Confessions of a Messy Garage {and some organization tips!}

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Rubbermaid, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FastTrack

Confessions of a Messy Garage - and some organization tips!

Friends, today I’m getting real.  Like, really real.  If you’ve been following my blog for at least a few months, you know I live in Indiana and we had the worst winter ever this year – which means I’ve had to paint furniture in the basement or in our living room ever since the cold temps arrived.  A couple extra pieces of furniture in the living room at one time (along with paint cans, brushes, sandpaper, cloths for cleanup, etc.) definitely decreases living space and increases frustration from the spouse!

Thankfully it’s been slowly warming up.  But here’s my confession: I still haven’t been able to work in the garage.

Confessions of a Messy Garage - and some organization tips!

During winter, I still shopped at thrift stores when we weren’t having a blizzard, and occasionally Craigslist and Facebook yard sale groups.  My stash kept growing but I couldn’t keep up with painting it and then moving it to my booth fast enough.

So I made myself a promise a couple weeks ago – no new furniture.  No thrift stores, yard sales, Craigslist, etc. until I can clean up my act.

Confessions of a Messy Garage - and some organization tips!

Granted, furniture only takes up about 35% of the items in my garage, but it definitely takes up the most space.  For example, that red couch and chair (above) are going bye-bye.  Three years is too long to keep something that big in the garage that you’re not planning to use again!  Also going: two huge old TVs that I can’t even lift by myself.

Below is an antique dining table (separated in halves).  I’m not getting rid of it, but one day I’ll fix it up.  It’s something I’m planning to keep for myself and you know how the personal projects are the ones that usually keep getting pushed to the bottom of the list…

Confessions of a Messy Garage - and some organization tips!

This large buffet has been waiting for some love since last summer.  Inspiration just hasn’t come to me- it’s actually a beautiful piece so I can’t decide if it would look better painted or if I should leave it alone.  Behind it (you can’t see it, but it’s there) is an antique dresser that needs a lot of work – and there are many other pieces that I’ve almost forgotten about in my garage!

Confessions of a Messy Garage - and some organization tips!

I spent the majority of my weekend sorting through boxes – about 25 of them.

About 12 boxes were cardboard diaper boxes of baby clothes, and I consolidated them into the three large plastic tubs below.  Cardboard boxes are neither sanitary for long-term storage or easy to stack up high!   Our boys are 4 and 5 but we’ve always debated whether we want to have another child – so I have tons of baby and toddler clothes, toys, necessities, etc.  They take up probably 35% of the items in the garage but I’m not ready to part with any of them yet…

Confessions of a Messy Garage - and some organization tips!

I also went through a bunch of mine and my husband’s old clothes and random boxes of junk (things from past jobs, past schools, former hobbies).  I filled several bags for trash, giving away, and donating to thrift stores.  My garage still looks like a huge mess.  But I can walk through it, and I’m proud of the progress I’m making.  (There’s even just enough room to paint again.)  Plus- I’m not done!  I promised myself an organized garage, and it will happen.  I’ll keep you all updated on my progress over the next couple weeks – and I expect you to keep me accountable!

I also picked up a Rubbermaid FastTrack 5-piece garage organization system from Target to help me out.  I installed it myself onto the wall (because I’m a super DIY diva… Ha) – okay I did have to borrow a couple tools from my dad (only because I couldn’t find ours in our messy garage) but I definitely did all the work hanging it myself.

Confessions of a Messy Garage - and some organization tips!

Just remember to measure several times and be sure to screw into the studs – the directions are very clear, it just helps to follow them.  😉  In the display they also sell little bags of the extra screws/anchors for installing the Rubbermaid FastTrack- I recommend buying one just in case!

I was able to hang our awkward weed whacker, hedge clippers, snow shovel, and watering can on the four types of hooks included.  Pretty awesome!  And another step closer to my organized garage.

Confessions of a Messy Garage - and some organization tips!

Even better, the Rubbermaid FastTrack is currently on sale in Target stores for $28.89 (vs. $33.99 reg.) from May 18-24 ,2014.

My garage organization tips so far:

1.  Don’t hold on to items that you know you won’t use again, especially the big ones that take up a lot of space.

2.  Don’t store things in cardboard boxes.

3.  Consolidate- keep what’s really necessary.  Do I need five storage totes of baby boy clothes?  Probably not.

4.  Separate items into piles for trash, donating to friends or charitable groups, giving to thrift stores, etc.

5.  Try to block out large quantities of time, and get someone else to watch your kids for a while.  If you’re like me, it’s easier to get a lot done when you don’t have many distractions.

6.  Get help if you need it, especially if you have a lot of heavy items or want an impartial person to help you make decisions to keep/get rid of things.

7.  Buy storage containers and organizers to make life easier – like the Rubbermaid FastTrack.   😉

What other garage organizing tips do you have for me??


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23 Comments on Confessions of a Messy Garage {and some organization tips!}

  1. sarah @ {Home-ology} modern vintage
    May 19, 2014 at 10:12 am (4 years ago)

    Oh, girl, I feel you! I just went through the same thing a few months ago. After seven years of vintage accumulation, I could take the clutter no longer. We sent 90% of our stuff to auction. All of that stuff gone, but it only opened up enough space for one car to fit into the garage! I still have so much more organizing to do – looks like I’ll be hitting up Target for some Fast Track!
    sarah @ {Home-ology} modern vintage recently posted…An Exterior Renovation, + Why Does Fate Always Work in Threes?My Profile

    • Jen
      May 19, 2014 at 11:03 pm (4 years ago)

      Sarah, that is awesome! It’s good to know I’m not the only one who’s been through it. I can’t wait to get rid of the junk – our cars haven’t seen the inside of our garage the entire three years we’ve lived here!

    • Jen
      May 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm (4 years ago)

      That’s another reason why we get along so well! 😉

  2. Angela Minner
    May 19, 2014 at 11:44 am (4 years ago)

    Our garage is full of huge equipment from when my husband decided he was going to take up wood working as a hobby. Well, about 6 picnic tables, a few rocking chairs, baby doll bassinets, and 4 years without being touched, here we are.

  3. Lauren @ Mom Home Guide
    May 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm (4 years ago)

    Garages can be tough! My home’s garage is still a bit messy, but it’s better than it was! I got a rack to hang our shovels and rakes, etc., some shelves, and was able to make a mini mudroom area in our garage with a coat rack, etc. But I still have a lot to do, too! I’d love to power wash the floors! Good luck!
    Lauren @ Mom Home Guide recently posted…Dream Kitchen Design with TarkettwovenMy Profile

    • Jen
      May 19, 2014 at 10:42 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much Lauren- I need all the help I can get! Good luck with finishing yours too!

  4. Susan
    May 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm (4 years ago)

    You can come and organize my garage!! I would love to have your help!!

    • Jen
      May 19, 2014 at 10:41 pm (4 years ago)

      Haha! I should have suspected that a few of my furniture painting friends might have this same problem! 😉

  5. Amy Anderson
    May 19, 2014 at 5:55 pm (4 years ago)

    Definitely delegate time . . . even just an hour a week . . . that’s how I get through things. I don’t love organizing :/
    Amy Anderson recently posted…How to make a photo purseMy Profile

  6. Vidya @ Whats Ur Home Story
    May 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm (4 years ago)

    Thought my garage was a mess! LOL! I love all that furniture especially those cane chairs. Can totally understand you have them in the garage. 🙂

    • Jen
      May 19, 2014 at 10:36 pm (4 years ago)

      LOL! Thanks Vidya. 😉 They’re slightly different colors so I plan to spray paint them one day- just have to decide on a color!

  7. Debbie
    May 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm (4 years ago)

    I wish I had a tip to share, your garage looks a lot like mine 🙂 but you have inspired me to start trying to tackle mine!
    Debbie recently posted…Celebrating Everyday LifeMy Profile

    • Jen
      May 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm (4 years ago)

      Debbie, good luck! I’ll keep posting updates on my cleanup… that way I’m holding myself accountable. Feel free to keep me updated on your progress too!

    • Jen
      May 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm (4 years ago)

      Katie, now that would be awesome! I totally wish I had some friends nearby who shared my furniture painting passion!

  8. wendy
    May 19, 2014 at 10:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks so much for your confession! My garage is in a similar state and after this winter in Canada, my diningroom, basement and livingroom were turned into studio space for painting!! Thanks goodness for summer! Love your tips!
    wendy recently posted…Join Us In June at Olgivies Food and Artisan MarketMy Profile

    • Jen
      May 19, 2014 at 10:32 pm (4 years ago)

      Wendy, I’m so glad I’m not the only one! Hooray for summer and getting our living spaces back in order! 😉

  9. Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer
    June 29, 2014 at 8:18 am (4 years ago)

    I love you for sharing this , Jen!! Now I don’t feel so bad…well maybe just a little. My garage is packed with all my yard sale/thrift store finds. I’m just waiting till the day when my hubby has had enough and I come home to find it all in the driveway! However, it is nice when furniture themed Thursday rolls around and we have several options to choose from . 🙂 Hey! That could be our logo name…Themed Furniture Thursday! 🙂
    Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer recently posted…Mini Drop Cloth Rosette Stool Makeover {a $5 Yard Sale Find}My Profile

    • Jen
      July 4, 2014 at 2:11 pm (4 years ago)

      LOL! It seems like every time I get rid of a few things, I just add a few more. You’re right- I always have several options to choose from in my own stash! 😉


2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Confessions of a Messy Garage {and some organization tips!}

  1. […] 3.  Confessions of a Messy Garage (and some organization tips!) […]

  2. […] been over a month since I confessed my messy garage to you guys (if you forgot, read about it HERE), and trust me, I’ve still been working on it!  It’s not finished yet but here’s […]

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