Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's A Matter of Organizing Your Garage Cabinets....

I have a very handy husband....I believe he can fix or build anything....and probably has.  I am fortunate that Rooster Senior will quickly repair, build, or address anything I ask for in a short period of time.  Because of this, I try not to ask for too  many things because I want him to enjoy being home and not having got 'work' too much at home. 

With all of his talents, he struggles with organization.  He is the king stuffing bags, re-purposed bottles/cans, and boxes into any crevice he can find. He reminds me of the game of Tetris....with the purpose to just find anyplace where the part/piece can fit.  

How To Organize Garage Cabinets:

See the bags, boxes and items placed in the cabinet without rhyme or reason (to me anyway).  So, because of Rooster Senior's generosity, I decided (at my own peril) to try to be helpful by organizing some of the Garage cabinets.  

I looked at what I saw as chaos.  I got online and ordered milk crates and clear shoe boxes.  (It is important to Rooster Senior that he can see everything.  This is why I chose these containers.  You can see what is inside for the most part).  I set up a 'sorting station'.  I used an 8 foot table and utilized the space on top of the table as well as under it.  As I took out a bag/box/can, I sorted the items into an appropriate container.  I am a Speech-Language Pathologist by training. One of the things that we teach folks with Executive Functioning issues to learn categorization and to use it to problem solve...along with other things.  Organizing requires I used Categorization to sort the many items I was pulling from these cabinets.

While sorting, I found many duplicate items.  This is ultimately costly and takes up precious space. 

It's amazing how many things you can fit into a milk crate! They are sturdy as well.

I also used my handy-dandy label maker to identify the contents of the containers.  All of these labels are essentially at the same eye level to make scanning for needed items easier to find.

For smaller containers, I used the label maker to identify large categories and some with a sorted but similar items.  "Lighting" items in the top box, and other items associated in the lower box. Each type of item is listed on the outside of the box.

To help categorize and assist in visual sorting, I also put labels on the inside of the doors. These cabinets are deep, and some items were placed in the back of the cabinet because they are not used as frequently as others. This again helps Rooster Senior to see and find things.

See the end result?  All items are labeled and sorted by category.  Whole cabinets were also classified.  We have a 'camping/recreation' cabinet, wood-working, etc.  
I would like to say that he was 'thrilled' and even 'excited'.  However, he was polite.  Overall the cabinets have essentially remained mainly the same.  I have to go in and reorganize on occasion.  I chose not to do all the cabinets at once.  I need to let my Tetris husband decide if he was ready or even wanted more of this throughout the garage.

For me, this is a welcome change!  I can find things!  I know right where they are!  I am hoping that with time we can continue this method to help reduce duplicates, and have a space for everything. This was a safety issue at times as the stacking and sliding items as you open the cabinet doors with items randomly falling out.  Also, the piles of these items on the floor can also pose a safety risk. Time will tell to see how this experiment will work over time for him. For me, it is a big success.  Now, I need to respect the rest of his space....he is worthy of such respect both in time and space.

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