Creating an Organized and Functional Garage

Over the last few years, BJ has developed a grand plan for organizing our garage and recently he put his plan into action.

One of BJ’s hobbies is working on cars. Since BJ enjoys doing his own car maintenance, we store needed parts, tools and car-washing products to keep our cars looking and driving like new.

We also use our garage to store our outdoor lawn and garden equipment as well as all of our home improvement tools like paint, paint brushes, etc.

Another requirement of our garage storage solution is that it allows enough room to park our cars inside and space to maneuver around when BJ pulls a car in to work on.

I’ve always admired pictures of organized garages, but with all of our stuff, I wasn’t sure we could ever get to something like this:

20130716-121338.jpg

BJ proved me wrong after he started hanging the first set of shelves. Our garage already looks clean and organized and there’s plenty of room to get cars in and maneuver around.

Before I briefly explain the process we used to hang these shelves, I must caution that this project is not for one person to complete alone. It really requires two to three (preferably strong) people. Also use extra care when lifting things above your head. BJ enlisted the help of my brother and dad while they were in town visiting for the 4th of July.

The shelves we used are from Ikea and we picked up the 2x4s and 2x6s from our local home improvement store. First, BJ assembled the Ikea shelves as they are seen below in the photo, but then we unloaded them and BJ cut the tall boards in half and assembled two shelves tall by several shelves across. On the back wall of our garage, he made the shelves one shelf tall.

20130717-112113.jpg

fbfs_garage_project2

First, BJ assembled the shelves for the wall on the left side of the garage.

fbfs_garage_project1

After the shelves were assembled, BJ bolted a 2×4 to the wall for the shelves to rest on and another 2×4 to the ceiling to hang the shelves and help support the weight. Next, we lifted the shelves section by section while BJ screwed the bolts into the 2×4 mounted to the ceiling. Once all the shelves were bolted in and we loaded our stuff back in, they looked like this:

fbfs_garage_project17

BJ also added a few extra shelves all the way to the floor to store items we use often like lawn and garden tools and heavier items like our saw and air compressor.

fbfs_garage_project16

On the back wall, BJ mounted three 2x6s to use as shelves for his car wash products, car oil, and filters. He also made a shelf for his laptop so he can look up questions and car parts while he working.

fbfs_garage_project12

fbfs_garage_project9

Underneath of the double shelves, BJ added of different hooks for lawn equipment, brooms, supplies and our bikes.

fbfs_garage_project10

fbfs_garage_project14

fbfs_garage_project13

fbfs_garage_project15

Here is our progress to date:

fbfs_garage_project8

fbfs_garage_project10

fbfs_garage_project5

We have two sets of shelves up, but are not quite finished with this project. The next step is to add more shelves on the right side of the garage. Once, those are complete, we may have more room to store the holiday decorations that are currently overtaking the spare bedroom closet.

fbfs_garage_project20 fbfs_garage_project11

After all the shelves are installed, we have plans to finish the floor so that it looks something like this:

20130717-113806.jpg

Advertisements

Craft/Project Room Madness

I’ll admit that I created chaos in our craft/project room. My grand plan was to organize this room as I put away our Christmas decorations. And then it rolled around to the end of March and instead, the Christmas decorations were strung all over this room. Yikes!

Time for an intervention.


IMG_3752

As with any room that becomes a catch-all, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed about diving in to organize the madness.
Last weekend, I finally broke down and started cleaning and throwing things away.
IMG_3749

IMG_3754
It took a few hours, but after I was finished, all that remained in the middle of the floor were a few empty boxes and a bag of trash. (Insert sigh of relief)
IMG_3924

IMG_3926
I still need to do a little more work to organize this closet, but it is better than I found it Saturday morning. I sorted and put away all of Christmas decorations and then I went one step further and sorted and put away our other seasonal decorations. The Halloween decorations are now stored in their own plastic bin. Our vases and vase filler were also organized in to their own bin. It no longer feels overwhelming to enter this room to look for something.

Mission accomplished.
IMG_3929

How do you tame an out of control room? Do you dive in and don’t emerge until it’s clean or do you manage the madness little by little?

Playing Hallway Dress-Up

Before the appraisal last weekend, we decided to dress up our downstairs hallway. It was looking a little lackluster and needed some love.
Last year, we hung the coat rack/shelf on the left side of the hallway, but the right side remained plain, bare walls.

During a recent trip to Target to peruse the clearance racks for great deals on home decor, I came across a few shelving sets that were on sale. From the selection, I found a set of two white Threshold shelves that I decided would be perfect for this hallway.

I also picked up a mail organizer to store coupons and mailers.

Have you seen Target’s new Threshold brand? I love it! Their stuff is sophisticated looking, yet inexpensive.

Here is the after of the hallway with the shelves and mail bin installed. It gives this space a little more character and allows us to decorate for the seasons, if we like.

On each shelf, I placed a frame with a photo taken near our home.

On the shelf pictured below, the framed photo includes a backyard sunset I captured while we were painting our big blue wall. I also added a votive to the shelf that I saved from our Thanksgiving table display last year.

On the shelf at the end of the hall, the photo is of our petunias this year. Despite the drought, we had really great luck with our petunias. They are still hanging on too. They don’t give up easily. It may be December before we see them turn brown and fade away.

I really liked our new mail bin. I didn’t buy it with the intention of using it as a drop off location for mail as it comes in the door. Instead, it is a place to store coupons and mini catalogs that we can easily retrieve before shopping trips.

And instead of using the hooks for keys, I hung two heart ornaments that we found at Ikea as well as a door hanger for our favorite team!

We still have more updates to come on some of the smaller projects we accomplished over the past few weeks, so stay tuned!

Feeling the Love, Home Style

Our house is certainly feeling the love and so are we. It’s been a busy few weeks getting our home ready for a reappraisal and even though we are far from finished with our home improvement, DIY and decorating projects, we are proud of how far we’ve come since we moved in. It takes time to make a house a home and I’m enjoying every minute of our journey.

The appraisal is now officially over and as promised, here is an official wrap-up on our “Show Your House Some Love for the Reappraisal To Do List.”

1. Weed the garden and replant the potted mums

2. Spruce up the loft so it looks like we use the space

3. Organize and clean the spare bedroom and BJ’s office

4. Finish the crown moulding and baseboard projects

We did it! We finished all of the items on our list before the reappraisal.

Number 3 on our list was to organize and clean the spare room and BJ’s office. Just a few weeks ago, these room were stuffed full of boxes, papers and Goodwill donations. After spending a day hauling stuff out and reorganizing, these rooms are once again usable.

With the addition of the his and hers bookshelves in our bedroom, we moved the white shelving cubes to the spare bedroom to be used as storage. Our very first dining room table also found new life as a craft/project table.

In addition, the old coffee table from the living room is now a game and puzzle table.

BJ’s office was daunting when we first started reorganizing the chaos. There were still unpacked boxes in there!
Now all of the boxes are unpacked and we can see the floor again. Our next project with this room is to add bookshelves to give BJ more space to further organize his stuff.

The last, and the biggest project on our reappraisal to do list, was to finish the crown molding and baseboard projects. If you remember, we started working on the crown molding in the living room and kitchen around the same time that we tiled the floor in the dining room.

And drumroll please… Here are the before and after shots.

Here is the kitchen before the crown molding was finished:

And after:

Here is crown molding cap that BJ install in the living room to finish off the molding.

We also finished the baseboard in the dining room.

Here is the before, looking into the dining room. Notice the visible white drywall line in the paint on the far wall.

And here is the after. We decided to go with a taller more dramatic trim. This is just the baseboard before the quarter round was installed:

Now for the finished product with quarter round:




Since the rest of the house has a smaller baseboard installed, we bridged the gap between the taller baseboard in the dining room and the shorter baseboard in the foyer and kitchen with a thicker trim cap. We also added the quarter round to the baseboard to give the trim a finished look against the tile.


Since the tall white baseboard looks so nice against the slate tile floor, here are a few close ups for your viewing pleasure.


With the reappraisal over, we’ve decided to shift our focus to smaller projects for awhile. We are going to work on dressing up the loft, hanging some photos and I also have a fun Pinterest-inspired project planned for the coming weeks.

Did you wrap up any big projects this weekend?