This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GarageCleanUp #CollectiveBias
Ok guys – REAL TALK here: I remember years ago when I got married, my dad, all his friends, and all the old-timers told me, “being married ain’t no picnic.  You sure you wanna do it?”  Of course, I blew them all off and thought, nah – not me, it’ll be different. Well, marriage is really hard.  Beautiful, amazing, but lots of work and really hard.  Then, when I told all the old-timers that Tall Mom was pregnant, they said pretty much the same thing, “kids change everything, and they make ya nuts.”  Again, I replied the same, nah – not me, it’ll be different.  Sure enough, two kids later, most everything has changed and my life is nuts.  And what’s worse, if you had told me re organizing my garage would be the highlight of my Father’s Day weekend 5 years ago, I would have laughed you out of my high rise apartment in downtown Providence.  But now, I own a house, have two kids, two cars, a mortgage payment the size of Laos’ GDP, and reorganizing my garage was indeed the highlight of my Father’s Day weekend. And I couldn’t have been happier about it. Hit the jump to find out why.

Like I said, my life has certainly undergone some welcome changes.  I love my kids to teeny tiny pieces, and I love my darling wife even more.

But they drive me insane sometimes.
So, my surefire go-to tactic to reclaim my sanity is to get on my motorcycle and go for a ride – whether it’s for 3 minutes, or 3 hours.  It usually sets things straight for me.
But because my life is a circus every day, and the fact that we just bought a new home recently – I have piles and piles and piles of junk everywhere.  There are literally boxes in my basement that I placed on October 31, 2014 and have yet to touch since.  And you know what happens with the rest of the stuff I have touched?  It get’s thrown into my garage.  Right next to my motorcycle.
Which, of course, prevents me from actually GETTING to my motorcycle – nevermind riding it.
What’s that saying from The Shining?
Oh yeah:
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Just take out “Jack” and substitute it with “Blake” and you pretty much get my mental state over the winter and spring.
I needed a change.
I couldn’t go full Shining.  You never go full Shining.
I needed my motorcycle.
So I put on my big boy pants, told Tall Mom that I was using the weekend to clean out the garage, and get to my saving grace – the bike.  (Which – FYI – is named, “Kate” after Kate Austen from LOST.  Yes, I still have a crush on her.)
OK – so I finally decided to clean out the garage – but it was a monumental task. My garage is an absolute mess, and it needs to be organized. There’s kids toys, old microwaves, Christmas trees (yes, multiple ones!), yard tools and my motorcycle. Because of the mess – my mind feels like its a mess! Decluttering and organizing would be like a dad’s spa day treat. Seriously.  Away from the kids, cleaning, and doing man stuff.  Love It.
But here’s what I’m working with.  Yikes.
Yes, I finally did get a chance to remove the bike – but only for the picture.  I had to tunnel a way out of the space, and get it out.  Otherwise, you would think I was a hoarder and my reputation of being a normal human being would have been at stake.
Ultimately, I needed a space that would make my one car garage (AKA an oversized storage bin that holds nothing but my junk and bike) an efficient area that maximizes all of the space I had at my disposal.  I know that there are plenty of things out there that can do the job, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, and despite my great intentions, I really didn’t feel like taking on a project that would rival the Big Dig either.  I just needed organization.
And a lot of patience.
And an adult beverage.
Or seven.
Off to The Home Depot we go!
It was here that I settled on the Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System.  A simple rack system that’s easy to install, you can hang things on it, and it really does make your garage a more eye pleasing, easily accessible and efficient space.
So I ended up picking up the FastTrack rails – (1) 84 inch rail and (2) 48 inch rails.  Plus a bunch of hooks (which I’ll list out fully at the end).  The hooks I used most were:
Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Utility Hook
Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Compact Hook
and Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Multi-Purpose Hook
All of which can hold a TON of things like ladders, power tools, coolers, etc.  (Gotta hand it to Rubbermaid, they really did think of everything in your garage that you can hang, and they designed these special hooks that can hold a ton of weight and are fitted to specific items.)
Now it was just a question of getting the garage a little cleaned up, and freeing up some prized wall space to do the job…
 After about an hour or so, I finally got the space cleaned up and prepped for the “journey of a thousand miles” style job.  To be honest, this was actually the hardest part.  The rest of it was super easy.  All you need is a drill, a level, special screws that are designed for the FastTrack system which are at the FastTrack endcap, the system itself and some good ol’ fashioned building music.  My choice for this project? Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica soundtrack.


Judge me all you want, but BSG rules, and so does Bear McCreary – So say we all!
From here it was just a question of finding the right height for your racks and attaching them where you best see fit. I’m 6’4″ and can reach pretty high which is good because it gives me more efficiency with the space, but also keeps important things away from my rugrat kids.  You’ll notice that I slipped on the cover for the 84″ rack, and then installed the 2 48″ pieces right below.


Again, just make sure you’re happy with the heights, drill them into studs with required Rail Hardware pack.
Then slip on the provided cover (which is wicked easy to do – they snap right on.)  But MOST IMPORTANTLY, be sure to LEVEL your Heavy Steel racks. Don’t eyeball it.  Trust me, you won’t get it right, and none of your stuff will hang right on the durable racks.  Which, would be an enormous waste of your time.
Slip the remaining covers on, and start hanging all the special hooks.  I bought a ton knowing that I had more stuff than I care to admit.  You can see all the different types on the little tags in the pictures (small note – as I was hanging the hooks, I was going to take the tags off but decided to keep them on because it would be easy indicators about what they are meant for as years pass.)
Just like the covers for the rails, the hooks are very easy to add. Just slip them on ON TOP of the rail cover and it’s a snap fit.  No screws.  No hassle.  And the best part is that you’re not married to where you put the hooks.  You can arrange them, re arrange them as your project grows, or as the years continue to fit your needs.  And this is ultimately how it came out:


I’d like to tell you that all this work was accomplished very quickly and it was a breeze.  Well that would be lying and I try my best to not lie on Tall Mom tiny baby.
Since we’re in the circle of trust here, it took forever.  And it was hard.  BUT I will say that the rack part was simple, easy, and the literally the quickest part of the project.
Do you see how much stuff I’m able to hang on that wall?!  It totally changed my garage.
My suggestion though, is to not worry about all the different kinds of hooks (although they are nice to have).  But, I would get the small hooks, and the multipurpose hooks.  They can pretty much hold anything, and (especially the multipurpose hooks) can hold a lot of it.
But now I finally have my space to put my bike.  I can finally ride and not be crazy anymore.  And, honestly, it’s all thanks to the Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage Organization System.
Now here’s the real question – do they have a FastTrack system for Tall Mom’s closet?
Off to The Home Depot again…
More Info:
Items I purchased:
1 84″ Rail -$15.77
2 48″ Rails – $9.97 each
     -Both rails work on 16″ and 24″ stud spacing
1 Ladder Hook
3 Multipurpose Hooks
3 Compact Hooks
1 Cooler Hook
2 Utility Hooks
1 Hose Hook
4 FastTrack Garage Hardware Packs (needed to install rail) -$1.97 each
       -One pack will mount one 48″ FastTrack® Rail, two packs will mount one 84″ FastTrack® Rail
The space where I purchased all these items were in aisle 4, and it looked like this:
To get further information about the FastTrack system – hit up The Home Depot website.
Or visit Rubbermaid on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.