Mar 19, 2013

Garage: Move In to Present

I've managed to give a tour every area in this house except the one that Steve describes as "man territory."  That's right, the garage.  In our last house, we turned the garage into a sunken room which eventually became a nightmarish pit of moldy storage (a burst hot water tank will do that).  Our cars were relegated to the drive pad.  Once we moved into this house, I told Steve and I wanted both of us to be able to park in the garage.  This was especially important to me since we live in the downtown area of our rural community and most of the crime that happens here is vandalism or petty theft (read: bored teenagers).  I have had the lovely experience of running late for work only to discover your car window has been broken out and the contents of your car are in disarray or missing at previous residences, and I have no desire to repeat it here.  These photos were taken on a day when the garage was serving its alternate purpose- workshop for Steve- so the cars were parked outside.

Let's start with the view walking from the house into the garage.

Busy bee.

Fortunately, this house had a garage door that was still in usable condition when we moved in.  Unfortunately, it had no garage door opener.  Or rather, it did at one time but didn't any longer.  Getting the garage door opener installed was one of the first things we did after buying the house.  Steve also put up the two sets of long fluorescent lights (leftovers we got for free from his parents).  If you look closely, you can see that we use the rafters for storage.  We've got the two wrecked black screens for our sliding doors up there (we saved them because they're nonstandard size so we want to have them matched), the indoor/outdoor rug that used to be in our living room (we know we'll eventually have a place to put it again), the box spring from our mattress (I am still incredulous that Steve managed to get that thing up there), and a snow shovel.

Down the left side of the garage, we tried to maximize storage.  There were no shelves out here when we moved in; Steve built them all himself.

Holy hoarders, Batman.

I know it looks like a ton of stuff (and it is!) but believe it or not, it's pretty well categorized.  Closest to the garage door is holiday stuff and car stuff, in the middle there's camping supplies and dog supplies (including a large dog crate that opens toward the doggy door), and closest to the side yard is painting supplies and lawn care/gardening stuff.  You can also see the first coat of stain on one of my planters right front and center.  Hee!  This is part of the reason why we are planning on adding a lean-to style garden shed in our back yard. About five feet of linear shelf space can be moved out to the "garden shed," meaning we'd have more room to organize what's already here.  The small cement patio is right outside that door.  You can see the basketball hoop on our neighbor's back patio.  I'm just thankful we can see anything at all- that window was so crusted over with gunk when we moved in that it took three separate encounters with a soapy green scouring pad and a hose to make it clear again.  Eventually I'd like to put some trim around the door too.  I know it won't serve any real purpose since most of our garage isn't insulated, but it'll gross me out less than looking at the cobwebs in the gap between the frame and the drywall.

And speaking of places in our garage that accumulate cobwebs- here's our hot water tank and furnace system.  We actually manage to store most of our long-handled tools around our water heater, which works pretty well for us.  Steve hung a row of hooks right next to the door out to the yard to hang out extension cords on.  I have to tell you, this was the BEST thing we have done in organizing this garage so far.  It's so easy to see which length cord you're grabbing, and we have wayyy less issues with tangling than we did before.  Plus, it's right on the way out to the yard.  You can grab the extension cord you need while holding the string trimmer in your other hand, and then all you have to do is plug it in and string trim to your heart's content.  The rug that used to be in our entry is also here.  It's the perfect spot for it- it's cute, plus it's large and nubbly enough to get most of the wet and dirt off shoes and paws as we come in and out.  We have a basket full of dirty/yard shoes at the entrance to the house so we can easily find those stained-green old sneakers when we go to mow the lawn without having to trip over them incessantly.  And we've got a small chest freezer where our frozen meat lives, hidden by some boards Steve was using for a project that day.  I love that I don't have to sacrifice freezer space in my kitchen, and it's really easy to pop out to the garage and grab the meat we'll need for the next day or two.  I don't even have to walk on the cement; I can stand right on the rug and do it.  You may notice something weird with the color around the door into the house....

Identity crisis?

It's paint.  The same paint we used for the bulk of our home's interior.  Remember when I talked about painting the door black?  Yeah, still want to do that.  And then I shared this inspiration pic?


Yeah, still want to do that, too.  I actually got impatient once the new door was installed and decided to start paining the drywall to make things look a little cleaner.  I just patched some of the holes in the wall (who knows what they were from) and went to town.  There were also a lot of strange messages written in chalk and spray paint along this wall, not  to mention dinosaur stickers, so painting is helping things look less unkempt out in the garage.  See?

Apparently someone was queen.  Their reign is being endedby Sherwin Williams' Kilim Beige.

Here's the rest of the wall closest to the house.  This is what we refer to as our exercise center.

Let me get a little Clueless on you:  Exercise?  AS IF.

In addition to the treadmill (Steve's sweatshirt and a bag of talc powder are hanging off it), we keep our yoga mats, kettlebells, and Steve's heavybag out here.  Steve also had the genius idea of hooking up his older Xbox and a cheap TV out there so we can watch Netflix while we treadmill or use exercise videos if we want.  Our old door is hanging out waiting to be taken to the Habitat for Humanity store, and Steve's most recent target practice victim is on display.  Having been in the Army, he loves to shoot and he's a really good at it.  I joke that hanging this in the garage was a great way to deter potential thieves who may peer in through the side yard door.

The north wall of our garage is Steve's makeshift shop.  We already know that someday when we move, our next house will need a shop or a place to build one.  When the cars are pulled in, all of Steve's tools and equipment and pushed tightly against this wall (we keep a piece of cardboard over the legs of the band saw so I don't ding my door when I get in and out).  And obviously, things get pulled away from the wall when Steve's using them.

Man time.

His work bench is recently installed from an old tabletop used at his office.  We use a dresser and his tool chest for organizing smaller tools (although I use the term "organizing" loosely since I can't ever find what I need out there).  And surprise- more stained windowboxes drying on cardboard!

It totally looks a mess to me, but Steve is very accommodating as far as me doing the bulk of our home's organization and decorating, so I try to let him do what he wants (mostly) with this space.  And obviously he has a good time out there.

Gratuitous manly action shot.

 Does anyone have some good garage organization tips for us?  How do you organize a multi-function garage (shop, exercise, storage, lawn care)?

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