This house has a three car garage and some of the best built-in garage storage of any of our houses. However someone built a separate entrance into the house through the third bay and the space is really chopped up. So I guess it’s a 2 1/2 car garage. Even so, we can’t really get two cars in the bigger section if we want to be able to move in the garage and open the doors of said cars.
So, anyway, back to the great storage. The back wall of the garage is built-in cabinets with adjustable shelves. When we moved in last summer (almost a year ago this week) we just unpacked boxes and threw things into the cupboards. (We’re unpacking ninjas and like to get everything out of boxes as soon as possible.) After we moved in, Pat was gone with training for the summer and I didn’t do much work in the garage. It was driving me crazy but I was really hoping for a cooler day to start work. The kids went back to school in late August, riding their bikes or scooters every day and the mess of garage finally got to me. After dropping them off one day, I got to work.
Here is the before picture of some of the cupboards. When I look at some of these shots, it doesn’t look too bad, but it really didn’t function well at all.
This is the two car bay, just as I was getting started. I found a palm tree trimmer hiding up on top of the shelves, along with some old tv cables.
This is the “new” entrance into the house, just to the right of the two car side. It was full of random stuff that had not been sorted after we moved in.
To the right of the door is a little nook with the hot water heater and the water softener, which is in another little nook in the back, to the left of the water heater.
I started by pulling all the items out of the cupboards and got organizing by type of item and how often it gets used. When my van is pulled into the garage, only the doors on the left of the cabinet can be opened. I reserved those for items that the kids would want to pull out fairly often. I moved the paint cans into the tallest set of cabinets on the right. These cabinets cannot be opened while the car is in the garage but we will rarely need anything that is in them. The doors in the middle can be opened slightly. Ideally the kids could grab something they might want but most items are not items that we will be accessing often. I fit everything in the cabinets AND I still had a little extra space.
There is even more storage to the right. The toolbox fits perfectly on the counter and the cabinets store random heaters we have collected over the years, a VCR (in case we ever need it!!), lunch bags/coolers, ice skates and Pat’s collection of golf shoes, golf balls and other golf stuff.
The third bay got organized also by how often we would need to access items. The door on that side of the garage doesn’t open at all. We’re not sure why but it’s like it is cemented to the ground. We messed around with it a little bit but decided it wasn’t really necessary to have it working. It’s more like a wall now. The lawnmower and some workout gear are tucked in there. I use an old garbage can as storage for tall, awkward items like extra golf clubs, pvc “project” pipes, and fold up chairs that go in a bag. There is room for my bike and the kids’ bike when they get home from school.
And finally the back corner. I made sure we had access to the hot water heater and water softener and put all the yard tools along the wall. The pool cover is all folded up on top of a big bin of gym/workout extras.
These was such a rewarding morning of cleaning and getting dirty and sweating. The garage is much more spacious and useful. I’m very grateful to have these built-in cabinets and I think I’ve put them to pretty good use!
This all happened about 9 months ago and for the most part, the cabinets have remained pretty organized. That system has worked. Unfortunately the other side of the garage received a new pile of items that needed to be stored and it’s back to being a work in progress. Plus, the kids both played hockey this winter and their gear needed a place to air out between games so I had to come up with a solution for that. So, there will be some updates…probably another hot summer day spent in the garage coming up soon!