This time of year, when we think about all the things we’re thankful for, it turns out: they’re not things.
We’re thankful for people, we’re thankful for home, we’re thankful for intangible gifts like creativity and passion and hard work.
Yes, at Gladiator, we make things. We think they’re awesome things. And we want you to want our things in your house. But what we love about these things – the reason we want everybody to use them – is that they can free up your time and space. When your home is organized, there’s less time spent dealing with things, and there’s more space to live in.
If you’re looking to get organized, or to give the gift of organization, here are a few places to start:
- Our GearTrack Pack will get gear off the floor and kick start your wall storage system
- We have Garage Packages starting with 4 key pieces, all the way up to a 38-piece solution
- Gladiator Basement Packages offer a range of storage and organization options to help you make the most of your space
Creating a space where you can explore your passions, and where you can spend quality time with your family, is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Get the things out of the way, and spend time focusing on what you’re really thankful for.
For some, a home office is where they spend the working day. For others, it’s a family paperwork depot for dealing with bills, permission slips, to-do lists, coupons, and whatever else the postman brings, or the teacher sends home.
Whether you spend minutes or hours each day in your home office, it should be exactly the space you want. Your style – not just your files – should be on full display.
Here are five of our favorite ways to create a stylish home office space where you’ll feel organized, productive, and happy:
1) A work surface you can work on.
You’ll be more likely to get things done if your work surface looks inviting (clean) instead of intimidating (covered in papers), so give yourself plenty of space to work and to think. We love using the 4’, 6’ or 8’ Bamboo Workbench as a desk, for its gorgeous surface and generous workspace.
2) The one-touch rule.
As soon as you open your mail, either take action on it (file it, sign it, pay it…) or recycle it. Letting it pile up looks bad, and, let’s face it, feels bad.
3) Keeping it behind closed doors.
Even with the most organized and disciplined approach, keeping your filing system behind closed doors will always look neater than leaving it out in the open. A GearBox either above or below your work surface can keep files in reach but out of sight.
4) Say no to the junk drawer.
If your junk drawer were to jam shut tomorrow, would you miss anything in it? Part with all the bits and pieces that you’re hoarding – trust us, it’s liberating. A few basic office supplies are all you need.
5) Look up.
Make the most of wall space, especially if you don’t have much floor space. A wall storage system gives you flexible organization options and can free up your work surface for work.
Fall, and the return to school, doesn’t just change your family’s routines. It changes your family’s spaces.
Your home is transformed:
• Your garage seems to reshuffle itself. Rakes migrate toward the doorway area, while the beach bag is buried in the background. Workbenches where Dad tacked DIY challenges are now covered with school projects.
• Your entryway becomes a landing zone for backpacks, lunchboxes, and show-and- tell treasures. If your kids are into music or sports, all sorts of extra gear makes its way on to the pile.
• Your kitchen table becomes a homework station, or your basement is transformed into a study hall – or an escape-from-study hall.
Organizing your home is a balancing act, and the center of gravity keeps moving. Across the seasons and over the years, your family’s activities and priorities shift. The back-to-school change is one big and obvious one, but really, change is always in progress.
What your family needs to have in reach – and who can reach how high – will never be the same from season to season.
That’s why, at Gladiator, we create modular storage solutions. Pieces that can be moved, mixed, and matched to keep up with your family’s needs:
• GearBoxes that can become gardening supply closets, at-home lockers for the kids, or media storage cabinets in the rec room.
• GearWall systems that let you move coat hooks to where little arms can reach them, and gardening shears to where they can’t.
• Adjustable-height workbenches that are tough enough for any project, but good- looking enough to go anywhere in the home.
By adapting modular storage to your needs, you can prevent the pile-ups that happen when seasons change. You’ll be able to find everything you’ll ever need, and to reach what you need now. That kind of organization saves time and creates space for you and your family, across the seasons.
Do you have a basement? Is it a space you enjoy spending time in?
For most homeowners, the basement is an underground version of their garage – a great big space that has a lot of potential. A great big space that, in reality, is nothing but overflow storage.
Chances are, your basement is big enough to store what needs storing, and to provide you extra living space as well. A beautiful basement isn’t just a home improvement – it’s a life improvement. It gives you more space to spend time with friends or family, to work on projects, or just to kick back and relax.
Are you ready to make the most of your basement’s potential? You can start the process right now:
1) Rethink your basement. What would you like it to be? A family room? A game room? A workspace? All of the above? Picture your basement, transformed into a place you’re proud of. That should give you motivation to move on to Step 2.
2) Whether you do it a box at a time over a few weeks, or tackle it all in one go, you need to sort through your basement treasures and decide what you can recycle, give away, or sell. Hint: it’s more than you think.
3) Once you can actually reach the walls, take measurements, so that you can plan storage and furnishings.
4) Design your space. A tool like Gladiator’s Design Studio makes it easy to channel your creativity into a great set of plans.
5) Remember that your storage should give you easy access to your things, and look good – you want to keep this space as visually appealing as any other room in your home.
6) Allow for more lighting fixtures here than upstairs. Make the most of natural light, too: avoid partition walls, and go for half-walls or moveable screens instead. Remove any doors that block the flow of natural light – or add windows to them.
7) With your junk cleared and your plans complete, you can go ahead and turn your basement into a living space you can enjoy and take pride in.
It’s the first of July. Six months from New Year’s Day. Six months into your resolutions, right?
If you remember what your resolutions were, you’re probably ahead of the pack on this one. And if you’ve succeeded in them? Well, we’re impressed.
Whether your old resolutions are accomplished, forgotten, or somewhere in between, this is a great time for taking stock. Look back at the first half of the year and decide if you want the second to follow in its footsteps, or to take a new direction. Either way, resolve to make the most of the opportunity.
You might start by asking yourself if you’ve made room in your life – and in your home – for what matters most. What’s your passion, and when did you last prioritize it?
If you have a sport, an art, or a craft that inspires you, you owe it to yourself to make time and space for it.
If your gear is in the back of a closet, or boxed up in the basement or garage, you’re less likely to put it to good use. It’s out of sight, so you’re not going to think of it as often. And it’s out of reach, so even when you do think of it, the bother of getting it out is going to discourage you.
Leaving what you love on the shelf, literally and figuratively, takes some of the joy out of life.
So as we ring in the second half of the year, make sure you have time and space set aside for what you love to do. Sports equipment, art materials, tools – keep them organized and accessible, so that you’ll be more likely to use them.
Take advantage of the opportunities your home offers you to get organized. Your garage is a perfect example. It’s probably the biggest room in your house, but chances are, it’s also the most cluttered. This is, literally, a big opportunity to rethink your space.
What if you thought of your garage as an amenity that gives you easy access to your gear whenever you want to use it, instead of just a room where you toss things out of the way, and close the door? What if your garage were so well organized that there was space to do things in it, and not just leave things in it?
Putting a little time into smart organization now will make your garage – or your basement, or other storage area – a more vibrant and valuable part of your home, and of your life, for years to come. Your organized space will help you to do more of what you love.
Connecting with your passions is important. It makes you happier, and that’s powerful stuff.
As we celebrate Father’s Day, we give thanks for all the dads, and all the tools they give us.
Through time spent and lessons shared, dads give us the tools that allow us to be makers, builders, fixers, and problem solvers. They help us to be confident, creative, and independent.
Whether quiet or loud, tough or easygoing, artsy or determinedly practical, dads – through their own skills, interests, and passions – instill us with abilities that stay with us for the rest of our lives.
It might be your own dad, a grandfather, uncle, friend’s dad, or neighbor. Somewhere along the way, a dad shared lessons that helped make you into who you are today. Tools that made life easier, more beautiful, or more interesting.
What have your learned from the dad figures in your life? How to ride a bike, or to restore a classic car? How to paint a house, or a sunset? How to build a radio, or a rocking chair? How to play folksongs, or five-card stud? How to throw a fishing rod, or a curve ball, or a great barbecue?
At Gladiator we are happily aware that a lot of what dads share starts in the garage. It’s where he takes off the training wheels, changes the oil, hangs the rackets, and cleans the grill. It’s where he builds, fixes, tunes up, and restores. It’s where he always measures twice, and cuts once.
So thanks, dads, for making the garage into a place of imagination, creativity, and learning. And thanks for sharing your tools with us.
If you’re a Gladiator fan, you’ve known us to ask: “Keep it, cash it, can it?” Well folks, “cash it” season is upon us. It’s that time of year when garage sale signs pop up like daisies, and people cash in on all kinds of clutter.
Sure, you can sell most things online these days. But holding a garage sale means you get to take on a project as a family, spend extra time outside, and meet new people from your neighborhood. And it means you don’t have to worry about shipping items across the country to the highest bidder.
A garage sale also forces you to part with a decent amount of clutter. As soon as you set a date for your sale, you have yourself a deadline. Now it’s time to round up enough old things to make your sale worth people’s while. A single card table with a few old knick-knacks on it isn’t going to draw the crowds.
So, make a sweep of the whole house and clear out everything that’s outgrown, outdated, or otherwise neglected. Someone else will get more use out of it than you do. And the space you create in your home will be even more valuable than the money you make on the sale.
A few tips:
- Find out from your town hall if you need a license to hold a garage sale in your area.
- Plan how you’re going to display your items. Round up tables (better yet, workbenches!) and a clothes rack ahead of time. Selling a lot of books and CDs? They’ll look more appealing in a bookcase than a box.
- Make sure each item has its own price tag, since things have a way of migrating from the $10 table to the $1 table. You can buy pre-printed price stickers; use tie-on tags for items where stickers might do damage.
- Don’t keep your cash in a cash box. Yes, at long last, it’s time to wear that fanny pack. Load it up with change and small bills before the early birds arrive.
- After the sale, set aside a box to start saving items for next time. Collecting your things on an ongoing basis means they’re out of your way sooner, and that the next sale will be easier to plan.
Our very best advice? Enjoy the fun of your garage sale, and then enjoy the possibilities of space you’ve reclaimed.