Chasing Contentment

Tuesday, May 1

We did it. We cleaned out and organized the garage. And I am so proud of us! We worked hard and frankly, we accomplished more (with less) than I had anticipated.

The 30 Day Organizational Challenge over at Org Junkie is what finally got me off my tush to finally get some things done, and so I'm grateful for the motivation. As part of the Challenge, I'm supposed to write about the process we used ('shoved it outside, threw some out, moved it back in' apparently isn't thorough enough).

These are shots of what the garage looked like before we began this process.

We've never had a garage before we moved into this house (Mike actually still refers to it as 'the shed.'), so we just kinda piled all of our not-yet-placed stuff in it when we moved in here.

After we'd been here for a bit, we discovered that neither the van nor the truck will actually fit into the garage, so it was wasted space. So this Challenge was perfect for me.

Now, the questions.
1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it? In all honesty, the hardest part for me was simply getting going. It's been a hard month here for various reasons, and it was hard to get moving and decide that this could be done. But because I had blogged that I was going to do it, I felt obligated. Sometimes, a little accountability is a good thing.

These photos show how things got even messier before they got better.

At one point, Mike commented that the neighbors probably thought we were moving again.

2. Tell us what kinds of changes/habits have you put into place for you new room to maintain its order. The organization of the space makes it easier to keep it organized, though that sounds dull. But seriously, if we're actually able to access and use the stuff out there, we're less likely to just dump other stuff out there.
3. What did you do with the 'stuff' you were able to purge out of your newly organized space? Some went - deservedly - to the trash while other things went to the Goodwill. But in the end, we didn't have that much that needed to be cleared out (we did that a year ago when we moved). We just had things that were badly organized and improperly labeled thus making it hard to find and use.
4. What was the biggest lesson that you learned from this experience? I think of houses as family members. Before, the garage just looked foreign and uncomfortable. But now, it feels like me and Mike and the kids. And so, I guess the lesson is that, with time, we're all going to feel like home here.
5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life? Good heavens, yes! Look at all that we did...

We got it all cleaned out with lots of empty space in the middle of the room for when Eliza wants to chalk the floor or ride her trike while I walk on the treadmill.

Mike has his own side... with a peg board for his tools, a hanging organizer for rakes and shovels and such... a work surface for projects, and storage for the shop vac, recycle bins and buckets.

With, of course, an Astros sign...

The treadmill is all cleaned off, so I can use it again. And I organized the school supplies in the colorful bin (I know, now that school's almost done for the year) thus making it easier to find paper and stickies and glue and such. And we bought a new chest freezer (the old one wouldn't fit on the U-haul to make the trip to Florida), so it's all plugged in and humming along.

My side features the holiday corner with all manner of bins with holiday decorations, the Christmas trees (the new green one and the tacky aluminum one from Mike's childhood) and the bikes are hung from the ceiling out of the way (though I do keep bashing my head into the handlebars).

I also opened the folding table to use as a work surface. The printer is on it, along with bins of pens, markers, crayons and sharpened pencils (we're always looking for a good pencil). I've stored the paint we've used this spring to re-do the inside of the house under the table, so I can get to it easily for touch-ups (with a 3-year-old, we've got touch-up needs).

And this pictoral wouldn't be complete without a photo of my best helper.

All-in-all, I'm quite proud of what we accomplished. I was able to spend what I thought was a reasonable amount of money to accomplish a great deal. And so, whether I win a prize in the contest or not, I'm pretty sure I already won.

[  posted by Chel on Tuesday, May 01, 2007  ]


Hooray! Congratulations! It looks absolutely wonderful! Feels great, doesn't it?

By Blogger Debi, at 4:15 PM  

VERY nice! What a lot of space! It looks great.

By Blogger Barb, sfo, at 6:26 PM  

Congratulations on completing your challenge. It looks great.

By Blogger Robin, at 10:40 PM  

Yay! I bet it feels nice to have a clean garage. :) Looks like you put a lot of hard work into it. I bet you're happy with it. Good job! :)

By Anonymous Proverbs31, at 8:14 PM  

We all won! Our spaces are cleaner and organized. Your garage looks great! I like your treadmill being out here, and your daughter can play while you work.

By Blogger CoachJ, at 6:15 PM  

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