Organizing The Garage: A Time Lapse Video

Ok, so maybe our messy garage wasn’t disastrous enough for you people, but we did discover several new species of spiders in there… and Sherry was “attacked” by a mouse in the cleaning process (it ran over her feet- yes, both of them- but her shrieking made it seem much more vicious). No matter the scale of our mess, it was very satisfying to spend an hour on Saturday morning just purging, sweeping and rearranging for a totally cleared out and organized end product. In case you were wondering what the process looked like, here’s a fun little time lapse video that we made of our big garage clean-up (you can watch it below from Vimeo or over here on YouTube):

As for how we shot the time lapse, it was just a simple set-up using our newly refurbished MacBook’s built-in iSight camera and a downloadable program called Gawker. Then, thanks to the slope of our driveway, we just put the computer on a box (of which we had plenty) and hit record. The whole thing looked like this:


But back to tackling the garage. It was pretty much just a simple cleaning effort this time around. We share your dreams of someday implementing a few stellar organization systems (nothing excites us like a wall of built in cabinetry and a tool-riddled peg board) but we realized during last year’s clean-up that we just don’t have enough stuff to warrant anything major yet. Maybe once we’ve got kids and have accumulated all sorts of frisbees, basketballs, and camping gear we’ll find ourselves excitedly installing an intricate shelving or cabinetry system. But for now we were just be happy to rid our bike seats of cobwebs and put an end to the cardboard box convention that took place where our car could have otherwise been living.


As you may have noticed on the video, we used the tried & true process of moving everything out and creating three groups: 1) trash, 2) recycle/donate and 3) keep. Then once the garage was empty we broke out the brooms to sweep out all the leaves and remove all the remaining cobwebs. Afterwards the “keep” stuff got moved back in (with a more orderly & intentional arrangement this time – garden tools with garden tools, paint with paint, etc). Storing like objects together always makes it easier to find things and creates zones like “paints & stains” (which are housed on the tall tiered shelf) and “rakes & shovels” (which now hang together in a row on wall hooks).




Hopefully we’ll keep the garage looking this way for a while, but then again, we probably said that last year so only time will tell. It seems that our weakness lies in the fact that we’re not always perfect about cleaning up the remnants of past projects. In fact, the clean-up process was a bit of a walk down memory lane. Just check out some of the “artifacts” that we rediscovered on Saturday morning:


  1. Two catering buckets that The Nest’s photo crew ordered (now used for carwashing)
  2. A cast iron sink from our old kitchen, which we finally Freecycled yesterday
  3. Painted pots from an R Home photoshoot, one of which I clumsily kicked over
  4. Boxes from our recent mattress delivery
  5. … nesting in a box from our new patio lounge chairs
  6. An old metal firepit that got rusty and was replaced by our new DIY stone firepit
  7. Sticky scraps of balloon from our failed string lantern project for the front porch

But enough about our clean-up, we’re eager to hear more about YOUR weekend projects. We’ve already received a few great before and (much tidier) afters by email, so we’d love if everyone could share links to their pics in the comment section of this post so that we can all marvel at the weekend projects that were accomplished (photos can be uploaded to photo sharing sites like flickr, kodak and shuttefly and linked to for all to see). Thanks again for tackling this project with us! We’ll have to do it again sometime…

Time lapse video music courtesy of MoOt.


  1. says

    Looks great…in fact, it looks a lot like it did this time last year when you cleaned the garage. :) My weekend was full of parties and baby shower prep/hostessing so I didn’t get a single thing done around the house.

  2. says

    yay! glad you’re back. I was so jealous of your time lapse video… I was like aw man they must have a super fancy camera. But now I’m so excited about Gawker! Thanks so much for letting us know about it!

  3. says

    My wife, Lisa, commented with our garage adventure pictures in the original thread, but I figured I’d post it again here. All in all we probably spent about 6-7 hours emptying, cleaning, and reorganizing. Thanks for the motivation, this is probably the cleanest the garage has been in decades! The basement is the next daunting challenge.

  4. Madelaine says

    No pictures, yet, but this past weekend we were busy putting up our outdoor canopy, re-shaping and edging the flower beds, and painting the front door a great dark, smokey eggplant. That was all the outside stuff.

    Inside we hung pictures, a glass shelf in the bathroom, moved a hanging lamp and hung new curtain panels in the bedroom, and cleaned. Very busy, but such a sense of accomplishment!

  5. says

    Oh gosh! It would take many many many more hours to clean out our garage! We moved to a new house in April and are STILL unpacking! You have inspired me to at least ATTEMPT a clean out! Thanks for the fun video!

  6. Dana says

    Your new and improved garage looks great!

    My most recent project is a biggie. I am overhauling and organizing the public library that I manage. Every nook and cranny needs some TLC. I’ve been tackling one area a week and have made quite the progress over the past three months. (I’m a neatnik, but past workers have not been so tidy).

    Yesterday, I got so sick of our office space that I spent about six hours rearranging it. What you said about keeping like objects together is definitely true. Our problem was that we had folders and envelopes and staples in a million different places and, therefore, didn’t know what we owned. Now we can actually find office supplies without having to reorder the same thing twice. I feel so inspired that I’m spending some of our grant money at the Container Store!

    • says

      Hey Priscilla,

      After we were certain the birds were done with it, we carefully dumped it into the back woods (we’ve heard bringing them inside can bring in tons of bugs- eek!) and thoroughly cleaned and aired out John’s helmet (which is thankfully just fine even though a family of birds called it home for a while). Hope it helps!


  7. says

    Aren’t garages so hard to keep clean? It’s one of those rooms in your house that just doesn’t get the attention that it always deserves. Looks good though! I can’t believe how big it looks when you move everything out of the way.

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