Cleaning up my darn garage with Rubbermaid FastTrack

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Rubbermaid, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #FastTrack Full Disclosure.

dave's lackluster garage saleMy neighbors and I have a community garage sale every May and it’s something I participate in for a couple of reasons. The most obvious is to sell some of the junk uh, “stuff” we’ve had accumulate since the last garage sale and make a few bucks in the process (rather than just donating them to a local charity) but it’s also a good excuse to rummage through the house and find things that have been tucked into corners, behind jackets, under beds and in the dark corners of the garage.

We did pretty well, making about $75 from the sale of games, puzzles, an old skateboard, unwanted stuffies, old books and too-small children’s clothes, but better than that was the fact that I spent four hours basically hanging around in my garage. Which means I spent hours looking at the mess and starting to clean things up. That’s a pretty big job with three kids!

Honestly, it’s the bikes that take up the most space and right now it’s quite the bike store: I have a bike, A- has a beach cruiser (but no beach, alas), K- has two of her three bikes with me (mostly hand-me-downs), G- has both his dirt bike and jumper bike (did you know that they were different? I didn’t either until he saved up and bought the bike designed for terrain parks) and we even have a bike from one of his buddies in the garage right now, though I don’t really understand why. That’s seven bicycles. Seven. Sheesh. I shoulda had a garage sale for those!

The timing was perfect when I was invited to participate in a Rubbermaid campaign for their new FastTrack garage organizers, so I picked one up at the local Target store after first going back and forth with employees trying to find where it was located. The in-store display turned out to be very well done, once I found it:

rubbermaid fasttrack display at target, boulder co

What confused me a bit is that Target uses pegboards for their shelf organization so I naturally thought that the FastTrack system was something related, but it’s actually a super smart steel rail with a rubber cover that slides on to hide the rail holes, then individual hooks of various types (including long, deep ones for bicycles) that slide across the rubber part and let you, well, organize. You can see that in the display, above.

I’ve installed pegboard on garage walls before and found it was more trouble than it was worth, so this seemed like a really interesting alternative. I picked up the 5-pack starter kit which is comprised of a steel rail, rubber cover, three hooks and the mounting kit. Pretty good deal, actually, if you look at the individual unit pricing.

Heads up: The Rubbermaid FastTrack 5 piece Kit is on sale for $28.89 (reg. $33.99) from May 18 – May 24, 2014, so if you want to give this a try, don’t waste time, go pick up a few of ’em!

Installation is also quite easy if you’re even marginally handy with tools (and you’ll note that I am not gender stereotyping. In fact, the women I know are all quite as capable of installing something like this, and actually doing so, rather than just talking about it 🙂 ).

The first and biggest task is to figure out where to put it on your garage wall. Think about “hanging down” when you decide where to install the rail, something suggested by the package photo too.

I installed the track against an unfinished exterior wall (nicely, my garage isn’t just studs, as many are, but is insulated. I suspect from its design that the Rubbermaid FastTrack works even better for stud walls).

Here I am starting the installation:

rail install, rubbermaid fasttrack garage organizer

There are lots of holes but it’d be overkill for you to screw each and every one in. If you’re only hanging up light things like rakes and garden tools, I’d reckon that two screws on each side of the rail would be sufficient (use the mounting kit if you have drywall, or just the wood screws from the kit if you have access to the studs) but if you’re going to be hanging up bikes, that’s a lot more weight and I’d definitely be more enthusiastic about mounting it firmly to the wall.

Once installed – and that’s the hardest part – slide on the black cover, slide on the individual hooks and hang things up!

rubbermaid fasttrack garage organizer installed with tools hanging from hooks

As you can see, it works great!

Now the fact that I’d kinda rather have just the metal rail with the hooks connected to that, well, that’s my thing. The system doesn’t support that, as is obvious by a close inspection of how the hooks affix.

Still, I guess I can cope with something that actually looks nicer in my garage and with the addition of just a few more hooks, it’s going to really help me get some of those messy tools off the floor, which is a great outcome.

Now to tackle the rest of the garage…

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