University Park | Denver, CO
"I don't know where to start."
This is totally normal and often the sentiment I hear from my clients. They're overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, so they never do, and things get worse. Sometime to the point where the floor disappears! And that's where I come in.
Using The KO Method, I guide my clients through the process from start to finish, making it fun and easy, with a little a hard work on the side ;).
The Most Important Step
For this garage, there was a lot of accumulation over time. Therefore, we needed to uncover the items that my client used and loved the most, and get rid of the items that no longer served a purpose. This was critical in creating space. It allowed us to not only build a functional organizing system, but it also gave my client room to grow. Because let's face it, we all love new toys!
First step in doing this? We pulled everything out. E V E R Y T H I N G. As we pulled items out one by one, we determined if we were going to keep, trash, or donate the item. Here's how it went...
Pile #1: KEEP
The key to removing everything from a space in an organized fashion is to designate separate locations for the items you're going to keep vs. trash vs. donate. So, in this case... items that were being kept were moved to the back lawn and grouped into piles by like-item. Looks crazy in the photo below, but I promise it's organized chaos!
Pile #2: TRASH
Then, trash and recycling was moved to the driveway in prep for a junk haul pick-up. This included paint, yard chemicals, broken bikes, toys, shelving, and a ton of recycling.
I love The Junk Trunk! It's a great service when you have a lot to get rid of and/or items that are hard to dispose of (like chemicals). They are quick, can oftentimes come same-day, they take almost anything, and they'll save you a ton of time and trips to multiple places. One minute you have this huge overwhelming pile of trash, and then, poof! It's gone.
This pick-up cost $240 (with tip).
Pile #3: DONATE
I forgot to take a photo of this pile, but we also made a donation pile out in the alleyway for Veterans of America to pick up, which they were able to do the same day. It's another great service! Not only are you giving your gently used unwanted items to a great cause, but they'll pick up at your home for free, which saves you time!
Don't Forget to Clean!
Once everything was out of the garage and distilled and sorted, then it was time to clean the space of dust, dirt, bugs, and cobwebs (shop vacs do wonders in garages!). This is a photo of my client's kiddo helping me sweep. I think I might hire him.
Time to Organize!
The goal for this garage was to get everything off the floor and create a functional storage space that they could easily get in and out of. Now that we have a clean space and know exactly what we're keeping and how much of it we have, it's much easier to plan the space, buy the right storage bins, and figure out how to organize everything.
Since this space didn't have adequate shelving, I purchased and installed several shelving units to give them a place to store their belongings. All of their belongings were then contained into bins and baskets as much as possible (large items were either hung or kept loose). And then all like-items were stored by "zone" within the garage (and labeled) so that the family can easily find what they need, when they need it, and return items when they are done.
Organizing Systems Work
Once you have a system to follow, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to stay organized. Even for the little ones! In fact, kids crave organization and structure, and I'm always amazed at how eager they are to follow the system once it's in place. It's almost like a game, AND, they actually play with more of their toys because they can see and find them easier.
Be sure to plan a day to tackle your garage so that you can be thorough and also have plenty of time to get it done. Be sure to recruit your spouse, a friend, or even your kid for some extra hands. And if you're feeling overwhelmed and you don't know where to start, don't be afraid to get help. I'm here to walk you through the process so that you end up with a garage that you love walking into!
I used these shelving units and various storage bins and baskets from The Home Depot, as well as some organizing solutions that the client already had, such as a bike rack, toy containment, and shelving.