I haven't blogged in almost 2 months and what's the first thing I want to tell you about? My new garage. And no, this isn't Roger, it's Melissa writing.
See, we have a large family and drive large vehicles. So parking in the garage is not an option. But this house has a 2 car attached garage. And it's well insulated--even the garage door. So I decided to use it as house space. I made this decision while we were looking at the house. In my opinion, it was the only way to make the house work for us. We have used a "family closet" system for over 7 years, with a slight interruption at the first house in Coleman, and it wasn't something I wanted to give up. I love it. But this house has a tiny laundry room. Actually, every house we looked at in Clyde has a tiny laundry room. So I noticed the garage was right next to the laundry room and decided to make use of it.
We bought lots of shelves. We had shelves already, but Roger wants them for the workshop out back. I used this as a chance to get "prettier" shelves. He's getting the ugly plastic ones. They were great as they were cheap and strong. But if I'm going to have a room FULL of shelves and spend a lot of time in there, I want nicer shelves if possible. We found ours at Sams Club. I think we ended up buying the entire inventory at our local store. And my brilliant husband pointed out that we could put several sets of shelves together and stretch 2 sets into 3. This is because we needed vertical space in between shelves to fit our boxes of clothes so we wouldn't use all the shelves from each set. But we didn't need to buy a whole new set for the legs because we could use the legs from 2 sets and put the extra shelves in between. Maybe the pictures will help that make sense.
I was going to wait until I had it all cleaned up and organized to write this post, but then I discovered during my "break" today that the MOMYS list has been discussing laundry so I figured I'd share here now rather than wait. Besides, we're still moving so you'll all be forgiving about a little mess, right? And frankly, considering we're in the midst of moving 10 people plus much of the stuff of 2 boys who've moved out, it doesn't look that bad. Might just get worse later. We'll see.
So this first pic is taken from the doorway from the house into the garage. I tried to get as much of the room in the pic as possible. All the way to the left is food, appliances, and paper goods. The middle is toys. To the right is clothing. We just finished assembling the last set of shelves yesterday so they are still fairly empty. But we still have more stuff to put on them so it will be filled eventually I'm sure.
Here's a shot of our clothing shelves. Each member of the family (except me because I have a big closet with shelves and prefer to keep my clothes there.) has a shelf with 2 boxes and a basket--or 3 baskets or some sort of mix of boxes and baskets depending on how many boxes were broken. There is one box for everyday clothes, one for socks, underclothes, and pjs, and one for shoes. They still leave shoes everywhere, but it makes it easier to put them away when they all go in one place. Extra clothes and shoes that don't currently fit anyone go on the other shelves and there are more shelves across from here that can be used for clothes, swimsuits, coats, etc.
This next pic shows the toy area. To the right is the extra shelves I just mentioned for clothes. They can also hold toys and games. We used the playmats on the floor that I bought a while back when Ezra was learning to walk. This gave it a cheerier look and a softer, warmer floor to play on. The left border is where we keep food, appliances and paper goods, along with extra toys.
Next is the food storage area. The shelves on the right in this picture are the same shelves on the left of the play area. Then to the left is more food shelves. The bottom shelves are high enough off the ground that we can put our buckets of grain and stuff under them. Looking at this pic I see that many of the buckets are out in the middle of the aisle. I can't figure out why. I know the kids have been expanding their play area and creating cities and houses all over the place. I told them they had to leave the food alone, but I'm not so sure they did.
I took this pic just to share something I didn't plan but am soooo excited about. I have the food right next to the garage door. So I left enough space that we can open the door and stand in the garage to unload groceries. If it's raining, we're mostly out of the rain this way. Since I normally shop in bulk, we have a lot of stuff to carry in. It won't be much of a walk this way! Then when I need to replace something in the kitchen, I just walk out to the garage and shop from my pantry. I thought that was pretty awesome! Especially great for my kids who are the ones who do all the unloading most of the time. I like little things like this that make life easier.
Here you see the end of the food shelves on the right of the picture. To the left, amid our mess, is our extra refrigerator. Only one fridge fits in the kitchen so the extra stuff goes out here. Not bad since again, this is where we unload our groceries now.
This is currently my staging area where I sort through boxes and baskets of stuff and pile empty boxes and things I still need to sort through. Eventually we'll move the extra refrigerator over to that "empty" wall and put our big freezer where the refrigerator is. The only things I have left to figure out are where to put the rod for hanging clothes and when to find the time to get all this done. We took a month off school to move, but our month is almost up. School starts back up on Monday.