The best laid plans of mice and men . . .
As some older posts found their way to the top, I perused a few of them. One was from 2007, titled "Do you have a garage?" And I responded. At that point we were in the process of selling our 2,600 square-foot 1925 Spanish bungalow and moving to a 2,000 square-foot MCM home on three treed acres. I was quite confident the whole storage thing would work out, despite the new house having neither basement nor attic nor garage. So I thought I'd chime in these five long years later with the actual results (gotta love the interwebz for capturing and holding onto all this slightly dusty optimism).
RE: Do you have a garage?
Posted by jakabedy (My Page) on Wed, Jul 4, 07 at 21:02
We currently have a detached two-car garage and a full basement. The basement in this 1925 home is accessed by twisty interior stairs, or one outside door that opens into the dog pen. So, although there is tons of room down there, DH doesn't like to use it. It's a hassle to get things in and out, so tools wind up in the garage and scattered around the house. I've managed to maintain room for my car in the garage, but the other side is full of junk, as well as the lawn care stuff that I agree, it would be a hasle to get it in and out of the basement.
At the new house we've got a two-car carport (integrated into the house, which is a '50s Eichler-style) and then a separate "barn" that is about 20' x 20' with a full upstairs loft area. I think I'm going to like the arrangement. The carport will have to stay fairly neat because it is on view as you come into the house. The daily drivers can park there and stay out of the sun and rain (no snow here). And the rest of the "junk" can stay in the barn, which will also be DH's workshop.
The house has no basement, which is good. We have always had basements in the past and have grand ideas about using them as workshop, storage, etc., but they just wind up being repositories for junk as my house slowly starts to accumulate drills, tool boxes and sanders stashed here and there. "But I don't want to have to go down to the basement to get them . . ."
At the new place, DH can walk 25 paces from the front door and be in his own barn/workshop with tool benches, lights and a concrete floor. No more whining about inconvenience! And with it all right there, it won't get dragged out of its "inconvenient" place and get set up in the carport or driveway . . . or dining room. At least I hope not!
There is actually another small shed that holds trash cans and what-not, but it is not fully enclosed. I can see hanging the rakes and shovels in there to keep them out of DH's way.
What has actually happened:
The carport has remained unsullied for the most part, mainly because two cars are always parked there so there is no opportunity for unwanted things to camp out. The small open shed has held rakes, etc. and other lawn/shrub/tree stuff, as well as a little rubbermaid cabinet that has some sort of tools in it, and which we have now moved twice without ever looking inside. It also holds our giant trash bin. We actually tore off and re-roofed this shed with metal last Labor Day weekend, lest we lose the leaky, leaning thing entirely. DH also built me some little "corrals" to hold the rakes, et al. It is now clean, dry and truly functional.
The barn/workshop is functional, and the big tools stay out there. DH will have a project and leave it a mess and then seek to (subconsciously, I think) avoid it because of the mess. That means furniture is clamped and refinished in my dining room. Yes I understand it is hot/cold/humid/football is on/etc. But you have a 20 x 20 WORKSHOP, dude! So about once-twice a year I go out there and clean it up (the man is unclear on the steps involved in sweeping up sawdust, it appears) so it is appealing to him again. I also get a chance to throw some things away, so it's win/win.
But as little projects wander to the house, so do the little items that go with them. Like dremels and drills and clamps (O, my!). Like little shims and bits of wood or cork or half-full-yet-dried-up tubes of caulk and glue, that get tossed in the (admittedly) underused top drawers in the kitchen. Like little cans of stain that end up on the top shelf of the entry closet, which then come tumbling down when I pull out a towel to wipe down wet dogs.
The storage closet in the carport was originally designated for things like coolers, cushions for patio furniture, and car washing/maintenance and window washing things. Those are all still in there. As well as quilts and blankets he uses when moving around furniture he is working on for people, more cans of stain(!), and other things I can't quite identify. Oh, and a pile of slats removed from the blinds we installed in my office last summer. "Those are good, I can use them for something." I know they're there, because they skittered out on my head when I took something else off a shelf.
So, all that to say that when you think you have a storage or utilization problem, what you might really have is an occupant problem. Don't stop being optimistic, but pepper it a bit with reality. Happy organizing!