The Garage Overhaul, Part 1: The Mess & The Tool Wall Dream

Our country is now out of level 4 lockdown and in level 3. To some people this means queuing up in massive lines to get takeaways. To us it means The Husband is back at work, I am back to selling plants via contactless pick-up and The Little Fulla and I are back to more structured daily goings-on at home. Not much else has changed with my big task list. Busy, busy, busy like a busy little bee. I am so eager to get my hands on a bunch of building supplies when we are able to. I’d take building supplies over takeaways any day. In that sense, nothing much has changed!

While we were in level 4 lockdown I decided it was time to tackle the elephant in the room – the messy garage. The Husband was reluctantly ‘encouraged’ out to the garage to help me begin the hideous task of tidying, cleaning and organising the garage. I’m really glad we started this during lockdown, as there was no way I could tackle it by myself. I didn’t know what half the bits and pieces The Husband had lying around were, let alone whether they were useful to keep or not.

A few years ago we did a tidy of the garage, but the problem is that there has never been good storage in there. There are three old mint green cabinets of variable size, probably the former kitchen cabinets, but they don’t fit the space or equipment well. It is very hard to have an organised, well-functioning garage without storage systems being built or installed. Trying to keep an almost storageless garage tidy is like trying to make a group of chickens stand in a straight row. They will end up in all directions and you will end up scratched, tripping over and standing in poop. But that is changing now. I forgot to take photos right at the start, but here are some from when we were a little way into it. Yes, this is the ugly phase, but you’ve gotta see the initial chaos to appreciate the journey and the transformation.

The garage doesn’t look toooo bad from this view, but it gets worse. And it WAS worse! The plasterboard is for lining some of the garage, starting in the back left corner, my chicken area. Then I can build proper shelving for my chicken stuff. I am most excited about that.
This wall is what should be the tool wall. But that shelf is no use for tool storage, unless you just want piles and piles of sandpaper. Bye, bye shelf.
We can’t blame this on the possum. The workbench was basically covered with a tower of boxes and other things before The Husband started sorting out all his cables and bits on the floor. It was crazy trying to move in there for a while. This was the phase in which The Husband repeatedly disappeared.
The old green cabinets won’t stay in the long run, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry right now. There is a kids workbench sitting between the cabinets. There is an old wooden shelf smothered in pieces of timber through the middle of the garage and my chicken things are on the other side.

The Little Fulla was happy to help out with the communal project. He took on the role, alongside me, of screw and bolt organiser. It was like too many cooks in one kitchen. He was being more of an organisation freak than I was! Everything had to be put into the right jars or containers. He and I had some different definitions of ‘right’. I secretly tried to change some of the system but when he came back he changed it back again. I didn’t know whether to be affronted or impressed. If only that level of organisation would translate to his toys…

We’ve filled less than two small rubbish bags (which shows most of the stuff in there was just messy rather than rubbish), made a pile of cardboard/paper recycling, organised most of the nails, screws and other hardware and set them aside, cleared space to work and swept up some of the layers of dust and cobwebs. Then we pulled the old nail tool hangers and a shelf unit off the wall. This wall next to the workbench is prime tool space and the shelf unit was thwarting that. We will use it in another spot in the garage. The kids workbench has been unattached from the wall since it was in such an awkward place. I’ll figure out where to put it back in once I tackle some of the bigger things.

So many cobwebs. We could almost craft a spiderweb blanket.

We put another shelf on the tool wall, one which The Husband made years ago to hold DVDs. It had just been sitting around on the garage floor, but is now holding all the screws, nails and bolts. At least for now. I will organise them more nicely later on. Now I am thinking about tool storage options, which, to me, is quite exciting. After much staring at the wall, doing online research and wondering how I was going to fit all the tools on the wall nicely without stuffing up, I’ve decided I would like to build a French cleat system. This means individual storage racks can be moved around and hung in different positions depending on what suits. It is ideal for a small space. Here’s a link to a video that explains what a French cleat system is and how to do it. Of course, we haven’t got enough timber to do this, or any other system anyway, at the moment, so I moved on to the next phase – the plasterboard phase. Let’s just say I have no desire to ever become a plasterboard fixer.

The tool wall has been cleared, has acquired a screw and nail shelf and is ready for a tool action! Ah, there’s nothing like a clean slate.

Now that we’re out of level 4 and I have so many commitments I’ll be doing the Faith Friday posts a little less frequently; hopefully fortnightly, but we’ll see what happens. Look forward to one next Friday. Have a great weekend everyone.

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