And the Workshop Lived Happily Ever After

And the Workshop Lived Happily Ever After


This post is sponsored by National Hardware.

DIY Organization Ideas

In the back yard at the end of the winding sidewalk behind the white barn doors next to the rose bushes….

….is the workshop.

It’s the epicenter of all the projects on this blog.

The hub.

It’s where we create and build and paint and develop and construct.

I love this place.

But I’ve never really opened up the door and showed you behind those white barn doors…..

 …..because I was worried that if you saw this.

Workshop Before

Or if you saw this.

Garage Before

I was worried that if you saw all the mess and the disorganization and the stacks of sports equipment and garden tools and the random stacks of chairs next to the soccer balls….

….you might not want to be friends any more.

Good thing we spent the weekend organizing.

Good thing the ladder has a new home.

Good thing there’s a place for everything and everything has a place.

Because here’s the organizational wonder that is the after.



Isn’t it so much better?

And what?  What’s that?

There were counter tops under all that clutter?

Space to work?


How to Organize Garage

To start the project we hung pegboards.

We bought them from the local home improvement store.  They came in 4 x 8 foot boards.  The ceiling in the workshop is about 8 feet tall, so we simply attached three peg boards length-wise to the existing studs.

It worked out so well that I think we’re going to add more pegboards to the other walls of the workshop.

Garage Organization DIY

Then the organization began.

We used hangers like these and these and organizers like these (and my favorite….like these).

And then we encountered our first challenge.

You see…since this was the first time I was introducing you the workshop….

…I wanted it to be cute.

Extra cute.

And shiny.

And fancy.

And color coordinated.


Garage Organization

Except I forgot one thing.

This isn’t really my space.  This isn’t a workshop from a magazine or a photo shoot or a home improvement show where they film videos and the host’s outfit coordinates with the tools.

This is a real workshop.

And the real carpenter and project creator that lives here decided he was in charge of the organization.  He started hanging tools that he uses all the time on all those peg board organizers.

Tools that were scraped and used and worn.

Actual, real, hard-working tools.

And then he organized them how he would find them…..

….instead of a color-coordinated line-up.

Garage Organization Ideas

I watched as the cute left and walked out the door.

I watched as it was trumped by usefulness and practicality.

I watched as he organized and sorted and filled the wall and the bins with all the little bits and pieces of things that collect around the workshop.

Organization Tips and Ideas

And he hung a rake on the wall.

Next to a paint splattered paint roller.

Next to a scraper with bits of wallpaper stuck to it.

And when he was done, he stood back and smiled.

A smile that said, ‘My kingdom for an organization bin.”

A smile that said, “What project do we need to start on next?”

And a workshop in the middle of nowhere at the end of a winding sidewalk lived happily ever after and a patient and understanding carpenter climbed the organizational mountain and left cute and color coordinated on the other side….

….with the smile of a champion. 🙂

Organization in the Garage

PS  Even though he took over the organization, he is married to a blogger.

He left me this bag of tools on the counter….

….”just in case I needed some cute tools.” 🙂

And now here’s some more organization ideas from some of my favorite bloggers.

Back to school peg board 300 thumbnail

Back to School/Homework Station

under desk ombre pegboard with attachments 300x300

Office Organization

Garage-Peg-Board 300

Garage Organization


Work Space Organization

disclaimer:  Thank you so much to National Hardware for sponsoring all this organizational genius.

All opinions on color-coordinated tools and workshop organization are completely my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

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  1. What a great organized space KariAnne! I’m dreaming of peg board in the garage. Down-sizing for us has be traumatic but I am happy to report we finally have one car in our garage. Someday, oh someday I will have such a beautiful organized space as this. Is it normal to dream about walls of peg board? No? Normal is over rated anyway.

  2. Uh-huh. This is MY garage/workshop (actually my husband’s), only in ours, we need a “hard-hat necessary” sign up for visitors! (As if I would LET anyone in for a tour!!) We have a deal: he doesn’t organize “my” house spaces, and I shut my eyes when I go into the garage, PLUS the door remains down unless the cars are going in or out. Help me! 🙂

  3. Love it!

    Pegboard is one of the best tools for getting things off the workbench — so you can see the tools you have…and can use the workbench surface.

    Wow. Who would have thought?

    Thanks for sharing. Hope all is well. And best of luck to the kids as they begin another academic year.

    : )

  4. sigh, I love organization…

  5. “What project do we need to start on next?” Well, for starters…how about my unfinished basement that is full of treasures? I would even share some of them!

  6. Sarah Phillipps :

    Oh man, I so know what you are talking about! Sometimes giving room to husbands and kids for their ideas is more important than cute. Choose your battles, right? Even when I don’t like how they do something, I find myself saying “this person is a net gain in my life”! Haha, isn’t that terrible? I would rather have them in my life than decorate exactly how I want. Have you done a post about kids’ desks and knick knacks? I need some help in that department.:(

  7. Even cute tools need to be organized. 🙂

  8. This is the one aspect of downsizing we miss, the space. Although now that I think about it, we have it. Our basement is huge. We don’t want me going up and down. Depletes me of energy. We are making it work. Once it’s cooler big projects for my office\craftroom will begin. Hubby builds and I paint and do the pretty touches


  9. Very inspiring! Can’t wait to show my husband

  10. Well, you can always commandeer the other wall when you put peg board up on it!

  11. Oh to have an organized garage…thanks for the wonderful inspiration, Karianne!

  12. Isn’t it just the best feeling to go from A to Z when organizing? You definitely have bragging rights today! Horrah for you, girlfriend. Looks amazing!

  13. My husband LOVES his garage and we have pegboard on all the walls. It’s perfect for hanging everything and I love the little container that hold all the nails, screws, etc. What a difference this made – now we need to reorganize ours!! Happy Tuesday!!f

  14. Michelle Rudis :

    This spoke volumes to the organizer in me! Great job!!! My husband used to tell about the day one of my sisters asked to borrow a ruler and where I might keep one. He replied, “In the ruler drawer.” “Really?” she laughed, “A ‘ruler’ drawer???” He was kidding, of course, but little did they know I actually had a ruler drawer.

  15. NICE!! Love pegboard in a workshop or garage! About a year ago I found a workbench, complete with an outlet and castors at a yard sale. I love that thing! It even has a bottom shelf. I do my best to keep it cleaned off and organized. Makes me happy when things are in thier place.

    Your hubby did a fine job! And he’s a prince cause he lets you dabble in his space 🙂

  16. I hope we can still be friends if my workshop looks like your “before”! Great job!!

  17. Oh Karianne, if you saw my garage right now you’d think twice about being my friend, lol. Seriously, it’s not just a hot mess, it’s on FIRE! haha. Anyway, your work space looks great, well organized. I say, let him have this space, every man needs at least a garage or workshop and a man cave, at least mine does!

  18. Only you could turn a workshop organization post into a captivating story. As your posts always do, it inspired me to pull out that box of hooks and clamps that is collecting dust and actually use them on my workshop pegboard and make the darn wall functional!

  19. Rowena Philbeck :

    Very nice. I do have a peg board behind my work bench. I use it some but only for my dremel tools and rope holder. I have a big cubicle shelf that is on top of my bench that I put things. Next to it is a very rustic book shelf with lots of plastic bins with loads of stuff/beads, hot glue guns etc. Yours looks much neater than mine. One thing when I work on straightening up things I just want to look at it and not touch anything for a while..Admire my work!!! LOL

  20. Chief Lady Thistle! The people of your village love you more for having a spot like this~ at least I do:D With all your decorating, planning, painting, speaking, being a cook, being a wife & mom, the laundry, and being one of the best writer’s ever with blonde flowing hair and bright red lipstick…”Ain’t nobody got time for dat!” Bahahaha:D
    Have a great day friend!

  21. At least you have a husband that knows how to USE tools. My sweet man, that is not his forte (I have more tools than he does and I USE them). But, he could plan a conference for 30,000 people……not many men can do that! So he has his wonderful redeeming qualities. We have just learned in our marriage that it is better to NOT let him use the tools or we always end up needing to call a handyman to fix his fixes! Bless his heart! SO… are a wise women to let your man have his tool kingdom and you just keep cheering him on as I can just picture you doing….pom poms and all I’m sure!

  22. OSHA could put a danger zone on your garage and we’d still be friends. My hubby and yours would get along famously. My kids still marvel at his garage — don’t forget we had a blackboard with our freezer’s inventory and if the kids took anything out they were to put the correct count. Now, he is always trying to organize me but I say a creative brain need freedom to express itself. And when I’m frustrated searching for something I can’t find because I didn’t return it to its “proper” place — I can see the smirk. Your garage looks great as does your pantry and laundry room. And we will always be friends!! XXOO

  23. Ooooh, nicely organized. I love it when everything has a place and there’s a place for everything.

    Tools are especially difficult to organize in my home because they have legs, walk off and apparently have no map to get back to where I stored them in the first place-lol

    Looks great.

    Have a nice day,

  24. gorgeous!! i honestly feel so much more creative each time we organize our tool closet and garage! =) LOVE seeing your work space karianne!! xo

  25. You’re right. A good space is one where you can find what you need. The rest is just window dressing.

  26. I like you better because you aren’t perfect. Seriously! The garage and workshed are my hubby’s domain and while I think HE knows where everything is, the rest of us struggle to locate anything. Sigh.

  27. Well, you were liked before, but you are extra liked for that wonderful organization! Very nice!

    Becky B.

  28. Oh, KeriAnne, if I could even get my husband interested in organizing, I would be sooooooo happy! He has taken over the two car garage with his tools, etc. but there is stuff everywhere and I can never find what I am looking for. I would love for him to have a shop separate from the house but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon! Love the looks of the organization–great job! (Love you, too!)

  29. I am an organizational freak! But no one else in my family is and it drives me nuts! I would love a workshop to get my projects done b/c they are in the garage next to the car and there is no room.

  30. Carol Paulus-Kalis :

    WOW! A place for everything and everything in its place. Lucky you. I am so envious. I am moving next month and I hope to be able to find a place where I can organize like that. It makes such a big difference when you work on a project or if you are looking for something. You and your hub really rock. Keep up the great blogging.

    Carol P-K

  31. My garage was organized once. .. . . .a very loooong time ago. . . . for a brief moment in time! Who knew it wouldn’t stay that way? However, YOUR workshop organization project has given me renewed hope. I think I know what I will be talking the hubs into doing this weekend; and BTW, I KNOW he would want me to thank you in advance.

  32. I am so inspired by this post. I already have the peg board up. Now I need to spend some time making it useful and organized! Thanks for a great post!
    Michelle from

  33. A organised workshop is a great workshop

  34. I was wondering since I saw no red lipstick!!!

  35. Wow I would love to have my husbands workshop/ garage look like this!!! I am showing him this the 2nd he gets home from work:)

  36. Great use of the pegboard + all the hooks to get organized. Office is done, now the garage…
    Awesome job. xo Jenna

  37. Love your real life/farmhouse one the best!
    Mine looks like the before pic…he even has a crossbow hung on his pegboard!

  38. Hey, I wouldn’t even care if my workshop was cute, if only it was organized. Actually, I’d be happy to be able to just walk through mine without needing to shovel a path to walk on. Mine is out of all control. Your before photos look clean and organized next to how mine looks. My worst nightmare is someone asking to see it.

  39. Thistle!!!!!!! Love this and looks superb!!! Nicely done rockstar 😉

  40. Oh even though this isn’t straight out of a magazine shoot, I LOVE IT!!!! I am trying to figure out which building I am going to give my husband free reign over… big enough for the 10′ dining room table I am making… and the barn door headboard… and the industrial coffee table….
    Oh I am giddy just thinking about it… but we have to organize first;-) Because my mind gets distracted too easily!!!! Good thing I have you for inspiration;-)

  41. Ahhh! What a feel good post! Green Dean and I were just talking about needing to organize the garage last week. I think we would have to pegboard all four walls with all the tools and gadgets we have! I can’t wait and you have inspired us to get moving. Thanks, for sharing. It was so nice to meet you after your presentation at Haven. You are such a sweetie and it seems like you have a really big heart.