We’re gratified that one of our Northern Virginia garage remodeling clients wanted to share their experience improving the organization of their cluttered garage. Their immediate goal was to “get their space back.” With our guidance and expertise, they achieved their goal, and then some. Check out their experience.
A few months ago if you opened our garage doors you’d find everything except cars in our three-car garage. It wasn’t always that way. We’ve lived in Northern Virginia for almost fifteen years; Falls Church, Tysons Corner, and now McLean. This is the third house (and the finest), and over the years, with a growing family, we gradually accumulated more stuff. I’m embarrassed to admit there were boxes in the garage that had not been unpacked since our first move.
Northern Virginia Garage Remodeling Project: The Before
The “before” picture of our garage was pretty overwhelming. Stacks, clusters, and piles of tools, seasonal sports equipment, holiday decorations, paints, car supplies, snow tires, and bicycles. Before you could use an item, you had to remember where you put it. If you couldn’t remember, then the hunt began. We’ve wasted too much time hunting and rearranging again and again. At one time we could park two cars in the garage. We have three now, and they really deserve to be garaged, especially when winter kicks in.
Don’t Waste Time Searching for Things You Know You Have
A few months ago we wanted to go for a family bike ride and spent half an hour extricating the bikes and searching for a bike pump. That wasn’t the only time we wasted time, but it was the final straw. We searched “garage remodeling, Northern Virginia” seeking some advice on how to begin the task of reclaiming garage space. One of the first recommendations to ease the clutter was a garage sale. Easier said than done, but well worth the effort. One car now fits in the garage, and we found two bike pumps in the process.
The Value of an In-Garage Consultation
We also engaged the garage remodeling services of Closet America since they were in the Northern Virginia area. We arranged an “in-garage” consultation with their designer to discuss what we hoped to achieve with a garage remodel. The designer brought samples of the materials and accessories they use. We were impressed by the quality and could see what a difference these items would make in bringing order to our clutter. What really impressed us was the 3D model that the designer built after taking the dimensions of the garage.
We started with an initial design, based on the designer’s experience with hundreds of garage remodel projects. Despite our total lack of organizational and design experience, there were three things we specifically wanted in our remodeled garage:
better use of the ample overhead space in our garage;
configurable wall space that we could change as needed;
and storage for fishing rods.
I love fly fishing and Lake Brittle the Upper Rappahannock are favorite spots. We had a few iterations and finalized a garage remodeling plan that would truly optimize space. In other words, get our space back.
Northern Virginia Garage Remodeling Project: The After
If you asked anyone in our family, they’d say the transformation was miraculous. Not only did we get our space back, it was if we gained additional space. We now have a garage layout to keep us organized for years to come (fingers crossed). A few of the major benefits worth mentioning include:
Easy Bicycles Access
All five of our bikes—two city bikes, two mountain, and one BMX—hang neatly on the side wall, making it easy to grab and go for a ride around the neighborhood, mountain biking at Great Falls, or get dusted up at NOVA BMX. Bike accessories—pumps, helmets, and gloves are in baskets on the wall. With bike racks, there’s more floor space and we’ve eliminated the cluster of bikes that required you to move at least three bikes to get to the one you wanted.
No Longer Wasted Overhead Space
Using overhead storage racks we acquired over 800 cubic feet of unused space. Holiday decorations in labeled plastic bins, winter sports gear, and camping equipment are now neatly organized and accessible as the seasons change. And the Closet America designer wisely allocated extra overhead storage space in anticipation of additional sporting equipment in the years to come.
Custom Garage Cabinetry
Power tools that were piled on an old workbench are now kept in garage cabinets with adjustable shelves. Each tool and its accessories—drills with bits, sanders with sanding disks and belt spares, and scroll saw with metal and wood blades—now have dedicated space in the garage cabinets.
Custom garage cabinets are also great for storing household supplies for painting, cleaning, and plumbing, as well as car care products. We’ve organized these items in rectangular baskets, making it easy to get all the items you need for a project or task without having to rummage through dozens of items.
Versatile Hand Tool Storage
Tools for everyday repair are now neatly arranged on a wall system that has hooks and holders for hand tools and commonly used supplies. No need to hunt for tools in drawers anymore. There’s a place for every tool and it’s obvious when a tool hasn’t been replaced. That arrangement has saved me from buying duplicate tools because I couldn't find the one I misplaced.
Heavy-duty Steel Shelves Organize and Protect
Even after the garage sale, we had quite a few boxes of household goods and some items we just couldn’t part with—books, memorabilia, classic children’s toys (saving for the grandchildren), and a few items that will someday be antiques. We’ve traded the cardboard boxes for durable plastic bins (each neatly labeled), and arranged them on heavy-duty steel shelves—a superior arrangement compared to stacked boxes. The bins and racks provide better protection and allow instant access.
Tool Organization for Better Yard and Garden
We love our yard and garden. Yes, we have a lawn service spring, summer, and fall, but we take pride in the special landscaping touches—planting annuals in the spring, tending a bountiful garden throughout the Northern Virginia summer, and fall harvest, cleanup, and pruning. Racks and baskets along one wall keep garden tools—rakes, shovels, pitchforks, and hoes—immediately accessible. Baskets keep hand tools—trowels, hand pruners, and cultivators. Baskets are also great for fertilizers, treatments, and other garden supplies. All the racks and baskets can be easily rearranged as seasons change or whenever new tools are purchased.
Fishing Rods Ready to Cast
Closet America gave us so many great ways to improve garage storage and organization, but the fishing rod racks and baskets for accessories are my favorite. I try to get out at least every other week for some fly fishing, and when I can’t, I’m practicing my technique in the backyard. Having my rods, reels, vest, and gearbox so accessible makes it easy to go fishing or just practice casting.
Experience and Expertise for this Northern Virginia Garage Remodeling Project
When we began this Northern Virginia garage remodeling project a few months ago, we simply wanted to reclaim garage space that was so poorly utilized. Contacting Closet America was the smartest decision we made. Their years of experience, thousands of satisfied Northern Virginia clients, the free on-site custom design consultation, and 3D modeling technique confirmed for us that we couldn’t have made a better choice. Today, our garage is organized. Everything is accessible. Not only did we get our garage space back, Closet America helped us discover a lot more garage space.
Lead Image by Flickr user Valerie Everett