3 Garages In 3 Days Transformation
Living in Colorado we tend to want those picture-perfect bluebird sky days to work on any garage transformations but it’s no guarantee when we schedule the jobs sometimes weeks to months in advance. So when we received 3 last-minute requests for the first week in November to help 3 different clients 3 days in a row with their garage organizing and decluttering needs, we actually only got 1 day that didn’t result in frozen fingers and toes. But we are professionals who stick to our commitments and, dare we say, “sucked it up” for the other two days and got the jobs done just as efficiently. None of them took more than 4 hours to complete with 1 or 2 members of #TeamIJS so it is very realistic for anyone to tackle projects like this without our help in one day. These 3 clients, though, just lacked the desire and/or time so we swooped in and did our thing.
Luckily we had a beautiful day for this job because it did require taking the vast majority of the stuff in the garage to the basement not so near the garage (but, hey, we got our steps in for sure for the day) or to a temporary staging area in the backyard while the garage gets painted. We’ll eventually put everything back in the garage but organizing it all much more carefully and deliberately than the client had originally done.
We were not so lucky in terms of the weather decluttering this garage but it didn’t really matter...we jumped in and attacked what we always refer to as the low hanging fruit...the stuff you can easily identify will stay or go and started sorting and making piles of like items. The client had not gone through any of the boxes or bins since moving in 3 years earlier so we had to seriously question how important any of it was to him. As painful as it was to sit on the steps by the door leading into the house and going through each box or bin one by one, he got it done. There was also a lot of garbage on the ground that never should have gone anywhere but in a garbage can when getting home and needing to toss a lot of fast food bags somewhere. For whatever reason, though, the family didn’t keep even a small garbage can in the garage so we set up an old bin near the front of the space where anyone would most likely pass by on their way into the house and the night before any garbage pickup the client will transfer it to the larger bins on the side of the house. The biggest obstacle remaining? Getting their small children to actually take some responsibility but we are happy to report that the client sat down with them after they could truly see the difference that we made and now makes them more accountable for their “stuff” or they implement a consequence.
And last but not least, this garage was filled with a lot of stuff from a very recent move that just got “dumped” into this space by the movers. The client had a little bit of a vision for what she wanted but for the most part left it up to us to do our thing. A lot of stuff got sent to the basement for the next organizing project she was scheduling but what remained in the garage was organized into sections/categories like auto, gardening, tools, outdoor gear, etc.
Always have a plan for where things are going to be stored whether it will remain in the current space or not.
Make everyone living in the home take ownership and responsibility for their stuff...no excuses! If a child takes a bat and ball from the area where you’ve determined sporting equipment will be kept, make sure they are putting it back or have consequences that they truly will feel.
Don’t ever let movers just dump stuff in the middle of a garage. Even if the boxes belong in the space they should be neatly stacking them in one specific area.
Always have a garbage can or bin somewhere that everyone will see and use. There is no excuse for a Big Mac or Whopper to land on the floor and remain there or you will end up with a serious bug and/or rodent issue
If you don’t have built-in shelving or the funds to buy expensive heavy-duty ones, there are plenty of inexpensive options these days at any big box home store. Utilizing shelves will be a game-changer for any size garage along with bins that are the same brand/style so they stack easily.
LABEL EVERYTHING in bins or you will waste a lot of time rummaging through them.