Stuff in the Garage

jannieDecember 4, 2007

I read recently, so many people use their garages to store stuff they no longer use, but are afraid to toss. I admit my garage is atrocious. Cardboard boxes, bags of old clothes and kids toys,broken furniture. NEVER have I rescued anything from the garage. Too many bugs/spiders. I realize I should just throw everything in there away. Then I'd have room for my car, which currently sits in the driveway exposed to all kinds of weather.

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For the past three years, my hubby and I have had his grandparents "stuff" in our garage, storing it for his mom, since she didn't have room. We decided last spring that no matter what, we were going to reclaim our garage so it could do what it was meant to do: house our classic chrysler as well as our "everyday" car (a Subaru Outback). The truck is okay sitting in the's older, and we just use it to haul stuff anyways.

Our goal was complicated by the need to do this steathily. We couldn't get his mom involved, or it never would have gotten done.

So this past summer, we waited until MIL went out of town, and then headed over to her house, cleaning out all of the "stuff" from her basement (which used to be hubby's and his bro's domain). We took what hubby wanted to keep, gave BIL his stuff, and got rid of the rest of the guys' stuff, organizing MIL's stuff into a smaller storage room for her to deal with later (something she would not have been able to do). Then we waited until she was gone again to move all of her parents "stuff" (boxes and furniture) into her basement from our garage. There were boxes out there from when we'd moved in 3 years ago as well, and I went through them all, putting away what we'd keep, and ruthlessly getting rid of anything we hadn't really missed or just didn't want anymore (and everything our resident mice had gotten to).

Long story short, the Chrysler was in the garage by the end of summer, and by the first snow, we'd gotten it organized enough to store the lawnmower, DH's tools, and still park the subaru in there at night! It's the first time I have ever, in my life, been able to park in a garage, and I have to say, it's the best thing *ever* not to have to scrape the windows every morning before work!! LOL

Hubby wants a place to do wood-working, so we're planning a large shed for the back yard next spring/summer. But our garage is keeping to it's original purpose now no matter what, and that is to house *cars*.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 1:26PM
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Jamie, Congratulations on the success of that monumental task. I always lament about not having a basement (we don't have those in FL) but there are times that I am glad. When we finally reclaimed our garage after many years, it was liberating!! It's been 3 years and I still get a kick out of driving my car into the garage. I am diligent about keeping it to it's original purpose as you stated.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 3:12PM
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I shake my head at the people who store junk in their garages and leave their $20K+ vehicles out in the elements.

OP wrote: "I realize I should just throw everything in there away"

Are you going to act on that realization... or do we need to give you a big kick in the rear???

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 3:17PM
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I LOVE having my garage cleaned out, and being able to park my car. When we tackled this on Labor Day, I knew I would feel much better about the garage this winter! Yes, I no longer have things bumping my car doors when I open them, and can walk clear around my car without getting dirty because I have a pathway! This is one important bit of real estate you will love getting back, once you do.

You know, getting started is the hardest part...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 4:12PM
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The only time I didn't have use of my garage was when we temporarily lived in a small apartment and used the single car garage for the boxes we didn't need (such as books) there.

I couldn't imagine not putting the cars into a garage. But I've always had one extra room that I could use for storage.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 4:28PM
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Thanks for the challenge! Yes, as soon as Christmas is over,I'll be cleaning out my garage. The boxes, bags,toys,clothes and furniture will be going. Yes, I've devoted my real estate to storing trash, and I really do want to reclaim it!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 5:35PM
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A couple of thing helped motivate me. The garage was actually one of the first places I cleared. Once I got in the mindset of identifying the purpose of a space, then I utilized that space for that purpose. The purpose of the garage in my cold climate is to hold my car, making it simple to leave for work in the morning. I saved so much time not having to clean off snow. Saved gas (and the air a bit) by not having to run the car in the mornings. One winter and I was totally sold and knew I would never let my garage become storage again. Now, in the summer I do park outside just to make it easy to get the bikes in and out, but once I scrape the first frost off my windows--the bikes get rearranged and back the cars go. Takes me a half hour to do the fall rearranging.

The other thing is just doing that math. Housing in expensive where I live. Once you figure out per square foot how much you are spending to keep boxes and crap. Woo! Time for it to go.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 2:21AM
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