A Messy Garage Gets Organized
Strategy No. 1: Divide the Territory
It isn’t that Christy Hobart doesn’t have closets. She has lots. Christy and her husband, Henry Shapiro, even splurged and put four large closets in the garage of their Santa Monica house. Somehow it still became the dumping ground for anything that didn’t immediately find a spot in their newly renovated home, “We knew we had to do something when we weren’t able to get even one of our two cars in the garage,” Christy says. Henry adds, “A major reason I got a Mini Cooper was so it would fit inside.”
Divide the territory.
Why should Christy’s garden tools get stashed with Henry’s drills and hammers? His and hers closets give the couple private space for their individual pursuits.
In the “his” closet, a wall-mounted organizer displays tools at eye level, and a shelf doubles as a light-duty workbench. Now Henry doesn’t have to remove tools from the closet to do his work. A cherished vintage suitcase holds odds and ends that he can’t bear to part with―yet.
In the “hers” closet, Christy neatly stows all her gardening implements on two shelves, and crafts supplies have been relegated to a plastic bin.
The two other closets now have specific assignments. “Indoors” is a holding pen for empty picture frames and vintage lamps that await rewiring. “Outdoors” is dedicated to outdoor entertaining and fun. Surf’s up? Beach towels are in a tote bag ready to go.
Strategy No. 2: Involve the Wall
- The old steel shelving encouraged catchall storage. The wall-mounted track organizer, with its hooks, shelves, and basket, has designated spots for items like Christy’s bicycle, a ladder, and garden supplies.
- For details on the products used to organize the Hobarts' garage, see 4 Organizing Products for the Garage.
Strategy No. 3: Edit as You Excavate
Decide what to toss, what to donate to charity, what’s so nice it should go back into the house, and what to sell. The garage mountain became tidy piles; the one called “sell on eBay” grew and grew.
Reuse what you can. The steel shelving moved across the garage, near the kitchen door. It’s now the headquarters for the sell-on-eBay pile. If Christy and Henry can keep their vow to purge, the shelving will soon be sold, too.