I need to confess something. And just to warn you, I’m feeling slightly nervous about it. But. Here. We. Go…

Since moving into our house a few years ago, I couldn’t have cared less about organizing my garage. I know, RIGHT?! It’s shocking to believe that someone who started an organizing company would ever do such a thing, yet it’s true.

Am I going to show you photos? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I’d rather board a non-stop flight from LA to JFK without my purse snacks than ever show you one single photo—and that’s how you know I’m serious.

But I will show you photos of my new and improved garage! I knew I had to get things in order as soon as I began feeling noticeable anxiety just by looking at it. (Life is stressful enough. Being able to feel at ease in your home is one of the many benefits that come with organizing!)

Designing an Elfa system from The Container Store was an obvious choice. So was the grey finish with decor fronts I chose to elevate the space. I was able to customize every shelf, drawer, and wall mount to my needs—which are very specific. Since most of my categories are large and need to be sealed, the open shelving is adjustable and measured to fit Weathertight Totes.

Unlike Clea, who would rather give up champagne for sparkling wine than to ever save a receipt, I love to keep and file my papers. You know, just in case! Since I don’t need constant access to my old files, they are stored on the top shelves and labeled by year. 

The utility-related items are labeled and stored on the bottom since we access them more frequently. 

Not surprisingly, we barely access the tools but that didn’t stop me from adding a utility board. When you see a rainbow moment, you take it.

I didn’t want to see inside the mesh drawer units, which is why I added grey decor fronts to them.

The smaller hardware items live here, grouped by type in THE Bin Organizers (aka Baby Bins as I like to call them). 

Next to the shelving unit, I added a track with utility hooks for broom storage. That way they won’t fall over or end up wedged and inaccessible in a corner. 

All of the kids’ bikes, helmets, and various outside play items are also mounted on tracks with hooks, but on the opposite wall. The more you take advantage of vertical space in a garage, the better. 

And for those of you who are still reading this...here’s your prize!!! The Container Store’s 30% Elfa Sale is going on now through 2/25, with an additional 30% off installation! Whether it’s your garage, a kid’s playroom, or anywhere in between, an Elfa system is the perfect solution for customizing your space. 


74 qt. Weathertight Tote

41 qt. Weathertight Tote 

46 qt. Weathertight Tote 

36 qt. Weathertight Tote Clear

19 qt. Weathertight Tote Clear

Elfa Utility Vertical Bike Hook

Elfa Medium Cabinet-Sized 3-Runner | Platinum

Elfa X-Narrow Cabinet-Sized 3-Runner | Platinum

T.H.E. Large Bin Organizer 

T.H.E. Medium Bin Organizer

xo, joanna 


Divided Fridge Drawer Clear
Divided Turntable
Tall Drawer
Egg Bin
Narrow Drawer
Large Berry Bin
Produce Bin
Small Fridge Bin
Tip 1: Stock Up on Healthy Staples

If you want to start eating healthier, you obviously need to stock your fridge with healthy food. It helps to create a list of core staples to have on hand at all times. This takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping, and you’ll feel more prepared during meal and snack time. 

Tip 2: Edit, Edit, Edit

When it comes to actually organizing your fridge, don’t skip the editing process. Even if you don’t feel like it, start by removing every single item from your fridge until it’s completely empty. We suggest keeping a trash bag nearby and tossing anything expired as you go. And since your fridge shelves are probably due for a deep clean, here’s your chance to actually get in there and wipe off that weird sticky layer! 

Tip 3: Create Zones

Every category should live in a designated zone (location) and preferably, within a contained and visible home (clear product). This allows everything to be accessible, accounted for, and aesthetically pleasing...while also maximizing shelf space.

Tip 4: Label It

Labeling isn’t just the finishing touch, it’s actually the secret sauce of the system. Labels are really just straightforward directions for where items go. They concretely identify the contents that live in each container. It not only helps *you* maintain the system, but it holds your kids, your partner, and anyone else using the space, too. 

*Reminder: Think broad, not specific when labeling your categories. It should be a simple road map that’s flexible enough for the occasional outlier. 

Tip 5: Freeze It

Your freezer is valuable real estate in your fridge set up, so clear out those old popsicles and spilled frozen peas to make room for favorites your family will actually eat. We're looking at you last minute meals.

We love using our Freezer Bins to contain the chaos amongst the frozen pizzas and kids snacks. Organizing this space will take the dread out of opening this often-forgotten area, we promise!

Thoughts welcome!

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