Before And, Uh, After?

May 3, 2013 by Michelle

I love my Fix & B***h group.  I wrote a little about how just three friend and you can make such a huge dent in your life from the things that need to be said, advice that needs to be gathered, and chores that need to be done.  Over the past several months we’ve done everything from building a headboard to sorting through Christmas decorations to washing screens to organizing kitchens and more.  Last week, it was finally warm enough for the project I’ve been wanting to do for … a long time.

And when I say a long time, I mean I bought all the garage organization supplies for my anniversary last May.  And I’ve been thinking about it for far longer than that but oh is it a massive project that I just didn’t want to tackle by myself.  And so the garage kept getting worse and worse.  It was honestly to the point where I was embarrassed to open my garage door.

Garage filled with junk


Now granted, that’s only showing you two-thirds of my garage.  On the right side, that solid wall of “stuff” continues all the way to the side of my house.  It was sadly too sunny to get a true view.  Inside the kiddie pools was more stuff that just sort of found their way in there.  And getting to our bikes?  That was a trip and a half.

Forget parking two cars in the garage.  While I’d love to do it, even when we moved in, that wasn’t possible.  The previous owners had left behind some storage units, and the white unit on the far left is placed such that I have to park across the middle of the garage in order to open my driver’s side door.  I’ve been wanting to move it since we moved in.  Seven years ago next week.

And so we set to work.  There were only three of us instead of four last week, and it’s amazing how much of a difference that fourth person makes!  We still accomplished a ton, and I smile now every time I walk into my garage.  It isn’t perfect, nor is it done, but it is so much better.

Shall I walk you through the improvements?

The first one, you can’t see.  My friends and I assembled a shed and placed it outside my garage.  It now houses our lawn mower and other materials needed for outdoor maintenance.  That’s been another goal of mine for years, and I was pretty impressed with us – plus, it opened up some floor space in the garage to move things around.

Garage after FnB


On the right hand back side, the majority of that is all items that are going.  Kiddie pools?  We’ve outgrown them years ago.  Wagon and books and toys and more?  They’re garage sale fodder.  And I’m holding my garage sale next week.  So pretend like that area is empty (or emptier at least).  We moved the white storage unit away from where I need to park and into the back right corner, which will keep it out of the way of my husband’s car one day, too.

The wee ones’ bikes, Little Miss’s scooter, and our Plasma Car now go where the white cabinets were, and I can safely park closer to the wall and still have room to open my car door to get out.  Mission accomplished there!  I also moved my wooden tack trunk (sigh – I really really miss my days of riding!) to the front left corner for the moment.  This is another item that is going to be sold because I know I’ll never own and show horses again.

By moving the tack trunk, we were able to put that white storage unit in its new home and slide down a metal storage unit that, yes, the previous owners had left.  This freed up room to start my major goal and project of putting up a garage organization system.  You have no idea how excited this makes me, and yes, I realize I’m totally geeking out over it.  We put up about only about one-third of the first unit before my friends had to leave – and that’s definitely a two person job! – but it already is making a huge difference.  You can see the box with another whole set of garage organization (yay!) and the remainder of the first set in the middle of the garage as my motivation, much as it detracts from the finished project.

Items hanging in garage organizer system


I love that the system allowed me to hang up my bike that doesn’t have a kickstand, as well as putting many other items up off the floor and away.  My softball gear is no longer on the metal shelf hidden behind feet of stuff that I have to carefully pick my way through each week for my games.  My gym bag is ready and waiting for me, and the ice skates and rollerblades that we don’t use often are higher and up out of the way.  Imagine this continuing throughout the rest of the garage, and my heart sings.

The only real downside was the storage units.  It wasn’t until we moved them that we realized a few things.  First, there were reasons the old owners left them behind.  They aren’t very stable, and I’ll likely have to replace them before too long, although the garage organization system may actually save me there.  Second, that white cabinet was bolted to the wall, which was the only thing keeping it upright.

Leaning Tower of Storage Cabinet

Oops.  Moving it has severely damaged its stability, but the golf clubs my husband hasn’t played with in four years will keep it from completely falling over.  For now.  The white cabinet is where we put all the items we want out of the reach of the wee ones from tools to garden equipment to car care items.  I like having them semi-locked up, but I’m realizing more and more that this isn’t the best solution for the two toolboxes we own, as I have to open the cabinet, pull the tool boxes out, open them, find what I need, then reverse my steps.  I’m pretty sure that one day soon my gym bag will have a new home and the shelf it lives on currently will instead hold a toolbox.

Good news?  The garage organization system is completely modular.  If I want to move something around, it’s a snap to pop it out and reconfigure it.  As I get more experience with a clean and organized garage, I’m sure I’ll need to do that often.  And nope, they aren’t paying or endorsing me in any way to say that.  I bought those suckers with my own money and am thrilled.

Not bad for a little over two hours of work for three people, is it?  As daunting a task, it’s such a pleasure to take a look at what we accomplish when we work together, and you can do it, too, with your own group.  Did we finish this task?  No, but when FnB is back at my house next time, we’ll finish it – and maybe something else – especially once everything that’s being sold in the garage sale is gone.

So what do you think?  What are your big projects that you’ve been putting off?

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