By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Jul 05, 2015 at 10:17 AM

Until two years ago, I’d never owned a garage. Once we rented our condo in Downtown Milwaukee and moved to a larger house closer to schools, we suddenly inherited a two-car garage that quickly filled up with stuff that we didn’t want in the basement. 

It was a disorganized, cluttered mess that I just wanted to go away.

So, I began strategically throwing stuff out, giving stuff away and researching ways to better organize this old garage space. Several people recommended hooks, hangers and organizational systems. 

But I found Monkey Bar via a search, and contacted the local rep.  We worked out a deal, and I said I’d write about my experience – good or bad.  

Bottom line, I wanted my garage stuff accessible for and my family and needed to maximize the walls to provide more storage. This is exactly what Monkey Bar did. 

The local guy, Jim Reidel, is a garage expert if I’ve ever met one.  He cares about his work, and as a Monkey Bar franchise owner he’s his own business as one of Monkey Bar Storage’s 120 dealers throughout the country. 

Monkey Bar does industrial grade garage flooring, garage cabinets, space saving garage shelving systems, and new overhead racks, too. 

After a first visit and a short wants and needs analysis, Reidel worked out a plan for the southern wall our garage. Basically, he hung shelving that’s rated for 750 pounds when hung from the ceiling and 1,000 pounds when one side is mounted to a wall.

Using hooks to hang our stuff, he made it all easier to get to the activities items our kids love by more effectively using the garage space you have.  He took all of our crap off the floor, and moved it up. It functions well and looks even better. 

Garages are easily cluttered, but systems like Monkey Bar's not only help you find your stuff but they help keep your cars cleaner and stuff safer.  You can research the systems out there but Jim’s the real deal.  The guy knows storage and really takes the time to understand your needs.  Do what’s best for your garage, but I’d highly suggest you put Monkey Bar in the mix.

Summer’s, of course, the perfect time to clean out the garage, too. Donate stuff to Goodwill, hold a rummage sale and hang those bikes so you stop driving into them. 

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.