Vertical Organization for Garage Storage

“Carry a shovel with the rest of your gear; once you have relieved yourself, use it to dig a hole, then refill it, covering your excrement.  Do these things because the Lord your God travels with you, right in the middle of your camp, ready to save you and to hand your enemies over to you.”-Deuteronomy 23:13,14

That’s right; I’m going to talk about this! This is one of the laws that was given to the Israelites to preserve the cleanliness and honor of the families and the camp as a whole. I think we can all agree that it’s a good rule! With thousands of people living together, there’s a need for rules about waste. You don’t want it to just be . . . everywhere.

Campers and hikers have rules like this too. In Boundary Waters, it’s a rule that when you enter the park, you can’t “go” just anywhere. It has to be so many feet from the water to avoid pollution, you have to bury it so it doesn’t attract wildlife, and it also needs to be off the trail so it doesn’t gross people out.

This law was given to the Israelites for the same reason. Sanitary habits are required so people don’t get sick, so they can represent God well and be above reproach to onlookers, and also so not to gross God out- He dwelled among them, so the camp needed to be holy.

Matthew Henry comments, “Filthiness is offensive to the senses God has endued us with, prejudicial to the health, a wrong to the comfort of human life, and an evidence of a careless slothful temper of mind.” So thinking about it that way, our human excrement is more evidence of our sin. So when sin comes out of us, and it will (some more than others), we have to take care of it properly.

“Carry a shovel with the rest of your gear; once you have relieved yourself, use it to dig a hole, then refill it, covering your excrement.” Knowing that we will eventually sin, what do we need to have in place to take care of it when it happens?

1) “once you have relieved yourself”- Can we admit that we sin to relieve ourselves? Isn’t that why we sin, to give ourselves relief from our temptations? Whether that be an expletive, over eating, lust, gossip, etc. The key words are give ourselves relief. We are sinners, we can’t give ourselves relief! As Christians our relief comes from the Lord. And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” –Mark 7:20-23

2) “Carry a shovel with the rest of your gear”- What kind of gear do we need to carry in anticipation of our sin? First, a shovel- that’s the Bible. It’s the tool that empowers us to deal with our sin. It reminds us that everyone sins and that is why we need Christ . . . and a shovel. “There is no one righteous, not even one . . .”- Romans 3:10

3) “Use it to dig a hole” -It’s not enough to have a Bible, you have to use it. Dig out a hole for your sin; you do not need to live this way anymore. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. -Romans 6:11-14

4) “then refill it”- And then refill that hole with the truth. Habitual reading of Scripture fills our mind full of truth and wisdom instead of allowing our minds to be filled with our temptations. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”- Psalm 119:11

5) “covering your excrement.”- Jesus has covered all of our sin forever, even future sins! So take hold of that! In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” -Ephesians 1:7

4) “Do these things because the LORD your God travels with you, right in the middle of your camp”- Imagine if you didn’t take care of your excrement right away. You just “went” wherever. You accidentally stepped in it and tracked it into your house. Flies were everywhere and your friends stopped coming over. And this went on for years. You just never took care of it. People could smell where you lived from miles away and were not ok with it. And God is not ok with your sin either. He has provided Jesus’ blood to cleanse it, but sin is still unacceptable to Him; He requires holiness. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” -1 John 1:7

5) “ready to save you and to hand your enemies over to you”- Don’t get me wrong, God will completely pull you out of your huge nasty mess of a home you made, but He won’t let you continue to live there. He wants you to have dominion over your enemies, because He provides the power to do so! “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” –1 Corinthians 10:13

To sum up Deuteronomy 23:13,14- take care of your crap now; the longer you wait, the more it will cost you.


I’m happy to let you think for a few seconds that the beautiful brunette is me. It’s not. It’s my good friend, Kelsey. We have a common love language- working on projects. She offered to come up and help me with one of mine.

This is a photo of the left side of our small single car garage. We told ourselves when we moved in that we would keep this area clear so we can park the car inside. That has never happened to date. With all of our projects going on and no permanent home for my tools, my half projects are often left in a big heap on the floor.


We haven’t done too bad for being in this house 3 months; we’re clipping along. But we have to make things functional before we can make it pretty. Nate suggested starting on this small wall just inside the garage on the left side. This is where I have been throwing my shovels, so it seemed fit to have easy access to them verses storing them in the back behind things.


Kelsey and I cleared away the shovels before we took this pic, it looked a lot worse.

We will mount this plywood to the wall and then hang the tools from it.


We measured the wall and made our cutting line so the 4×8 plywood would fit. We used a T square to make sure our line was perfect. I wanted the plywood to cover most of the wall but without sitting on the ground just in case there’s ever sitting water.


We then used a circular saw to make the cut. Safety glasses are very important while making the cut; I remembered that half way through and was trying to see my saw out of one squinted eye. Circular saws have a guiding indentation on the front ridge, so just put the saw down on the board, pull trigger letting the blade spin before it actually touches the wood, and ensure the notch on the front is on the line while you push the saw through the entire cut.

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This is the drill we used; it has a hammer drill setting for concrete walls.


You can see the little hammer shape on it. This setting is different because while you are drilling it has these little pulses while it turns to help chip away the hard surface.


We already had two 2x4s that were 4′ long, the same width of the plywood, so no cuts needed to be made. We then used a wood drill bit to make 3 pilot holes into the 2x4s, one on each side and one in the middle. The holes needed to be large enough to fit the concrete screws.

After we made the pilot holes in the 2x4s, we used the board as a stencil to make sure our holes line up perfect. We poked the concrete drill bit, that conveniently comes with the package of blue concrete screws, through the holes to mark where we needed to drill out. It’s important to note that we were drilling into the concrete mortar and NOT the concrete block. After drilling our holes in the line of the mortar, Kelsey started the screws into the 2×4 so they wouldn’t fall out when we held it against the wall.


Then Kelsey screwed in the concrete screws, securing the boards to the wall, using the appropriate drill bit to fit over the heads.


The 2x4s are up; next we attached the plywood to the boards using wood screws with a Phillips drill bit.


Kelsey attached the bottom of the plywood to the last 2×4.


We had propped it up on some boards for the proper height; it takes the strain off trying to hold it up while you are drilling, especially if you are working on projects alone. I was really thankful for her help.


Plywood is up and the first shovel is mounted. I decided to use nails instead of screws, although either would work. I had long nails available to me, so that’s what I used. We decided to hang the largest items first and fit the smaller items in between. Most tools will offer some way for them to hang, either by a loop in the handle or by nail rests somewhere on the head.


We got most of the tools hung before Kelsey had to leave. Much better than sitting on the floor in a heap.


This little cutie was supervising; Jesse was ready to give us a pound for a job well done.



On Day 2 I got to work on the rest of the garage. Yikes.


When I come in exhausted, this is where I throw all of my stuff. You are looking at projects and flower order boxes.


It’s pretty small, but not a bad space when you add the workshop in the basement.


After clearing out and organizing everything from the back, I hung the bicycle mounts with concrete screws.


Much better.


I hung another peg board just to the right of the man door. There are still things there Nate needs to go through, but not a lot. Nate will also get more hooks to mount the lumber on the wall, as well as his canoe support.


I completed hanging the yard tools, and this space is now very functional until further improvements.


Can I just say, hooray!! After doing some yard work, it was lovely to know that every tool had a home when I was finished.



So I thought, why not bring some of this organization to the basement? Started with my food pantry shelves. Just like the savings bank, I believe in storing up to at least 2 months of food; don’t judge me. That’s an order. On the floor is my garage door project that never came to fruition.

Pantry Before

 Everything is organized and labeled.

Pantry After

Camping/hunting gear is next.


And hung and organized. After 3 months, it’s so nice to unpack the last of the boxes. 🙂




  1. You gave me entirely too much credit…you forgot to mention that I spent a good deal of time holding our little supervisor! :). Loved working with you. Until next time…


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