Garage Makeover Before and After

“Happiness is a place between too little and too much.” ~ Finnish Proverb

Organized garage shelves

When we moved into Snowberry last year, organizing the garage was the last thing on my mind.

The garage quickly became a warehouse for unpacked boxes, furniture and other items that hadn’t yet or wouldn’t find a place in our newly renovated house.

Can you relate?

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Woman and dog entering garage

When we bought the house, it had a carport. No garage.

The original garage had been converted to a great room decades ago.

Recently I shared the great room renovation process as well as the finished space.

A carport didn’t cut it for us. We’re garage people …

We want/need the enclosed storage space a garage provides, and we like to occasionally park a car in there just to prove we can.

As part of our whole-house renovation, the carport was converted into a proper, enclosed garage.

Garage Doors and Cuppola

We added carriage doors to the back wall of the garage at the suggestion of our landscape designer.


Garage Carriage Doors


Part of our property sits on the opposite side of the garage.

And opening both the garage door and carriage doors allows us to connect the two spaces for summer soirees.

Turns out it was beneficial for our landscaping project too … when it came time to tear up the back patio a Bobcat was able to cruise right through the garage.

Dog in front of carriage doors

You may have noticed the doors don’t open like carriage doors.

They slide like barn doors.

I have a thing about barn doors.

We don’t live in a barn.

You could point out that we don’t live in a carriage house either.

But I don’t like to get bogged down with facts.

The carriage doors are one of the best decisions we made during the entire renovation.

In addition to being great for function, they add a really nice design element to our backyard patio.

Funny story …

Our electrician overheard me joking about having a dance party in the garage and decided to add a ceiling outlet for a disco ball!

I’ve gotten off track … easy to do when working on an organization project.

Let’s get back to it.


Holy Moly

Messy garage


Last fall we were ready to tackle the garage makeover.

We both like the idea of cabinets to keep things behind closed doors.

We reached out to We’re Organized, a Bay Area closet and garage organization company, to give us a quote.

We’d seen an advertisement for their garage products and liked the streamlined look of their cabinets.

Garage Cabinets


But first we needed to address the garage floor. It was in dismal condition.

We decided an epoxy finish was the way to go.

It’s not only durable, but it’s easy to clean and looks nice.

Dirty garage floor


Our sales rep from We’re Organized represents Epoxy Armor Systems as well and provided quotes for both projects.

This post is not sponsored by either company.

We decided to move forward and selected gray cabinets and dark gray, vinyl flake floor.

Garage cabinet and floor sample


With these decisions made, and the work scheduled, it was time to sort through the contents of the garage.


The first step of any organization project is assessing what you have and then edit, edit, edit.

Edit is another way of saying toss, sell, and donate.

As downsized, empty nesters we’ve become ruthless about editing

I organized our main bedroom closet several months ago and shared questions I ask myself when tackling an editing process.

They apply to any type of organization project and go something like this.

  • Do I need it (use it)?
  • Do I love it?
  • Does it have sentimental value?
  • Do I have (organized) space for it?

Next, I sort into categories – things it makes sense to keep together.

These are some of our garage categories:

  • Tools and equipment (including extra paint)
  • Gardening (leaf blower, rake, brooms)
  • Outdoor (pillows, cushions, towels, throws, ice chests)
  • Travel (suitcases)
  • Sports (golf clubs, tennis racquets, exercise equipment)
  • Holiday and seasonal décor
  • Cleaning (stick vacuum, dust buster, step stool, backs stocked cleaning products)

In addition to the above categories, we designated a cabinet for pantry, back stock items and small appliances.

We don’t have a kitchen pantry, so this seemed like a great solution.


While waiting for our cabinet installation, we bought inexpensive storage bins at Lowe’s and got to work filling them.

Corralling smaller items into bins and baskets is the best way to maximize storage (and keep more stuff).

Storage bin


I purchased storage containers specifically for ornaments and wreaths at The Container Store.

Jim already had a tool chest and our garage cabinet plan was designed around it.

Garage tool chest on wheels




The floor installation process took two days.

Followed by two days of settling before walking on it or moving things back into the garage.

Garage Door and Opener


At the end of the first day we realized the color didn’t match our sample.

Turns out the sample was mislabeled.

At that point changing the color would require the floor be completely removed and redone.

We decided to live with the solid gray.

After all, it’s a just garage.


And just like that it was cabinet installation day.

The entire installation took just half a day.

Organized garage cabinets


As much as we like everything behind closed doors, some things just can’t be stored that way.

Things like our iron, stick vacuum, dust buster and step stool are hung on walls.


On the other side is our dog stroller (yes, dog stroller … Jim said not to mention it), rakes, brooms and other gardening tools.

Oh, and, of course, the Christmas tree needs a space.

And we added a carpet mat runner to create a path from the driveway into the house.

It traps dirt, dust, absorbs water and helps keep the floor clean.

You can find a similar option here.

Christmas tree storage in garage


The wall on the opposite side of the garage is cinderblock construction.

Because of that, the cabinets have to sit on the floor rather than hanging on the wall like the other side.


We utilize the space above and below the cabinets to store things like doormats, umbrella stands, outdoor sofa cushions and umbrellas.


A home gym was not part of the original plan.

But after being home for a year we broke down a bought a treadmill.

There’s no space inside the house so the garage was the only option.

Home Gym


I resisted at first, but I’m glad we went ahead with it.

You can see our home (garage) gym and home gym essentials here.


The downside of the gym decision … only one car fits in the garage.

And today it’s mine.

Car parked in garage

After nearly a year of chaos … order has been restored!

Garage Makeover


“Life is too complicated not to be orderly.” ~  Martha Stewart


Just as there are all kinds of garages, there are all kinds of ways to organize them … on any budget.

Jim and I have owned a lot of houses together … and organized a lot of garages.

Our first house came with the original 1950’s kitchen cabinets repurposed in the garage.

For several garages we used steel framed shelving assembled by Jim.

At our Fidalgo Island house California Closets outfitted the garage (and all our closets).

It was expensive.

Garage organization system

Fidalgo Island Garage – CA Closets System

We’re much happier with the We’re Organized product … and it’s about half the cost.

Garage cabinetry

We’re Organized Cabinets


The cornerstone of any organization system is stackable bins.

Ours are a little flimsy and I’d recommend something more heavy duty.

Garage cabinet storage system

There are so many options available … everywhere.

And they’re affordable.

I really like clear bins because I can see what’s inside and don’t need to label them.

If you use opaque bins, invest in a label maker or some type of label system.

The Home Edit pre-made labels are works of art.

Of course, the real key to an organization system is keeping it up.

We make an effort to return things to where they belong right away.

On weekends, after doing yard chores, we try to do a quick clean up, break down packaging and sweep out leaves and debris that inevitably creeps in.

When we don’t do this, things can feel out of control very quickly and I hate that feeling.

However you do it, creating and maintaining an organized garage feels great.

Just ask Pippa.

Dog in garage

And there you have it, Snowberry’s garage makeover …  before and after!

What do you think?


Garage Makeover Pin Collage


So glad you asked … I’m wearing a ripped girlfriend jean, classic white tee, a lightweight cable knit pullover and vans.

The pullover arrived in my last StitchFix. I have a love hate relationship with StitchFix, but this pullover is firmly in the love column. Aside from the pullover,  they’ve missed the mark lately. By a long shot. But they’re offering a limited time $50 credit for new subscribers. And, they’ll give me a $50 credit too.

If you’ve been curious to try StitchFix, now might be the time. I posted the $50 credit link on my Make Mine A  Spritzer Blog Facebook page.

Honestly I’ve been happy with  StitchFix for six-plus years, so maybe we’re just going through a rough patch. I hope so because I’d hate to break up.

As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Cheers from Snowberry!



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    • Sometimes things work out … we like it too. And if we drop something we can see it! Have a great week! xo

    • Thanks, Robbin … the tough part is keeping it this way and not accumulating any more stuff. Stuff just seems to happen!!! xo

  • WOW! This is quite the transformation. Everything turned out so beautifully! I have been meaning to do some work in our garage and this is so inspirational. Thank you for sharing, Juliet!

    • Thanks, Stacey … it’s hard to get excited about organizing a garage, but once it done it makes such a difference. xo


    • Ah ha … so you have my floor!!! I do love the idea of a disco ball and was looking forward to the open house / disco party we’d throw last summer … and then the pandemic. When we do plug one in it will be a happy day. Yep, the landscape guy knows a thing or two! xo

    • I hope you can convince him, Paula … Jim gets such a kick out of ‘his’ garage … and thinks he’s the boss of me in there! Haha. xo

    • Jessica … you’re too kind … I’m one of those people who can’t function unless everything is in it’s place. I believe that’s a sign of a cluttered mind. Haha. xo

  • I may or may not have Posted a comment. All if a sudden, A blank screen. Anyhow… you are now SUPREMELY ORGANIZED and i am impressed. Job well done

  • Hi Juliet,
    Your garage is so perfectly organiZed and lookS great! Ours would give you a headache! All the Stuff from my daughters’ Three DORM ROOMS and one former apartment are stored there, along with all the stuff my husband juSt can’t get rid of. And the tools, christmas stuff, My big signs for Open STudios. And more…Oh Lord its a BIG mess! I will keepthe company uou used in mind if we ever get around to organizing it!
    XO Heidi

    • Heidi … did you look at my BEFORE picture?! It did give me a headache. Booking an appointment for the cabinet quote was the only way to get me motivated to do something about it. Now the challenge is keeping it up! Ugh. xo

  • Juliet your garage looks amazing. I might need you to fly across the country and assist me is ruthlessly discarding all of my stuff! We downsized and lost 1200 sq feet and although we gave away tons of stuff we still have a lot. I digress, your space looks amazing and could not agree more, stuff just happens and accumulates Have a wonderful weekend.

  • JUliet great post and super helpful. As someone who just did this, I wish I had read this before!! It would have helped a lot. We also did similar cabinets and an epoxy floor. Honestly, I think we have the first floor choice you picked and it’s a little disco. I would have preferred the plain grey!
    I need some of these mats and your home gym looks inviting. The bonus is you can open that side door and have the view to your pretty garden! It was genius putting that in. We had no attached yard, or I would have also. You made me laugh out loud about the dog stroller. Of course you need one for the girls. Well I’m sharing this post to help others as it addresses everything.. Oh and I’m waiting for an invite to the dance party!! Yes to mirrored balls. xoxo Kim

    • Oh, Kim … now I’m dying to see your garage!!! You got our floor?! Truthfully, I think the mistake was a blessing in disguise but it was a shock at the time. Thanks for being so generous … and you can be sure you’ll top the invite list for our someday Disco Dance Party! xo

  • Pinning this immediatelY!
    “WE’RE GARAGE PEOPLE” I would be too with a garage like yours! It’s gorgeous!!!

    • Thanks, Mary Ann … we can’t all be expert flower arrangers, decorators extraordinaire or world adventurers … but we garage people know who to pack a bin!!! xoxo

    • Thanks, Cindy … we procrastinated on this project a long time and are so relieved to have it done. Jim loves his rolling work bench. He’ll love that you love it! xo

  • So smart to add the garage back in the mix. our garage is so tiny. would be amazing to have a garage like this one day!! love the doors you chose too. the outlet for the disco ball is genius ;0
    p.s. we also got a treadmill during lockdown lol.

    • Marie, isn’t it fascinating how older homes have such small garages … if they have a garage at all. I know not everyone had cars, or multiple cars back then, but they must have had stuff. Where did they put it? And where did they have their dance parties?! Seriously, purging is a constant process in our house and keeping our newly organized garage organized is a challenge. Thanks for your sweet comment. How are you liking your treadmill? xo

    • Thanks, Kim … if you could only see it today. We ran into a neighbor on our dog walk this morning … who asked what we were up to this weekend and Jim said, cleaning the garage. I hope they don’t read my blog!!! xo

    • You are too sweet, Paula … thank you! Keeping that darned garaged clean is a constant process and it’s getting a little shushing this weekend. xo

    • I hear you … the garage was always an afterthought to me until I organized the first one and realized how great it can be. Even knowing how much I love it the garage is always the last place to get attention. I’m so glad to have this one done. Keeping it up … another story! xo

  • Your garage looks great, Juliet! My husband and I are planning to refresh and organize our garage this fall. Your post is so helpful! Pinned!

  • I Love how Yoyour garage turned out! I aI actually like the gray floors I think better than the one you originally TripIt.! HaHaving the carriage house doors on the back of your garage was such a brilliant idea.!! I wI wish I could steal it but then I would have carriage House stores in our breezeway!! LoLooks great. I’m looking forward to a day that we can actually clean our garage out and have a home gym!

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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