Garage, Get Organized

My Favorite Organizing Tip

(Hey hey!  Some of you may have noticed that the blog had a hiccup earlier in the week.  I won’t bore you with the details, but since it caused the site to go down for a few days, you missed a regularly scheduled post – or two.  So now that the site’s back up, I’ve decided to give you a little two-for-one today and publish another post this afternoon.  Thanks for your patience!)Stefanie from Brooklyn Limestone posted her favorite organizing tip the other day.  She was asked to provide one as part of Centsational Girl’s round up of (wait for it) favorite organizational tricks from several well-known (and very organized) bloggers (I know, with a lead-in like that, you thought the post would be about crock pots and outdoor activities for kids).  But then she went into labor and decided that, even though she missed the deadline, to post her idea anyway.  Head over to her blog to see it and her cute baby.

That got me thinking:  hey, I wasn’t even asked to provide my favorite organizing tip – but I could share mine too.  I’m probably one of the least organized bloggers out there.  Which is probably why I wasn’t asked.  It might also be because I can’t meet blog deadlines.  This by the way is only for fun and I love reading both of these blogs.

So, here’s where this post has an actual point and I stop trying to be funny [crickets].  My favorite tip for organizing:  use your vertical space.

organizing tip

The garage is one of those places where lots of crap gets strewn about on the floor (and then caked with sawdust).  It’s a pain (literally) to maneuver around large metal ladders and tools.  So where you can, you should think about using hooks, pegboards, shelves, and other various organizers to hang things off the floor and out of your way.  Visually, it helps things simply look better:  take the same amount of stuff, get it off the floor, and the whole room looks more put together.

organizing tip

This tip applies to more than just garage space, but the garage is an easy place to start.  There are a lot of organizers meant to hang in laundry and utility rooms (that aren’t the most decorative or nicest to look at, but they do the job).  One of my favorites is a mop and broom rack.  Take five of your various long-handled items and store them within easy reach.  Or get creative and wedge a sixth in there by resting a short-handled sweeper along the top ledge.  I don’t know who would do such a thing; it just came to me.

broom rack

Then, of course, tall vertical cabinets get things off the floor, too.  I bought one a few weeks months ago and assembled it while putting up my Christmas tree.  Took me 10 minutes and left me with more floor space than I’d seen in a year.  Which I immediately crammed with my in-progress workbench, but considering that I’m trying to move projects into the rooms they belong, the vertical cabinet served a very useful purpose that day.

Got any of your own tips to share?  I’m asking.

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  1. says

    I've discovered the wonder of screwing dollar store bins to the garage wall for storage. I've got all the random half-rolls of Frog Tape, a bunch of paint brushes, 8 tape measures (don't judge) and a bunch of other crap stored in them. It seriously takes all of 2 minutes to put them up and fill them with crap, but it clears off the shelves for stuff that won't fall/roll off/through them, and doesn't take up a lot of wall space either. AND I can label them, so I know what the shizz is in that top one above my head!

  2. says

    My husband and I are big believers in the 'go vertical' thinking, too. My favorite is wall-mounted shelves. They are all over our house: decorative white ones over our bedroom dresser, simple black ones over my desk, and white move-able ones over the kids' art table.

    And the best part: my two-year old can't reach what's on top of a six-foot high shelf.

  3. says

    you are so.right. about the v-space. My mom is visiting for a few weeks (12 is a few, right?) and she subscribes to the “let's line everything at the floor perimeter” mentality. argh! Happy long weekending

  4. says

    My top tip is to go through all your tools once every 6 months/year and tidy, sort, clean, oil etc… Toss what is broken and make a shopping list of what you need to replace.

    Once you are done you'll know exactly where everything is and that it is all ready for use. *yay*

    … Unless you have an OH like mine, in which case it'll be back to it's original chaos within 48 hours

  5. says

    The broom and mop rack is such a great idea! We just ordered a couple of those from Amazon, and The Man has already installed one. It's great!

  6. says

    “…that's probably why I wasn't asked.” You kill me.

    I LOVE my broom/mop organizer. Sometimes I speak softly and stroke it.

    My favorite new find has been trays, boxes, and baskets. I find that even junk is pretty when layered in a tray or hidden in a box. I've been collecting them since and they're my new secret tool when having last minute company.

  7. says

    Great tip! I saw an awesome organizational tip where they used a French cleat system to organize the garage. Basically they put up a 2×4 all around the garage; it was the bottom part of the cleat, cut with the angle going down in the back. (I'm sure there's a name for that, but I don't know it.) Then they added hooks or various organizational items to different lengths of 2×4 cut as the opposite half of the cleat. That way you could move things around but it would be much cheaper than paying for an organization system that big.

  8. says

    This is exactly the tip Stephanie posted on Friday! I can only assume great minds think alike. I've been living in chaos since moving into our new place (ahem) 10 months ago, so I have absolutely no organization wisdom to share. My only excuse is the renos started as soon as we moved in, and I'll get everything organized when they're done… maybe. I hope!

  9. says

    I’m trying to convince my husband to get everything off the floor in the garage and it will make it look cleaner plus be easier to maintain. I’m passing a link to your site now! Thank you so much!

  10. Andrea says

    How is that Sterilite cabinet holding up? Would you buy it again? I’m looking for something closed like this for the basement, but am worried if it’s too wobbly, that it could fall on the cat or dog. Thanks!

    • says

      I liked it so much, I bought a second one as a stand-in cabinet while I’ve been working on the kitchen and dining room remodel. I’ll move the second cabinet into the garage when I’m finished, but I can honestly say I’ve been very pleased (just don’t yank on them too hard – they have plastic nubs that work as the door hinges, which means if you pull or push with a lot of force, I’d bet they’d pop out again).

      • Andrea says

        Thanks! I’ll order one and give it a try. I have a lot of open shelves in the basement, but am looking forward to getting things out of sight (and safe from the inquisitive kitten).

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