Raleigh, N.C. — Cue the Rocky theme song as I run around my freshly organized garage with my fists in the air, feeling like a champion!
Friends…I love organizing. It brings me so much joy and helps ease my anxiety. I’m constantly thinking about organizing projects around the house. After a crazy fall of letting the garage get a bit overrun, it was time for a total clean-out.
To set the scene, we have three kids all with bikes, scooters and other outside toys. We have a large yard that requires a lot of maintenance and tools. We park our van in the garage and would like to eventually park my husband’s car in the garage too.
My goals for this clean-up were to store the summer items not currently being used, swap two old cheap cabinets for one nice metal one, and to create a nicer workout area for my husband.
I went to the store around noon Friday and had most of the project completed by Saturday evening. My husband helped with the literal heavy lifting and making sure our 2-year-old stayed out of the way and fed the kids. He knew I was in my zone and on a mission.
The Garage Gym
When the pandemic hit, my husband had to start working out at home. He kept his weights in the garage and would work out after the kids went to bed. He was using our middle seat from the van (on the floor) to try to do his exercises. Not safe. I surprised him last Christmas with a weight bench. He loved it! His only complaint about the garage workout space is the summer heat. But I know trying to lift weights next to a pile of random paint supplies, bags of fertilizer, and water guns isn’t all that motivating.
I am most proud of the fresh new corner space he has for his workouts.
We sorted through some old cans of paint, moved a bookshelf to the opposite wall, and said goodbye to the two unstable cabinets. I put down some rubber flooring and hung up a chalkboard that was collecting dust and dead spiders. We also turned the bench to face the wall to save space and he can now look at clean(ish) walls rather than all the tools, wheels and other stuff. After his first workout in the new space, he said “It doesn’t feel like a garage now!”
Storage Cabinet for the Win
Our garage seems to be the place where all Daddy Long Legs come to die. It also seems to be dustier than the garage at the old house. That is one reason I really wanted to have a nice cabinet to keep things where they could be better protected.
I installed a Gladiator wall track system a few months ago for yard tool storage so I wanted to stick with the same brand for our cabinet. I got a 36-inch cabinet that my husband and I put together in about 30 minutes. It was able to hold most of what was in the two 24-inch cabinets and more.
We have our pool bag and floaties, two fold-up kid chairs, our tent, paint drop cloths, a blowup mattress, an air pump, roller skates, hammocks, garden flags, tennis rackets, and a few other odds and ends. We moved the cabinet in front of the steps into the house so it is flush with the wall and a now great place to store our toolbox and paper towels right on top.
I had previously used plastic containers to store items like several cans of spray paint, Christmas luminaries, extension cords, nails and more. This go-round, I made labels with my new label maker so we don’t have to try to guess what’s in them.
I plan to put up at least one more wall track with hooks for things like bike helmets and small hand tools.
I know it won’t stay this organized all the time, but hopefully, it will be cleaner, less cluttered, and safer for my husband’s at-home workouts.
Tara Lynn is a former WRAL reporter and anchor. She lends her 15-plus years in journalism to tell visual stories through love-filled photography for families of all kinds. The mother of three little humans and one senior rescue dog believes in celebrating magic in the little things, the big loves, and the imperfect moments that make the most remarkable memories. Her vision is to help families celebrate and share their love through photography and curated album artwork that become timeless keepsakes connecting multiple generations…because moments often pass in the blink of an eye, and the photographs we take connect us to our memories and our great loves, forever.