Garage Remodel Plans: The Before!

If you remember from the new house tour I posted about a year ago, the garage is the reason I fell in love with our house when we were house hunting! It was nice and big, reasonably new construction, and it had a whole second floor! I knew as soon as I saw it that the main floor would make the perfect workshop space, and the second floor would make an amazing craft room and home office. And now that we need my current craft room as a nursery for the new baby, I have the perfect excuse to get started on giving the garage a makeover!

When Rubbermaid reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try out their FastTrack garage organization system (available at Home Depot and online), I jumped at the chance; I knew it would be the perfect way to organize the main floor of the garage! We began construction this week and I couldn’t be more excited, so today I’m going to share the (horrible!) before photos of the main floor and our plans for the remodel!

Garage Remodel Plans: See how we plan to remodel this messy garage and make the space much more useful!

Basically, the plan is to “finish” the space and then reorganize. We hired a contractor to do the big stuff, like electrical work, insulating the walls, and hanging the drywall. But we’re planning to do the final touches like painting the walls and trimming out the windows and doors ourselves.

So obviously, the first step is to clear out the garage so the contractor and his crew can get in and work. And as you can see, the main floor of the garage is a MESS! I purposely did not tidy up, to show you what it really looks like most days.

The previous owners left a few hooks and shelving units in the garage, along with old cans of paint, some gardening tools, hardware, etc. We managed to keep the right side of the garage sort of tidy, but that was mostly because of necessity! There isn’t much room on that side of the garage without blocking the overhead door, so only skinny stuff fit there anyway.

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The other side of the garage, however, is a whole different story!

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This is basically our storage space and workshop all in one. Whenever I have a large project to work on, we move the car out onto the street and use the garage space for building, painting, etc. Then at night we shove all the pieces of the project over to the left so we can fit the car back in the garage (silly suburb nighttime parking restrictions). It’s not a great system, and of course, the more projects I’m working on, the more cluttered the garage gets!

But if you can look past the clutter, you can see the potential the space has! For example, this whole area under the stairs here would be PERFECT for a giant workbench!

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My plan is to build and install a workbench that goes all the way from the stairs to the wall on the right. That way I will always have space to work, and I can use the space under the bench for tool and supply storage. I also plan on putting a giant pegboard up above the workbench, because who doesn’t love organizing with pegboards?!

Plus, the space under the stairs is definitely better placement for a work bench than this drop down work bench that the previous owners left us. Don’t get me wrong, this little metal work bench has been really awesome, but it’s only about 4 square feet; nowhere near big enough! Plus, once we clear all the stuff out from in front of the car and move it into storage under the stairs, we’ll actually be able to walk all the way around the car when it’s parked in the garage! That’s going to be an absolute necessity once the baby is here and we have to deal with getting her in and out of her car seat. 🙂

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And this “skinny” wall is the perfect place for the FastTrack system! The FastTrack system is a modular organization system built on rails that you mount on your walls. The awesome thing about this system is that it allows you to utilize the vertical space in your garage for organization. And since we can’t put things too far from that wall without blocking the garage door, it’s perfect.

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The FastTrack system has tons of hooks and accessories that are made to easily mount on the rails. All you have to do is mount the rails onto your wall (into studs so they’re sturdy!), then clip on your accessories!

Rubbermaid sent us a mesh basket, a vertical ball rack, a few 25″ uprights, and a wire utility shelf and shelf brackets, but we knew we needed more pieces to really get our messy garage organized.

So we went to Home Depot last week and stocked up! We bought a 7′ rail and a bunch of hooks (and a few gardening supplies!).

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Clearly this system is pretty popular, because we basically cleared the place out! Luckily, you can also find this system online on Home Depot’s website. In fact, a few things are only available online, like the pieces Rubbermaid sent to us, so make sure to check there as well when planning out your organization system.

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They also sell pre-built “kits” online, so if you want to get started with the basics (a rail, mounting hardware, and a few of the most popular hooks), you can find that all in one package! Or you can mix and match and get whatever accessories you think will help you organize the best!

Our FastTrack system is planned out and we have all the pieces, we spent last weekend clearing out the garage, and the contractor has started construction this week! I cannot WAIT for the work to be finished so we can really finish up the space and get it organized!

I will keep posting updates as we make progress on the garage, so check back later!

Disclosure: I received compensation from Rubbermaid and TapInfluence in exchange for my participation in this organization challenge, and my honest discussion of their products. But the Rubbermaid FastTrack products from Home Depot are all seriously amazing and all opinions in this post are 100% my own. I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was useful or interesting for you guys, and Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts for companies or products I love and believe in! 🙂


Fast, easy, fun. The FastTrack Garage Organization System is easy to install and allows you to store more by making use of your entire wall…not just where the wall studs are located! Visit your local Home Depot today!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of RUBBERMAID®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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