February Organize-A-Thon: The Garage

Can you believe we’ve made it to the last week of the Organize-A-Thon already?

For those of you following along at home, I’m hoping that your house is feeling as organized as ours is. We started off in week one by tackling our paper organization, then we took on the kitchen, and the drawers in our bathroom. And this week? We’re taking on the biggest project of ‘em all – the garage.

OMG.

I can’t believe I just showed you that. Considering the fact that we just organized this room last year in the Organize-A-Thon, it’s a bit pathetic that it looks (looked!) like this. Okay, more than a bit pathetic. It’s downright awful. It was so bad, in fact, that this is what the path looked like to get to the refrigerator out there (which we use on a near daily basis):

There are no excuses.

Let’s just chat about how we made it better, okay?

This was the only project this month that we didn’t tackle in an afternoon – we probably could have, but instead chose to take a couple of days to knock out the garage. On the first day, we decided to just get it to a manageable point…by getting rid of all of the trash.

And this is what it looked like once we cleared out the stuff that we absolutely needed to get rid of. Insane, right? Some of it had gathered up just because we were lazy, but most of it was stuff that Corey’s mom had given to us after she fished it out of a dumpster…and we really didn’t need it. Stuff like awkwardly sized old countertops and building materials that we could never find a use for. Luckily, our garbage people pick up just about anything, so we tossed it out on the curb and were good to go.

I’m a bit shocked by how much of the insanity in there was just trash – the main reason we hadn’t cleaned it is because it had gotten to a point where it felt completely unmanageable, but it only took us an hour or so to get all of the trash out and it finally started feeling like maybe we would actually get it all done at some point in our lives. We also quickly rearranged all of the Christmas decor so that it was a little more consolidated and all in one spot – out of the way!

After we had it to this point, we took a break and decided to come back to it another day. So, this past Saturday we finally got back in there and finished up. All it took was a bit of rearranging, some organization, and quite a bit of shop-vacuuming, and it was (finally) looking oh so much better.

There’s just something about a clean and organized garage, isn’t there? I just love knowing I can walk in there and grab what I need at any time.

Side note: see those stumps? They’re from our old peach tree and have been hanging out in the garage for a while waiting for me to find something brilliant to do with them. I’m on the verge of coming up with something amazing – I just know it!

Hopefully soon it will be even less cluttered in here – we’ve got some furniture listed on Craigslist, so that should help a bit. As of now, the organization system is that we’ve got all of our Christmas stuff and the extra furniture/decor that we’re not currently using pushed off to one side…

…and on the other side we’ve got stuff we use a little more often, and this credenza that’s patiently waiting for us to have a spot for it (more on that in a second). In the meantime, it’s doing a great job holding some of our not-used-on-a-daily-basis cooking supplies that we don’t have room for in the kitchen.

I know this isn’t the most exciting or revolutionary organization project ever – but there’s a reason for that. You see, I could have gone all out and spent a bit of money to get some pretty storage in here complete with labels and maybe even some paint. But, you see, this major clean-up was just step one in what will be a very long (and big!) project over the next year (hopefully) or so.

That’s right – this garage won’t be a garage forever…we have full intentions to turn it into a second living room/media room. We aren’t going to fully convert it (the garage door will stay on), but we plan on building a wall in front of the garage door with some storage behind it for Christmas decorations and whatnot, then converting the rest of the room to a fully functional space for us to hang out, play games, and to eventually be a space for guests to stay once our upstairs bedrooms are being used by kids. My sister and brother-in-law did this in their house, and we absolutely love how it turned out, so we’re excited to tackle it as well.

We don’t know for sure when we’ll really get going on this project, but we definitely want to get the wall built and start saving up for carpet within the next few months – it may just take a bit longer to actually get it furnished! Since I don’t have much organization eye candy for you today (aside from that kind of mind blowing before and after up there!), I thought it might be fun to share a quick peek at what we’re thinking for this room once we get around to converting it. We’re still a ways off from making any firm decisions, but we’ve been planning this for a while so we’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re thinking – and it looks a little something like this:

(Sources, starting from top left; Carved wood coffee table via West Elm, Sedgwick recliner via West Elm, Shag rug via Urban Outfitters, Hexagon side table Via Urban Outfitters, Either/or convertible sofa via Urban Outfitters, Hemnes storage unit via Ikea, Paint color is Hale Navy via Benjamin Moore)

The room will probably have a bit of a mid-century-modern feel, and will be on the masculine side since, while I forbid the use of the word “man cave,” it’ll be used mostly by Corey for video game time so I can re-claim the main living room. I figure he deserves at least one room in the house with absolutely no floral print if he wants it, right?

We plan on super dark, almost black walls to create a nice cozy feeling, plush carpet (and maybe even a shag rug if I can’t talk Corey into it!) and a sleek sofa that can be converted into a bed for overnight guests. I’d like to incorporate a lot of textures (hence the brass table, textured wood table, and leather chair) and keep the color palette relatively simple and neutral-ish (tans, calming blues, blacks, etc.). I’m pretty excited about getting started on this, and I’m really hoping we can get going on that wall sooner rather than later!

So, that’s my story of why this last organization project was more cleaning than organizing, and I hope it’s an acceptable excuse – I refuse to pour any money into this room unless it’s getting us closer to the end goal, so getting it clean and ready to be worked on is a great first step, I think!

And with that, we’ve reached the end of the Organize-A-Thon. I don’t know about you, but my house is feeling much cleaner, and I’ve been good so far about keeping everything up! I definitely got the organizing bug out of my system for now, and I’m ready to start focusing on some other things around the house – like maybe finally finishing up those chairs that are in the garage waiting for me!

Don’t forget to come back next Tuesday for a link party where you can share any and all organization projects you linked up! I’ve never held a link party before, so don’t leave me hanging.

What have you been organizing lately? Anyone have a converted garage and love it (or hate it)?

8 comments

  1. Ann says:

    I’m sad. I read your blog on my Smartphone and just recently I’ve been unable to see your photos. I just get a small framed ?. Have you changed something?

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    Amanda Reply:

    Hmm, that’s odd! What phone are you on? I just checked it on my iPhone and could see the photos. Nothing has changed regarding the photos on my end!

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  2. Kaity says:

    We’ve been working on organizing our garage as well! It’s been almost two weeks of painting, building cabinets and organizing. What is it about garage’s that just get so overwhelming and time consuming to fix? Although the before to afters are usually really satisfying. I can’t wait to watch as you work on creating the new room.

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  3. Ann says:

    I have an Android phone htc evo 4g to be specific and still unable to see your photos :( On this page can not see any photos in the post, just a framed ?. Can see two of the three small photos under related posts, all of the Instagram photos, three of the ten sponsors.

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    Hmm, that’s so strange! I’m sorry about that – I’ll have to get with my tech guy (aka: my brother in law) and see if he has any thoughts about why that might be happening. Nothing has changed in terms of how I store/upload the photos, but maybe there’s something I can do to fix it!

    [Reply]

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