We are back on the garage train baby and this part has been the LONGEST but most gratifying because I see the end in sight.
If you remember, our garage was pretty much a disaster. We had a ton of tools, a ton of projects to do and a ton of wasted space. We literally had no place to put anything. We needed more than anything some ORGANIZATION. Warning – I say that word about tenthousandy times in this post. It will get annoying.
The worst part about a messy garage/workshop is that we work EVERY DAY in here. I mean, there isn’t a day that goes by we aren’t grabbing something to spray paint, working on a building project or doing minor fixes around the house. And this space wasn’t safe, efficient or helpful to the cause. Just going in there I felt like I was about to have a Britney-with-an-umbrella moment. It caused me some serious stress.
I read a quote that said (and I am totally paraphrasing because I don’t remember it exactly and I can’t be bothered with googling)….Organization can reduce stress and clutter, improve efficiency, save you time and money, increase your quality of life and make you in general, ridiculously better looking. Also, I heard one that said organization allows you to pursue your dreams with confidence and renewed energy. Yes please. Sounds good to me!
Our plan was use our existing shelving and create three different ZONES.
#1 – THE WORKSHOP
The first zone would would be the workshop. That is where the majority of tools and supplies were for DIY projects and builds.
#2 – THE STORAGE
The second zone would be close to the door of the house and the primary goal is storage. We have a lot of stuff that we simply can’t get rid of – like kid’s shoes (apparently it’s like a thing now where kids must wear shoes) and toys and also some things that take up a lot of space but that are necessary once in a while (like tiling supplies!)
#3 – THE GYM
In a three car garage, we decided that it would be a great father’s day gift to give Jeremy his own zone….and of course, as a dude that only wants to talk about CrossFit all the time, this third zone would be all for him.
We blogged the full plan in this old post if you want more details.
My goals were simple….make it safe, make it accessible and make it beautiful. We film a lot of videos for brands in this space and have future plans for videos and sponsored posts so it seemed only beneficial to invest in this garage to make this studio-worthy so that both the brands would benefit and that we would represent ourselves and them well!
One of the biggest needs in this space as far as safety was concerned was getting closed storage. We wanted cabinets and needed them to be heavy duty (we looked at A TON of options and some garage storage LOOKED heavy duty but in real life, it was lightweight feeling) and lockable. We have little ones that are as curious as George and locks are a mom’s best friend.
Once we sourced the cabinets (Husky brand was our first choice because they fit our criteria), we approached our contacts to see if we could score a discount. We realize that most people don’t have a DIY focused blog and most folks can’t get a discount….but we would be IDIOTS not to at least ask. And our friends at The Home Depot did score us a sweet deal on the beauties in the plan. Of course, it goes without saying that this isn’t sponsored….we weren’t paid to blog about Husky or Home Depot but we are so grateful to work with such great companies that make amazing products.
Once the cabinets were assembled, the workshop area was really taking shape and I got awkwardly excited.
Apparently my kids are equally excited. Check out those biceps. So ripped.
The big table in the middle is where we will do a lot of filming. We want that workspace to be nice so in the future we plan on doing light crafts there and using it for videos but probably move it out of the way on the daily to keep it pretty. We also want to build a bigger workstation that will get scuffed up and put that sucker on wheels.
As you can see, we also wanted to utilize our garage towers that I built a while back. These fit into the space next to the window perfectly and our table saw and miter saw fit in between them.
Beside the workshop area is the storage area and that needs to be kid friendly….aka won’t kill my children. We decided to go with this heavy duty Husky shelving unit and OMG you will not understand how amazing this thing is until you hear this fact….each shelf can hold up to 2000 lbs. I think I might even buy one for my dad.
As you can see, our kids can reach the bottom two shelves so we decided that those two shelves should have things that we want the kids to access…their toys, balls and shoes.
We ended up purchasing these stackable storage bins and used them on the bottom shelf for balls and shoes. I struggle with shoes storage for the boys and so far this seems like the best solution. The dirt stays out and they have a designated spot!
So this is that BIG wall….
Let’s just walk around the room and describe things….
There are three big cabinets that all lock and designate areas well. One near the door (for kid stuff like bubbles, sunscreen, and chalk and chemicals that I don’t want the kids into!), one in the middle (my paint cabinet) and one on the far workshop side (for building tools that don’t fit in the pegboard).
Then centered in the workshop area are two of these rolling cabinets with drawers. These also lock (fist pump) and hold our small tools.
Above the rolling carts is pegboard city. I love the accessibility with the pegboard system and we originally had plans for four of these Husky pegboards but quickly realized that the rolling carts didn’t allow us to reach all the way up to the highest pegs. We solved that problem by using only three boards and turning them sideways. This maximized our space that we could use and still reach!
After some serious tweaking, we figured out our best layout for tools and hung up everything. It may seem like we bought a bazillion new tools but most of these we already had (we kept them on a shelf in the back so that the kids couldn’t reach) and seeing them all displayed nicely makes me feel like I could seriously build a new planet.
Next to the pegboard was the third locking cabinet and then came an awkward little space that we designated the battery area.
All these were new purchases and we love them so hard. Two of the big Ryobi battery chargers that wall-mount and can charge your phone (hollar!) as well as all our tool batteries. AND we got something that may change my life forever….a wall mounted mini vacuum. I DIE. Below that is the perfect spot for a smaller shop vac that is also new and a long time coming. We went back and forth via FaceTime and finally I told Jeremy that he could buy me a 12 gallon. This was our compromise to the dust-collection system. I thought we needed some sawdust-management but we couldn’t get behind the giant ducting that we would need to install or the fact that usually the sawdust collectors were not moveable. So we decided a smaller shop vac (something I could lift if it was full) would be the best bet. This way I can connect it directly to the tool to collect all the sawdust and then limit the amount of clean up.
On the tall shelves, we used our old storage tubs for swim stuff, camping equipment and other miscellaneous items (how come strollers come with a whole box of equipment?!). We also bought some smaller bins for the shorter shelves and those became electrical, plumbing and gas equipment storage. My mom asked me why I didn’t buy bigger bins but the reason is simple…I can lift a lid without removing the entire bin! Easy access mom 🙂
Beside the tall towers we had some very awkward real estate to work with. It’s a very small wall next to a window and we decided that this area needed to be used well. At first the debate was to keep all the lawn and garden items together….but then Jeremy brought up the point that these tools were battery operated. They run on all the same batteries that we have for the power tools. Amazing right? So logically speaking, they needed to stay near the batteries 🙂
Then on the very small wall between the window and the garage door was our trash can (a must for any garage workshop) and a new step stool. We got a new one because the old one broke. ERG.
SO here is a little story before we get the details of organization….we went to Home Depot. That’s nothing new or exciting because we are there like six days a week.
But as I am getting this photo in the parking lot with our new battery chargers and mini vac and a couple new tools, a lady is walking past us and is like Whoa – you have so many! And I thought she was talking about the tools (because obviously our cart is full of lime green stuff!) and said yeah, we like tools. And she was like No…I meant, you have soo many kids.
I died laughing.
I guess I just don’t think of four as that many!
So anyway, we dropped a bill or two at Home Depot this month and it was SO nice to be able to know we bought everything we need to get the job done in our house.
And yes, it is completely normal for us to have three carts in there at a single time.
This is also completely normal….the kids dying over the push pops 🙂 This time we actually gave in to the requests. Also….bacon.
So you saw the before and some of the afters…but how did we get to that point? What were our tricks to organizing the millions of items that go in a workshop? Well…let me share some of that with you. We knew what we had but we needed to find a designated place for everything.
On the tall shelves, we bought four big storage bins for things like TILING stuff and DRYWALL items and EXTRA MATERIALS.
Putting all the materials together was really helpful because we can now just grab the bin to carry where the tiling project is located. Sometimes I tile at someone else’s house (like my brother backsplash) and this would have been really helpful then!
The lower two shelves were kid-zone so they got one open bin that makes cleaning up yard toys easy. They also have a ball bin, shoe bin and their beloved trucks and buckets. Their bikes and scooters are now stored down in the basement storage area along with their helmets. The kids like this set up better because the basement storage area is closer to the tennis court where they ride their bikes.
We also did a lot of small storage shopping. Getting lots of little containers for individual items is REALLY helpful.
The white bins are all available at The Dollar Tree and there are lots of different types you can buy. I went with these ones because they look the nicest and easiest to clean 🙂
Also at the Dollar Tree, I found these magnetic little metal bins with twist off lids. They are perfect for sticking on the outside of the cabinets for extra smalls organization.
Here they are in action!
And this is how we do the bins in the drawers. Each little bin is designated for different items. It is REALLY helpful for putting things away and also for finding things….makes those projects SO much faster!
I also used the bins for hardware storage. I have this problem with hoarding hardware and this way I know exactly what I have and what I can make with it!
And in the bottom big drawers I keep things that are extras – like the instructions and manuals for the tools, the extra tool hardware and even option tool parts.
And the best part is that it all LOCKS. Wahoo! No more worrying about the kids randomly getting into our stuff 🙂
Along with the hardware in the drawers is the screws, nails and other hardware storage. We bought these three mini bin storage sorters and they are seriously going to be the best little workhorse. We were able to sort everything from shelf pins to eye hooks to cup hooks to chains to Kreg Jig screws to WHATEVER in those little cubbies. I am so in love!
One of the other big ways we consolidated items was with those big ole paint cans. We bought about 15 of those smaller quart sized cans and poured all the extra paint into the smaller cans and labeled accordingly.
That means all of this….
turned into all of this….
Speaking of paint….let me show you my favorite cabinet….MY PAINTING CABINET.
Yup, can you even believe how much stuff fit in there?! I think it’s because we could utilize the insides of the doors…they are super thick and have a pegboard design in them for extra storage possibilities. I hung all my brushes and extras!
Even my sandpaper is now organized! Now we can access everything easily and quickly. It makes for such a better day 🙂
Overall, it is SOOOOO much better and functions and looks like a really organized and professional space. I feel so much more zen in there….seriously no stress because I know whatever I want to tackle, I CAN.
And I can not wait to show you the workout area and the finishing touches we did to really pimp it out. I mean….seriously, we thought of everything and I feel so blessed to have THAT be my office every day. And if you are thinking, man, I want to work in a garage like that….you are welcome to come over any time to help me build something. Seriously. Let’s do it and make a video and feel awesome 🙂