Garage Toy Organization...

Happy Friday!  Organization is a favorite of mine so I have a fun project to share with you today! 

Our garage is a work horse year-round but never more than in the summer!  My mantra is, every thing we own should have a place of its own, so that everyone knows where it goes.  This eliminates mom doing all the work of picking up.  #amen  

We had this extra plastic shelf (similar) we weren't using anymore now that we have built-in basement storage, see that here).  So I claimed it for kids outdoor toys.  However, a shelf in and of itself doesn't make an organized space!  When the kids picked up, they just tossed stuff in its general direction with no rhyme or reason, which drove me crazy since we were inevitably digging around for a rogue baseball!  

Before Toy Storage

So when I started out on the project I had 3 goals:

  1. Organize the space so that the kids could easily get out and put away their toys independently
  2. When I drove in my garage it would be a more appealing site 
  3. Do the project with things I already had on hand so I spent no no money.

With those goals in mind, I got to work!  I evaluated what toys we had and came up with logical storage categories like basketball, baseball, water toys, etc.  Then, I dusted off my Silhouette Cameo and made some vinyl letters for each category to adhere to matching clear storage bins I had in the basement.   So far I had both the vinyl and storage tubs so my total was $0.

After I cut the vinyl out, I removed the excess vinyl around the letters.  Then Vera helped me by placing a contact paper over the letters and scratching hard so that the letters could be transferred to the bins.

Then we placed the contact paper with letters on to the storage bins and scratched again to adhere them to the bins.  Then we peeled back the contact paper to reveal the letters.  If they were pesky, we just scratched a little as we went slowly.

 As you can see I had some little hands helping me the entire time.  I love when my kids help because it gives them ownership over the project and they are more inclined to use and care for what they helped make.

After we got all of the vinyl letters adhered to the bins, it was time to take them outside and begin sorting.   We laid out all the bins and then I called the troops to help me sort.  We purged any broken items and placed balls that needed air on dad's work bench!

The kids then thought of logical locations for each of the buckets.  They decided it was best to keep the bubbles out of Lucy's hands since that could be a big mess!  The water toys aren't accessed as often so those were designated to the top shelf along with a basket of my gardening items.

When we finished up organizing, I looked over at those steps and thought those need face-lift!  We had worked so hard on the toys, the steps looked sad!  So what always happens at our house, one project leads to another.  Anyone else?

So I ventured to the basement store room to see what paint we had on hand.  While the kids were at VBS that night, I painted the steps and trim with our trim paint, neither had ever been painted since we moved in 4 years ago.  Then, I gave the door a good scrub with my norwex cloth!  What a huge difference it made!

I knew we were close but I just thought the door could use a little pizzaz so I went back to my Silhouette Cameo and whipped up a welcome home vinyl sign for the door and followed the same steps I did for the storage tubs!  Then I grabbed a little magnet clip to affix a wreath I had in storage!  I love the way the space turned out.  What do you think?

To recap our goals --  I wanted a space for the kids to be able to independently organize and store their toys, I wanted it to be more appealing to the eye when we drove in and I wanted to spend NO MONEY.  I am happy to report we met all of those goals!   

I am still on the hunt for some stair treads to help with the white paint or maybe I should do a stencil (like this).  What do you think?  For now, it does get a little dirty but nothing an occasional eraser can't solve until I make up my mind.

How do you organize your outdoor toys?  I didn't show you our 3rd stall garage because that's full of pedal toys and bikes!  I haven't found a cute way to store those yet!  Do you have ideas?

Linking up with Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites today!  Check out their blogs for more Friday Fun. 

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