The Joys of Homeownership, Part 1

A little over a year ago, we bought our first house. We knew going into it that the house would need some work (nothing major- just some TLC), but because of that and the fact that it had been on the market for a while, we were able to get a pretty good deal. Most of our work so far has been just repainting and patching holes (wait til you see the bathroom! it deserves its own post!), but this past week I’ve been tackling the garage.  Here’s what we started with:

It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t really function for what we needed to store.  Plus, that large shelving section in the middle-right stuck out pretty far, as in, it blocked part of the stairs so we were constantly having to walk around it.   Here’s the view looking into the garage:

That shelf totally sticks out and we don’t have anything that deep that we need to store.  So I finally got sick of it getting in the way and decided to tear the whole thing down.

Now, I’ve taken apart several things the previous homeowners have built already, so I already knew they were obsessed with their nail gun.  All the joints were secured with 3 screws and as many nails as they could shoot into the wood.


Seriously!?  Who does that!?  I mean, 2 screws probably would have sufficed for a simple garage shelf.  If you feel the need to secure your work with half a dozen nails in addition to those screws, you clearly should not be building things.

Also, each of those shelves in the middle-right shelving unit were secured to the wall with giant 3 inch screws, which would have been effective had they been screwed into a stud.  However, as I was knocking loose the supports and trying to remember where I left the socket wrench, one of the shelves came loose.  I gave it a little tug and it came right off the wall.

Oh yes, previous homeowner, if you can’t find a stud, just secure this shelf to the wall with giant screws straight into the drywall; that’ll be just as effective!

Something else that killed me as I tore this thing down was the crazy angles the screws were driven in at.

This one was probably the most extreme, but very few of the screws were driven in straight.  I even backed a few out holding the drill in my left hand thinking maybe that would account for the strange angles, but, nope! the previous homeowners just could not drill straight.

But in the end I won and we now have this lovely blank slate to work with.  I already patched all the holes and sprayed some of the stains with a stain blocker, so it should be ready to be primed today (I’m sick of looking at a mudded/taped garage- I want some paint!).  I still have to design the new shelves, but it’s already looking so much better!!

How do you keep your garage organized?  Do you use a track/hook system?  Sturdy shelves with large bins?  Over-the-garage-door shelves?  Let me know!  I’d love hear your ideas!

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10 Responses to The Joys of Homeownership, Part 1

  1. Becca–I have a set of metal lockers that I am willing to get rid of if they would work into your plans sometime. We will even deliver them–just have to feed us a meal when we get there. In a few weeks are are going to redo one of our walls in our extra garage using some type of slat wall and hook system. I just haven’t priced out which one will work and be more universal. Some of those systems you can buy are this slat using only this type of hook and if in the future the company would decide to change something or quit making it then you could be stuck with a wall and no hooks.

    • Rebecca Lynn says:

      I might just take you up on that! Do you have a picture/dimensions? I think I’m going to design my own (using mostly wood), so they’ll be totally customizable, but people are doing all sorts of cool things with metal lockers too! We have some pegboard too that’ll be use to hold tools/shovels/etc. It may not be the strongest medium, but it’s fairly universal at least!

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