Garage is now organized!
I didn't initially realize the clutter in the garage had been caused by yours truly until things got bad enough for me to say no more as I parked the car in the garage and would walk in having to dodge around things. Granted my tolerance level of "junk" is fairly low but even so the chaos was too much.
I've been selling and giving away items on CL for the past few months here and there and was waiting for a nice day to venture out for a final purging. Yesterday was the nice enough day, I had been waiting for.
My DH and I went out to see what was available for shelving and bins. We found some heavy duty 27 gallon storage bins for only $8.10 (after pricing matching & 10% more off). The heavy duty material allows us to stack them on top of each other w/o crushing the others so we nixed the shelving completely. We only wanted to go 3 high so we could have easy access to the most used items. We initially bought 9 and ended up going back for 6 more for a total of 15 bins! We brought items that had been stored in the basement to the garage where it made more sense to store. We actually had more in the garage then ever but it ended up MUCH better organized and clutterless.
It made me question the amount of things we were keeping but it's all used being that we are DIYers and active in games/activities.
After years of organizing, and then having to reorganize again because the "system" wasn't working, I learned a very important lesson. Organize to the way I live, not to the way I want to live. I know for myself if things are easy to toss together in a bin with like categories, I'm much more likely to put it there. If I have many bins in smaller categories, it isn't going to happen for me.
For example, I've got 2 bins for my gardening now. 1 is the chemicals & fertilizers. The other is planting soil & tools. Before the chemicals were together with other chemicals, the fertilizers were on another shelf, the tools were in multiple places (didn't have a true home) and the soils were in another location. Not only were they all over the place, it looked messy!
We've got a few things we need to give away yet (my DD just took the tomato cages & soaker hoses last night) and we're in desperation for the recycling to come (aagh 11 more days yet), with cardboard & garden pots. After that it will look just like I had envisioned.