Has a room in your home ever made you feel so overwhelmed you had to turn around and walk out of it?
This was happening to a client of mine when she walked into her large garage. She wanted to be able to park three cars in the garage. And most of all, she wanted to feel a sense of calm and peace when she walked in like everything had a place and she knew exactly where to go to find what she needed.
But the garage was full of stuff. It had been the landing ground for unmade decisions: they had three large file cabinets full of paperwork from the past quarter-century, camping gear, car parts, tools, appliances and scraps from a recent remodel, years of collected pool toys, gardening tools. They had boxes upon boxes of family memorabilia, as well as furniture that was no longer being used, or was broken.…All the usual stuff you would expect to see in the average American garage, right?
And she was overwhelmed with the thought of trying to clean up all this stuff they had been collecting for most of their lives.
“It's making me crazy,” she said. “It’s just so daunting to take on this project because it is so big and I can’t even imagine where to start.”
She was right-- this was a very big job.
She had attempted to tackle this daunting task on her own. She enlisted help from the family, her husband, and stepchildren. With the family’s help, she made a small dent in the large piles of stuff…..but it was becoming apparent to her that spending a few hours a month working on this was not going to get the job done.
So she called me. She was hesitant to show me the garage at first because she was scared that I would just run away. She was so overwhelmed and daunted by the job to be done that she couldn’t imagine someone else not feeling intimidated by it.
But, this is what I do with my clients all the time. I help guide them to sort through the years of unmade decisions one at a time to clear the clutter, find a good home for the things they no longer need and help them organize the stuff they do love and want.
For this client, I saw the potential to alleviate her overwhelm and help her feel calm, at peace and free in her garage.
During a complimentary in-home consultation, I assessed the situation and gave her a clear picture of what I recommended she do to achieve her goals:
Step 1: Sort, purge and donate items that are no longer bringing value to your life
Step 2: Create the blueprint for the overall layout and organization of the space
Step 3: Customize the individual organization solutions that match your design aesthetic
So, we moved forward with the project.
We created a corner for folding tables and chairs. The family owns a winery and hosts events at the property and needed these things to be easy to access all the time.
We got the gardening tools off the ground and mounted on the wall using the Elfa Utility track and hooks from The Container Store.
From my years of bike racing and riding, I was able to easily design a custom bike hook system for them to hang the bikes on the wall and get them out of the way so they can park the cars in the garage!
We designed, with the help from The Container Store this new Elfa shelving system to get all of their things off the floor and organized into clear bins so they can see exactly what they have. And what would an organized space be without labels? We are loving these new labels from The Container Store making it easy to identify what is in each bin.
And this is the final result after a couple months of planning, purging and organizing!
In the end, this family ended up with a magnificent newly-made-over garage and a restored sense of sanity to their lives.
“Please know that your expertise assisting us was invaluable and we sincerely appreciate all that you have done to restore sanity to our home. On top of that, it was lovely working with you."
"Thank you for making the process so easy and seamless. I’m confident when I say you’ve taken years off - the anxiety walking into that garage every day was overwhelming, to say the least!”