Garage Ceiling Storage

Utilize that Ceiling Storage Space!

I have wanted to get some kind of garage ceiling storage for a few years now. When Racor asked if I would like to review one of their products, and I saw they had this ceiling storage lift, I jumped on it.  They were awesome and sent it to me right away to review. I mentioned to them that it wouldn’t be until spring/summer before I was able to have my husband install it.  I had to eat crow. He has still not been able to get to it, with his crazy (almost 2 hours one way) commute each day and a heavier workload.


racor ceilling storage

This is what the storage unit will look like, once we have it up.  I seldom will do a post on something that I haven’t actually opened up and reviewed myself, but I did review their bike lift and know the quality and how easy and well it went up and works. Dave was very impressed with the way it was made, how it leveled itself out as you were lifting it up, how smooth the mechisism worked of the bike lift.  I also will hardly ever use a brand’s picture of their product, but here I am again, doing that.  I pulled the ceiling lift picture and the lift with storage containers of it, from the site.

It will provide us with plenty of space to put some new folding chairs that we don’t have room for, or maybe some of our summer back porch furniture that currently is in the shed.  I love to figure out what I can rearrange when I have new storage space to use.

ceiling storage

This unit is designed to lift up to 250 pounds and gives you 16 square feet of storage.  When you lower it down, it will come down 8 feet from the ceiling, so it will be so easy to load and unload.

I’ve seen several other ceiling units.  There are the ones that are attached directly to the ceiling. They would require getting out a ladder and lifting the contents up to them and down from them.  I think they are in general a little less expensive than this unit, but would not be nearly as convenient or useful.

This is the space where the ceiling storage lift is going to go in my garage. Yes, I know… the garage needs some tidying up. It will go above one of the cars.

garage ceiling

The other side of the garage has the Racor bike lift (which I love!) That is our Toyota truck underneath it. We don’t have a big garage, so there would be no way we’d have room for this bike if it wasn’t for this ceiling lift. (By the way their bike lift is designed for a normal bike, we just made it work for my recumbent bike)

ceiling storage

But here sits my Racor ceiling lift now, until I can get hubby to install it.

racor ceiling lift


I’ll love it when I am actually able to get it up.


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Racor Wall Bike Stand Review

The Racor Bike Stand Is As Easy as 1-2-3!

By Amy Trauntvein

Organization in my garage is not a strong suit of mine.  It’s a place where everything gets put that either doesn’t belong in the house, or doesn’t fit!  I AM able to park my van in it so that’s a plus for me, but frankly the rest could use a little help.  Especially with bigger items, such as bikes.  That’s where Racor Home Storage Products come in.  Racor sent me one of their Wall Bike Stands ($59.99) to review.

Wall Bike Stand

Sweet!  Being a family of 6, we have a few bikes and they take up a good amount of floor space in my garage that I definitely could use more of!

Wall Bike Stand

So last Saturday I employed my husband to put it together and get a couple of these bikes up and out of the way, AND I timed him to see just how long it would take him to get the job done!  He started at 4:17pm

1. Open the box and put the parts together…

Wall Bike Stand

2. Set in place and screw it to the wall…

Wall Bike Stand


Wall Bike Stand

3. Adjust hangers and hang up bikes. Done!  Ending time 4:34pm – 17 minutes!  That’s how fast and easy it is to set up the Racor Wall Bike Stand and gain some much needed space in your garage.  I might add, he wasn’t trying to hurry either.

Wall Bike Stand

I was quite impressed with the Racor Wall Bike Stand.  Not only did it go up easily and quickly but it’s strong too!

The Racor Wall Bike Stand

  • Holds 2 bikes
  • Direct mounted to a wall stud
  • Independent adjustment arms for level bike storage
  • Red cradles are vinyl-coated to protects the bikes
  • Steel construction epoxy finish and skid-free rubber guards to protect the floor.
  • Weight limit of 100 pounds

Thank you Racor Storage Solutions!  I love the Bike stand and the extra room in my garage! Check out their website, they carry many more storage ideas and solutions that could be perfect for your organizational needs.

Wall Bike Stand

*Although I was compensated with the product for review, all opinions are honest and my own.

Love To All!  ~Amy






I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Increase Space In Your Kitchen With Ikea Expedit Shelves

January 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Basement or Garage, Blog, Kitchen, Products for Organizing

This Ikea Expedit Shelf Works Like A Pantry

I have a pantry, but I wanted some more space to help ease the load in my pantry and cabinets. I’ve mentioned before, I have a fairly small home. I do not have access dishes or pots and pans (come on… really…. me?) but things can get crowded and I wanted a solution. Here were some of my inspiration photos I found on pinterest. When I made my newest plan to reorganize, I added two new Ikea Expedit Shelving units. One in the family room, and this one in the kitchen. I painted the wall that leads from the family room into the kitchen deep brown. I also painted the perpentual wall adjacent to it brown (the wall you see in this picture). I love the white against the deep brown.


ikea expedit

I really didn’t take much out of my pantry to put on these shelves. I did clear out room in my some of my cabinets and put items from the pantry into the cabinets, so in a round about way I increased my pantry space.

I also purchased two of the slide in door units that fit the expedit shelves. this allows me to have two cubbies that are closed in. I have wine supplies in this side. The other side has plastic cups, plates and silverwear for picnics and such.

ikea expeditI also found these little metal shelf units while I was at Ikea.  I measured and found out they would work so that I could split the space and not have wasted room.

ikea expedit

I pulled out some of the baskets that I had in my pantry and used them to store items I had in my cabinets. Baking items, mostly.

ikea expedit

I’m thrilled with the extra room I now have!

ikea expedit

This is a solution that works great for me. I know I’ll have these shelves if we ever have to move. If need be, I can move them and use them in another room also. The unit just fit in this area.  The door on the right leads to my laundry room. The light switch for this “eating” area, that we only have a small table for the triplets to eat and do homework at, is on the wall. You can see it just behind the one basket (2nd cubby down, far right). We don’t use that light all that often, so it’s not a problem that it’s within the unit. On the other side, there is still enough space that our trash can fits just fine.

ikea expedit

Just so you know, this is not a review or promo post for Ikea. I have several of the Expedit pieces and wanted to show you how I utilize them.

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Racor Bike Hanger Review

Organizing with the Racor Bike Hanger

I’ve been looking for a storage solution for my recumbent bike /trike since I got it this last summer.  It is large and awkward and heavy and is taking up a lot of space in our already small garage.

When I was asked to do a review of this racor bike hanger, I jumped on it.  They did explain to me in the email that this bike hanger was not designed for a recumbent bike, and they couldn’t  recommend it for that. But, we decided to try it because that is what we really needed it for. Rebels maybe? lol  I’m just saying that it worked for us. You can see from the picture on the package how it is intended to be used.

racor bike hanger

The first thing I did was to check out the weight limit of the product.  It says that the maximum weight is 50 pounds. So I know we are good weight wise for the recumbent bike. I’m not sure what it weights, but I know it’s not 50 lbs.

Here is the monster that we need to get up off the garage floor.

recumbent trike

Today has been a cleaning out, reorganizing day.  Just as with most of you, even though an area has been organized, doesn’t mean it stays clean an organized in our house. Today was shed, my office area and garage maintenance day.

This is how we currently have the regular bikes being hung. It works to keep them off the ground.  It is hard to maneuver them and lift them down. I know I have a very hard time doing it (and usually don’t).  We could have tried to do something with hooks like this for the recumbent, but it is heavy enough that it would have been really difficult, and it wouldn’t have been a solution that would have worked for everyday.

bike hanger

Dave got his ladder out, found the studs, used his drill and attached the pulleys. He threaded the cords as per the instructions.

racor bike hanger

He had already figured out the two spots he was going to attach the pulley hooks to and had measured to be sure it would work.

racor bike hanger

Once he figured out how to work the system, he started raising the bike.  He quickly realized there was a self leveling system and it leveled the bike out. He said he wondered how that would work and was concerned about it.  You can see how high off the ground it is. Dave is 6’2″ and he can almost walk under it.

racor bike hanger

He attached a tie up hook to the wall that was included, so that he could secure the line.

racor bike hanger

I’m really excited to have the bike up off the ground, but yet accessible, so that I can get it down to ride it. What is really nice is that Dave positioned it so it is right over the bed of our pick up truck. So we can lower it right into the truck when we want to take it somewhere to ride. Double yay!

racor bike hanger

I can say that Dave was impressed with the quality of the product and was very pleased that the bike leveled itself out.  This bike hanger is not designed for a recumbent bike, it is designed for a normal two wheel bike. We were the ones that were experimenting with it in order to hang the recumbent.

You can find more bike hangers by Racor that will work for your needs.

I did receive this racor bike hanger free of charge for review. I received no other compensation and the pictures and opinions are my own.

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Maintenance Is Needed To Stay Organized

November 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Basement or Garage, Blog, How To Organize

Once Organized Is Not Forever Organized

It feels SO good to have a space organized doesn’t it? But how long is it before that once organized space is a total mess again? Organizing requires maintenance. Your system has to be functional and easy to use in order to make it easy to stay organized.

The more steps it takes to organize, the less likely it will to stay organized – in my opinion.  That is one of the reasons I like open organizational systems. Cubbies, containers that don’t always have lids on them, so that they are easily accessed.

Today was reorganizing the shed and the garage.

shed maintenance

Maintenance of a once organized area.

  1. Take everything out of the space (if possible)
  2. Clean the space
  3. Decide what stays and what goes – which shouldn’t be as large of a task as it was orginally
  4. Place everything back in the space and place it where it goes. Keep “like with like”

This should go much faster than the original organization of the space because there should already be a system in place.  There should be designated areas for the items already established, it’s now just a matter of placing the items back in those spaces.

This is a project that the whole family can help with.  I think that when the family helps to clean out an area like this, they are more likely to put things back where they belong for two reasons. One because they know where they belong and also because they take pride in keeping it looking nice.

shed maintenance

See my original shed organization posts.

1) Shed Storage – Tool and Loft Storage

2) Garden Shed – Make an area inside your shed for your garden area

3) Shed – Making systems inside to increase storage

4) Shed Plans – How to increase storage

It feels good to have the shed back to it’s original organized state.

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Ziploc Storage idea for Guest Bedding

Ziploc Has An Easy Way To Store Entire Bedding Sets

I found Ziploc totes are an easy way to store guest bedding all together in one nice neat package. I  now have five sons who live out of the house, but come back to visit often.  Since we don’t have a large home, we have air mattresses and futons they usually sleep on.  Each time they come, I have to go to several different places to get a clean pillow, sheets and blankets.

I decided I wanted to figure out a system, so that I could have them all together in one place. I was going to get clear plastic trash bags, but  I decided to try the Ziploc Extra Large Storage Totes I have seen in the stores, instead. I purchased (this is review I’m doing, I wasn’t asked to do via the Brand and the products were not given to me) several of the 22 gallon bags.  I bought one at Krogers for $5.99 on sale.  I realized they were going to work and wanted to get a few more.  I saw them later that day at Target for $7.49 or $7.99 (I forget which), but they weren’t on sale at the time. I went back to Kroger to buy a few more.  My guess is that there might also be coupons out there for them, but I didn’t have one.


This is a more expensive option than buying clear plastic bags, but I like that they have zippers and that there is a defined shape to it.  The plastic seems pretty heavy duty… so I’m assuming they were last for awhile. (At least I hope)

I placed a pillow, twin set of sheets, blanket and a comforter in this bag.  I’m sure I could have done a little maneuvering, maybe rolling the sheets or making them all Martha Stewart like in how I folded them… to make this look a bit neater.  lol  But I was so excited it all fit!!


My next step was to label each bag with the size of the bedding and contents.  Again… you could make a darling label for these for display, but obviously I didn’t.  Mine are going into a metal cabinet in the basement.


The plan is to give each of the boys a bedding set when they come to visit.  They will bring up the dirty bedding to me when they get ready to leave, along with the plastic bag.  At that point I can wash the bedding and place it right back into the proper plastic bag, so they will be ready for the next time they visit.

Of course these bags can be used for many other storage needs than this, but this solved one of my storage issues and I was excited enough about them to share it with you!

Let me know how you store your bedding for guests.

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Creating a Mud Room

Creating  Mud Room In Your Garage

I don’t have a mud room in my house, nor do I have a place for a mud room in this house.  So…. I have to make a mud room in my garage.

We were only able to do this after we got the shed and were able to clear out extra supplies (bikes, lawn mower, tools, sporting equipment and such) out of the garage and into the shed.  Check out my series of posts on how to organize your shed.

Our garage was suffering from “winter messy blues”.  You know…. during the winter how you bring everything into the garage, and nothing gets put away.  Because it is winter, it is too cold to pull everything out of the garage onto the driveway to clean it out…. so it all just accumulates and gets messier and messier?  Yes… the garage messy blues!

Garage “Before” Pictures

before garage I didn’t think to take pictures at the very beginning.  This was in the mist of moving things into the shed.

garageThere were metal shelves on the empty wall.

What we did was to clear everything out.  Took down the shelves.  Moved the freezer over to the left further.

Then we painted.  The paint was actually a gallon I had left over from painting the dining room.  I didn’t want periwinkle walls in the garage. I wanted gray walls.  I wanted to use gray walls and red accent (Ohio State colors).  But I had an unopened gallon of periwinkle. So what’s a girl to do?

You go to Home Depot and tell them to make your periwinkle paint –  gray! They will look at you like you are crazy, tell you that they don’t know that they can do that.  You will then tell them…. just add black please.  They will do it… several times – each time explaining to you something about the base of your paint being a medium base and that to use dark colors you nee a heavy base – so they are not going to guarantee that it will dry very well.

You will look at that final color that he smears on the lid and it dries (with the blow dryer) and think… wow… that really does look gray! Silently jumping up and down wanting to say .. I told you so – but also realizing that when it dries… or doesn’t.. the Home Depot man might be jumping up and down and saying… “I told you so!”

I only wanted to paint the long wall and short front wall that had been dried walled.  The rest of the garage had studded walls… and weren’t going to be part of my mud room anyway.

painting garage

Oh.. and yes, I know…. my gray paint does have a hint of purplish-blue in it still.  (It sure looked just gray on the lid!) But it is a garage, and it isn’t worth spending another $35 for a gallon of pure gray paint. This will do.

Here is the finished painting job

The next step – outfitting my mud room.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this project.  I knew I wanted:

1) Cubbies for shoes
2) Bench to sit on to put on and take off shoes/boots
3) Hanging area for coats and snow pants
4) Hooks for book bags
5) Shelves for paper towels & toilet paper storage
6) Places for the kids sports bags
7) Trash can
8) Dog food storage near by
9) Floor that had carpet or something to keep from having dirty feet after shoes came off
10) Have it look nice

What I did:

1) Went to Ikea and bought two cubby units, two metal coat hangers/shelf units and 2 wall mounted hooks, wooden sturdy hangers
2) Brought up a small shoe cubby unit I had in the basement
3) Brought up a red couch unit that we had in the basement
4) Used made from cut wood Dave already had (one was a shelf from somewhere else we didn’t need any longer)
5) Bought padded garage squares for the floor (I already had some, just got some more)

Are you ready?  Here it is…. not the Mona Lisa of mud rooms…. not the prettiest you will see, not the classiest you will see, but it will work for us.. and I like it.

Garage Mud Room “After” Pictures

garage mud room

My son and his friend basically dumpster dived for the red diners bench. There is a 2nd one in our basement. They saw them at the curb a few years ago and he brought them home just as pleased as he could be. We have used them in the kids basement TV room.  But I thought this would be perfect here. Plastic so if they are dirty or wet it isn’t a problem. I didn’t have to buy one like I thought I would… and it looks fun.

The black coat hangers came from Ikea.  The cubby units did too.  The shoe unit in on the floor I already had. But I thought the top of it would work great for the 3rd karate bag. If you look to the far right of the picture you will see a plastic shelf. That is where the other 2 karate bags of the triplets will go.  The trashcan I wanted is to the left.  You know…. when you come in from the cars and have fast food bags or whatever needs to be thrown away…. just makes it nice and easy.

The cubby units work great for the boots and shoes.  I bought the white shelf dividers so that you wouldn’t lose good space in the cubbies.  The triplets keep their shoes and boots on the left cubby, the two older boys use the right cubby.

The dog food container is to the left of the bench.  So it is still easy to get to when you come out into the garage, but yet out of the way.

The gray padded garage floor squares work great.  They will keep the cubbies and bench from getting all wet from snow coming off of cars. They will keep feet somewhat dry, clean & warm when taking on and off shoes & boots.

Keep in mind when you are buying anything from Ikea that has to be mounted on the wall.  They evidently have different measurements for their studs when building houses.  My husband gets very frustrated when he has to hang something from there.  The holes do not line up with 16″ (I think) studs that are standard in our homes.  He had to figure out how to hang the coat/book bag hooks that I wanted hung.

He ended up first mounting a piece of wood and used it as a base to then hang the coat racks from.  I originally had planned to put one coat rack in one place and the other in another place….. but after the big deal this was.. I didn’t get upset at all when he put them side by side.  It will actually work out great.

So one more look at before….


And then “After”

garage mud room

Oh .. and yes – we still put a car on this side.  We were parking my Honda Pilot on this side of the garage and our “run around” car the Neon on the other side.  But we switched them up.  The Neon now goes on this side, so there is still plenty of room for the car and to get around it on all sides.  The Pilot goes on the other side of the garage.

We also put a key pad on the outside of the garage so the kids can get into the garage themselves.




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Shed Storage

Tool & Loft Storage

Being able to clear out our garage has been wonderful!!  It enables me to be able to make a mud room (coming in the future) and to not have to worry about the bikes scratching our cars coming in and out.  Having Storage outside the garage in our new shed has meant many changes.   It also enabled Dave to go buy a motorcycle, because now there is room in the garage (ok, so not all the reasons are so great! lol)

Tool Zone

I gave a specific area (back left) to Dave’s tools and equipment. We used the pegboard and I also gave him a space on the bottom shelf that he has some workspace.

tool work shelf

There is a surge protector plug behind the white drawers so when he is working he can bring out the extension cord and plug in his radio and drills, or other equipment.

I labeled the drawers for his equipment.


The shelves above have storage items in them that I labeled.

shed storage

Pegboard for equipment.  The wheel barrow isn’t hung on the proper kind of hook. I was experimenting. We did have the two black hangers full of chairs where the wb is hung.  But I didn’t like them there and found another solution for the chairs. I am going to take those two hangers down and figure out a better way to hang the wheel barrow

shed storage

You will see some more pictures from this area in my video below, but I wanted to get to the loft.


There are three loft areas in the shed.  I haven’t organized them yet and yes that bothers me!  Right now things are just kind of thrown up there.  But I’ll show you just so you can see.  But… there is one thing I did do to organize in the loft, that you’ll see in a minute.

Loft above the kid and fishing zones- This has a heavy hitch hauler that we use only on full family vacation trips. I have to figure out a better solution for that.  The bin has some golf shoes that Dave rarely wears but wants to keep and paint ball equipment of the teens.

shed loft

The side loft is kind of a make shift loft right now. Dave really was just storing lumber and board there while he was building the other two lofts, but it is convenient. The umbrella is up there now because it was left open in a storm and broke one of the hinges. Dave thinks he can repair it. (We’ll see what happens with that)

shed loft

This is the only part of the shed lofts that I am excited about. I had another one of those wire shelves (like I used for the temp bike rack).  We brought it out and it works great for storing the card table chairs and a few extra lawn chairs.

chair storage

Beside that we just have the kiddie pool that we use for the dogs in the summer and my son put the extra roll of garden fence up there, plus the two card tables. Those still have to be stored better.

shed storage

A closer look at my chair storage solution

chair storage
See the whole shed all at once in my video.

Be sure to check out my other Shed posts that I did this week

Sheds and Garages – Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Link up your posts!

Shed Plans – Making the Shed Usable with Shelves

Organizational System – Inside the Shed (Kid & Fishing Zones)

Garden Shed Plans

I have linked this post to these wonderful bloggers

Tip Junkie

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Garden Shed Plans

Garden Supplies Organized in the Shed

My Garden zone in my shed is the area I like the best.  Coming up with storage solutions for the shed was a lot of fun!

garden shed

Dave built the shelf underneath the window specifically to have a place to store the seedlings. This is Elise’s tray of flowers that she plans to plant in the flower box just on the other side of this window.   The kids each have their own gardening bucket. No fighting, a specific place to hang them. They are out of the way and add a cute touch.

Now you get to see the entire inside of the shed.  Here is a picture without any of the bikes.  You can see the two shelves on the back wall.

Garden & Kid Zones are to the right.
Tool and Fishing Zones are to the left.
I will cover the Tools and loft tomorrow. I was going to add it on today, but there is just too much to go over in the garden zone.

shed storage

You can get a little better view of the garden zone.

shed shelves

These are the shelves that Dave built me for gardening supplies.
garden shed

Here is another view

garden shed

I made this make shift paper towel holder. I didn’t want to go buy one, but I did want some paper towels out here.

paper towel holderI used the 3M Command hooks (again! lol) and they stuck to wood too!  So far they seem to be holding great. If I discover different I’ll let you know.  But I just put up two command hooks and got some wire. I taped the wire on the left side so that it would stay on.

I left the right side with just a wire loop. So that it is no problem to change the roll. No money spent (I already had a pack of the command hooks) and I have a fun little paper towel holder.

3M command hooks

I also used a command hook for the scissors I hung in this area. Seems you always need a pair of scissors and I must have used them a half dozen times while I was working in the shed this day.

scissorsThey are hanging just behind the paper towels in the garden area. You can see them if you scroll up a couple pics. One more place I used the Command hooks in this shed is just on the outside of the garden shelf (near the single door) I hung one for my dust pan. I haven’t hung the broom yet, but plan to hang it on one of the shelves above (on the outside like this).  The broom I’m using in the shed now does not have a hole in the handle.

3M command hooks

The shelves are the place for any gardening supplies.

garden shedTo the left of the garden area is the single door. Again there was a lot of space that would have gone un-used if I had not put the pegboard on it.  I plan to have Dave put another piece on the lower section, but the only piece we have left is too short to fit.

garden shed door

I had a small basket that I just put a pair of flower snips in. The larger basket underneath the tools has the garden gloves in it.

This was the perfect door for this because it opens up on the side directly across from our three gardens.

garden shed

Dave put in a third raised garden bed this year so that each of the triplets could be in charge of a garden. He had to put some green fencing around the beds because the dogs thought these were their own sand boxes or something. They kept playing in them. I just saw that the tomato starter tray had fallen when I looked at this picture. That is what that black thing is on the right hand garden bed.

raised garden beds

The basket that holds the garden gloves is great.

garden gloves

So even if the garden gloves come back looking like this after the kids have worn them – it isn’t a problem. The basket is open, so it helps them dry without getting mildewy and the dirt will eventually come off and fall out of the basket and onto the floor where it will be easy to sweep out the door.

dirty garden gloves

There was an area above this door, well all along the side of the shed that bothered me.  I thought there is space up there to be used!  Dave again made a little shelf for me (although I didn’t have to have it, but it does keep things more stabilized) to be able to place the more dangerous sprays and chemicals up higher.  You can see it in this picture.  See above the door?

shed organization

The roof is slanted and since I didn’t want anyone to get conked on the head coming in or out of the shed by a can of Raid, I made a safety catch. I again used a piece of wire.  We put two screws in the studs on either end.

storage in shed


Then wrapped the wire around both ends securely.  The sprays and such can just be lift up above the wire to get out or put away. There is no reason to have to take the wire off and on.

storing dangerous outside chemicals

You can also see that Dave just used a spare piece of peg board for the shelf. We weren’t able to use this piece anywhere else because it was too small, but it worked perfect here.

shed storage

Just underneath the garden shelves I bought two rolling plastic bins to store bird feed in. I was thinking one would be for potting soil, but we didn’t have any of that and had lots of bird seed, so at least on this round – both are for seed.

Once one is empty it will be no problem to clean it out and change the label and use it for whatever I need it for.

garden shed organizationThey are sealed containers so that we don’t attract mice (hopefully)… also why a broom and dust pan are so important. I don’t want to brush the bird seed into the grass. There is some thistle seed in the bird food and if it gets on the grass, I’ll get thistle.

bird food storage

I also think it is important to have a trashcan available in your shed. You will use it more than you would have realized.

garden shed storageTo the left of the garden rolling seat/cart – I have a couple other clear bins. I will use those at this point for potting soil and any odds and ends that might be too big for the shelves. There is some weed control cover in there right now.

The left to the left of the window had a nice space for the watering can.

watering can

Don’t forget to use the underneath areas of shelves, or above your head areas.  Think outside the box!

As you saw in the earlier picture I hung the kids gardening buckets underneath the shelf.

gardening buckets

Her flowers are growing! I do have her take them outside to water them.
flower starters

Here is my little “Martha Touch”. This just seems like something Martha might do. I had all these gardening gloves. Most had never been worn. I decided to use them as a bit of Garden Shed decor!  See them?  I was having difficulty getting a head on shot of them because it was so light outside.  It was washing out the picture too much. But I used a chain and hung them on either side of the window.


garden shedI used binder clips and clipped the gloves onto the chain.

garden glove curtainI just thought that was a cute idea. You could actually buy gloves with a pattern and be even more creative with the idea.  Hang them down across the top or something?

Dave wanted a clock in the shed, so we brought out one that he had in the basement and didn’t use much. We hung it right over the window. The window still has tape on the outside. Dave still has another coat around the window to paint.


On the shelf to the left of the window I have a green bin with sprinklers and garden nozzles in it.  One of our coolers is on the shelf above. We have a couple more that might come from the basement out here also.

On the shelf below the paper towels I have another green bucket. I have the seed packs in there that we didn’t use or partially used and a pen and sharpie marker. Just odds n’ ends.

garden shed

I had a lot of fun with this area.

My suggestion is to utilize every portion of your shed you are able.
We will be hanging bikes in the winter, use under shelf space, above head space, door space etc.

I am sure I will continue to add thing up higher on the ceiling and any wall space.

Tomorrow I will finish up with the tool area and lofts.  I am also hoping to make a video of the whole shed, so you can see it all at once instead of in four different posts.

Don’t forget to link your organizing, cleaning or DIY posts to my Organizing Mission link party!

Be sure to check out my other Shed posts that I did this week

Sheds and Garages – Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Link up your posts!

Shed Plans – Making the Shed Usable with Shelves

Organizational System – Inside the Shed (Kid & Fishing Zones)

Garage Storage – Outside

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Shed plans

May 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Basement or Garage, Blog, DIY, How To Organize

For The Shed

Break your shed organization system into zones.  You will probably have different zones than I do. You have to look at the bulk of what you are storing, and decide from that.   I have four main zones.

1) Kids
2) Fishing
3) Tools
4) Garden
5) Loft Storage

The Kids Zone

Come on in my shed!  I’ll take you on the first phase tour!

shed organization

Notice something on those doors?  I thought that space was too good to pass up.  This was the solution I came up with for the kids balls and ball gloves.

I used these baskets that I found at The Container Store.  They are a heavy duty wire basket made for the Elfa closet system. I had my husband drill screws into the studs on the door.  Then I just hung the basket over the screws.  They have been staying on without any problems.

ball organizing

I have the ball gloves in the top basket and some of the balls in the bottom.

shed ball glove organizing

There is still work that has to be done on the shed. One of those things is to get hook and eyes on the doors to hold them open.  They stay open if there is no wind.  Today it was windy and getting ready to storm while I worked.  So I propped the doors open.

shed ball organizing

On this door we have the elbow and knee pads for skateboarding. (The kids hardly use them anymore. I did get rid of several sets, but did keep just a couple in case they decide to start using them)

shed ball storage

This bin has the baseballs and golf balls… along with whatever that orange ball is. I think it is for the Lacross stick actually.

shed ball organizing

When you come in the double doors of the shed, to the right you will find the “kid zone”. This is where most all their equipment will be stored.

kid equipment organizing

I did hang the step stool right inside the door on a hook. It has easy access, and since we do have lofts in the shed, we will need to use it on occasion to get things.

shed organizingI did purchase this tennis ball organizer from The Container Store. I really like it. The lacross stick is just hanging on a hook.

tennis ball organizer

Their scooters and po-go stick are hanging on a specialty pegboard hook that I already had.

pegboard organizing

The baseball bats also hung easily from a pegboard hook.

pegboard organizing

I hung their bike helmets low and simple for easy access.

shed pegboard organizing

So what else do we have in the garage that takes up space and scratches the cars coming in and out (when they aren’t careful).. that we REALLY wanted in the shed?

Yep…. Bikes!!

This part of my plan has not been completed.  Dave is going to build me a bike rack underneath the shelf.  I am hoping to be able to store all five bikes in it.  For now, I made this temporary bike rack using a 3 level wire shelf that I had.  It doesn’t work the greatest, but it does give the triplets a designated space for their bikes.

bike rack

There is still extra wood and pegboard that may yet be used, but for now I just slipped it out of the way behind the bike rack and under the shelf.

The other two bikes have pegs on the front tires that are going to come off.  I have my bike rack designed, I just need the man to make it for me. Sometimes things in my head aren’t realistic for what can actually be done.
bike rack

I just used green duct tape to label with.  It doesn’t look the greatest right now, and after we get the final bike rack completed (which I will show you when it is done) then I will be relabeling.


Now for the two teenagers bikes.  We already had these portable bike racks that I purchased a few years ago from The Container Store.

portable bike rack

So I slide the two bikes in sideways in the shed.  Is there the perfect amount of space in this 10×14 shed to have the bikes not block something? Nope…. but I did try to arrange them so that you could get to the areas that are most used.

bikes in portable bike racks

That about does it for the kids zone.  Let’s move on.

Fishing Zone

pegboard in shedThis area is still under construction.  My husband has decided he is in charge of this area.  I did the major organizing of the items.  He still has to go through all his tackle boxes and get rid of stuff.

tackle boxes

So you think I don’t have struggles with my better half decreasing his clutter?  lol  I said, “Dave, we have seven people in this family, there is NO reason that we need more than seven tackle boxes.”  Ok… that didn’t go over so well. He has all kinds of reasons why he needs more than seven tackle boxes. “A Man can’t have to much fishing equipment”, he said.

I of course disagree with that!!  I did however get him to get rid of five fishing poles.  He hasn’t had time to get to this yet (but I’ll tell him I’ll do it if he doesn’t! That will help)  I used this old brown shelf that we had in the garage for roller blades and it is now for his tackle boxes.

I took advantage of the pegboard for a few things.  The corner area is where he is going to build his fishing rack.

fishing equipment in the shed

He even left a hole in the corner of the loft floor so that his taller fishing rods can fit.


His newer fishing tackle box has these separate organizing sections.  I think he has a few too many for the bag and that is why these were loose.

pegboard organizing

I’ll also share the fishing rod racks once those are completed… (unless he doesn’t ever do them!!)

Don’t forget to link your organizing, cleaning or DIY posts to my Organizing Mission link party!

Be sure to check out my other Shed posts that I did this week

Sheds and Garages – Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Link up your posts!

Shed Plans – Making the Shed Usable with Shelves

Garden Shed Plans

Garage Storage – Outside

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Making Our Shed Usable!

This shed was completely bare inside. We didn’t have them put in the lofts because Dave wanted to do them himself. But he didn’t have any other plans for the inside.

That is when he said to me, “Hon, what are your shed plans?”

LOL…. Let me tell you!

He wanted me to give him an entire layout of what I wanted him to do. (No problem!!)


So he went to work.

Why have a shed if all you are going to use it the floor space? There is SO much more space to use! Our shed has the barn roof style, meaning there is usable space up high! It was Amish made, which to me means quality.

Like I mentioned, Dave already had plans for a loft to store things that we don’t need as often.

But I wanted shelves on the far short wall, and peg board on the long wall. I also asked him for some short little shelves between the window and the single door.

shed shelves One of the things that he did was to take the time to make grooves in the back of the shelves. What this created was to keep things from falling down in the crack at the back. Because there are studs you can just take a straight shelf and do it quick… but taking the time to groove them out, really was a nice touch.

building shed shelves

As for the little shelves I mentioned between the window and door, I just meant narrow little shelves between the studs. He went above and beyond there for me too….but this is just the ledge that he made (that I didn’t even ask for) I decided this would be my gardening area! I didn’t get a picture of the finished shelves before I loaded them. Those you have to wait for!

shed shelf

Sometimes I don’t always know what or how I am going to do something. Here is an example.

I wanted something to organize the kids balls, their basketballs, footballs, soccer balls. I went online to see the different options and I didn’t want any of them for the shed. I had an idea in my head…. now I just had to figure out how to do it.

I looked in several different stores, walked up and down the aisles of The Container Store…. and did come up with a solution (you’ll have to keep watching this week)

My suggestion:

1) Look at what is in your garage (or whatever space you are trying to clean out) that you want to go in your shed.
2) Decide on “zones” for your shed.
3) Decide how you can best use the wall space of the shed
4) Decide on how you will accomplish this – BEFORE you start moving things in!!

Note: Your spouse might not have the same views an might be in a mood to have the kids start hauling everything in, when you aren’t ready. This tends to cause great stress to an organizer, if it would happen…. {just sayin’}

Don’t forget to link your organizing, cleaning or DIY posts to my Organizing Mission link party!

Be sure to check out my other Shed posts that I did this week

Sheds and Garages – Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Link up your posts!

Organization System – Inside the Shed

Garden Shed Plans

Garage Storage – Outside

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Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 20

Sheds and Garages!

organizing mission monday

I’m going to focus this week on sheds and how to organize them.


I’ve mentioned before we had planned to move before this housing recession kicked in.  Part of the reason (other than needed more room inside) was that we needed more garage space. We have a two car garage, but we have five kids, about seven bikes, five cars (4 drivers) and of course all the other stuff you accumulate in a garage.

We found out that we were allowed to have sheds. We thought with our home owners association that we weren’t able to. We had to submit the shed, it couldn’t be metal, had to match the house and couldn’t be larger than 10×14 ft.

We headed to Amish country and picked one out that was 10×14′ since we needed as much room as possible.  We also had a fence that was going to be put in for the dogs.

I will be showing you this week how I organized the inside of our shed to make it much more usable.

I was in Florida when they delivered the shed, so one of the kids took these pictures of the delivery.  Here it is being delivered. It is the larger one of the two on the truck bed.   Notice my house in the background. It is a tan with just a hint of yellow in it. The trim is white. The doors and shutters are a deep purple-brown color (that I haven’t been able to match so that we can repaint the door) Trying to figure out what color to make them. Suggestions?

It only took one Amish man to unload it with this little cart thing they used.



He just drove it up the driveway

shedDave had dug out a place and leveled it the best he could in the back yard. He also put down plastic for weed guard.



Here is the front of it.


Dave primed it, which wasn’t easy. It was already stained. It took him three gallons of primer and took several hours.

shed primed It stayed like this for a few weeks.  We had it delivered on March 19th and it wasn’t until this weekend that we were finally able to get it painted.  The rain and cold have been terrible in trying to get it primed and painted. But we finally had one nice weekend day that Dave was able to complete it.  (Almost, the trim at the top needs a 2nd coat and the window frame needs another coat.

shed paintedHe is also going to put a ramp in on the double door side.  I’m just thrilled to have it basically finished.


I can’t wait to show you the inside this week!  I’ll be doing it in stages throughout the week. Do you think we just piled everything in to this completely empty (bare of shelves etc) shed?  Oh no!!  Just wait!

I am hoping to get to my garage next week, but I have a major project planned for part of it. I am able to have a mud room now that we have cleared a lot of stuff out of it. That is going to require some big time man hours from me, and I don’t know that I will have them this week.  So it might be a few weeks before I can show you the garage.

(I’m going to add my double the featured bloggers next week – sorry I didn’t get them in today)

Link up to my Link Party

I would love to see your shed or garage organizing posts this week. But as always you can link up any organizing or cleaning or DIY post to my link party.

Organizing Mission Monday

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Spring Cleaning – Declutter Winter Gear

Spring is (almost) here. Let’s clear out winter clothes & gear!

Winter clothes, coats, hats, gloves, boots, shovels, sleds are just part of what can be either decluttered from your home or stored away until next winter.

When you go through your winter gloves make sure if you are going to keep them that:

1) They all have a match
2) They still fit your children and there are no holes in them.

If they are in good shape but are too small for your children, then put them in the donate bag.  If you only have one, then don’t keep it, and certainly don’t throw it in the donate bag (someone one other end of sorting will just be the one to have to get rid of it)


For your hats and coats and boots – Go through the same thing. For those items that will still fit next year and are in good shape, store them in a clear bin and label it.

For your snow shovel and sleds and skies.  Ski racks on your garage wall would be ideal.  The same for the snow shovel if you have the space.  Look UP in your garage. Use your wall space.  If you have rafters in your garage… use those for storage!

snow shoves

8 Easy Steps to Transferring The Clothes

1) Get your supplies ready. White (donate) and black (trash) trash bags, sharpie
marker, labels -sticky address labels work great, bins (clear are best).

white and black trash bags

2) Go through the drawers & closets. Pull out each piece of clothing and evaluate it quickly.

* Will it fit someone in the family in the future? (If not dontate)
*  Is it in any condition to save? (If not then throw away, don’t donate clothes
that are torn, stained or are better for rags)
* Will the next child wear it? Was it worn at all this season? (Do they like it?)

dresser drawer

3) Make piles

* Save for next year
* Donate (white bag)
* Trash (black bag)

4) Get out the summer clothes from storage.

5) Go through the new season clothes and do the same thing as you put them away in
the kids drawers. Make sure they will fit your child this year and it is
something they will wear.

6) I prefer using clear bins if possible. Get ones that fit your space to store and latch closed. They will go from season to season. Now for really long clothing storage, you might want to look into another form (but I don’t suggest long term clothing store of any one item …usually)

spring clean clothes 37) Take the bins you have for next year and be sure to label them.  The labels don’t have to be fancy printed out labels!  Just get something you can see clearly and you can peel off or stick over for next season.
Put either sex or child’s name, season and size on each label. For instance, Boy – Summer – Size 10

8) Your donate bags can be taken to friends who can use them, sold at a garage sale or resale
shop or taken to a facility such as Good Will, but get them out of your house as soon as possible.

We have so much cold winter gear, that just putting it away or giving it away makes you feel less cluttered doesn’t it?

I’d love to see how you clear out your winter clutter!  Blog about them and then come back and

link it to my Organizing Mission Link party – Mission Spring Cleaning !!

Organizing Mission Monday

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Organizing The McGhee Sextuplets

Organizing The McGhee Sextuplets

by Melanie Dennis

Ohio Professional Organizers Organize the McGhee Sextuplets Storage Space for GO Month!

Melanie Dennis,  from the Columbus branch of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) got to experience some fun when she and five other organizers  helped the McGhee family organize a room over their garage.  She offered to write a post for my blog telling of their experience.  See how these six organizers made life just a little bit easier for this instant family of eight!

The McGhee family is scheduled to be on Oprah Show today February 21 in a show called Miracle Births, Miracle Babies so be sure to watch it! You can also visit the McGhee family on the McGhee Sextuplets Facebook Page.


mcghee sextuplets

GO Month – The McGhee Sextuplets

by Melanie Dennis, CPO®
Every January, members of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) raise awareness in a celebration of Get Organized (GO) Month. In the past, the NAPO-Ohio chapter members have gotten together to done Messy Space contests, an organizing lecture series, and decluttered non-profit businesses like the Waste Not Center and Susan G. Komen- Race for the Cure offices. This year a request came from the McGhee family in Gahanna, Ohio who needed help in a new home. Mia and Rozonno McGhee became instant Columbus celebrities after the birth of their sextuplets in June of 2010. Friends, strangers, church members, and family have blessed the family, helping them with the never ending daily needs of six babies.

They estimate they are using around 40 diapers per day at this point. This means they need lots of supplies on hand. The initial assessment of the family’s organizing needs and budget for the project was done by Ellen Limes .

Five other organizers, Susan Sugar, Terry Cowans, Mary Donovan, Debbie McRae, and I, volunteered to help on a very chilly January day to build shelves and sort baby clothes and supplies in an over the garage storage area.

“Before” Photos of the Space above the Garage

mcghee sextuplets before space

There were diapers, diapers, diapers everywhere

mcghee sextuplets before space

People had donated clothes for the sextuplets that had not yet been organized

mcghee sextuplets before spaceAfter sextuplets and moving to a new house, the McGhee’s just didn’t have the time to organize this space above the garage.
mcghee sextuplets space before

The “After” Pictures

mcghee sextuplets space after

The clothes were sorted by age and sex. Everything was labeled for easy identification later.

mcghee sextuplets space after

Just by adding these shelves and getting things off the floor, the transformation was amazing!

mcghee extuplets space after

Mia McGhee is one happy camper!!!

Mia mcghee mom of sextuplets

When we finished, the family invited us in to see the little ones and take some photos. Reluctant to enter with dusty shoes and boots, Mr. McGhee reminded us that he owns a carpet cleaning business so it wasn’t a problem. We posed around their custom built high chair for six. It is always a lot of fun to work on GO month projects with my colleagues, and even more so when the recipients are so darn cute!

mcghee sextuplets

melanie Dennis

Melanie Dennis, CPO®
Certified Professional Organizer
Neat Streak Professional Organizing
Blog: Room-inations

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Organize with Wall Units

February 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Basement or Garage, Blog, Crafts & Craft Rooms, Offices

Organize with Style

I just think these wall unit cubby’s look so nice.  You can use them in so many different ways.  I want to show you a couple different examples.

Wall Unit in a PlayRoom at Jamie’s House

This is a wall unit in my husbands niece’s house. She has five children of her own and babysits several others while most of hers are at school.

cubby wall unitShe has all the little toys stored in the canvas bins.  I am pretty sure she told me the units were not from Ikea.  There are two of the cubby units on either side of a tall book shelf.  But it works great for her space and needs.

Wall Unit in a Spare Bedroom for Crafts at Barb’s House

I had one of my readers send this picture to me several weeks ago.  Barb has the Ikea Expedit in her spare bedroom.  It is the 4×4 size with the 2×4 extension on it she said.  She has used several of the drawer units and it works great for her crafts.

Barb - spare bedroom

Organizing in an Office At Sandy’s House

Most of you have seen the Ikea Expedit unit I recently bought and put up in my office. (I know… you’ve seen it a bunch.. but I’m just going to show what I did with a few of the cubby units)

I already had the hot pink and lime green theme going in my office.  For right now I’m sticking with it, until another color combination hits me.  I did purchase 3 of the Ikea clear drawers. They are really a light purple and after configuring them several different ways, I settled on them doing down the center.

ikea drawerI use my canvas cubby’s along the bottom.  I have my books across the top shelf.  I have them organized by category

booksI have my organizing books in three of the cubby’s.  I then have some books on blogging and photography in another section.

I’m personally not a fan of laying some of the books horizontally and some vertically.  To me that looks messy.  I know it is a “style” and many love it, and that is fine. But I find it hard to access the books when you have to pull them out from other each other. I also feel like it takes up more space.

The one thing I like about the size of these cubbys is that they are taller than the ones I have from Target. My taller books can fit just fine in here.

I also purchased the 4 way divider unit for the cubby from Ikea.  It was how I was able to make the smaller units by my chair for the little baskets and my bill area.

Then of course I have my “drink” area for my water or coffee.  Since I am sitting right there in my recliner working, I wanted some place to put my water.

Do you have any Wall Units in your home that help you out?  I would love for you to show and tell!!

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Organize Your Wall Unit

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

You can find the linky by clicking on the button above or going to my Organizing Mission Link Party. Feel free to keep linking up your different office projects that you accomplish during this Office Mission. I am ok with also linking up organizing projects that aren’t office related. This link will be up until Feb. 24 so you will have time to add your office projects in. If you aren’t sure how to link up to a link party, be sure to stop by and read my link party tutorial

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Decluttering Toys Before Christmas

December 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Basement or Garage, Blog, Cleaning, Family & Friends, Playroom

Where Will All The New Toys Go?


If you declutter the kids toys before Christmas hits – it is much easier to find places for the new toys after Christmas.

I had someone make a comment this week that prompted this post.  She said that she will have to find room for all the new toys that will be coming in at Christmas.

I’m sure that is how many of you think when you think of all the new toys, etc… that come in.  Toys from Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles and of course you.

It is a simple solution, but not one that many people do. It can also be hard to do…. want to know what it is?

Here you go….  Get rid of toys NOW…. and make more room.  Simple as that.

One in – One out!  But do it ahead of time…. get the “Out”  ….out now and it will make bringing in the “In” much easier.

The advantage there is to clearing out the older toys now is that there hopefully will be some other children that will benefit from it on their Christmas morning!

Decluttering the Toys

Go through the kids toys (personally I prefer to do it when my kids aren’t home – I’ve never yet had them be upset because I got rid of a toy) and clear out toys they don’t use.

* If you have a toy box – look at the bottom.
* Get rid of broken toys (don’t donate those please – it just makes more work for the people who volunteer when they have to throw it away).
* Stuffed animals usually always need to be cleaned out.
* Be careful not to keep a toy just because you know what was spent on it. Keep it only if they really play with it still.
* Try to decrease by as many toys as you can estimate that are coming in.

It can be hard – but it is necessary if you want to keep a handle on the amount of “stuff” in your house.

But also keep in mind  that kids get overwhelmed by too much stuff.  We might think that you can’t have too many toys – but in a child’s eye – that is their “stuff”… their “clutter”.  So… think to yourself how you feel when there is too much “stuff” around… why would we think that a child wouldn’t feel the same when there are too many toys around?

Less is more – It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent if you don’t have as many toys as your neighbor… honest!

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Organizing with Pegboard Walls

Pegboard walls can be lots of fun in a Teenagers room

peg board wallsThere is plenty of space and opportunity to use his walls! No worries about nails! LOL!!

pegboard wallsHe can hang not only pictures, but also his clothes!

By his bed he has a CD holder for his CD’s and then he has his cords (you can see a couple of them on the right) hanging for headphones etc.

This has turned out to be a great basement bedroom for him. We spent probably about $500 total in supplies between the peg and wall board, electrical components to add more power and light for his room, paint, piece of carpet and closet supplies. Not bad for a makeover in an unfinished basement!

Actually it is really functional.  He thinks it is great!

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DIY Closet Under Stairs

In my teens Basement bedroom we had to create a closet underneath the stairs.

With his new room he was going to need a closet.  The kids had used this area as a fort before, so we had to remove all that stuff and do just a little prep work.  Creating an organized closet under the stairs doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. I think the only thing we actually bought was the hardware to put up the clothes rod and the light fixture.

closet under stairsHere is my step son’s closet underneath the basement stairs.  Ended up working great.  My husband put a light in the closet.  He has a rack for clothes, laundry hamper for dirty clothes, baskets for “stuff” and the shoe hanger with a basket above it.

closet under stairsMy husband just had to put the rod in (right after he finished…so all his stuff is still sitting there.)

So… you can be a little creative and create some good usable space where you don’t think you have it.

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DIY Basement Bedroom

Taking an unfinished basement room and turning it into a organized teen bedroom.

basement room

We moved one of our teens down to the basement (his choice). The problem was that we have an unfinished basement. The budget was not there to actually finish it. So we improvized.
pegboard walls

We used a combination of pegboard and hardboard to finish the upper walls and cover up the insulation. Ok…the reason the paint looks purplish? Well…. my step son wanted blue walls and ceiling. My sister who is an artist told me it will look way too cold with blue. She said to make sure to I got red in the blue…added a little violet to the blue. Well….I am not great with colors and the swatch didn’t look purple next to all the other purples. It looked grayish blue. But…. it looks purple on the walls. The ceiling is a darker shade of it. But thank goodness my step son actually likes purple…so he is fine with it. {phew}
pegboard walls

You can see the solid hardboard on the far side of the picture. We used magnetic paint on that area. It didn’t work as well as I hoped it would. We were very careful to follow the directions on it…. only did the size we were supposed to – the only thing we didn’t do is buy special magnets. I still don’t know that it wouldn’t make the difference.

I’ll show you the rest of the room this week.

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How To Organize A Workshop

Dave has a system for organizing his tools in his Man Cave by using a Card Catalog

card catalogDave’s father was very systematic in his organizing techniques when he was alive. Dave has picked up some of his habits when it comes to his work areas.

This card Catalog Dave set up himself. It tells him where everything in his “Man Cave” work room is.  Each item has it’s own index card with the location of where it can be found.

organizing drawersHe has all the little drawers labeled and his shelves labeled… so it makes it a simple system.

The key to making this work is to know where the item goes back to when you are finished using it or when you buy new.  Also when putting something new into your area….you need to be sure to make a card for that item.

It can be a wonderful system…. but it does take attention and maintenance to make it run smoothly and consistently.

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