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How I Got My Dream Garage

4 June 2018

This post has been sponsored by The Container Store and Life In Jeneral.  All opinions are my own. Photos of Day 2 are by Sunny Kim Photography.

When Allen and I got married 6 years ago we quickly realized we both had a lot of stuff.  Every Spring we told ourselves we were going to go through all of our junk and purge it.  Well 6 years later and 1.5 kids later and it still wasn’t done.

When I found out I was pregnant for the second time I decided this is happening this Spring no matter what! So Allen and I decided this was the perfect time! We opted to give this to each other for Mother’s Day/Father’s Day. If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the guy that’s hard to shop for here’s the answer.

I sat down and browsed the internet for home organizers because I knew I was in over my head doing this on my own.  I came across Jen Robin of Life In Jeneral and fell in love with her work instantly!  She made this one of the easiest processes I have ever done! Check out her website and her Instagram for instant inspiration.

One of the reasons why I first hesitated to use an organization service was because I wasn’t sure if the investment was worth it, but I’m telling you, IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT. It’s hard for me and Allen to find time to really tackle our home organization because of work, BECAUSE OF LIFE, so being able to trust a professional team to do it within use days for us was an investment we were willing to make.

We opted to join forces with The Container Store for this project because I knew if we were going to organize our garage we were going to do it right!  Jen is also a Contained Home Specialist and was able to design an amazing elfa Shelving system for us.  The elfa design is perfect for any budget.  There were so many options when it came to designing the space we had.  They also offer a full install or if you are looking for a more budget friendly option you can install the system yourself.  We opted to have one of The Container Stores professional installers come and install our system.

Here’s where the fun began!  When I decided to get this project started.  Jen quickly got to work designing our garage….I literally just sent her a few pictures and measurements. From there she was able to send me a few designs that would work for our house and specific needs/goals.  And she even took care of ordering everything from The Container Store that we needed for the shelving systems! Get ready for some crazy “before” photos of the garage below!

Crazy right?? Believe it or not, Life in Jeneral’s team (headed by Kamille) were able to go through all of this and organize it in just 2 days!

On day 1, the team showed up bright and early!  I was told to go inside and relax.  Excuse me??  I get to sit inside my house while these people do all the work I have put off for years?!  Who would pass that up?? After a couple hours, I went back to the garage and everything I had been dreading to go through was on my driveway and out of my dumping zone. It honestly was such an amazing feeling being able to see the floor of my garage finally!

While it was slightly embarrassing to see all the junk I had accumulated over the years, but it had to be done!

We spent the remainder of that day with Jen’s team purging what we no longer needed.  I quickly realized we were holding onto so much stuff we really didn’t use or need.  I mean who really needs that box of receipts from 2007? All I had to do was point at what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to give away and they did everything else. I didn’t have to lift a finger!

The Container Store showed up a couple hours later to install the Elfa system while we were purging. What’s amazing about this Elfa system is that it’s completely easy to remove and can be adjusted to your custom sized wall. It requires very minimal drilling, that means less holes in the walls!

These are the products that were used in the Elfa rack installation:

Platinum elfa utility Track

Platinum elfa Easy Hang Top Tracks

Platinum elfa Ventilated Wire Shelves

Platinum elfa Mounted Standards

Platinum elfa Easy Hang Standards

Platinum elfa Bracket Covers

Platinum elfa Top Track Cover

Platinum elfa Ventilated Wire Shelf Brackets

We realized we had to upgrade to a new storage system because ours were all hand-me-downs since our college days and many had cracked and had missing lids so our items ended up getting spoiled by weather, moisture and dust overtime. The weathertight (air & water-tight bins) totes are all from The Container Store and you can find them here.

Find the links to all The Container Store products we used at the end of this post!

I have a lot of craft materials from various projects and of course from Naptime With Joey costumes but finding a way to organize everything was always a hurdle for me. Many times I wouldn’t be able to find something like glue sticks for my glue gun, and I KNEW that I have like 2 full bags of those laying around somewhere! For the LIJ team to be able to organize everything so I can find everything left me speechless.

At the end of Day 1, everything had been separated into keep & donation piles and then for the most part almost everything was already organized into their separate bins with temporary labels attached to the bins. What was SO IMPRESSIVE to me was that they took the time to separate my mountain stash of family photos into their respective years. As a photographer, this was EVERYTHING to me. They even fit our old dresser in the tiny little nook and designated that spot as Joey’s costume/prop area. It fit perfectly! Don’t ask me why that bottom part of that dresser is off-colored. (We had a small installation mishap when we put that together ha!)

I was amazed that evening when everyone left.  I remember walking into my garage that night and just stood there thinking how could this get any better?  The shelves were up, our purged items were in their designated containers….LIFE WAS GOOD!  Little did I know it was about to get A WHOLE LOT BETTER!

On day 2 it was like an organizing spree in the Choi garage!  Kamille and the team went full force with a label machine and file folding! I honestly had never seen anything like it.  Her team got right to work making all of my garage dreams come to life.  Like I said I didn’t think it could get better but I was sorely mistaken. All my costumes for The Joey World Project and Naptime With Joey were all stored in freezer bags and labeled.

I came back down to the garage at the end of the day when it was time for the big reveal and this is what we saw!

My photography gear and various household items that we need to access frequently like batteries, tools and extension cords, were stored in the corner.

They even hung up my Playdate Project sign!

There’s something about color coordinated books that thrills me.

They even found the perfect display box for Joey’s first shoes!

The costume dresser had been organized into various costumes in alphabetical order as well as different accessories like shoes and headwear. And WOW, do I have A LOT of wigs!

Our shoes were previously thrown together in several large bins where we’d have to fish out our shoes but the team went ahead and separated each pair of shoes into their own separate containers to protect them from dirt and so that they are now easy to find. The bins they used for that were these smaller shoe boxes and these larger ones. Joey’s snacks were kept in the garage because we always grab a few on our way to the car when we go out so the team put them in bins that were easy for us to pull them out from.

Our strollers were hung up on the wall so that it would save on floor space and the shoes we often wore, we put on a separate rack. You can find a similar rack here from The Container Store.

I know most people don’t think of their garage as a place to spend money designing but I am so glad we did!  I can actually park a car in there now, I can walk in there and find that picture I was looking for, I can easily get to our suitcases.  It seriously is such an amazing feeling!

If you’ve been putting off that dreaded organizing project because you just don’t want to deal with it now is the time! My biggest regret about this project is not starting it sooner.  I was so stressed over the mess we had created in the garage I didnt realize just how out of hand it had gotten.  Jen’s team and The Container Store made this such an easy and smooth process and I now have the most organized garage in all of Southern California!  And the best part?  I can now focus on the interior and preparing for a new nursery without worrying about this big project I need to finish!

Below are all of the wonderful products Life in Jeneral used.  All items were purchased at The Container Store and are available online too!

Label Maker

Smart Store Adhesive Labels

Grey Modular Stackable Crates

Our Men’s Shoe Box

Our Shoe Box

Our Clear Storage Boxes

Small Smart Store Tote

Medium Smart Store Tote

Large Smart Store Tote

Tall Smart Store Inserts

Clear Weathertight Totes

Clear Stackable Plastic Storage Bins

Platinum elfa utility Track

Grey elfa utility Accessory Hooks

Grey elfa utility Tool Holders

elfa utility Wide Ladder Hook

Acrylic Bracelet Box

Large Modular Clear Acrylic Premium Display Case

InterDesign Linus Deep Drawer Organizers

Platinum elfa utility Track

Platinum elfa Easy Hang Top Tracks

Platinum elfa Ventilated Wire Shelves

Platinum elfa Mounted Standards

Platinum elfa Easy Hang Standards

Platinum elfa Bracket Covers

Platinum elfa Top Track Cover

Platinum elfa Ventilated Wire Shelf Brackets

Intermetro 4 Shelf Solution Rack



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