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Everyday Cheapskate: Dreaming of an Organized Garage

Mary Hunt on

I like an organized home. When things get all chaotic and messy, I find that my mind kind of gets that way, too. But when everything has a place -- and everything is in its place -- I feel a sense of peace. I can think straight, relax and enjoy.

I like an organized garage, too. At least I've enjoyed the pictures I've seen of garages that function in all the ways that garages are supposed to. Let's just say I haven't experienced this firsthand.

Faithful readers know that my husband is a woodworker -- a master craftsman. He remodels our homes, designs and builds heirloom furniture. This amazing talent does come with unintended consequences. Let's just say the man does not possess a single iota of organizational talent. I'll leave it there, although I could offer several pictures as examples to illustrate my point.

For 27 years (our last home in California), we had a two-car garage, also known as the hubs' workshop -- and for the record, there was no space in this garage for a vehicle of any size.

We moved to a home in Colorado with a beautiful, pristine, three-car garage -- complete with built-in cabinetry and extensive pegboard. I worried that instead of a regular-sized chaotic, messy workshop we'd end up with an extra large chaotic, messy workshop. And still no room for a vehicle of any size.

My husband promised me this would not happen -- that we will have room for two vehicles and it will be neatly organized and tidy, while still fully functioning so he can make me stuff.


I believed. He delivered to this extent: He turned one of the three bays into a really cool workshop. We have room for two vehicles, two bikes, a big freezer and garage refrigerator. We have bins that are somewhat organized. I won't say we're not 100% there yet, but we continue to work at it.

And to that end, I'd like to suggest a couple of neat tips and tricks that we've used to make tremendous progress.


I know how hard it is to keep tools organized, and by organized I mean "able to be found." A carabiner is an oblong metal ring with one spring-hinged side that is used especially in mountain climbing to connect stuff. They're easy to open with one hand and come in all sizes from itty-bitty keychain size to big ones. A carabiner is the perfect way to organize box-end wrenches and other items that have a hole in the handle. We have dozens of these, which should tell you just how many tools he has because you need many when you cannot find any of them.


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