Going into our marriage, my husband and I were certain of two things; we loved each other enough to know that we couldn’t spend our lives apart and we were as different as two people can be. He is very much of a type A personality that loves order and organization and cleanliness. Me? Well, I’m more the type that stuffs things in the closets when company is coming over and prays that nobody will open that door. So, throughout the course of our almost ten year marriage, we’ve struggled to find balance between his need for order and my love of chaos. In fact, just this past year as we moved into a new home, I promised him that my organization skills would improve. And he laughed. Now, almost a year after moving in, I shudder each time I walk into the garage because I know that I’ve fallen down on my end of the deal. So, with Father’s Day approaching, I decided now was the perfect time to turn our mess of a garage into his outdoor man cave. While the project in front of me felt massive, I knew that with a few garage organization tips and the right organization system, I could give my hubby the best present ever by transforming our garage into a place where he wants to spend time and even more importantly, a place where he can store and find all his beloved “man things”.
Now, before I start sharing my easy-to-implement tips that completely changed our garage (and probably made my marriage a whole lot better in his eyes), I guess I should show you what it looked like before. Yes, we could fit the cars in there….barely. Yes, we could walk around….if we watched our step. But over the course of not even a year, tools here, yard equipment there and random items everywhere had turned my hubby’s favorite place into the junk pile.
I watched him struggle each time he went out to the garage to prepare for some task around the house and although he thinks I didn’t, I heard him muttering under his breath that some things never change. And so, as I prepared for Father’s Day, I decided the best surprise I could give him was making an effort to turn this area into HIS area…into an organized oasis where he could escape the clutter that sometimes overtakes my home. Not sure where to start, I headed to The Home Depot. I knew he had been looking at a Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System and I figured it would be the perfect Father’s Day gift to make him feel appreciated. But I’ll also admit that when I arrived at the store, I was completely overwhelmed and had no idea where to start. After making my way to the front desk and enlisting the help of one of the friendliest associates I’ve ever met, we started to piece together a system that would work for my man. After climbing to the tops of the shelves to find Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System items that worked perfectly together and opening box after box until I had the right combination in my cart, I was ready to head home and implement a little garage organization in our lives.
Once I arrived home, I looked around and took a deep breath. And the I dove into the project that I knew was going to thrill my hubby. Since he’s been preaching garage organization to me for years, I knew the steps that needed to be taken. And I was more than ready to get started.
Step 1: Clear Out the Clutter
I knew without a doubt that the first thing I needed to do was clear out the clutter. There were toys (and, if I’m going to be honest, trash and coffee cups) sitting everywhere. So I started by pulling everything out of the area and going through it to determine what was actually needed to be kept in the garage and what items could go into the trash or find a new home.
Step 2: Give the Garage a Good Clean
Once I had sorted through the clutter that had overtaken our garage, it was time to use a little elbow grease and do some cleaning. There were leaves and cobwebs everywhere and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get the garage looking great until they were gone. So I grabbed a broom and pulled out some paper towels and cleaned the area that I was getting ready to transform.
Step 3: Install a Garage Organization System
Now that my space was clean and ready for the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System I had bought at The Home Depot, I found that I needed to call in some reinforcements. I knew that the hubs would want a say in where everything went and while there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I had purchased the best garage organization items, I wanted to get his say exactly how to set it up…not to mention his kinda sexy skills with tools to help make it a reality. So, even though it wasn’t officially Father’s Day yet, I grabbed the hubby, yelled surprise and handed him his tool belt. He was thrilled with what I had put together and was more that willing to jump in and start installing the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Wall Panels and Rails. To start with, we picked the perfect location for our Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Wall Panels.
It just so happened that the area beside our window was the exact length of the 48″ panels, making them fit like they had been custom made to go there. By using the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Wall Hardward Pack (sold separately) he was quickly and easily able to follow the installation directions and secure the panels to the wall.
Within minutes the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Wall Panels were in place and while he decided which tools to keep and which ones to put in storage, I was able to pop a variety of garage organization accessories onto our new wall panels. By using the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® hardware trays, tool rack and tool loops, I had a perfect way to organize all of his tools put together in seconds. And since I can easily move the attachments around any time I want, it’s easy to surprise him with new tools added to his wall panel.
After installing the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Wall Panels, we moved on to the FastTrack rails. I was extremely excited about these because I knew that what the panels had done for his tools, the rails would do for his equipment. We started by measuring and installing the steel constructed backing of the rails.
This steel pieces were the perfect place to start since they provide extra durability and allow each of the rails to hold up to 1,750 pounds, ensuring that it’s strong enough for all my man’s equipment and needs. And by pairing it with the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Rails hardware pack which contains (11) screws, (4) toggle anchors and (1) push pin, we were able to reinforce the strength of the rails with matching screws.
After securing the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Rails into the studs of the house using the one inch spacing between the holes that are designed to work with standard 16″ or 24″ stud spacing, he was able to pop on the rail covers for a clean look so that we could add a variety of accessories that pair perfectly with the system.
Step 4: Store Tools and Equipment
Once all the pieces of our Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System were in place, we quickly took all the items that had been laying around and got to work adding order to a now perfectly prepared area. We separated tools, moved around accessories and organized everything to perfection.
The ability to quickly and easily move the accessories on both the wall panel and the rails to create the perfect configuration made it simple to take a space that had once been chaos and return it to complete order. Once we had all the tools where they could be easily found, we moved on to our Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Rails. We began to add accessories like a Rubbermaid® FastTrack® small shelf that’s the perfect size to keep gasoline out of reach from the kids.
Next, the easy to move Rubbermaid® FastTrack® 2-Handle Hooks and Multi-Purpose Hooks that we had snapped into place were filled with leaf blowers, weed eaters and other tools, allowing us to quickly and easily store all his equipment in an organized and visually appealing way.
The durability of the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System ensured that it could hold all of my hubby’s “toys” and I no longer had to worry about them getting in the way or cluttering up the floor. In less than an hour, we had transformed the garage and turned it into the ultimate man cave where my hubby can play with his tools, build, tinker and most importantly, enjoy his clutter-free area of our home.
Step 5: Enjoy the Organization
With a place for everything and everything in it’s place, all that was left to do was sit back and enjoy the fact that there is one area of my home that my hubby feels has been perfectly organized for him.
And honestly, I have to admit that it’s really nice not tripping over tools and stubbing my toe on equipment every time I get out of my car. Instead, our garage organization has helped create an area that makes him happy and well, that makes me happy too! Going into Father’s Day weekend, I know where I’ll find the man in my life. He’ll be out in the garage soaking in the organization that he’s always dreamed of. And that makes it the perfect gift.
As you prepare for Father’s Day, I encourage you to give the gift of organization to the man in your life. Help him quickly and easily turn his garage into a man cave where he’ll want to spend all the time that he’s not with you. Start by checking out the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System and line of accessories at The Home Depot. Then give him the backbone of the system with the wall panels, rails and hardware packs so that he’ll be able to add on and create a way to stay organized that is absolutely perfect for him!
It’s a great way to show dad how special he is and reclaim the space that is your garage in one easy afternoon! So what are you waiting for? Start your easy garage organization project today!
Then tell me, who do you know that would love to make over their garage with the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System?