Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Organizing the Garage Workshop

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I had a wonderful weekend. I hope you did too! I got plenty done that I wanted to and managed to rest a little too.

Mini slept through the night last night which was heavenly for Nurse B who has been on night duty this past week. What happened to Mini was that she got an abscess on one of her hind legs and it burst open, she had to go the vet, be sedated, get shaved (she the cutest half shaved derrière…), stitched up and have a drainage tube put in and on top of it all wear the dreaded plastic cone… She's doing so much better now but needs to stay indoors for another week.


Anyways, one of the things I wanted to get done this weekend was to finish off some projects in the garage/workshop. Will post about them later but since I've had some questions on how our workshop space is organized I took some photos of what we keep in there while I waited for paint to dry.

Martin and I didn't build the work space at the far end of the garage until we had lived in our house for about five years. In the beginning we used old kitchen cabinets and made do with what was already there but if (when) we move I will make sure we will prioritize a set up like this even before starting on any other renovations. Having everything organized makes everything so much easier. 


So from left to right; just left of the entrance from the house (our garage is in the basement just under our living room) we keep MDF and other large boards leaning against the wall. There's also an old folding patio table there which I use as extra work surface when I paint. Above the boards I've mounted inexpensive shelf brackets which hold moldings and strips of wood.


At the far end, under the work top there's a little nook for small scraps of board.


Under the left side of the work top is where we keep power tools. The plastic bins contain 1) clamps, 2) assorted rarely used hand tools like paint scrapers, hand drills etc 3) electric cords. The black box holds my mouse sander with sand papers, attachments etc.


Under the right side of the work top we keep four boxes with dividers with screws, nails, nuts, bolts etc. I also keep a small brush for the work top and a roll of old gift wrap there. I use the gift wrap to protect the work surface when I paint. The larger bins hold 1) rags and drop cloths 2) paint brushes, rollers, stirrers etc 3) sandpaper, spackle, filler etc 4) tiling tools and materials 5) latex paints 6) oil based paints 7) paint stripper and similar 8) oil and putty.


On the floor to the right is where we keep boards and planks. They butt all the way into the corner under the work space. Above, again on brackets, we keep our ladder and a spare trellis. Our compost sieve hangs on smaller brackets next to the door to the storage room. 


A shelf under the work surface keeps the smaller and shorter pieces of wood  separated from the longer ones.


We use candy containers (which we get for free in grocery stores) to store all the little bits and bobs. There's one for wheels, one for string, one for tape, one for hardware etc.


Hand tools are kept  easily accessible on peg boards.


Drill bits are stored in drilled pieces of wood. We have one for wood bits, one for metal , one for concrete and one for special bits like for tile.


Long clamps are stored hanging on the wall and above them are the long metal rulers.


Saws etc are hung on hooks on the wall. The japanese hand saw blade is simply stuck between the boards of the work surface.


I use plastic trays which originally held frozen crayfish to corral bottles on the work top.


In the corner there's a catch-all bin which holds a bunch of stuff but because it's contained it feels less cluttered than if it were all sitting directly on the work top. In the catch all there's an ice cream container where I drop all little nuts and bolts etc that I don't have time to sort in their proper places. Once in a while I sort it out.


On-going projects are kept on old trays so they don't spread out all over the place.


Just to the right of the entrance to the house are two wire shelving units. It's where I keep cleaning stuff, plastic bags, work gloves etc. To the left (not seen) is the entrance to the garage from the garden.

That concludes the garage work shop tour. Hope you enjoyed the ride!




  • Sam says:

    Wow. You always amaze me!

  • Renée says:

    Wow…. Will print this out and show my husband for inspiration. I can never start a project on my own since it’s totally impossible to find the right tools in his mess… What a dream to have something like this!

  • Sarah Wallis says:

    That is incredibly well organised. I am impressed! I have recently reorganised my shed-again-which is much smaller than your garage but at least I know what is in there and where it is now! I love organising and the way it refines itself as you go along-when you find what works and what doesn’t.

  • antsje says:

    Wow, I wish our garage looked like
    that!! I will certainly use it for inspiration, now if I only could
    find the time! Did you first clear
    the whole space or did you
    just move things around?

  • jja says:

    I have to show this to my husband, maybe he gets inspired ;-))

  • Sanna says:

    Du kan inte fixa en uppblåsbar krage till Mini? Många katter föredrar den istället för tratten. Det finns på vissa djuraffärer och hos veterinärer, vanligtvis.
    Jag rekomenderar också en Furminator (se engelska Ebay), ifall dina pissemissar fäller mycket. Fungerar skitbra på mina raggisar! Eller en Zoom Groom gummikarda, om du inte känner för att lägga ut lite extra på Furminatorn. Husispäls funkar zoom groom på, men tyvärr inte för mina ragdolls. :-/
    Snyggt garage!

  • Carolyn Style says:

    Does your garage stay above freezing in the winter? I see lots of solvents and chemicals and cleaners etc. Are they OK through the winter? Are you able to work in the garage during the winter? Are you still able to put a car in the garage when you need to?
    This comes at a perfect time for me – I’m about to start organizing our garage workshop. Thanks for the inspiring pictures and all the fantastic ideas. You just made everything easier for me. Simply listing the categories of things you have, and comparing them to my own needs, saves a huge amount of time and energy.
    Thank you

  • The garage was painted pink(!) when we moved in so after a couple of years of gagging everytime I went in there I took everything out onto the lawn and started over. Painted it white and did the organizing. The work bench came a little later but the basic structure of what went where in terms of boards, planks, ladder metal shelving unit etc was already there at that point.

  • Tack för tips! Har inte hört talas om den kragen! Fast nu har Mini accepterat den och bryr sig inte så mycket längre. Däremot om Bonus någonsin behöver en ska jag absolut kolla upp det, honom får man inte på en vanlig, det är stört omöjligt! Ska kolla den där furminatorn också. Våra kissar är ju korthåriga men fäller periodvis en del. Jag använder en gummiborste eller en vanlig “människo-kam”. Båda uppskattas, det är skönt att bli ryktad och kammad 🙂

  • It does stay above freezing in winter. It gets cold but we can still work in there during the winter months. I keep an old fleece sweater on a hook by the door which I put on.
    We don’t have a car so we haven’t tried to park anything besides from our bikes in there. The thought of having the car drive in underneath the livingroom isn’t very appealing to me so if we were to get a car it’d probably be parked outside anyway. I think it would be a tight squeeze with the planks on the floor though.

  • Men härligt! Ordning & reda, det finns inget mer väsentligt om man vill vara lite kreativ och stöka till:)

  • Thank you so much for this post, Benita! I have always wanted to get a better look at your garage. And this is perfect timing, as my husband is building a workbench for us, and we certainly need a bit of guidance on what to do. Fantastic!

  • Kara says:

    I’m in love – with your garage! It looks amazing!

  • Lindzi says:

    Hur kan en verkstad se så ren och prydlig ut?! Imponerande. Håller sig er peg board vit eller måste du måla på den med jämna mellanrum?

  • Leslie says:

    This is gorgeous! We have lots of “outbuildings” — garden shed, greenhouse, shop buildings for hubby. How do you keep your area so dust-free and is there a way you deal with spider webs and other bugs and things? We have lots out here in the country but maybe not where you are. I’m betting Martin and Wille are neat like you and put things back where they belong 🙂

  • That looks great! We just moved into our house a year ago, so we will get to the garage eventually. This is going to be a big project for us in the next few years and I will keep your post as inspiration!!!

  • Kari says:

    Poor Mini! We had a cat who had a similar kind of abscess twice–each time they took a chunk out of her hip area (like the size of a softball for a human–she recovered well. Cats have incredible healing power.
    Thanks for the workshop run down–I need to do some re-org in my basement and this gives me some things to think about–a place to start.

  • Cynthia says:

    I totally love this. Now I need to work on my garage. I love how your workbench is so organized. I don’t have bins under the table but rather old shoe boxes that are labeled. They do the job but I love how you use bins. I’ll have to save up some money for that. But right now, my mind is already working on ideas! Thanks! 🙂

  • Franziska says:

    I enjoyed the tour so much and got so much inspiration, so many little hints for me to use to become more organized. I really look forward to sorting (out) the tools area. Thanks so much!!!

  • bec says:

    That is fantastic. I love it! I am soooooo inspired now. Thank you.

  • Karen says:

    I love how clearly you describe everything. It took me a year to clear out my garage after my husband died – he never threw away anything but he never organized anything either. I gave away all of his power tools to his friends, but I was still left with piles of stuff and I just hid things in cabinets instead of thinking things through. Your post has given me the incentive and the plan to get the job finished – thank you!

  • jacqueline says:

    Your Garage Workshop looks great! I am really inspired! Thank you so much for sharing. Have a lovely merry happy week and love to you!

  • Nej, den håller sig vit. Den är i masonit men lackad blank på framsidan. Jag dammar över allt med min borste då och då, that’s it 🙂

  • Trust me, it’s so not dust free! You can even see the sanding dust on the floor in one of the shots… There’s constantly a layer of dust all over but after sanding or cutting I take my hand brush and quickly brush over the surfaces, from top to bottom and end by sweeping. That way it’s ok, but certainly not dust free.
    About the bugs, I actually like spiders so I make sure I don’t step on them or hurt them. I take them in my hand and put them somewhere safe amongst the planks. At the moment we have a huge (for Sweden huge) spider living in the hallway downstairs. We call him Rock and he’s kind of like our third pet 🙂

  • Leslie says:

    Oh goody goody!! Now I don’t feel so bad. I don’t mind the spiders — it’s the webs they weave just as soon as I’ve cleaned that bother me. Honestly, sometimes they appear overnight in the doorways, etc. But I don’t want to kill the spiders or exterminate the house, so I guess we will continue to live in webby harmony 🙂

  • Sara says:

    Thanks for inspiration. I am organising the little space under the stairs. We are using the space for the storage for the tools and some other things. I wish you can show us your ideras…

  • Hey thanks for the great advice!
    We recently had the exact same issue with our garage door. What a pain it had been to replace those components! But it was even much more annoying not having a working garage door, so after putting it off for awhile I finally went towards the hardware store to get new parts. I didn’t have any experience fixing garage doors but fortunately there is very a bit of info on the internet and it’s not that difficult. Best of all the parts are simple to discover either online or at the local large box hardware stores. It took less than two several hours from start to finish to obtain everything squared away and working again, and hey presto! functioning garage door!

  • Hey thanks for the excellent advice!
    My wife and I had the same issue with our garage door last summer. Hopefully I never need to do that once again, what a PITA to fix it was! My wife likes to park within the garage though so I had to get it fixed otherwise I would never hear the end of it. I’ve never had to repair one prior to however it turns out that it is relatively straightforward to fix. And the parts are readily available at most hardware stores or you can pick them up cheaply online too. It only took a couple hours to take out the old parts from the garage door and get it in working order once again, so I was pretty happy about that, and so was the wife!

  • John Healy says:

    Really nice job. How do you get tools to individual worksites around the house? Do you throw them in a tool box or wear a tool belt? Just curious.

  • McilDoc says:

    Ideal……Something to aim for…

  • Jack Olsen says:

    My garage has its own (non-commercial) website:
    If you’re interested in garage organization, you might find some useful ideas in it.