Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Great Garage Clean-Up

BEFORE
This was also before Grandpa visited and bought the boys 3 new bikes to add to the chaos! At one point we had 8 bikes, a jogging stroller/bike trailer, 2 Razor scooters, 1 electric scooter, 2 skateboards, and a pogo stick -- but no car -- in the garage! As you can see, the mess had taken over my supposed studio as well. It was time for a change!

SHELVES

OK, so those of you who know me well, know I love to organize. The first thing I did was make a to-scale map of the garage and the major pieces I already had and larger items that would be staying. What became immediately clear is that I did not have enough shelving, nor was I able to utilize my vertical space very effectively.

We are renting this home, so any solutions would be temporary. Therefore the idea of spending very much on the 2-3 new shelving sets I would need did not sound too appealing. I also really needed to be able to keep my floor space for all those bicycles. The solution was to build and hang my own shelves. They were cheap enough that I could leave them for the next renter or I could take them with me if I want to when the time comes.


I am very proud to say I built these shelves completely on my own! I navigated Home Depot with a 2 year old and in heels (by the way, this an excellent way to get all the associates and older customers to help you; you just look so out of place they think you must be helpless!) I had them cut the 4x8 sheets of plywood in half for me, but still had to rip off six more inches when I got home. I love my circular saw! I was even able to get Sam and the neighborhood boys to pass off some Cub Scout requirements by naming the tools and their functions, and then let them help screw in the brackets. Yes, I know, I AM SUPER-MOM!

BATTLE OF THE BIKES
First things first, we gave away all the boys' old bikes. I then decided that I wanted a bike rack that sits on the floor so the kids could just ride their bike in and park it. There are quite a few that can fit 2-4 bikes available online for $80 to $150 each. That is not my idea of affordable!

I Googled homemade bike racks and discovered an awesome website for all things do-it-yourself HERE.
That lead me to another site with blue prints for the bike rack you see in the pictures. That's right folks, I again schlepped my 2 year old to Home Depot, bought a bunch of PVC and in a few hours built myself two custom bikes racks for a total of $23, including tax!

I think at this point my husband is thinking I'm pretty handy to have around and may very well be worth keeping ;P

You can find the plans for this bike rack HERE (this link was updated 06/17/2010, when the new page opens, the plans are listed in the third column, fifth up from the bottom as "Truck Bed Bike Rack").


A PLACE OF MY OWN

I also gave away a lot of clothes that I had been storing. I figured that even if I have more boys, I will probably not want to dress them in the same stuff that we dressed our now almost 10 year old in! I limited myself to one bin of boy clothes and one bin of girl clothes. Once I did this I actually found I had space to create a zone just for me and my many projects.

I love having a desk that I can keep all my sewing stuff set up at, but also still use for my art.

On another wall just to the left is my favorite new piece! I found this set of lockers at a Goodwill months ago for only $20. I brought it home and cleaned it up. It now stores ALL my paints, brushes, backdrops, etc. I also love that I can lock the cubbies to keep the rats, I mean my lovely perfect children, out of my paint! I even have a locker labeled "Pyromania" for our matches and lighter fluid. If you're asking yourself why I would do that, you apparently haven't met my boys.

Lastly, I have to say that I LOVE my LABEL MAKER! Everything in my garage is now labeled and will hopefully stay looking like this . . .


6 comments:

azsmiths said...

You're so good. I really think it's a gift to be able to do things yourself!!
I want to be so organized too, and now that we just moved it's actually driving me crazy to have everything everywhere. But you'll have to pass on some of your handiness, because becoming organized can get costly!

Edie Keysar said...

That's my girl! :) Tools are great things to have, aren't they? Wish I could there to "play" with you. All I've done here is tear things apart! Love the bike racks! Dad is very proud of you too.

Krissy said...

UGH! KRISTAL! I HATE YOU! (in such a loving, bestest friends-ish teenybopper way.. lol) I think Ryan would trade me in for you if you could come work magic on my poor shape of a house. Maybe I'll take pictures of EVERY single one of my rooms so you can guide me into how the CRAP to make this place clean.. and organized... and well .. awesome. lol Think you could do that?

(BTW - your garage looks AAAAAAAWWWWESOME! ... oh, and thanks for the ebay link... lol We're gonna be in SO much trouble lol ...)

LISA said...

You have a gift my friend! Amazing! What awesome deals.

You make me want to get my stuff together. We need to can so you can owe me...lol. Some old habits die hard, but they are dying! :)

Jaime said...

That is the coolest post! LOVE organization and now I've got some great ideas for my own little mess of a garage myself!

The Farmer's Wife said...

NICE job!!!

Doesn't it feel "soul cleansing"?
(even though it can be tough to get through)


Way to go.

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