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My Rubbermaid Garage Makeover (from bad to great) – Part 3 of a series

Tackling the installation – One step at a time

From my previous posts you’ve learned that my garage was a complete disaster AND I’ve committed to getting it cleaned up and organized.

The first step I took was to make a plan. Once I had a plan, which resulted in a shopping list, I went to the store, purchased the products needed, brought them home and unloaded them into my still very messy garage. I now stood in my garage staring at this new pile of ‘mess’ and became a little overwhelmed.

I just didn’t know where to go from here. There was an entire garage that needed cleaned, shelving that needed built, FastTrack rails that had to be hung and a bunch of organizing to do.

My solution…. go water the tomato plants. After about 15 minutes of therapeutic watering I had solved my problem. I was going to take it one step at a time. Instead of thinking of the project as a single task that had to be completed immediately I decided to break it into smaller tasks and do one thing at a time.

Walking back to the garage I made the decision that I’d do the easy things first. The easiest task on the list was to put together the new steel-reinforced resin shelves. That seemed to be very doable. I had no idea how long it would take but I estimated about 30 minutes. 15 minutes later I had finished building two 5-shelf units. They were extremely easy to build. I even let my Shannon, 8 year old son, do much of the work.

Spurred on by a great sense of accomplishment (and a son who wanted to do more work) I decided I could move on to the next most logical task… organizing the corner where these new shelves would sit.

Again, with the "one step at a time" mind set, I proceeded to move all of the junk and clutter from the corner to the middle of the garage. Then I began to dismantle a few old wire shelves that were not helping to keep the garage organized.

TIP: When removing the wire shelving back clips, remove the nail from the clip prior to removing the clip from the wall. This will allow the clip to slide cleanly from the drywall. Otherwise you’ll end up pulling the anchored clip from the drywall and leaving a large hole. Trust me on this;)

With the wire shelving dismantled, the clutter removed from the corner and the dirt and dust swept, I had a fresh canvas to work with. Next step… move the new shelving into place and begin organizing and moving items back onto the shelves.

Finished_shelves_2This was a very important step. I first had to keep in mind that two new shelves didn’t mean I should put everything and anything onto them. I took a look at how we use that area of the garage (near the stairs/entry to the laundry room, store shoes, easy access to items needed in the home, etc.) and determined what I needed to move into that area. This was a very critical step as it allowed me to purge items that we don’t use frequently, prioritize the items that we use often and determine just what got added to these new shelves.

The outcome was a fairly organized set of shelves that are not cluttered, allow for easy visual scanning of items and extremely convenient. A nice addition to my new shelves were 6 new small and mid-size clear Rubbermaid totes to hold miscellaneous small items. All-in-all, a small project that will make a big impact on my families life. (See the before photo at Flickr)

With one area of the garage makeover project complete, I choose to savor the feeling of pride and accomplishment and opted to work on the other areas of the garage at a later date.

One step at a time and soon I’ll have walked a mile. I’m now looking forward to the next task and ultimately the finished project.

View the Complete Photo Gallery on Flickr
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  My Rubbermaid Garage Makeover (from bad to great)
- Part #1: I’ve got a BIG problem. My garage is a total mess
- Part #2: Planning is half the battle (or at least some of the battle)
- Part #3: Tackling the installation – One step at a time
- Part #4: My garage is really starting to shape up
- Part #5: I love my garage! I never expected it to turn out this good.

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4 Responses to My Rubbermaid Garage Makeover (from bad to great) – Part 3 of a series

  1. Steel shelves September 17, 2009 at 5:18 am #

    Great article. You’re right; just make sure the shelving system works for you and not the other way around.

  2. Jim Deitzel July 11, 2008 at 10:41 am #

    I think I’ll be busy enough with this blog. Keep me posted on your garage. I’d love to see the outcome.

  3. Multi-Tasking Mommy July 11, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    Ok, you’ve got my nesting instincts kicking into high gear with this post! Our garage needs a serious change…can I hire you? ;)

  4. Judy Rodman July 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    Oh my, this gives me hope.. I just bought those same shelves! My first (and only step so far) was getting them out of the car and placing them (still wrapped up) in the garage they will be saving. You give me incentive to go forward, man!

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