Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mission Accomplished!!

Yay!  It's definitely a day of celebration at our house.  I have finished the 29 day challenge! (  We worked hard for two straight days getting the last pieces put into place and this morning all that was left to do was put on some touch up paint.  It looks so good, and I am so happy with the results!  I have to say a big thank you to my mom and dad for helping out with this.  My mom (aka my personal organizer) did this pretty much side by side with me, helping with cleaning, loading, unloading, assembling, etc.  My dad was able to come over last night and cut down and mount pegboard for me.  He also gave us the great idea to put the bigger fishing poles up with the kayak to clear up some wall space.  I posted the answers to the challenge questions at the end of the post.  Enough with the writing, let's get to the pictures!!

It's crazy to think that the garage looked like this at the beginning of the month!  I didn't ever think I would get this mess cleared up!

Now it looks like this!


After!!  My new planting area with table, tools, and even hand wipes.  Ready for spring!

Messy tools and fishing stuff...

Clean and functional work area! (minus to the trimmer and broom that will be donated this weekend :) )

Messy boxes and JUNK!
To organized area for outside toys! :)

Overall the garage is much more functional, including a garage door opener that now works!  A guy came out to fix that on Monday. :) 

Here are some more pics of different things we did to organize the garage:

New shelf to hold larger items (helium tank, baseball equipment, fishing equipment, etc.) and cabinet to hold the extra bulk items that we buy from Costco and larger kitchen items that are not used often (punch bowl).  We also got a box (beside the cabinet) to hold the dog food instead of just having the open bag.  I cleaned out another box that we already had and used it for the treats.

Mounted the larger fishing poles on the hooks that were already holding the kayak.

Smaller fishing poles and net above the door.

Wall hooks for yard tools, brooms, and ladder.

Used the pegboard to hook a flashlight by the door.  Saw an idea on pinterest that mounted a flashlight by the circuit breakers.  I was going to do this before I realized that I would probably run into the car or something trying to get to the circuit board to find the flashlight if the lights went out, so I thought it better to have it right by the door to grab and navigate my way to the box. :)  It's the tiny silver thing hanging on the pegboard beside the button to open the garage door. 

This could be one of my favorite items.  I found this at Lowe's.  Instead of hanging a ball from the ceiling to tell you how far to pull the car in, this will give resistance after you go over the first little bump.  I love it!!  It had sticky pads on the back, so it will stay in place as you pull in and out.  It took a couple times last night to get the car in the right spot to put this down, but we got it.  I have already used it a couple times this morning to take the car out to take pictures, and it works!

This has to be the best picture of all...a car in the garage!!!

Overall this project cost some money but not a ton.  I would say the most expensive thing was the paint.  We had to buy two cans of paint plus primer b/c the walls were going to be so hard to cover.  For the rest, we just purchased individual hooks (~$1.50 each), wall mounted hook set for yard tools (~$17), and dog food container (regularly $15, on sale for $10!).  I found a great deal on the dog food container too!  Every store I went to (Petco, Walmart, Target) had dog food containers for $25 and up for smaller containers.  I was at Kroger grocery shopping, and thought I would stop by the pet aisle and found the container I bought for $10!  I was very happy about that one.  I got the shelf on sale as well from Target (plus 5% off with my Target debit card)!  I was able to reuse some older empty containers that I already had for storage.  We purchased pegboard and spray painted it black to match the look of the garage.  I just bought a basket set (3 baskets) and a starter pegboard kit to work with since most of the tools already had a spot in the tool boxes. 

I have to say this project was hard, and there were times during the month that I was ready to give up.  Even yesterday when we were emptying out the drawers and toolboxes off all the tools and little things (screws, nails, etc.), it was a little overwhelming, but my mom and I just kept going little by little.  Here is the pile that we were sorting through yesterday.


Yet we got through it sorted each thing and got it organized. :)

The kids are loving it and have played outside while I have been working, so they are already getting accustomed to pulling their bikes and scooters out and putting them back when they are done.  It's nice to see part of the reason that I wanted to do this already coming to fruition.  I also can't wait to use my new planting area in a couple weeks to get started on some flowers. :)

Throughout this process, we have purged a lot and put some things into a storage unit that my parents have (extra dining room chairs, bassinet, etc.)  We are luck to have this resource available since our house was not built with much storage room (VERY small attic and only closets are bedroom closets).  This project has also allowed me to start organizing other rooms in my house.  Getting out the bulk items into the cabinet helped clear out some of the laundry room, kitchen, and bathrooms.  It has also motivated me to start on other rooms in the house.  I think I will take a week to rest though first!  I am tired!! :)

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?
I chose the garage b/c I felt this room would make the most impact for the entire family having more access to play with toys outside now that it is getting nice outside again.  I also felt that by organizing the garage, it would allow others rooms to empty of items that should trylu be in the garage (bulk items in the kitchen and laundry room, bikes and scooters in entryway and playroom).

2.  What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?
I sat down and made out a timeline to get painting, shopping, etc done.  We had some unexpected events come up in the middle of the month that pushed things back a bit, but I just readjusted and pushed ahead!

3.  What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
I would say there were two things that almost caused me to give up.  In the beginning of the month, my husband injured his back and then had to get spinal injections which put him out (and thus me) for a week.  It was the week that I was supposed to get started cleaning out and getting ready to paint.  It was hard to get past that and re-energized as that situation took a lot of my energy.  I had to make a mental decision to get back on board and once I sat down and readjusted the time it seemed attainable again.  The other hard part was once organizing got down to the little things.  I am not a detail person, but I am so thankful that my mom is!  If it weren't for her there encouraging me and keeping on task, I would have probably gotten distracted and walked away.  Later I would have just thrown it all together in a bag or box, not really organizing it.   So havign my mom there really helped!

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
I included some of this in my blog post.  I donated A LOT to a garage sale that will help out a woman from our church with paying for her cancer treatments, we took a truckload to the dump, and then the larger items that I really do not need access to on a regular basis to the attic or the storage unit.  It was easier to let go of the stuff that I was donating since it was going to such a good cause. 

5.  Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?
Standing in my garage today knowing that I did this!  I had definitely some help, but throughout this process I did some new things for me.  I wrote about some of these in a previous blog post.  I donated items that I have been hanging onto for YEARS, I was able to mount everything on the wall (minus the pegboard) by myself (I even hit the studs!), and I dropped things off at the dump (very freeing to drop junk down into a cement pit).  This whole process has been very empowering and given me the confidence and motivation to keep working on other rooms of the house. 

6.  Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?
Mentioned in blog above.

7.  What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?
Don't do it alone!  Having an accountability partner kept me on track and gave me someone to laugh with, check in with, and celebrate with along the way. :)  Make sure it is someone who will stay motivated, keep you on track, and pay attention to the details.  I knew I didn't have some of the qualities naturally, so I depended on my mom to help me do those things more intentionally.


  1. Congratulations! That as a lot of ork. Well done!

  2. a planting center - great idea!
    you created so much space. I like the view in your very last photo. nice.