The Gift of an Organized Garage
We did it! On June 26, the Reset Your Nest team and many volunteers came together and completely transformed the Peterson family’s garage. It was a project unlike any other and required a Herculean effort. At Reset Your Nest, we have a social mission to empower women and support families. We do this through organizing homes and making our clients' lives happier and we also do this through valuing the work of our organizers. Our mission extends to selecting a family each year to give the gift of organization through a community project.
Meet the Peterson Family
This year we raised $10,000 dollars for the family (learn more about the Peterson Family here) and donated an additional $17,000 in time and organization products for an impact value of $27,000. After a house fire and chronic health problems, Karie Peterson, a school teacher, and mother of 2 found herself in an overwhelming situation. The one-car garage to their townhome had become an insurmountable obstacle. Neighbors shared that Karie would go out to her garage and chip away at it, trying to get out from underneath the mountain of things that had piled up after the fire.
Our goal was to not only transform the garage but get to the bottom of every last box to help the Petersons decide which items they really wanted to hold on to and which items were no longer serving them. Our team met weekly for weeks in advance to prepare and ensure that everything went smoothly on the day of the project. Here's a before picture of their garage.
The Day of the Project
We arrived early in the morning, set up tables and canopies, passed out Reset Your Nest community t-shirts, and got to work. Throughout the day, Nicole and Becky directed the team, planned the layout of the garage and a few spaces inside the Peterson home, and made everything come together incredibly.
People showed up from all over the valley ready to help and give up their time. Meeting the Peterson family and seeing how touched they were from the beginning of the day made all the time spent coordinating and planning worth it.
To organize the garage, we brought large gorilla shelves, matching gray totes, drawer organizers for the tool bench, and multi-purpose bins. We first emptied the garage. With so many people, we did it in record time. We used the common areas all throughout the townhome complex to put like things together and used sidewalk chalk to label our categories. Some categories created included: toys, outdoor toys, camping, memories, clothing, Christmas décor, electronics, yard car, tools, donations, recycling, and trash. Labeling the sidewalk helped us to work as a team and avoid any confusion.
Organizing the Garage
Once the garage was emptied we broke up into smaller groups. Each volunteer was paired with a Reset Your Nest mentor and a different category and together they started to unpack each item and sift through the contents. Once everything was out and visible, I started to go through each pile with Karie and Mikey. They would give the organizers and volunteers insights into what items were important, and then we had extra helpers run items to the donation or trash pile.
Multipurpose bins were used for garden items and things that needed to be easily accessible. We used clear bins for toys and games and opaque totes for clothing, memories, and seasonal decor. We labeled items as we went with our favorite cube labeler and brought in “zones” once the entire category was ready to be put away. This continued throughout the day. The items being sorted through represented years of overwhelm. We went through every last item.
At the end of the day, we had a junk removal company come and haul away all the donations and trash items. They filled an entire large U-Haul-sized truck with donations, recycling, and trash.
The sun was already down as we put the last label on the last bin and every person who stayed to the end was exhausted…but we all felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and gratitude. Those who showed up and gave selflessly of their time made a real difference in a family’s life and we couldn’t have done it without them. A neighboring family noticed all the commotion and came to help halfway through the day. It was inspiring to see the goodness of friends, family, and strangers as we all worked toward a common goal.
Reset Your Nest has made giving to our community an annual event that allows us to live our values and transform the physical and financial lives of one family each year. When we create opportunities for the community to come together and help someone tackle a project they couldn’t do on their own, it gives us purpose and deeper meaning to what we do every day.
Get involved and join us!
We will do this again next year and are looking for sponsors and donors to make a 1-time donation at the GoFundMe campaign or contact email@example.com if you would like to contribute in an ongoing way to ensure this effort is sustainable for years to follow.
We will be forming a selection committee and process to identify our Community Event recipients.
If you have experienced a Reset and would like to contribute or volunteer your time, please contact us.
We realize there are many in need and we wish we could help everyone. We are still figuring out our selection process but will continue to help families we don’t know.
Contributors to making this project a success were Nicole Williams and Becky Bell who led and planned the organization, Amy Church and Amy Asay who helped with the logistical planning, the Leatham family who helped coordinate lunch and activities for the Peterson kids, Brooke Baker and Brandon Cahoon who helped connect with the Peterson family and helped their story to be told, Michelle Johnson who helped with marketing materials, our amazing team of organizers (Rachel A, Patti, Heather, Kimberly, Julie B, Sam, Julie K, Anna, Sarah S) , and many more.
Jen is the founder of Reset Your Nest, a Professional Home Organizing business in Utah (Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, Logan, Utah County, and St. George), California (Bay Area, Los Gatos, Hillsborough, Atherton, San Jose), Denver, CO, and Phoenix, AZ. She loves creating order and systems out of chaos. Her specialty is finding a way to continue the aesthetic of any home to every cupboard and drawer. She shares her tips and tricks on Instagram @reset_your_nest.