Organizing drawers in garage

marie26March 2, 2007

I purchased 2 4-drawer Rubbermaid type plastic upright "chests" for the garage or mbr closet. Each drawer has quite a bit of room in it. I wanted to sort the tools and maps/tour guides, etc. in one of them.

I am still deciding what I should sort into the other one. My choices are 3 book boxes of DH's papers that he has not and probably never will organize into any great order. At least he's thrown out those papers he didn't need. I do have a 5-drawer filing cabinet with 2 empty drawers. I could put DH's papers in there instead of the drawers but I'd have to organize them for him since it's obviously not important enough for him to do himself. I know it should be his project but if I do it for him, then it will be done forever and I'll have gotten rid of some boxes. They do logically belong in the filing cabinet.

Then there are still those wires that are now in a huge bin but overflowing. Perhaps I could sort the simple wires such as phone cords and extension cords into the drawers.

Any advice as to what I should put in these drawers? They are on sale at Target this week for about $39.00 each which is an excellent price.

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I don't have any drawers, but I have small boxes, which act in the same manner as drawers. I have my garage stuff more organized by task. One box for small painting supplies (brushes, tape, rollers, etc.) one for electrical (I'm still getting some light fixtures up), one for drywall type work, one for small tools which aren't kept in the toolbox. By just having general catagories, I can find what I need and it's easy to put away.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 12:35AM
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papers are too heavy for most plastic drawers.

If you honestly think DH might need to find stuff in those papers again, put them in the filing cabinet (which is sturdy enough to cope w/ the weight).

If you honestly think HD won't really need that stuff in there, feel free to box it up, tape it shut, and set it up high in the garage (though if the space in the filing cabinet will sit empty for months, it's OK to put the papers there too. DO NOT feel that you somehow must organize them just because you're putting them in the filing cabinet. You can maybe even just set the boxes right in the drawers without unpacking them--at my office, those boxes fit in drawers. If yours will fit in the drawers, just set them in there.

It's true that the BEST use of a filing cabinet is for stuff in folders, but you CAN just pack stuff in it, if it's the best place to stash things. I'd use the drawers in the filing cabinet if I didn't have any other thing that needed the space.

Definitley break the extension cords out from the other wire mess--I'd always assumed that mess of wires was all much more arcane stuff.

Extension cords, to my mind, are family property--you don't have to be the resident electronics whiz to understand what they are and how to use them.

Fold them each into a bundle, secure w/ plastic-coated wire twist ties (I wrap my twist ties first around a single layer of the cord, hen around the bundle that way if I use the cord, I don't lose the twist-tie bcs it stays fastened to the cord).

And put them on YOUR turf.

I would do something similar w/ the phone cords, because I would consider them to be something I understand how to use. I have a box in my "hardware store closet" (a section of shelves in the basement bin where I store that kind of stuff) labeled "electrical and phone"; my phone wire is there. (my extension cords are in the hall closet, where I can get them easily, since I need them far more often than I need phone cords)

Those plastic drawers would probably work well for extension cords or phone wires.

Also, don't buy storage solutions and then look for stuff to put in them. You may end up spending more money than if you look at the items you need to store, and then pay full price for a solution that works.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 11:37AM
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I knew I could count on both of you to be so logical. To be honest, I hadn't even thought of putting DH's papers in the filing cabinet until I wrote this post. This is what I will do: I have enough file folders so I'll use those to just stuff his papers into.

Talley Sue, I had never before thought of the wires as something I know how to use vs those that I have no idea what they are for. That is my new mantra for the wires from now on. They'll get separated by what I understand and what's obviously DH's.

The main purpose of the drawers is to put the maps and tools into. But I also have odds and ends in my night table that I won't get rid of but I'll put those into these drawers as well as the phone cords, extension cords and computer related wires. I'm just tired of boxes, thus the purchase of drawers. I'm hoping that all the extra doodads around here will find their way into the drawers. Then, the house will finally be organized, even if there are some drawers of odd and ends.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 1:58PM
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every truly organized house NEEDS a drawer or two for odds and ends. I firmly believe this. It's like having a steam valve on the pressure cooker.

You wrote:

This has happened to me--I write a post or an e-mail, and in the process find the answer to my problem.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 3:09PM
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Talley Sue, I love the way you phrase things and giving me "permission" to have an odds and ends drawer. You're right, of course. How can a house have a spot for every single type of item? Eventually, the single items will get bunched together.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 3:56PM
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"Then there are still those wires that are now in a huge bin but overflowing. Perhaps I could sort the simple wires such as phone cords and extension cords into the drawers. "

Before putting the wires in drawers I would recommend wrapping the cables or wires with Velcro straps or twist ties. This makes for nice DIY cable and wire storage system.

Here is a link that might be useful: Finding the best way to get stuff done.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 2:12AM
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I coil each wire, tuck in the ends to keep it coiled, and toss all similar wires into a gallon zip-loc bag. Label the bag. That way you have a drawer of bags to look through, and they won't get messed by someone pawing through them. BTW, there is NO NEED for more than one bag of each kind of cable. Ship the rest out the recycling bin.

Same for other arcane parts - sort by class and bag and label them.

His papers: Don't sort. Put them in big manila envelopes, DATE THE ENVELOPE, and put them in those hanging file folders (pendaflex?). Periodically give him one envelope to sort through and discard.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:59PM
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