The Goodwill Great Garage Rescue!


Liz Jenkins

afs team at great garage rescue

What does your garage look like? As you visualize it, think about how it makes you feel. Maybe it’s been covered in clutter for years, but you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start in cleaning it up. Maybe it’s difficult for you to make time for an organization effort, even though you hate looking at the chaos. Maybe you need that space for some purpose (How long has your car been parked outside? Be honest…), but you dread the process of organizing it.

For Franklin, Tennessee resident and artist Phyllis Harper, she needed her garage not only for typical garage storage, but also as a studio space. However, she couldn’t focus on creative work with the garage in its chaotic state. An accident in 2004 left her with physically limiting injuries, and she wasn’t able to tackle her garage alone. In hopes of finding some assistance for the garage, Harper entered Goodwill’s Great Garage Rescue, and won the grand prize– a complete garage makeover completed by professional organizers and Nashville area businesses.

As part of the contest, A Fresh Space teamed up with members of the Nashville chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers to bring order to her garage once and for all. Liz Jenkins, owner of A Fresh Space, offered to meet with Phyllis at her house to create a project plan for the team. With an organizing project– as with many other things– planning is key to getting the results you want!

great garage rescue before & after

On April 9, 2016, alongside a volunteer group of organizers, Liz and AFS team member Jen Johansen took everything out of Phyllis’ garage to make way for a clean slate and new organizational systems. After sorting all of the items in the garage, and helping Phyllis through decisions on which items to keep or donate, the volunteer team created useful zones in the space. They then organized everything into bins and containers with storage bins donated by A Fresh Space, and garage shelving from Garage Solutions and A-Z Office Resources.

great garage rescue photos

Once everything had a home within the garage, the onsite Goodwill truck was loaded up with donations, and the team admired their orderly handiwork. Phyllis called the Goodwill Great Garage Rescue a “godsend,” and her garage now looks like a completely different space. Instead of chaos, she now has an organized studio space, and room for other uses as she needs it.

Maybe it’s time you had your own “garage rescue.” If you just can’t seem to get started on sorting out a messy garage, AFS is here and ready to help you make the most of your space.