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Road to Reorganize the Garage (Part 1)

This summer my parents relocated from a small town in southwest Michigan to Charlotte, NC. Their property up north included a 4-car garage…..which was full. Today my parents are living in much smaller house with a 1-car garage. (Eventually they will be moving again, but we are not sure when…) Downsizing from a 4-car to a 1-car garage has been somewhat of a disaster to be honest. The picture describes it better than I ever could…

Driveway_view 

I asked my dad to tell me how he feels about the garage, and this is what he wrote:

………a place for everything and everything in its place!
 
That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this mess we are currently calling a garage. It’s like trying to put 10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag. I’m sure there is a rule in the universe somewhere that says that’s not possible, but maybe they never met Rubbermaid? Maybe there is hope for this poor little one car garage with the help of the FastTrack garage organization system created by Rubbermaid. Maybe this system can put 10 pounds in a 5-pound bag after all. Time will tell.
 
Coming from a mult-stall garage to an extremely small one car garage certainly has its challenges. Even with the minimum amount of what I feel are necessary garage items, this small little area will desperately need the help of an organizational miracle to not cause its owner to go crazy. Items have been piled, pushed and squeezed into this small garage from the whirlwind move down here from Michigan. Since nothing is organized, nothing is easy to find and even the physical act of moving around in the garage is a hazard to one's health.
 
For someone that needs to make sure that the piles of paper on my desk are square and at 90 degree’s to the edge, this garage gives me heartburn every time I look in it…so I try not too!
 
With a little luck and some elbow grease my wife and I hope to transform this area of disaster to one that Rubbermaid would be proud to be a part of.

I know my parents are frustrated with the lack of organization, and I feared that because they know they will be moving again, they would not want to spend the time and energy to revamp their garage. Much to my delight (and surprise) they are very excited to tackle the garage disaster! I know it will be a process, but having an organized and functional garage space will make my parents' life a little bit happier.

My parents have not started to clean or go through the purging process yet, but I told Dad that we have to use the FastTrack system if he wanted help from me! I (we) am looking for any advice, ideas or tips for tackling this sort of downsizing situation. Because my parents will not be in the his house for very long, they are looking to do something quick/inexpensive or (if it more costly) something that can relocate with them to their new house in the future. Please let me know if YOU have any tips from your own garage makeover or any experiences you may have heard about from family or friends. My parents need all the help they can get!
Currently there are old cabinets, golf clubs, motorcycles, lawn mowers, shelves, various car fluids…

Hanging_rack 

Shelf 
This site had some interesting ideas and inspiring photos of garage organization. Here is what my parents' garage looks like if you open up the back door from the kitchen looking into the garage…HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

View_from_door 



 

About Megan G

I'm a easy-going, hard-working, sport-loving gal from Michigan who is proud of her midwestern roots. Graphic designer by trade and a sports fanatic by heart. My friends tell me, "Meg, you need to slow down!" but usually I don't listen :) Some of my favorite things include traveling, playing and coaching volleyball, going to sporting events, going to the beach, finding new ways to be creative, seeing new places, and helping people and the environment.

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2 Responses to Road to Reorganize the Garage (Part 1)

  1. Megan G January 26, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Denise! Thanks for all of the great input. You guessed it my parents are constructing a shed right now to house the lawn equipment as well as the motorcycles. I think that will be a tremendous step in the right direction! They are so excited to have the FastTrack system to help with this project. My dad definitely needs a work space (like you said), and I think the ceiling-mounted shelving sounds like a good idea. I will pass that along to them for sure. I will post more photos once we get to the next stage and hopefully have pics of the shed soon too! Again, thanks for all of your input. Great ideas!

  2. Denise Lee January 24, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Megan, what a challenge! While looking at the pictures, several thoughts came to mind: water heater in back, gas tanks in front, only one set of shelves, lots of light, pretty decent ceiling height and lots of wall space.
    Obviously with the water heater in the back of the garage you need to keep anything that’s flammable away – anything with a gas tank and various machine fluids. Would it be possible to add a shed somewhere on the property to store the lawn equipment and motorcycles? Rubbermaid has some very attractive, spacious and easy-to-assemble sheds. Just getting the lawn equipment and the motorcycles out of the garage will make a big difference.
    Definitely put the FastTrack Garage System to work so you have shelves, a work bench and places to hang equipment.
    Do I spy a swimming pool on the car? Could that be stored in ceiling-mounted shelving?
    Go for some color on the walls and maybe some epoxy paint on the floor.
    Lastly, ask a real estate agent what the payback is for the garage organizing project. I think your parents will be very willing to undertake this project when they hear what the cost benefit is.
    Good luck!

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