy little footprints we’ve added in less than a week!!! Better out there than inside!!!

The bench used to be inside, but I like it best out here beside the shoe basket. I found a whiteboard to [mostly] hide the electrical boxes and give us another place to capture notes, etc.

The door just makes me happy.

Guess what else? I completely organized and cleared out the play room, too! [GASP!!!!!]

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