Mar 17, 2015

The Great Garage Clean Up of 2015

Usually I'm hands off when it comes to the garage, it's cleanliness and organization. I'll go out there to put things away and for a while there (the days after we moved in), bringing items in. And it seems that each time our garage has grown (we've gone from no garage, to a 1-car garage, to a 2-car, x3, to now a 3-car) so does the amount of stuff we store in there. 

And as we need items, bringing them in and out, they never get put back in the same spot, mainly because we've never organized the garage to a point where anything has a true "place", or by the time we go to return an item to it's "place", it's too hard to get to that place. Seriously, we shuffle things around constantly to get to one thing or another.  

Basically, it's become a disorganized mess with paths created so we can get from one end to the other. Sometimes, Cameron finds it easier to open a garage door to the outside to get something in front then to wade his way through from the door that goes into the house. 

Problem is, I like cleanliness and organization. Not always the process to get there, but the satisfaction once this level is achieved. It's a "disease" that I've noticed has increased with age. But, when it's come to the garage, I've done my best to be hands off - Cameron has always claimed the garage as his domain and I respect that. And he has organized on occasion, little spots here and there, but over time it just gets mixed up again, mainly due to shuffling. And I know the disorganization gets to him too. He'd love nothing more than to have a place set aside for all his tools so he can quickly access and FIND them when he needs them. 

BUT...back on the Sunday when it was just London and I, having just come to the realization that we would need to get baby chicks soon or not get them at all this year (which would be an absolute waste with all the money and time we are investing in building the coop), along with the need to house them somewhere inside, I decided to attack the main area of the garage just as you walk in from the house. 

This area tended to be the main gathering hole for excess trash, recycling, donation items and bins we had been looking for something out of. Not to mention paper grocery bags full of empty soda cans. 

So while London played in the driveway with sidewalk chalk and rode her bike around, I cleaned. My goal was to clear the space where the chickens will go. I have to admit, when I successfully cleared that area, and swept it, I walked away feeling quite accomplished and proud of myself.

And now every morning when I go into the garage to get my morning Diet Pepsi and Breakfast Protein Shake, I smile when I gaze upon this: 

I just try not to look toward the front of the 2-car part of the garage or over to the 1-car part of the garage, at all. 

Luckily, Cameron was happy with the progress I made and he wants to keep the momentum going. This last weekend we worked on half of the front of the 2-car part of the garage, which we knew housed a lot of items we wanted to donate to the Salvation Army. We logged and loaded our truck up Saturday morning. We then headed to the donation center before we headed to Costco later that morning. 

Honestly, I probably spent an hour the first time I went out there to clean. And I doubt Cameron and I spent more than 30 minutes (more likely only 20 minutes) this last weekend. We're finding it's better to consistently put in a little time, then try to set aside a ton of time all at once to get projects and cleaning done around our house. 

I'm hoping we can continue this momentum until the entire garage has been cleaned and organized. Only time will tell. And we have to remind ourselves to work on priority projects first, aka the Chicken Coop. Which, Cameron did start on Sunday while I began planting our summer garden. 

The other good thing is that our weekends aren't as busy, at least yet, as they have been in past years. And we're doing what we can to keep it that way until the majority of projects and work has been completed. We're also trying to use some time after work on Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays working on these projects before picking the girls up from daycare. Wednesday and Friday we dedicate to the gym. In April, we hope to transition Tuesday from a project day to a gym day.


  1. I know all about the "shuffling", because I have a room full of boxes I'm constantly reshuffling to find what I want. My method for decluttering is to use three boxes marked keep, donate, and toss. You must be brutal in your decision making, with nothing coming back out of a box once its fate is decided. You're doing great!

    Machelle Ledoux @ Total Garage Repair

  2. The garage can be haphazard and still functional, but it's much more enjoyable when it's well organized. I recently took some time to get rid of some things and organize the rest and I find myself doing many more projects because the garage is easier to work with since I know where things are now.

    Giovanni @ Coastal Contract Hardware

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