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I truly believe that keeping clutter to a minimum and staying organized are keys to a great home.  While clutter itself doesn't lead to disrepair, I feel that if you let clutter and disorganization take hold, you increase the risk of letting your house slip away from you.

My wife or I are by no means perfect when it comes to avoiding clutter or keeping things neat, but we're generally pretty on top of it.

The one area, though, that gets me every time?

The garage.

We have a three car garage.  We have two cars so that leaves us an entire stall of unused space.  You'd think that this would give us plenty of room to keep things organized.

You'd think wrong. At least in my house.

I can't even post pictures of how bad it gets.  For some reason, the standard process ensues:

  • Sometime in the spring or early summer, I do a full blitz on the garage.  Everything that isn't bolted down or too heavy comes out of the garage.  The floor gets swept, the cobwebs come down, and everything goes back in only if it has a place.
  • Within a couple of weeks, the entire system starts to fall apart.
  • By the end of the summer, any cleaning that had been done is unrecognizable.  I mean to clean it again, but instead just bring everything in from the winter, leaving it a steaming mess.

I can't conquer this one on my own.

I should have enough in my arsenal to keep it clean.  I have shelves on the wall.  I have organizational hooks for hanging tools.  I have two shelving units.  I have a workbench.  The third garage means more space.  Yet, it looks like a bomb went off.  I look into my neighbors garage, a two-car garage, and it looks awesome.  And he has most of the same stuff I do (save for he doesn't have as many toys for little kids as his kids are older…but still).

So this year, I'm enlisting help.

My wife is going to help this year.  And it will be done soon.

I have recognized that part of the problem is simply having too many different places.

Here's a few issues:

  • I have some stuff for gardening on three different walls.  One wall holds tools on hooks, the rakes and shovels and such, but the opposite wall is where I'll keep some of those types of items that I use regularly.
  • Small gardening tools for planting or weeding are in one area, but weed killers, plant fertilizers and stuff to prevent rodents is on the opposite side of the garage.
  • Lawn fertilizers are in a completely different area and mixed in with kids toys.
  • Speaking of kids toys, they get moved around as they share space with the lawn mower and bikes.
  • Smaller kids toys are on one wall.  The ones that they play with.  Other toys for going to the beach are on the back wall.

So, I think I've recognized problem one.  It's not re-organizing the stuff and putting it away neatly.  It's that I have to put it away smartly.  This is where my wife comes in.  She has pointed out that the kids stuff needs to go together.  In one spot.  I laughed and said that the way things were, this wasn't possible.  That's when it dawned on me that the system itself is flawed.

So, fairly soon we will be tackling this.  I'm hopeful that with my wife's assistance, we can not only clean the garage so that it gets clean and organized, but that it STAYS clean and organized for more than a couple of weeks.

What is your organizational kryptonite?  The one area that, no matter how hard you try, you just can't keep together….