I've been remiss in writing this, so here it is. Some thoughts on organizing our garage. Sorry it's a little stream-of-consciousness, but i wanted to write it before it disappeared. Hopefully other folks will find it useful in changing their spaces around too.
1) Dividing the garage by space and use was helpful. Duncan's tools & bike mean his bay isn't going to be used for parking, but mine could if enough stuff was removed. The center line is where actively used equipment goes. Since we live in New England, this means alternating the lawn mower and snow thrower.
2) Getting the space as empty as possible (and seeing what was actually in there) was a critical step, because i was able to get a realistic idea of what the space was.
3) Grouping like with like helped me see where we had unnecessary duplicate items, as well as get an idea of how much storage would be necessary for different sorts of items. Yes, in CT we need 3 snow shovels (one will undoubtedly break during a major snowstorm), but not 2 mini ones for when you're trapped in the car (or something, Duncan likes them). This also allowed me to pick up scattered lumber from various projects, which will hopefully mean we don't buy new if we don't need it, since it will be obvious what we have 'in stock'.
4) I ran into trouble with getting rid of items that are Duncan's, not mine. I suggest any group of individuals do a project like this together, so that important things are not thrown away, and similarly, junk isn't kept indefinitely.
5) I also swept and cleaned as i went. This made a huge visual difference. I'm going to make it a rule that the garage is swept on a regular basis and after projects. It will help with minimizing mice and tracking stuff around. The problem is there is oil on the floor from the motorcycle, which i am not sure how to deal with properly. Anyone with experience here?
6) Vertical storage! Duncan and i purchased some shelves to aid in this, which i hope to install this weekend. Garages are a great storage area, but we were not taking advantage of any vertical areas. Some shelves will make things easier to see and create much needed space on the floor and tables, making access and projects easier.