Before & After: Solving the Garage Clutter Problem

My clients Debbie and Fred had moved into a new home and realized immediately that their master closet wasn’t working for them. After installing California Closets, they moved on to Phase II: the garage.

As so many of us can relate to, their garage was becoming a dumping zone. Everything from bikes, coolers, gardening tools, outdoor equipment, lamps, tools, and ladders were cluttering up the space.

Problems & Solutions:

Debbie and I talked about the solutions they needed for their problem garage:

1. They needed a specific place for certain items, instead of randomly throughout the garage.

2. They wanted to cover most of their belongings behind doors to eliminate the dust and to keep the mess out of sight.

3. Debbie wanted to have individual sections for skis and garden tools.

4. She needed drawers for tools.

5. She wanted a section for shoes near the door, so she didn’t have to bring wet shoes into the laundry room.

6. They needed storage for various items like ladders, bikes, garden tools, and wrapping paper.

This double car garage now has the storage it was built for! 

I designed this space in our soft Linen (Almond) color with flat doors so the clients won’t have to clean the dust and dirt on the doors and drawers as often. There is little natural light in this space, so having a light color finish and flat faces is appealing to the eye and keeps the space looking clean, bright and big!

The design I came up with accommodates all their needs and gives a ton of extra space. Have a look at the before and after photos to see this amazing transformation!


BEFORE: Piles of stuff with unworkable storage containers made Debbie's garage a stressful clutter zone.


AFTER: Now, even with the car parked in the garage, there is room to store and access belongings from the custom shelves, drawers, cubbies and cabinets. Notice the vertical cubbies specifically for skis and garden tools. A lot of stuff, without the clutter!

The cabinets and drawers keep belongings protected from dirt and dust, while the flat facing makes them easy to clean. You can get a peek at the wall slats on the right, which are perfect for hanging frequently used tools.


Per Debbie's request, we included shoe shelves so that wet or muddy shoes wouldn't track dirt into the house.


Using the vertical space is key to good organizing. Wall slats throughout the garage are the perfect accessory for neatly hanging items like bikes, ladders, and other equipment and tools.


What do you think of Debbie and Fred’s garage makeover? Does it give you ideas for how you can update and organize your own garage?


LiShelle Putnam

LiShelle Putnam is a design consultant at California Closets in Calgary. She feels honored to work in clients’ homes and create unique designs with custom details that make their lives more beautiful and organized.

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