I have learned something extremely important when it comes to organizing. Once you start one organizing project you quickly realize how unorganized something else is and add on another project to your list. Yep, it happens to me all the time and this time wasn’t any different. I found myself, yet again, organizing an already organized room!
I recently left my career as a teacher to start blogging full time. Leaving teaching meant a lot of things for me. On a serious note, it meant that I was saying goodbye to my students who definitely kept my days interesting and also my coworkers who had become so much more than coworkers to me over the past three years. In reality though, it meant that I was coming home with a car full of supplies and materials I had to find room for in my house…My already organized house!
In my previous post, How to Organize An Already Organized Room, you can see my Ma’am Cave transformation and how I was able to incorporate most of my teaching items into that space. I use the word “most” because after getting myself into full-on organizing mode I realized there wasn’t going to be enough room for everything I had in that space. I was already knee-deep in this project and there was no way I was going to give up! I sucked it up and proceeded to not only tackle the organization of my Ma’am Cave but also incorporate the garage and storage closet to my list! It was a hard job but somebody had to do it. Didn’t your momma ever tell you, “It ain’t gonna fix itself!” Well my mom might not have said it exactly like that since she’s not from the South, actually the complete opposite, she’s a Yankee born in the “Boogie Down Bronx” as she likes to say. Nonetheless, I had to fix it or it would just sit in a disarray FOREVER!
Let me begin by saying we have a so-called three car garage. We have a normal two car garage but off to the right of the garage we have another open area that could potentially fit another car. Or that’s what they told us when trying to sell us the house. I personally think it’s impossible to fit a car in there the way it is configured but I guess on paper it makes the house sound more marketable when you hear “3 car garage”. The space may not fit a car, but it does fit a motorcycle. Conveniently, Patrick has one of those so he inherited that space as his Man Cave! I guess it was only fair since I did get my Ma’am Cave 🙂
*See the transformation of his Man Cave along with our storage closet.
It’s time to reorganize my already organized garage. Take Two!
This part of the garage I am showing you is the “normal” two car portion. Something that I feel is a must in a garage is an area for you to remove your shoes, jackets, backpacks, and (if you have a pet) a place for things like their food and leash. Some homes have a separate room for this referred to as a mudroom but here in Florida they aren’t very common. If you don’t have a mudroom don’t sweat it and just use some of my ideas here to help you designate an area within your garage for this.
To the right of the door leading into the house we have a wall mount hook rack for our bags, backpacks, jackets and Luckie Girl’s leash. I purchased this hook rack at Homegoods.
To the left of the same door we have a shoe rack (not sure where we purchased it because we inherited it) and a plastic container for Luckie’s food. The container for her food was purchased at The Container Store. It was a bit pricey but totally worth it. It’s on wheels and is big enough to hold a full bag of her food (30 lbs).
Staring straight into our garage you will see two things; a huge shelving unit and a small wire rack off to the left of another door which leads out to the lake. The small wired rack has three shelves and was purchased from Ikea. I am currently using this shelf to hold commonly used kitchen items that are too large to fit inside my kitchen cabinets. I have them close enough to the kitchen and visible so I have easy access to them whenever I need them. To the left of the rack you’ll see what is left of the wood we have for our fire pit. Once it cools down a little that pile will get bigger. I can’t wait!
The huge shelving unit was purchased from Ikea for my original Ma’am Cave in our previous home. I loved it so much I didn’t want to part with it when we moved so we repurposed it for garage storage. It’s a little fancier than most people might want in their garage but we had it already. There’s no need to spend money on something that will do the same job, right? The shelving unit is three separate pieces put together to make one big one. It’s mounted to the wall for safety.
The portion all the way to the left is primarily dedicated for keepsakes. Many of the items placed here were overflow items from my Ma’am Cave. On the three visible shelves there are clear containers purchased from Walmart that hold Zach’s school work and accomplishments throughout the years starting from Preschool and continuing till now. In the beginning I wanted to save everything he did at school but there’s just not enough room. I’ve learned to keep the “special” items that I think he’d like to reminisce about with his own kids one day. Below the visible shelves there’s a cabinet that houses three more shelves. The top shelf is for fragile keepsakes from old collections I used to have. The bottom two shelves have frames, photos, and photo albums that were relocated from the Ma’am Cave.
The middle portion of the storage unit serves many purposes. It is the home to Zach’s Hess truck collection that my mom started for him when he was born. It’s one of the gifts he has looked forward to receiving from her each Christmas. The collection is so large we had to place some of the trucks on the top of the shelving unit and then used the top two shelves directly below it. The two middle shelves are dedicated to board games and toys that we can’t part with even though Zach hasn’t picked up a toy in years….boo! The bottom two shelves are mine. They don’t necessarily go along with the toy theme of the rest of the shelves but it was the only place to fit these items within this unit. I have my vases on the second to bottom shelf and the bottom shelf is additional kitchen supplies that couldn’t find a place in the kitchen.
Lastly we have the right side of the storage unit. Sitting all the way on the top of the unit are supplies for our projector. If you don’t have a projector you should definitely look into getting one. We purchased ours along with a stand and screen from Amazon. We have used it for movie nights outside by the fire pit and even watched the Super Bowl on it this year! It’s a ton of fun and allows you to bring your parties outdoors. Below that you see three visible shelves that are dedicated to outdoor items. The top two shelves are being used for fishing gear (tackle boxes and additional reels) and lighting for our outside patio and fire pit area. The final visible shelf has additional outdoor items like bike tire/ball pump, bb gun and accessories, and rafting supplies. The primary colored containers came from an old storage unit I purchased from Target when Zachary was younger. I no longer have the unit but kept the containers because I knew they’d come in handy. Target still makes the unit but with more color options available if you’re interested. The final three shelves behind the cabinet doors are just more of my kitchen gadgets and supplies that I don’t use on a regular basis but wanted together so I knew where to find them. Leaning against the storage unit (easier to see in the photo of the entire unit) are fishing poles and paddles for our kayak and paddleboard which goes along with the outdoor theme of the shelves.
There’s a couple of things I want to recap about the shelving unit organization so you know my reasoning behind some of my decisions. First, I want to talk about the containers I used to house some of my items. They are just containers I have gathered throughout the years. Would the unit look nicer if I went out and bought coordinating containers? For sure it would but for an area like the garage or inside a cabinet I didn’t feel the need to do this. I had plenty of containers floating around and didn’t want to go out and buy more. Second, I wanted to point out that although this unit holds many different items throughout it, I made it a point to group “like things” together on the shelves. Outdoor items were placed together, keepsakes placed together, kitchen supplies together…does that make sense? You will need to organize your items in piles before actually putting them on shelves. I spread everything on the floor and make piles as I go. I also have a pile for trash and donating in case I come across things I don’t need anymore. Once you have your piles you will be able to gauge how many shelves and containers you will need to put every away neatly.
The left side of the garage has a unit that our carpenter/friend built to hold our bikes. It’s just a piece of wood with some bike anchors we purchased from Amazon mounted to it. We have our rafts up against the wall here too.
And that friends, is how I organized an already organized room part two! Part Three can be found (here). Come see how the Man Cave and storage closet came together in my final post of this series!