A Garage For All Interests

The McMonagle family enlists help to get their garage back in working order.


Nancy and Gary McMonagle are exercise enthusiasts who encourage their three young children to participate in a variety of sports. The resulting equipment overload, along with home-maintenance items, are stored in their two-car garage.

This garage is a source of frustration, tension and embarrassment for its owners. Toys, sports equipment and lawn-care items have taken over floor space, leaving no room for cars.



Unfortunately, most everything is left piled in the center of the 19 x 23-foot space, so there is no room left for the cars. There have been attempts made to control the clutter — a large shoe storage unit, a huge wall shelf and hanging baskets — but they function poorly and are inadequate for the sheer quantity of stuff that needs storing.

A never-ending supply of bikes take center stage in the garage, while a large wooden shelving unit in the back is better at hiding things than organizing them.



The McMonagles need help, and professional organizer Genevieve Snyder presents a plan that will give them the clutter-control they crave and space for their two cars.

First, she has them sort everything into categories such as sports, toys, yard tools, and seasonal. Items are further sorted into a keep, relocate, charity/yard sale, or trash pile. Since the McMonagles use 98 percent of the equipment they own, the key to controlling the clutter is adequate storage.

Unsafe storage of home-maintenance items, especially chemicals, is at the top of the list of needed changes.



The main ingredients of the transformation are an extensive wall-storage system that has shelves and cupboards on one wall, and on another wall, a grid system from which bikes can be hung to get them off the floor. Taking advantage of the three feet above the raised garage door added extra storage for out-of-season items.

A storage system along the back wall will house dangerous substances on the high shelves, while toys will be stored on lower shelves.



To make the space more colorful and inviting, the door gets an eye-popping coat of red and yellow paint. Clever labels and pictures are painted in the different areas to help identify where things are stored.

Deep wire shelves by a colorful back door (far right) make shoe storage painless.



A grid system down a side wall will store sports equipment. Bicycles will hang here, getting them off the floor.



New storage units make it possible to get all the sports equipment and tools up off the garage floor, and new floor mats help keep the floor clean.



Sturdy wire shelves suspended above the garage doors hold seasonal items like sleds and beach chairs.

In just a few days the McMonagles garage has gone from jumbled mess to organized piles. All it took was the clever thinking of organizer Genevieve Snyder, some paint, decorative touches and contractors to carry out the final plans.

Products from Stacks and Stacks:

Clean Park car mats

Products from Garage Outfitters:

ceiling storage shelves

Products from Schulte Corporation:

freedomRail garage system
activity basket

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