Garage Organizing – Go Vertical!

If you’ve read my blog at all, you might know that one of my favorite organizing tips is to go vertical with storage. Why waste valuable wall space when you can use it to organize? Here are a few ways we efficiently use space in our garage.

Of course we have a pegboard for the tools. This is the easiest way to hang everything up so you can see it, but it’s out of the way.

Garage - Vertical Storage (5)

We have the kid’s bike helmets hung up so they are easy to find and grab.

Garage - Vertical Storage (8)

Look at this little trick….my husband had a fishing rod holder that hangs on the wall,  but he hung it on the underside of our loft storage. They are still easily reachable, but completely out of the way. Genius!

Garage - Vertical Storage (6)

And since I love, love, love over-the-door shoe organizers, we have 3 of them in our garage. One is on the back of the garage closet and holds miscellaneous items such as work gloves, dog leashes, car washing supplies, and more.

Garage - Vertical Storage (1)

The other two organizers are not hanging on doors; I nailed those babies right to the wall. You know that space right next to where you park your car? The one that is usually too shallow to put a cabinet and often goes unused? I hung two of these organizers up right there and filled them with the spray paint I use for all of my crafty projects.

Garage - Vertical Storage (3)

The bottom portion of each organizer holds extra foam brushes, gloves, saw tooth hangers and a few other items I frequently use. They are out of the way, I can see everything and I’m using previously unused real estate!

So go vertical with your organizing. The garage is the perfect place to do this and can help you fit so much more into your space without things being cluttered.

~Erin

Creating Zones in the Garage

In my previous post, I included a link to my Fox News segment on garage organizing.  I talked about a few different concepts, but I didn’t go into anything in depth because it was a 3 minute segment! I’m going to expand on a few of these ideas. First I want to talk about how to create zones in your garage.

Zones are important because they make you group like items together. This alone makes things much easier to find and store. However, zoning also makes you focus on what you use most and encourages you to make those items easily accessible. Zoning also allows you to take full advantage of your garage because you really evaluate each part of the space.

Start with a rough drawing of your garage and map out the zones that will work for you and your family. My garage is drawn out below and I have assigned zones for each area. Every space is slightly different, so your zones will vary, but use this as a general concept.

Garage Zones

 

Transition Zone – This can be a place to put muddy boots, hang dog leashes, store reusable grocery bags, etc. This is especially useful if you don’t have a separate mudroom. This doesn’t have to be a large area; it just needs to be defined. Everyone in the house should know where to put their own items within the space.

Need it Now/ Frequently Used – This area is for items you may use often but don’t want to store inside the house.  It can include things like extra canned goods, a recycle bin, or dog food. It can also be a great place to store items you don’t want to have to search for when you need them, such as batteries, a fire extinguisher, or flashlights.

Long or Tall Storage – This category includes items such as rakes, shovels and skis which don’t easily fit in a cabinet or on a shelf. A great place for this zone is along the side of the garage next to the cars. This area typically isn’t wide enough for shelving, but you can hang up thin, tall items much more easily.

Large, Bulky and Seasonal Items – These items can be stored up high because you only need to access them occasionally. You can build loft storage or use high shelves for things like holiday decorations and camping equipment.

Workspace – It’s great to have a clear area for working or doing projects. That way you won’t have to clear a space when you want to work on something.

There are other zones you could work into your organizing system if they fit your needs:

Seasonal Need It Now Items – This would be things like rakes for spring gardening, skis in the winter, golf clubs in the summer, etc. Ultimately, it is for items that you use a lot at a certain time of year, but can switch the items out as the seasons change.

Sporting Goods – If you have a lot of sporting goods, you might want to designate a certain area just for these items.

Hobby or Additional Use Area – Perhaps your garage is also your wood shop or laundry room or exercise area. You may need to designate a zone for this so that you can access it easily and store everything in the most efficient way possible.

Make sure you have a solid plan for where everything should go and putting things away will be so much easier!

~Erin

 

The Great Garage Cleanout Begins!

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote a post. Busy summer over here…I can’t believe school has just started!

I just did another segment on Fox 21 News about garage organizing. View the link below for some basic garage tips. Then I’m going to spend the next few weeks breaking down how to organize your garage!

Fox 21 News - Garage Organizing

Garage Organizing

You’ll see that I bring back my favorite organizing tool: the over the door shoe organizer.

I can’t wait to go into a little more detail on organizing this area of the home. I think the transition from Summer into Fall is the perfect time to reevaluate your garage!

 

 

Craft Storage and Organization – In the News!

I have a lot of tips on craft item storage and I shared a few of them on my local Fox News station yesterday morning. Here’s the link. Hope you enjoy!!!!

My favorite tips from the segment???

Use an over the door shoe organizer to hold kid’s craft supplies. This is one of my favorite organizing tools and can be used in so many ways.

Use shallow containers whenever you can. This makes it easy to look into each one and see everything in there. It also helps you to know when you’re running low on a particular item.

These are great tips for general organization as well and can be used throughout the house. I need to do a post just on over the door organizing, don’t I? Look for it soon!

~Erin

Summer Preparation Checklist

It’s kind of hard for me to write a post about preparing for summer because yesterday we got about 10″ of snow in our Colorado mountains. Oh well, I know the snow will end eventually. Last week, I had the pleasure of doing a seminar about preparing your home for summer. I’m going to share some of the tips I shared with those attending the seminar. Here is a list of things I do to prepare my home for warmer months! I know not every tip will apply to every household, but this is a good guideline for what to focus on when the seasons change.

Prep Checklist

Kitchen

-Go through everything in the pantry – throw away expired items

-Clean Oven

-Find recipes that use in-season veggies or fit the feeling of the season and bookmark them

-If you plan on being outside enjoying the summer days, prepare some freezer meals or pull out some crock pot recipes. That way you can relax on your deck in the evening instead of cooking and cleaning up the kitchen

Bathroom

-Clean out old products, throw away anything expired

-Organize summer health and beauty products – restock items like sunscreen, insect repellant, and the first aid kit

-Wash shower curtain; replace liner if needed

Bedrooms

-Switch out winter clothes for the summer wardrobe – hang up the winter jackets in the back of the closet, move the sandals up on the shoe rack, etc.

-Wash cold weather blankets and sheets – store them in an air tight bin or bag

-Do the ‘hanger trick’ – hang all hangers on the bar backwards, when you wear something it goes back on a forward facing hanger, anything left facing backwards at the end of the season can be donated!

Living Room

-Wash and store heavier blankets and throws, bring out lightweight throw blankets.

-Switch out throw pillows

Outdoors

-Clean/ Repair gutters

-Safety check – inspect outdoor furniture, playground equipment, outdoor stairs, grill – make sure everything is in good condition before heavy summer use

-Pest control check – fill in holes/ seal windows where bugs could get in; make sure your pets are on flea and tick medication; check for signs of mice and other rodents; make sure all items that could attract bears are locked away in a garage or shed. (ok maybe you don’t have bears where you leave, but we’re in the mountains!)

-Rotate the items in your shed or garage – put away sleds, skis and snowblowers. Move bikes, hoses, gardening tools and anything else you’ll enjoy this summer up front and center

General Checklist Items

-Purge! Hold a garage sale, donate to various organizations, anything you can do to clear out clutter

-WD-40 squeaky doors and handles

-Thoroughly wash windows

-Dust EVERYTHING! Take all items off shelves before dusting, dust light fixtures, switch plates, baseboards, top of the fridge, picture frames, tops of doorways

-Make sure your fans are spinning in the right direction, the blades should be pushing the air downwars in the summer and lifting it up in the winter

-Clean everything well before you put it away for the summer – blankets, winter clothes, sports equipment – the cleaner it is when you put it away, the better condition it will be in when you take it out again

-Reduce the number of cleaning products you use – using natural products allows you to clean more than one thing with each cleanser

I hope this lists helps you get your house ready for summer fun!

~Erin

Donate and Recycle – News Segment Link

The link is up to my guest news segment on Fox 21 News in Colorado Springs. I think it is so important to get rid of your items in the safest and most responsible manner possible.  If you are able to help others in the process, all the better!!!!

Foxy Mom Donate

Donating and Recycling News Segment

I will continue to add different ways to get rid of your items and keep them out of landfills!

~Erin

 

 

Donate and Recycle – News Segment

Hi everyone! Today I had the pleasure of doing another guest segment on Colorado Springs Fox 21 News. Today I discussed a variety of ways to donate and recycle unwanted household items. The link will be posted shortly, but in the meantime, let me guide you to my page of resources for donating and recycling. I am continuously updating this page so be sure to check back!

The Green Nest – Donating and Recycling Household Items

Foxy Mom Donate

~Erin

Clean Up Your Computer – Get Rid of Unwanted Toolbar Files

I am constantly trying to find ways to organize my computer. This includes:

-Deleting and organizing files and folders

-Backing up my files

-Cleaning up unnecessary and unwanted program files

The program files are the thing I have the most trouble with. I don’t normally do any type of online coupon offers, but I did once and I got an annoying virus called the ‘Shop at Home’ Toolbar which had been installed on my computer for months. Every time I ‘got rid of it’, it somehow reappeared. My computer has been slowing down, programs have been shutting down without notice and the all around function of my PC has drastically decreased. I finally sat down to rid my computer of this once and for all. I spent hours and hours looking online for the right way to remove it. I finally found a simple and helpful article on this.

Removing Unwanted Toolbars

I also had to download Filezilla to access an FTP site recently and it added “Foxtab” to my browser. This was a program that started every time I opened a new tab in Firefox. I removed it in my add-ons using the above article as well.It worked like a charm to get rid of Foxtab.

However, I noticed that the ‘Shop At Home’ toolbar still kept creeping into my browser. (I thought I deleted you ‘shop at home’…) Here’s what I wanted to do to my computer at this point:

fire

So I had to go a little further on this one. Here’s the tutorial I finally used to rid my computer of this for good!

How to Remove the Shop at Home Toolbar Virus

I am excited to report that these toolbars have not mysteriously resurfaced and I’m much less annoyed now!

Now I know this isn’t an exciting post, but it’s useful. It’s so nice to have those irritating programs and toolbars gone. If you have unwanted toolbars that are cluttering up your computer, try the above steps to get rid of them. And don’t be afraid to seek help on this if you’re not certain about doing it yourself. I am reasonably tech savvy and I still get intimidated by all of the issues that pop up with my computer. However, with a decent amount of research and trial-and-error, I was able to solve my most recent problem!

What computer issues do you run into?

~Erin

 

 

 

 

Craft Drawer Cabinet Reveal

I’m going to start by saying that this is probably the creepiest DIY project I’ve ever done. Let me explain….

A friend of mine bought a foreclosure house that had been sitting vacant for 12 years. Vacant of people, but FILLED with stuff. Apparently the previous owner had been a pharmacist and among the items in the house were old doctor’s bags and pharmaceutical equipment. Most of the stuff was beyond repair, but I came across this gem in a tiny basement closet:

Metal Cabinet (1)

Super creepy, right? My first though was ‘this is disgusting’, but then something sparked in my mind and I saw the future of this ‘trash to treasure’ item. I have been looking for a place to store my craft supplies for a long time and I hadn’t been able to find the perfect thing. I knew this was what I was looking for. However, I had to wade through the creepiness before I could get it home. Every drawer was filled with old pill bottles, prescription pads, medicine droppers, the sinister list goes on and on:

Metal Cabinet (2) Metal Cabinet (3)

When I finally emptied it, I carried it to my car (don’t worry, I was wearing gloves this whole time) and took it home. It has been so cold in my little Colorado town for months, so this thing sat in my garage, blocking the way to my minivan. We had a couple of warm days, so my first project was to clean it up. I can’t even tell you how many times I almost gave up on this thing. I was just grossed out and swore I could feel the ghost of pharmaceutical patients swirling around my garage. But I persevered because the choice was to turn it into a work of art…..or have this asylum cabinet haunting my house. First I took all of the drawers out.

Metal Cabinet (6)

Then I sprayed two coats of white metal spray paint primer on the cabinet. Then I used 2 coats of tan spray paint on the main part of the cabinet. Here it is after the first coat.

Metal Cabinet (7)

The spray painting process took a long time because I had to wait for warm days for each coat. If I didn’t, I knew the paint would run or crack or not dry properly.  After the main part was done, I moved on to the drawers. These took forever to prep. Apparently a couple decades ago, labels were applied with super glue.  See all of these black labels on the drawers?

Metal Cabinet (5)

I had to literally chisel them off….not kidding….with a chisel. Then I cleaned the drawers and sprayed a couple coats of primer on them.

Metal Cabinet (9)

I started with 6 drawers just to see how the color would turn out. I chose a bright teal because I wanted to have a little fun with this piece.

Metal Cabinet (10)

I loved the color so I went back to the store to get 2 more cans for the rest of the drawers. As I walked into the aisle, I saw two cans of teal sitting on the shelf waiting to transform my cabinet. A guy came from the other end of the aisle and went straight for the teal! He grabbed one and I immediately grabbed the other. I knew one can wouldn’t finish my project so I gave him my most pitiful look and said something like “too bad they don’t have more, I need two cans for my project”. And he said…. “it’s a pretty color isn’t it?” and walked away into the sunset with my other can of paint. I was so impatient at this point, I had to come up with another plan. I decided to paint the middle drawers a different color and chose a dusty blue. It turned out to be the best misfortune! I loved the blue (add a new paint color to my favorites!) and the contrast added some interest to the drawers.

Metal Cabinet (13)

Another week went by as I waited for a warm day to paint my last set of drawers. The weather was not on my side and I got antsy. I decided to just go ahead and paint…..bad idea. Immediately after I started spraying, the paint crackled and split.

Metal Cabinet (14)

 

I was so sad. I knew that I would have to sand off all of the paint, re-prime, and spray again. However, I decided to wait. I’m going to live with the crackle for a while until summer arrives. So please politely ignore the crackled finish on the bottom drawers. Other than that….Ta Da!

Metal Cabinet (16)

Metal Cabinet (19)

I used adhesive drawer liner paper on the bottom of the drawers and I have already filled every drawer with craft supplies.

Metal Cabinet (21)

I had an empty frame that is spray painted in the same color to accent the top of the piece. In the summer, I will fix the bottom drawers and soon I will be making labels for each drawer.

Metal Cabinet (17)

I absolutely adore the way it turned out. It’s functional, a little sassy and has a great story.

Metal Cabinet - B&A

~Erin