So Kathryn's newly organized garage couldn't have come at a better time. Talk about the inspirational push one needs to take back their garage!
Kathryn said something that really hit home to me.... "People make a huge investment in the vehicles they drive, yet park them outside to store inexpensive 'things' inside of the garage." So true right? Why do we do that? Time to take back our parking spots and protect those investments!
I had to know more details about this incredibly organized space. Oh, and did I mention, Kathryn is a mom of five? Kudos to her for giving her family a great place to store all of the goodies for work and lots and lots of play!
What is the main function of the space?
"First and foremost, we like to park our two vehicles in the garage! It seems silly to park a $30,000+ investment outside and store significantly less than that in the garage. The garage space is hardworking, as it stores our tools, cleaning equipment, craft supplies, sporting equipment and ladders/chairs. Besides the kitchen, it's the most-used space in our home since every project begins in the garage!"
Do you have any superstar tips for keeping it organized?
"Involve your kids! We have five children and even if I was Wonder Woman, there's no way I could clean up after them all the time. About one-third of what's stored in the garage is theirs and we're teaching them how to be good stewards of those things. If a ball gets ruined because it was left out in the rain, they quickly learn to put it up the next time! Periodically, do a quick clean-out of unused, broken or unnecessary items. We usually do ours in the spring and fall before and after Texas hits triple digits! It reminds us of what needs to be used, recycled or thrown out. Austin has a great paint recycling program that we utilized when we recycled more than 20 gallons of old paint cans. Be honest with yourself. Why are you really keeping something? The space had become a dumping ground for every random thing we owned. Think up; think vertical. In every instance, we employed both and we now have our garage floor back."
What items did you find were essential in organizing the space, and why?
"Pegboard, plastic bins and hooks of all shapes and sizes. We creatively used pegboard and hooks for shoe storage and bicycle helmets. I love it because it's inexpensive and versatile. The hooks are used throughout the garage - on the wall for ladders/chairs and as part of a hanging system for gym bags and hats. Of course, the clear plastic bins keep dust out, but allow us to see what's inside."
What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?
"In an effort to honor my husband's request and not make it a "sissy garage," I used fun labels in key spaces and painted the cabinets. I used label templates from BHG and they got the stamp of approval from my better half. By laminating them and affixing to boxes with velcro, it gives us the ability to switch them out when our needs change (hat tip to Jen for that idea!). The paint labeling project was fun, too. I used Jen's paint organization idea, making labels for the touch-up jars and for our bigger paint cans we kept on hand, using simple round labels from the office store. While it's a space that's primarily used by the man of the house, I wanted it to be a space in which we were all a part of creating."
What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?
"The cabinets, countertop and shelving weren't cheap, but we made them affordable by leveling, installing and painting it all ourselves. We found the countertop on clearance and we purchased the shelving on sale. Every little bit helps. I made all the labels, we got creative with plastic bins we shopped from our house and used pegboard in place of expensive bins. I even made a "honey-do" bucket that contains the supplies needed and a laminated checklist of all the projects on the list. It was an added bonus to get the refrigerator from a former neighbor who was moving and couldn't take it with him!"
How has this project impacted your life for the better?
"Every time I drive into the garage, I smile. That has to be worth it right there! The kids were a big part of cleaning out the space, helping us sort through things and they've taken real ownership in keeping it that way. It's made projects go so much smoother because we know where things are stored."
So so great right? I am a believer that the garage is an extension of the home, yet often times it is one of the most neglected. I am guilty of that myself, but seeing this space being used and loved by Kathryn's family, really gives me the push to take back our outdoor space.
There is so much to heart about this garage, here are a few of my favs:
- Kudos to Kathryn for getting her kids involved in the process. I am a believer that kids take more pride in maintaining systems when they understand the organizing process.
- I appreciate her ability to be ruthless and only keep what they use and need, purging is a great feeling!
- Love the pegboard system. It's inexpensive, and really utilizes wall space. It keeps everything on display so things are quick to find, and simple to return.
- I have never thought to hang shoes on pegboard, but I have to say, it's quite genius! Peg board shoe rack!
- The walls are lined with different organization tools and systems based on the supplies being stored. Brooms, ladders and fishing poles all have a home up off of the ground.
- Hanging bikes from the ceiling is another great space saving tip. We do this too, and it's been working wonders for years.
- I adore that they installed cabinets and counters to give themselves a solid place to build, craft and project. They took it a step further by painting the cabinets white, which really brightens up the garage. They also added a sink and now they have a place for cleaning paint brushes and other dirty kid messes, saving their kitchen sink for dishes.
- Labels make everything better right? They are so pretty, even in a garage! Love them. And bonus points for laminating them, the garage is a dusty dirty place, laminating her labels will ensure they will be around for years to come.
- What's not to love about that paint storage? Gets me every. single. time.
Now it's your turn. What are you loving about this super fantastic space? Anyone else taking their garage back after a long winter?
You can find more details and photos about Kathryn's entire garage project on her blog here.
ATTENTION!! Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition? Have an awesome organizing story to share? I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life. Please submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!! Photos should be high resolution and unedited. Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better! Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice! Only love goes on at this blog!