Most of my work takes place in our two stall garage. The garage looks big until it has to start functioning as a garage holding our vehicles, a workshop where I make my creations, paint/restoration area, AND additional storage. It works great for one of those things at a time but to have it do all of those things was failing miserably.
So since my best friend, partner in crime, and organizing guru was coming to visit…I put her to work on the challenge of making our garage work for all the things we are using the space for.
#1 goal for the weekend…making room for at least one of the vehicles in case of a summer storm was to come through. (Kind of stupid to have a garage and not have a vehicle in it—have to agree with my husband on this one!)
#2 goal… making the workshop functional while not taking up any more space. This means the space has to be mobile for certain projects (move out for a project yet put “away” for the ability to get a car in the garage space) and creatively using the space I have more wisely.
#3 goal…organizing helps with all of it! Sometimes I know how I want to use the space but don’t know if it will function right for me OR if there is a better way of organizing things. This is where my bestie comes into play! She knows how I work, since she works the same way, create the biggest mess possible so you don’t have the space to work! She has the best ideas when it comes to organizing and knowing how something could work better.
First, as with many projects, we analyzed the space and brainstormed so we could get an idea of what supplies we were going to need.
Second, the all-important trip to Menards! (The store I hated as a child has now become one of my favorites…go figure!)
Then the work began…starting with some simple storage solution assembly. Adding the bins for grab and go screw storage gave me space on my shelves for what they were intended for. Some cleaning had to happen as well….Oh for the love of DUST!
I was in need of paint/stain/glue/misc. storage that was quick access because I use it all.the.time! So my friend thought up the BRILLIANT idea of putting it behind the door in the closet so it is right there at my fingertips whenever I need it! So we built a custom shelf that we anchored straight to the door. It only required 3-1x4s, 1-1×6, 1-1×2, lath, mounting bracket, L bracket, glue, screws, finishing nails and about 30 minutes of time and BOOM space saving storage that holds all the finishing supplies I use! I’m in love…
The closet needed more work…on the shelves was a jumbled mess of tools in boxes, outdoor supplies, boots and beverages. I needed to keep most everything in there. And everything did stay in the closest that was there (except for the boxes the tools were in). After revamping the flimsy shelf situation with some properly spaced and weight appropriate shelves, eliminating the boxes the tools came in (which takes up so much extra space) and adding clear plastic totes instead to store tools, I have more space for things than I did before…which quickly became useful storage for other items that were sitting out because they didn’t have a home!
Once the closet was completed it took some of the clutter away. So we figured out what else was taking up a lot of space…which was my wood collection! So we started on the shelves for wood and in progress projects boards. Now I have a place to put projects so they don’t have to take up room on the work surface I need to complete the project.
Next was the work bench itself. With most of the clutter that was on the bench before put away in the already organized spaces the workbench really only needed to have the bins reorganized and properly labeled and the things on the peg board taken down and redone!
The last and final step was my scrap wood. I try to use every inch of wood possible…and usually do, but it means I have quite a few piles of small wood pieces. So adding another shelf and sorting out by board size as well and length size makes for quick work that I can visually see what I have available and can quickly sort into place when I have more scraps to add to my collection. Eventually I am going switch out the cardboard boxes with clear totes but this works until I get to the store again.
It “only” took about 7 hours to whip the space into shape…and if you are thinking “WOW that’s a long time” think of it this way…it wasn’t just one space it was 4 different functioning spaces that just happened to be under one roof and reinventing how the space will be used sometimes takes time but in the long-run saves time and frustration later! SO WORTH IT!!