When you keep your garage door closed so the neighbors can’t see the chaos, it’s time for a garage makeover.

Stephen and Katie Ward have two children, Jack and Maddie. They built a home in a new subdivision a little over a year ago after a fire destroyed their previous house.

The new home’s garage quickly became a dumping ground. But Danny and Chelsea are going to fix that.

The plan includes building a shelf unit in the space beside the garage door. Along the back wall, we’ll re-use a metal baker’s rack to store toys, make a drop zone by the door, and create some custom lockers.

Watch the full episode here.

Eliminate Unneeded or Unused Items

Katie and Chelsea begin sorting items in the garage while Stephen and Danny load up the stuff they’re donating.

Before tackling any organizational project, it’s important to reduce the number of items you have on hand. If you haven’t used something in the past six months or years, there’s a good chance you will never use it.

And that’s when you know it’s time to donate or sell something.

The benefits are twofold: Everything you store will be something you need, and someone else gains something they need.

Build Locker-Style Storage

Danny’s first job is laying out a “swooped,” or curved, side for the lockers. Once the first one is cut out, he can use it as a template to replicate the “swoop” six more times.

While Stephen and Danny install the corner shelf, Chelsea and Katie sand the locker panels to smooth out the “swoop” cuts.

A baker’s rack on the side wall features colorful labeled containers.

Now we can start putting the lockers together. We start with a level line, even with the top of the entry door, so we can install a cleat to support a shelf that will span the whole wall and form the top of our identically sized lockers.

The centerpiece of Stephen and Katie’s garage makeover is this custom locker system. Because we’re designing it as we go, we’re able to make adjustments based on their specific needs.

By the end of the day, the lockers are complete and ready for Stephen and Katie to paint.

Repurpose the Baker’s Rack

We move the family’s baker’s rack to the left wall and load it up with colorful containers to hold various everyday items.

The best part? Each container includes items from a common category, so the family can easily find what they need when they need it!

Insulate the Attic

There’s no insulation above this garage, so we’re going to add some to help make it more comfortable.

Rockwool insulation is a great choice for Stephen and Katie’s house because it’s fire-resistant. And that can give the couple some peace of mind since a blaze already cost them one home.

Install a Cor Camera

In addition to organization, we’re also adding security to this garage with a pair of Cor cameras. Later we’ll mount one outside, but first, we need to position one inside.

After Danny drills the mounting holes with the template, he drills a slightly larger hole in the soffit for the camera’s power cord. Taping the cord to a stiff piece of wire makes it easy to push into the attic, where we can plug it into an outlet before we mount the camera.

Stephen and Katie can keep an eye on their children with this indoor camera from Côr.

We also:

  • Built a drop zone to the left of the door
  • Built shelves over the garage door
  • Built a rack for lawn/garden tools
  • Built cube shelving on both sides of the garage door
  • Sprayed the garage with Miss Muffet’s Revenge to keep spiders away for up to a year

Post-Production Thoughts

Like so many garages, Katie and Stephen’s had become a dumping ground for all the stuff that simply had no home.

To make the chaos worse, much of it was a reminder of the fire that initiated their move to this house.

After some cleaning and hard decisions, we used the areas on either side of the garage door for household tools and odd-sized items that needed to be accessible but not seen.

The side walls offered space for seasonal items, tools for yard work, and that baker’s rack outfitted with custom baskets, which is ideal for all the little things a family accumulates.

But the focal point of this garage has to be the locker system we created along the back wall. In addition to the handy drop zone, there’s tons of shelving in a variety of sizes and heights, so anything and everything fits.

The vertical dividers help keep it all organized and add a pleasant look, which is only enhanced by Katie’s color choices for both the lockers and the entry door.

The back door now looks like an entryway, and the garage that was once an embarrassment is now a happy destination.

“Today’s Homeowner” hosts Danny Lipford (right) and Chelsea Lipford Wolf visit with Stephen and Katie Ward after working for days on their garage.

Other Tips from This Episode
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Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
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Ryobi Power Tools’ brushless drywall screw gun makes projects go a lot faster and it requires less of your energy! Watch video.
Watch and Learn:
Do It! How to Build Locker-Style Storage
Locker-style storage provides a place for everything in your garage. Here’s how to build a set. Watch video.
Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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