Recently, I took the Artist Up Entrepreneur class at my local regional arts council. So I dove head first into the deep end of creating works on canvas. What does that have to do with garage organization?!
The living room needed a break.
That’s where I had started doing all of my artwork. The walls were covered with paintings, boxes of collage fodder littered the corner, and paint speckled the floor. Psst, anyone looking for original art to purchase? Check out my instagram here. The paintings and collages and mixed medias were soon oozing onto the floor, on top of consoles and every once in a while on the fireplace.
It was out-of-hand.
Problem was, where in the house could I set up a “real” studio?! We have our main living area – aka living room and kitchen with desk and dine-in nook. Each of our kids have a bedroom and we have a master suite. That’s pretty much our house. I really like it – not much room for extras though.
It wasn’t just the living room that was out-of-hand. We moved in about 2-1/2 years ago and have never really organized the garage. It’s been a dumping ground ever since. I had a feeble attempt at cleaning it up when I built some very rickety shelves and at least made somewhat of a walkway though the mess of boxes.
So, a fire was lit when I realized I could find a way for garage organization including making half of it a studio!
STURDY MOBILE SHELVES
I knew a bunch of the boxes and totes would have to be stored vertically to increase floor space. My rickety shelves were not a good solution for this by any means. My #1 item for cleaning up and organizing a garage are sturdy shelves. But not just any shelves. The one’s that are most helpful have wheels!
We have moved 6 times in the last 10 years. It would have been so much easier if we could have just moved an entire shelf onto a moving truck instead of having to move 12 totes or boxes one at a time. That’s why I’m so happy I found the Member’s Mark 6-Level Commercial Storage Shelving at Sam’s Club. It shows on the site (as of this writing) that it holds up to 500lbs.
For my garage organization project, I bought THREE! It’s so great to have all of the totes off the ground and organized. Here’s an in-process photo… look there’s space to walk around!
MULTI-TOOL WALL-MOUNTED HANGER
The totes and boxes weren’t the only things that needed to be off the ground; the garden tools and braces also needed to be off the ground. All of these tools had been jumbled in a wardrobe box for over 2 years. It was so annoying to have to dig through that box and move so much out and back in.
I found a multi-tool wall-mounted hanger at a close out store. This was hung near the garage door for two reasons. If I’m working in the yard, I don’t want to have to go all the way to the back of the garage for a tool. Second reason was because that little corner of the garage gets water on the floor when there is a giant rain storm. I knew nothing could be stored on the floor in this location and that it would not be a good spot for my art studio.
CLEAR PLASTIC TOTES
Bonus idea! Another favorite item for garage organization or any home organization is using all different sized clear totes dependent on what will be stored in them. I tried guessing how many of what sized totes that I would need before even starting the project. I knew a bunch of items needed to be divided by tool or supply type etc that way at the beginning of organizing the items could directly be placed where they needed to be. It was handy!
GARAGE ORGANIZATION CONCLUSION
It took me a little over a week to go through everything, every box, every tote, stacks of wood, etc. I also used this time to paint the garage (ok, there is still about 1/5th of it left to paint). The house was built around 10-15 years ago and had not been painted since. So glad to have gotten the painting started in the garage.
The three items above made all the difference in being able to to clean up the mess. It has also made it so much easier to find things now and to be able to access these items easier. Best of all I now have a home for my art studio! I love that I can layout a ton of paintings on the floor for drying time without worrying that my kids might trip or might step on them. Now the living room, is feeling more like a living room which is also great! I’m so happy to be creating art in my own little studio!