Outside of painting the cabinets in our garage with chalkboard paint and painting the shelves when we first moved in, our 1 car garage hasn’t gotten much attention on the blog lately…. or in real life for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I use our garage a lot and work hard to keep it organized(ish) but at the end of the day it’s been very much a catch-all/work space over the past few years. And when I’m busy working and the garage is busy “catching all”, the space sadly tends to get a little more disorganized than I would like it to be.
The Current Situation
We do not have a basement so our garage is pretty much the only extra storage we have in our 1,100 square ft ranch. Matt and I have made an effort lately to purge, especially in the garage. We just don’t have the space to be keeping stuff around the house/garage that we don’t use or don’t need — our space is just too small for that. Every square inch counts and we’ve really come to embrace this concept in the garage lately, which has led me to feel extra motivated to make our garage a little nicer and a little more organized/functional for us.
But starting to make plans for the garage at the end of October in Chicago is pretty much the worst idea ever! Winter will be here before we know it and winter in Chicago means spending next to NO time in our non-heated garage because it’s so darn cold!! But, that isn’t stopping me from at least sharing my garage hopes (and goals!!) for the upcoming YEAR and at least getting a few things checked off the list before the winter comes.
Here’s what we’ve done, what we are going to do soon, what we have planned over the next year or so, and what I would do if this was my forever house:
- Paint, Label and Organize Cabinets: More details on these DIY Chalkboard cabinets here. I still LOVE these labeled cabinets and still know exactly where everything is because of these crazy drawings!
- Paint Shelves Grey: These shelves came with our garage but WOW, painting them made such a big difference. Love this project still to this day!
- Install Hooks to hang bikes, lawn tools, brooms, rakes, etc.: We installed hooks on the ceiling and on the wall last year, which helped us utilize our vertical storage space a whole lot more! We love being able to store our bikes from the ceiling because we were able to clear up a lot of floor space, which is especially helpful for when we bring our outdoor furniture in for the winter.
- Buy Tupperware for storage: We bought our tupperware bins from pretty much anywhere we could buy them cheap when we first bought our house. Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s, Wal-mart — you name it, we mixed and matched these Tupperware bins. They definitely do the trick for now, but I do have bigger and better things in mind when it comes to these plastic bins.
- Purge: This is definitely a work in progress and a project that we need to commit to for the long haul. It wasn’t easy to get Matt to start throwing away (or donating) items from our garage, but he has finally seen the light and now we just can’t stop!
To-Do This Fall
- Purge MORE: Hopefully this fall we continue to pare down and only keep what we really need and consistently use. This way our garage will be filled with only the essentials, which will help keep it organized now and later.
- Cover garage floor with epoxy: We have spots, cracks, and stains ALL over our garage floor, which makes the space look more grungy than it needs to. Both my parents and Casey’s mom have added epoxy coatings to their garage floors and both of their garages are GORGEOUS because of it. I’ve admired this product for a while now and Casey recently convinced me to give it a try. She came over a few weekends ago to help and I can’t wait to show you guys the progress. Oh. My. Goodness. That transformation will be on the blog real soon.
Next Spring & Summer
Image and pretty much all of my garage inspiration/ideas via Yellow Brick Home
- Install Workbench of some sort (inspiration here): How amazing is this workspace from Yellow Brick Home?! I swear, almost all of my inspiration and ideas about my garage has come from this amazingly talented DIY duo. I think a cabinet/tool bench is totally attainable and I’m confident I can create something like this without breaking the bank. This is definitely on the top of my to-do list for next summer… especially now that our tool arsenal is growing.
- Add privacy screen? (inspiration here!): Kim and Scott also gave me the idea of adding a privacy screen to hide garage eye sores. I think it’s the perfect idea if you use your garage for family parties or summer get togethers. We don’t hang out in our garage when we have backyard parties, but I do love this idea anyway. GENIUS!
Image and inspo behind the NEED for matching tupperware bins via here!
- Matching Tupperware, better organizational system (inspiration here!): I know that is crazy since it’s JUST A GARAGE but I just can’t help but get annoyed looking at the mismatched storage bins in our garage. I think the whole space would look so much cleaner and more organized if I splurged on matching storage boxes.
- Add a shed in the backyard to eliminate some of the stuff in the garage – I mean, how AMAZING would it be to have a she-shed in the backyard?! Again… probably not a reality in this house but would love to do this someday!
- Paint Garage – not sure if this project is worth it in this house, but it is something I think would instantly brighten the space and make it look/feel cleaner
- Paint the Ceiling – Have I lost my mind?! Probably, but I would love a lighter, brighter, CLEANER ceiling than what I currently have. #dontjudgeme <— my poor dad, who is a painter, probably has stomach pains just thinking about me trying to recruit him to help on a project like this. Don’t worry dad, it probably won’t happen… this time around. 😉
- Install more organizational solutions for specific items (hooks, cabinets, etc.): If I thought I was staying here forever, I would work hard to individualize my storage solutions so that every important item had a specific place to call home in the garage. I find that this is the best way for me to STAY organized.
20% done, 55% to Go?
Right at this very moment, I would call my garage 20% done on my “if this was a perfect world” wish list. We obviously don’t live in a perfect world and I don’t necessarily think it’s the best idea to invest in some of these projects since this is not our forever house.
100% done is not a realistic goal, but if I could get this space to 75% done I would be a happy camper! Hopefully, over the next month or so, I can check off a few items on this to-do list (stay tuned!) and move closer to that 75% mark. Once November hits, I’ll be forced to take a break again until the spring but hopefully, after that, I can get back to work and make even more progress on this neglected space!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.