Before & Afters, Garage Storage, Organizing for Families

Florida Garage Transformation

By Lou Ann Schafer, Sr. Marketing Manager

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be called to Florida for a garage makeover. Living in Michigan, anytime there’s a chance to leave the cold and snow, we get excited.

Homes in the South don’t typically have basements, so the garage becomes a major storage space for the entire family.  In the case of our Florida family, they totaled 7+. Two adults (Bill and Nan), five kids and two dogs.  When I arrived, I knew we had a lot of work ahead of us.  Check out these “Before” pictures.

Here’s how we took this three-car garage from packed to pristine.

The requirements:

  • Make room for Nan’s car (everyone else parks outside)
  • Leave room for the diesel tank that supports the family’s landscaping business
  • Find a home for all the kids’ sports equipment and the family’s great outdoor gear
  • Make room for outdoor entertaining items, home cleaning supplies and holiday decorations
  • Create a workout space, including an area for Bill’s “bike”

I’ll admit, it was a little overwhelming. But after some initial measurements and planning, I could see how this garage would take shape.

Tuesday morning: I worked with the Bill, Nan and the kids to remove everything in the garage and sort it into Keep, Donate and Trash piles—encouraging them to make tough decisions along the way.

And believe me, I heard ALL of the usual explanations:  “Of course I need that lamp even though the cord is frayed – it can be fixed”… “I might know someone who needs that”.

But to obtain a functional garage, you must be diligent.

Here’s the formula we eventually settled on for the sorting process:

If an item could be fixed but they hadn’t gotten around to doing so in the past year, we donated it to someone who could complete the repair.  We took items to the local school, donated to a church auction and let friends come over and pick through Bill and Nan’s “treasures”.

By the time we were finished, we had three truckloads of “donations” and a dumpster full of trash. This process took two days. Meanwhile, our local garage dealer was busy installing the Gladiator® wall systems, assembling cabinets and other storage items and getting ready for the important task of putting everything away.

Day Three:

This was it. Everything had to find a home.  The garage had high ceilings with a deep, built-in shelf for holiday decorations and home items that they wanted to keep. Three Tall GearLockers were chosen to store sports equipment.

Zones (sports, gardening, automotive) were created to help them find things quickly and keep “like” items together. Before you could say Bobby Bowden, everything had a home and the garage looked spectacular. Needless to say, the neighbors have major garage envy. What do you think?

Now, if only I could have found a way to soak up more of that Florida sunshine.  Hmmm. Who’s next? Better be some place just as warm!

About the Author: Lou Ann Schafer is the Sr. Marketing Manager for Gladiator® GarageWorks. Not only is she knowledgeable about Gladiator® products, she also loves talking with you, the coolest brand fans in America. Plus, she’s fluent in all garage languages (gear head, woodworker, gardener, sports fanatic, etc.)

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