Last fall, I shared this post on Facebook:

“Would you ever guess that this empty patch of land in our yard brings me a huge amount of happiness?

A few years after building our home, this became the site of a metal shed that we needed for patio furniture, off-season lawn and garden equipment, etc. We planted bushes around it, and it became one of those things that you don’t even see anymore on your property as it had been there so long. Eventually, it started to discolour, and last spring one of the doors blew off in a windstorm so my husband began talking about replacing it.

Well, I hate errands and felt overwhelmed by the idea of comparison shopping and setting up appointments, but dove into the research as I knew it was important to my husband. One day we sat in the kitchen discussing options (so many options…), when all of a sudden he came up with a brilliant idea. “What if we don’t replace it?”

I can’t tell you the joy that brought to my heart! When it comes to “stuff”, I am very much a minimalist (he is actually quite neat and organized too) and we decided we would do a purge of what we had in the shed and garage in order to streamline and take away the need to even have a shed at all. 

We had an awesome family clean-out day in the summer (I actually find it fun to get rid of stuff and there was very little garbage; many things we donated) and were able to completely empty the shed. 

Next, we enlisted my very talented uncle and dad to redesign our garage. We moved stairs to maximize space, added high shelves to store rarely-accessed bins like Christmas lights and camping equipment (yes, I do own some of that, haha), and they custom-built a space-saving bike rack and storage hangers for shovels, rakes and other large items.

Long story short, it really does bring me joy to look at the space where the shed used to be, and the grass is now growing. Less stuff, less expense, more lawn. How could we go wrong?”

Many people asked to see some photos of what we’ve done with the garage, so I’m sharing a few snapshots here today!

Tip #1: When they go low….

Use any high space you can. These shelves are being held up by chains attached to the rafters, and since we need a ladder to get up there, we’re using them for rarely-accessed items.

Tip #2: Get things off the ground

Our bikes hang nicely from hooks attached to the bottom of (more) shelving.

#3: Storage + convenience = perfect solution

Any household recycling goes straight out to the bins, which are very accessible. Dad custom-built this shoe rack for us, allowing us to keep footwear outside instead of piling up in the mudroom or interior closets. (Note: in the winter I DO allow members of the household to keep boots inside so no one has to slip their feet into freezing footwear!)

Tip #4: Maximize wall space, customize when you can. 

Various hooks were mounted on this board to fit the different implements we wanted to hang.

Not shown is one of those pegboard walls full of tools, and some other shelving with small dishpan-style bins full of pool and hot tub chemicals, gardening supplies, car cleaning materials, etc. And yes, we park both vehicles in our garage…isn’t that what it’s for?

I still get a little jolt of joy when I look at the empty space where the shed used to be, and appreciate having the garage streamlined and organized. It’s not reasonable to expect it to look magazine-perfect, and I actually questioned sharing these photos because they are so “real”, but I hope they can inspire some of you to get your garages organized as well! (My dad and uncle not included – unless you want to hire them!) Feel free to ask if you have any questions!

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