How I organized and transformed our cluttered garage
I organized and arranged our garage and now it’s a spot for kids toys, my workshop and more!
I’ve been dreaming of an organized useful garage for… years. And years. Believe it or not, something about having a clean and painted floor was a BIG part of making this utilitarian space feel polished and pulled together! So yeah… it all kind of started when I decided to paint the floor with Rust-Oleum’s Rock Solid garage floor paint. I mean, how can you have a garage with a pristine and manicured floor and chaos everywhere else, right? Answer: you can’t.
The garage before
Let’s take a swing in the way-way-back machine to see how the space looked when I started. Our stuff was everywhere. Literally. Like many garages, there were definite zones but each zone was cluttered and disorganized. My workshop and woodworking tools are on the right. The kids bikes and gear is on the left. And the middle was overflowing with everything else.
I knew that I’d have to essentially unpack the entire garage before I could paint the floor so I started by organizing the space. Of course that meant lots of purging, but it also meant bringing in some new storage options. I dragged everything out and started there.
Between steps prepping the garage floor, I went ahead and taped off and painted the concrete and cinderblock walls. I used masonry paint and a paint sprayer so the whole thing took under two hours!
Nothing too fancy because I was on a budget and on a time crunch so I grabbed a bunch of these wire shelves for the back of the garage. These will hold plastic bins for various supplies and tools. The shelves are adjustable so I assembled them to fit our bins. I replaced the old melamine cabinet next to the furnace room door with a metal shelf that now holds all of my spray paint.
Along the left wall, I hung a Gladiator storage system for the kids’ bikes and a couple of racks above for misc. garage-y type things like empty coolers and baskets. Lots of folks asked whether the kids can put their bikes up onto the hooks by themselves and the answer is not really. I wanted the floor below to be free so hanging was the best option. I’m happy to help the kids with their bikes when they need them for the sake of a clear garage floor!
For my workshop along the right side of the garage, I already had that big rolling tool chest and the low shelving, but I added a lumber rack and that customized Wall Control metal pegboard for my tools. The lumber rack has to drill into studs but Wall Control comes with anchors and can go anywhere. I’ve worked with Wall Control for years and I love how easy their metal peg boards are to install and how many storage options and accessories they provide. This space is still evolving, but for now I have some shelves for my chargers, hooks for items I grab the most (drills, tape, scissors, safety glasses), and a plug strip.
When I was sharing this makeover on my Instagram stories I had tons of questions about the big gray container in the back of the garage. That’s our heating oil! There’s a pipe on the exterior of the house so the truck just backs into the driveway and pulls the hose over to the pipe to fill up our tank. It’s super common in New England; in fact, we don’t have natural gas lines on our street so this oil is our only option! I painted the guard rails gray to match the tank which somehow made such a huge difference!
I know that lots of you are most interested in the floor! I partnered with Rustoleum on the floor and used their RockSolid Garage Floor paint. It’s an epoxy based product intended to hold up to cars etc. driving on it. Although, who are we kidding… the only time a car will see the inside of this garage is when snow is in the forecast. I’m writing up a full tutorial on the floor painting process and will share that in a separate post! I’ll definitely link to it below when it’s live! Needless to say, having a clean and fresh floor makes SUCH a difference in the space. It took a lot of little steps to finish, but nothing was ‘hard’ per say. Just a process.
I confess that there were still a few misc. items to bring back into the garage when I took these photos. But even with the added shop vac here and bucket of drop cloths there…. this space still feels SO organized and free and clear. I know where every single thing belongs. There is a place for every tool and plenty of space in which I can create and work! When the weather is warm, the doors stay open for the kids to come and go, but when the temps begin to drop, I can close the door and still get some work done in here.
Someone DMed me to say that making over these utilitarian spaces is SO satisfying and I couldn’t agree more. I love our wonderful patio or the newly wallpapered dining room, but something about an organized garage or junk drawer or basement storage space feels BEYOND useful, you know?
Garage Product Links:
- Wire Shelving
- Bike Wall storage and bike hooks
- Wire wall Shelving
- Lumber rack
- Wall Control peg board (click here for customization options)
- Rock Solid Garage Floor Paint
Before I let you go… can we please see one more before and after?? We moved into this house the day after Thanksgiving and this is pretty much how the garage has looked all winter:
And this is how it looks now!!!!!! Can you stand it?!