The Great Garage Disaster (plus plans to fix it)

Warning: The following images may not be suitable for viewing by “cleanies,” uber-organized people, or anyone who recently ate a large meal. 

I confess. The state of my garage is typically so embarrassing that I try to make sure no neighbors are nearby before I open the door. My husband was so disgusted with it that he cleaned up one side a few months ago. (One side is really all a human can handle in a day without needing professional counseling afterward.)

So right now, the garage is actually not as bad as usual. But, well, it’s still pretty bad. Here’s a sneak peak at the damage:


I’m pretty sure there’s a family of spiders living in a few of those shoes. Interestingly, our house is 10 years old and most of the garage walls have still never been painted.


I have to chuckle. The sign I made for the door says, “Welcome home.” Who wouldn’t love coming home to this? 😉

Garage-closet Garage-side-door Messy-garage-3

Sigh. So it’s time for me to dig in and get this space in order. School is starting for our second grader tomorrow and I am ready to get organized. There’s nothing like waiting until the last minute, right?

This project is big and, when I think about all the work involved, I already feel like curling up in the fetal position and whispering, “Make the voices stop.” So I’ve decided to break it up into phases.

  • Phase 1: Clean out and organize junk on one half of garage.
  • Phase 2: Paint one half of garage, including ceiling.
  • Phase 3: Build organizing solution for everyday tools.
  • Phase 4: Build rack and shelf for coats … oh the many, many coats. Shudder. 
  • Phase 5: Paint cabinets and add hardware.
  • Phase 6: Throw huge party for myself to celebrate completing phases 1-5. Include massage and shopping trip.
  • Phase 7: Ignore other half and hope husband organizes it.
  • Phase 7: Hire someone to finish it. I wish.
  • Phase 7: Create a game plan for tackling second half of garage.

I figure I’ll cross the Phase 8 bridge when I come to it. But for now, I’ve got my hands full with the first half of the garage. I’m hoping to show you some real progress in a few days! Pray for me. 🙂

What’s the state of your garage? Do you have any tips for keeping it organized?

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28 Responses

  1. brenda says:

    I am more than exhausted for you. the thought of all those spiders and other creepy crawlers throws up a huge stop sign for me. not wanting to be discouraging but this seems so huge that it would seem to be something that you might become lost in and the rest of the thing called LIFE could come to a slow crawl while you climb out of this.

    • Susan says:

      Oh yes. The inside of my house is already starting to pile up while I tackle this project. Great observation, Brenda. I’ve let the family know to come looking for me in the rubble if they don’t hear from me within a few hours. 😉

  2. Good luck girlfriend! We’ll all be cheering you on! 🙂

  3. Noel Cramer says:

    You know how bad my garage is! So I feel your pain. When your garage is magazine worthy please come fix my garage!! And tell my hubby to not touch anything in garage because he is the problem. Can’t wait to see how great your garage will look when it is done.

    • Susan says:

      Maybe your garage is full, but the rest of your house is ridiculously well organized. So, if you didn’t have at least one spot that was unorganized, your friends would probably assume you were a robot mom. 😉

  4. Kathleen says:

    Good luck. If you are going to all this trouble, you should also do the garage floor coating. It makes a world of difference, really finishes it off.

  5. Norma Jean says:

    You GO girl! You can do this!! Ours looked close to this about a year ago. I was able to clean and organize it over a couple of days. For the most part, since everything has a place now, it stays fairly neat. HOWEVER, we do have to give it some TLC every now and then to keep it that way!

  6. Diana says:

    Can’t wait to see the after pictures!
    This year, instead of an anniversary trip the first week of October, my hubby is going to be cleaning our garage. (He’s made it the huge mess it is.) I’ll be at work but will certainly help him during the evenings of his week off. :0)

  7. heather says:

    My garage is the dumping ground for everything as the hubby and boys enter the house.
    Get rid of anything you can before you tackle the project. Doing this along with sorting into categories helps.
    I think your cupboards look great. I would save that for last.

    • Susan says:

      Thanks for the tips, Heather. Dumping ground would be a great way to describe what happens when our family enters the house each day, too. The shoes and coats are the worst messes and take up the most space.

  8. teresa says:

    Well, now I feel really bad because mine is much worse! My tips for keeping it organized? Don’t cruise the neighborhood on trash day. Don’t collect “projects”. (See first rule!) Spend an hour a day pitching absolute junk! I live in a older, very nice neighborhood and the “trash” is amazing.

    • Susan says:

      Ooh. I would totally be tempted to do that, too. I usually keep my dumpster diving “treasures” in the basement. Maybe that’s where you should move yours to make the garage look better. 😉

  9. Kristen says:

    I need to do the same thing. Need to get to IKEA for an idea for “lockers” for my girls.

  10. Donna Gibson says:

    The state of my garage is very organized. We have shelving and wall hooks for things, and a shelf up high for all the power tools, hanged ladders, and also a bike rack to store the bikes by the front wheel and Don has decorated some walls up high with license plates from all over the country. It’s cool!

  11. Julia says:

    Our garage looks like yours! My husband and I have been putting off cleaning it because here in the Florida summer “it’s too hot”! So hopefully with you cleaning yours and me wanting to be just like you…and it might cool off a little here in the south…it will get a good cleaning!

    Keep at it and prayers are coming your way!

  12. barbara macaskill says:

    Our garage is so bad that we have put a sign on the door saying that we are not responsible if you do not return once you enter and that we believe there are aliens living in it. So far we haven’t lost anyone but we think we have seen a Gray on a couple occasions. As long as he doesn’t try to experiment on us I guess we will let him stay in the garage. LOL
    Good luck with Phase 1-7!

    • Susan says:

      That is too funny! I need a sign like that. 😉

      • barbara macaskill says:

        The UPS guy was going to put a package in there and saw the note and he took his phone out and took a picture of it. He didn’t realize that I was watching on our security camera. I just sat here laughing!

  13. Peggy says:

    You are a brave woman. And I am not even going to say how much better your garage looks than ours. Two years ago we moved to the farm and there are still unpacked boxes in the garage. Maybe when you are done, you could come to my house! 🙂 I know you will feel better about yours then.

  14. Peggy says:

    You are a brave woman. And I am not even going to say how much better your garage looks than ours. Two years ago we moved to the farm and there are still unpacked boxes in the garage. Maybe when you are done, you could come to my house! 🙂 I know you will feel better about yours then. I am completely envious of the cabinets.

  1. August 24, 2014

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    […] The Great Garage Disaster (plus plans to fix it) […]

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