I am very happy that our garage is organized and that we have so much more space. We can even park the cars in the garage now if we want, amazing! It’s really all thanks to Elsa and her team from Composite life. They have helped us tremendously in this transformation – I don’t think we could ever have done it without them! We started this project long before we moved, but I’m so glad we did because now it’s also a lot cleaner with people looking at the house as a cluttered mess.
For starters, we did our best to keep our garage organized, but that just didn’t happen. With all of the kiddos, boxes from parcels, and all of my Christmas decorations piling up every week (in addition to other items that were already in the garage), we needed really sustainable solutions to contain all of our items. We had very little storage and closet space so all of the items I just mentioned took up floor space and prevented us from even parking in the garage.
When Elsa When I first stopped by to take a look at our room, I immediately felt so relieved. Of course we could have found a way to organize it ourselves, but we are not experts. There were so many little suggestions that she had even in the first 30 seconds that we walked into the room that I would NEVER have thought of alone. And these are all suggestions that will make our lives so much easier now. Our main goal was to clear the floor and put some shelves on the walls, create an accessible earthquake / emergency area and also find enough space so that we can have a gym at home! With the help of Elsa and her organizer Maddy, I’m excited to announce that we’ve checked off each of these articles!
It was so crazy how many memories we found in boxes in the garage. Like the old bachelorette articles you might have seen on my Instagram stories! Being able to have everything in one organized place so we knew where it was made everything so much easier. Because so much of this project has been completed by Elsa, she wrote me down some notes about the process and I’ll put them here for you! All of the quotes on this blog are from her.
“Originally we wanted to keep the two white cabinets in the garage so they wouldn’t go to waste. However, once we started organizing it, we found that the size and shape of the cabinets just weren’t reusable for the amount of storage space we needed. (We found a new home in both closets, so nothing was lost!) “
These white cabinets that you will see in the previous photos below are from our old house. Okay, now that I have painted the picture of our garage for you, let’s see how we fixed it !!
Storage locations and fault clearance
Something I’ve been at a loss about for months was what to do about our storage bins when it comes to organizing the garage. I had found it quite difficult to decide which trash cans to buy, what would go into them, and how to organize them.
“We decided to keep as many of the existing bins as possible and only bought a few to hold the remaining items. It was important to get weatherproof carrier bags for some of the keepsakes we wanted to protect from the elements. We could have opted to replace all of the bags identically, which would create a very calming and pretty aesthetic, but ultimately we agreed that repurposing what was already there was better for the environment and for the wallet. “
At first we talked about getting built-in shelves for the garage, but then we discovered that there are super durable options that we could take it with us if we decide to move (haha, I anticipated it and didn’t even know!). Elsa helped us choose 4 Heavy duty metal shelving from Amazon, chose the 48 “wide and 24” deep size because we mostly kept large bags and needed the depth. While these were ordered, we started going through our items and parting with those that were no longer useful to us. Elsa not only helped us organize, but I’m so grateful that it’s a part of her Corporate mission Giving back to others and reusing items that their customers do not need. We often donate clothes and toys to a location near us, but it’s great to know other local organizations that can get their hands on the items that need them most.
“Ali decided to donate many of the toys the children grew out of so we could give them directly to families in need. Through our partnerships with various non-profit organizations, items that no longer serve a purpose in our customers’ homes are given a second life, which causes less waste and directly benefits those in need. We give both our time and a portion of our proceeds to charities with missions that include helping foster children and helping homeless women get back on their feet. “
The next steps were to put our items in the trash cans and really organize them as they were.
“When we finished debugging the garage, we got everything Storage bags, Zones created and labeled for each category! It is important to always keep similar items together so that they are easier to find and you always know everything you have because you can see everything in one place. Some of the zones we created for Ali include housewares and tools, children’s toys, keepsakes, and Christmas decorations. “
Finally, labels were all added Storage bins so that they are easy to find no matter who is looking for something! This is SO helpful when my mom or Kevin’s parents live with us and the kids want to play with one of the trash cans or need something! We can take the trash cans and storage shelves anywhere – and when everything is labeled, moving around becomes even easier.
“Fine tuning: Always remove the original labels from the Storage containers – You don’t need any additional visual clutter! We chose to use large, removable labels for the storage containers so that they are easy to read. When you change the contents of the reservoir, the labels peel off easily without leaving the pesky sticky mess. “
Emergency / earthquake storage
You may remember the emergency preparedness I did at the beginning of COVID. One of the things I realized was that even though I had all the supplies we’d need, I didn’t have a really good system. Elsa mentioned that we could have a single station in the garage where we could get what we needed quickly and I can’t believe I didn’t think of that idea. So brilliant. With the possibility of natural disasters and the uncertainty of what life could bring us, it is so important that everything is ready.
“We set up an emergency preparedness corner for Ali so she can have all of her earthquake preparation items in one easy-to-reach area of the garage. We were even able to mount the generator at this point! (We also made sure that everyone shelves are attached to rivets in the walls with anti-tip belts – in California you can never be too careful when children are running around!) “
We used slightly different shelves for this area because of the size of the wall and because, as mentioned above, we wanted it to be really sturdy. We used that 16 inch long shelves with 80 “and 84” on top Shelf marks and Standards. I will link all of the pieces that we used below.
Before and after
Here are some before and after from different angles so you can see how much we’ve done! It’s amazing and we are so happy!
Moving or not, organization is key
As I already mentioned, we first had the idea of getting Elsa to help in our garage shortly before the quarantine. As soon as everything changed we held back, but when we felt safe (with masks on) we started organizing. We didn’t know then that we would try to move quickly, but organizing has made us feel so good – and it will be so much easier to move around when everything is already separated and organized. Not to mention anything we’ve cleaned and donated won’t come with us, saving moving costs and time spent packing and removing items. I hope this inspires you to organize your garage! Make sure you check out composliving.com More tips and tricks for organizing!
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