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Old 08-15-2011, 11:54 PM   #1
bczygan
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Default Grunge Garage

OK,
So this is an existing single car attached garage here in Detroit. House is a 2 story brick colonial on a corner lot.
Here's the interesting part.......me and the wife are hoarders!
I'm making this admission here because I know there are more of us lurking out there. I want this to encourage them (And myself) that change is possible.

Existing conditions:
The house and garage are packed to the rafters.
I've built 7 sheds to hold the overflow.
All this on a 40x100 lot!

This is going to be about a lifestyle change for us both.
I'm counting on the OC among you to help us find ways to be more like you.
First step is going to be a clean out and reorganizing of the existing approx. 9x18 garage. I've begun today. For the last few years I couldn't even get into the garage from the inside or outside doors. I slid over a pile of stuff at the inside door today and began moving items from in front of me to behind me, working my way to the outside door. Kind of like those little puzzles where you have to move every other piece to make room for the piece you want to move. I got to the outside door and unlocked and partially opened it. The Airstream trailer in the driveway prevents full opening for now. I started by pulling out a lot of pieces of lumber that were stored in the garage. This included Womanized pine boards and fence boards that can be stored outside. There have been leaks and some pieces of plaster impregnated metal lath ceiling had fallen down. I pulled those out too. Filled 2 small black trash dumpsters with the debris. Stacked boxes up along the walls to make a path through the garage. Now I can almost get from one door to the other! Photos of what remains and the dumpsters and stacks of removed wood leaning on a tree follow:

Hard to get your bearings in this shot. You are looking in throught the outside garage door toward the back wall of the garage. Ceiling panels have fallen down and view is blocked by lots of stuff:


A little to the right of the previous shot showing the boards, lumber and MDF panels that were leaning against the door. Had to move to get the door open. The garage door is one of those single piece counterbalanced types that swing up and overhead.


This shows some of the wall to the right and lumber overhead. Somewhere under that is a bench with drill press.


More:


Insulation falling out of the ceiling:


Inside of the garage door. I insulated with batts and covered with hardboard, a temporary solution a few years back.


Next 4 photos are taken from the inside door looking out:








2 full dumpsters for Wed. pickup. Lots more to come!


2 shots of wood I've pulled out:




2 shots of wood that needs dealing with. And there's lots more where that came from!




OK, got enough out, and stacked up on the sides,to walk around the bandsaw in the middle and almost get to the inside door!










There IS a Delta wood lathe in there somewhere...I remember using it once.


So THAT'S where the drill press is! And look.....multimedia!


Sub-panel for when I get that far.


Plenty of paint! Lots more in the basement....


Maple boards for a future workbench:


The inside door to the rear vestibule and rear door are visible on the left. On the right of that along the rear wall is a built in rack full of paints. To the right of that is a built in bench with a flimsy wood storage rack above:


Looking out through the outside door with more boards and tools stacked up on the right:



Basically it's a big mess as you can see. Goal is to make it a usable space for tools for working on the 2 vans (Astro and E350).

Bill (Almost overwhelmed in Detroit)

PS: As I am editing this and adding photo captions it occurs to me that the 16th is my birthday and this project is a present to me and many days of future happiness puttering about on the garage!
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Last edited by bczygan; 08-16-2011 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Holy Cow!
It looks like you could free up alot of space by stacking the wood outside under covers. Only other advice I have would be to fill those two cans every week. Once you can walk around, it will get better.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Dude that's fxxxing scary. I've had a few customer's houses that approached that level of chaos but nothing like this. I think you are doing the right thing in putting your intentions out there. Sorta like going to your first AA meeting and saying, "My name is .... and I have a problem."
Document your progress no matter how small it may be. Post yr pics here. It'll help you keep moving in the right direction. Finally, it may be a little shopworn as a saying but it is true. "Every journey begins with a single step."

More power to ya man, keep us posted
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMechMaster View Post
Holy Cow!
It looks like you could free up alot of space by stacking the wood outside under covers. Only other advice I have would be to fill those two cans every week. Once you can walk around, it will get better.
Some of the wood needs protection like the MDF and interior trim. Plus the yard is already full of sheds and stacks of lumber. Some of this needs to go. I've got 3 more cans I can fill. I can almost walk the length of it now. Tomorrow will be a full path!
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

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Originally Posted by rogsmart View Post
Dude that's fxxxing scary. I've had a few customer's houses that approached that level of chaos but nothing like this. I think you are doing the right thing in putting your intentions out there. Sorta like going to your first AA meeting and saying, "My name is .... and I have a problem."
Document your progress no matter how small it may be. Post yr pics here. It'll help you keep moving in the right direction. Finally, it may be a little shopworn as a saying but it is true. "Every journey begins with a single step."

More power to ya man, keep us posted
Thanks for the support. Yes, the idea is like announcing you are going on a diet. Then you gotta do something or be embarrassed. Well,....I may be a little past embarrassed!
But I know my GJ buddies will help me keep forging along.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

That is crazy. Bottom line you have way more stuff than space to fit it, no matter how well you organize. I'm no expert on these matters, but I would say a couple garage/yard/house sales, and whatever doesn't sell and you aren't 100% sure you'll absolutely use in the near future, goes in a dumpster (or two).

Lumber is tough to part with. I think everyone struggles with that. Maybe you can donate whatever you can't reasonably store.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote Red View Post
That is crazy. Bottom line you have way more stuff than space to fit it, no matter how well you organize. I'm no expert on these matters, but I would say a couple garage/yard/house sales, and whatever doesn't sell and you aren't 100% sure you'll absolutely use in the near future, goes in a dumpster (or two).

Lumber is tough to part with. I think everyone struggles with that. Maybe you can donate whatever you can't reasonably store.
Yeah, 20# of stuff and a 5# sack. Lumber is particularly hard for me because I'm a designer and builder and know exactly what I could build with it. But I've run out of house AND yard space. I'm learning to part with things. Sometimes too much isn't security, it's just too much.
The carrot on this stick is I could have a useful garage with my tools all ready to use and that just makes me salivate! I feel like going down there tonight and doing some more.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

You have quite the task ahead of you!

However, this is a very supportive group so you've come to the right place.

I'm assuming that if you are posting pictures and descriptions for all to see, you are open to feedback/criticism/suggestions and the like.

I'm no expert at organization, but here are some tips that *may* help:

1. Trash the cardboard boxes. I know it's tempting to keep them around just in case you move or need to store stuff, but cardboard boxes will always come around when you need them, plus, the more empty boxes you have around, the more tempting it is to fill them up with stuff.

2. Wood is good, but have an idea for it. If you are not going to use that banister in the next few months, ditch it. Same goes for the rest of the wood. Any wood that you have a real intention for (such as building cabinets), would be definitely good to keep.

3. Ditch any paint/varnish with less that 1/3 can left.

4. Get rid of 'made in China' and cheap stuff first and keep 'made in USA' and the good stuff. This could be a great starting spot. Heck, if that was what you held your criteria to, it would probably be a lot easier than you think to clean out a shop. This is totally personal opinion, but I would ditch anything made in China way faster than anything in the US of A. Keep the metal tool, ditch the cheap plastic one. Keep the nice wood, ditch the pressboard...that kinda thing.

5. Come up with a fun theme! This is just food for thought. I have found it is MUCH easier to work within a space if I have a theme going. My theme is 1950s, and more specifically, Craftsman tools. That means its MUCH easier for me to either get rid of or not even consider something if it doesn't fit within the 'theme'. You can be creative here and it makes the garage work so much more fun.

Please, please take all the above with a huge grain of salt - you've got to make things fit for you. You've got a great task ahead of you but it sounds like you have great motivation as well. Thanks for posting what you have...now we can keep you accountable!!!

Remember, nothing's going to change unless you get serious. Start cranking it out!! When in doubt, throw away or sell/donate.

Oh, and we'll all be waiting for updated photos in a week showing a cleaned out space

Good luck!
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Currently looking for the following vintage Craftsman tools:
1940-1941 Craftsman 101.02180 9" cabinet saw - link
1956-1957 Craftsman 12" Foley-Belsaw planer - link
1940s floor press model 103-0304
1939-1940 10" band saw model 103.0101
Also looking for a 1942 Craftsman shop vise:
http://images116.fotki.com/v693/phot...49_01PM-vi.png
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Leader View Post
You have quite the task ahead of you!
My answers in BOLD
However, this is a very supportive group so you've come to the right place.

I'm assuming that if you are posting pictures and descriptions for all to see, you are open to feedback/criticism/suggestions and the like.
Yes! I need ideas and a gentle push from time to time.
I'm no expert at organization, but here are some tips that *may* help:

1. Trash the cardboard boxes. I know it's tempting to keep them around just in case you move or need to store stuff, but cardboard boxes will always come around when you need them, plus, the more empty boxes you have around, the more tempting it is to fill them up with stuff.
I'm ditching the boxes already.
2. Wood is good, but have an idea for it. If you are not going to use that banister in the next few months, ditch it. Same goes for the rest of the wood. Any wood that you have a real intention for (such as building cabinets), would be definitely good to keep.
Banister came out of a 1M home we built and is replacing my missing one but lots of the wood in there is going into the fire pit or fireplace. What is kept will be for very specific projects (Mostly on the house).
3. Ditch any paint/varnish with less that 1/3 can left.
Most of the latex is ruined from freezing. Basement flooded and furnace went out last winter.
4. Get rid of 'made in China' and cheap stuff first and keep 'made in USA' and the good stuff. This could be a great starting spot. Heck, if that was what you held your criteria to, it would probably be a lot easier than you think to clean out a shop. This is totally personal opinion, but I would ditch anything made in China way faster than anything in the US of A. Keep the metal tool, ditch the cheap plastic one. Keep the nice wood, ditch the pressboard...that kinda thing.
Yuppers!
5. Come up with a fun theme! This is just food for thought. I have found it is MUCH easier to work within a space if I have a theme going. My theme is 1950s, and more specifically, Craftsman tools. That means its MUCH easier for me to either get rid of or not even consider something if it doesn't fit within the 'theme'. You can be creative here and it makes the garage work so much more fun.
I'm thinking a theme of "Normal Garage" might be a fun one to try???
Please, please take all the above with a huge grain of salt - you've got to make things fit for you. You've got a great task ahead of you but it sounds like you have great motivation as well. Thanks for posting what you have...now we can keep you accountable!!!
What have I done?
Remember, nothing's going to change unless you get serious. Start cranking it out!! When in doubt, throw away or sell/donate.

Oh, and we'll all be waiting for updated photos in a week showing a cleaned out space
Well, maybe a week and a day...
Good luck!
Thanks...I'm gonna need all I can get
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

You have made some good progress...keep it up! The good news is you have some good stuff and you know what you need to do...pulling for you.

Shaun
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczygan View Post
Yeah, 20# of stuff and a 5# sack. Lumber is particularly hard for me because I'm a designer and builder and know exactly what I could build with it. But I've run out of house AND yard space. I'm learning to part with things. Sometimes too much isn't security, it's just too much.
The carrot on this stick is I could have a useful garage with my tools all ready to use and that just makes me salivate! I feel like going down there tonight and doing some more.
You have to realize what you COULD do with it and what you HAVE DONE with it. Huge difference. Some of that stuff you haven't been able to get to in years.

It's hard to tell a hoarder how to get rid of things. My father used to be like that only on not of large of scale, and I started to be like that. One day I went through things and started tossing everything and never looked back. After a period of time you forget about it and/or it doesn't hurt as bad to do it.

You have a ton of woodworking equipment that you can't even get to for the wood, so that tells me you haven't made anything in a while. If the wood is worth anything, stack it according to sizes and types and sell it. What you can't sell....scrap. If the wood is shorter than a certain length...scrap it. No use keeping a 1x2 that is a foot long. You have a bunch of railing that you haven't done anything with other than toss some good intentions at it. Sell it or give it away to someone that can use it. If you tack monetary value to everything that is in there, you will never get rid of anything.

Once everything is cleaned up, only buy what you need and get rid of the rest. By that, I mean if you have a project and have some left over lumber, either use it right away for another project or shitcan it. Don't keep half of a 2x4 that only cost you $2.99 to begin with.

It's tough to toss, but once you regain the space in the house and the buildings, you wil realize how much nicer it is without all the clutter.

BTW....Happy Birthday. Mine is the 16th also
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Our company warehouse was so full of junk that we needed to rent additional space to store the raw materials we needed to make money. After a major clean up it was determined that it cost $500.00 to store a 4'x4' pallet for a year, this resulted in a gide line that if something wasn't worth $500.00 don't put in the warehouse. You may want to apply this thinking to your garage space. You may want to consider renting a dumpster. Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Good luck with this. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

I have my own clutter and dealing with it is difficult.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Today's report:
Yesterday and today my wife Julie was home sick with stomach flu so work on the Grunge Garage was slow.
I did manage to sort the pile of lumber I had pulled out and stack the good stuff in the back yard. Next was cutting up the junk boards so they would fit in a dumpster. I was wishing I had a Workmate to use. In fact, I have been looking at them on CL for a while. They go from $25-65 depending on the model. So I go in the garage to look things over and lo and behold there is a Workmate 200 we bought 7 years ago at the Restore for $4! This cleanup is turning out to be a good thing! 3rd dumpster is full and ready to set on the curb for pickup tomorrow. Slowly working my way through the garage. If an item can be stored under a tarp it goes out. If it can be disposed of it gets cut up and canned. Not really good here in Detroit for garage sales as no one has much money and you don't want to show what you have. My guideline for the garage is, if I can't see an item in the finished garage layout, out it goes to either a more appropriate place or.....gone.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Great start on your "new home/garage." You have a lot of good tools shown in those pictures. I bet it's going to feel like Christmas when you undercover some of those. Can't say much more than what others have posted about getting rid of some of that stuff. You obviously know the value of some of that lumber like tha maple etc. So with every other piece of lumber that you throw out the sooner you will be able to get those project finished. Good luck and post the pictures.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

Every journey starts with a first step. You have started, so keep going. Keep showing us you progress and that should help with the motivation.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

More progress:
Photos of stuff I forgot I had:









9




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Old 08-16-2011, 11:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

BC heres a blast from the past . I need to get some updated pics on here . I do agree with picking a " theme " as it makes the Garage more fun to me .


http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ouston+problem


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Old 08-16-2011, 11:21 PM   #19
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just keep at it and dont get overwhelmed
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: Grunge Garage

good start.....pulling for you as well..gotta start tossing stuff!!

Will be great having all that space to use when you get it organized.
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