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The Most Important Room in the Home is the Garage

Those who own a home will say we have a favorite room. For some, it's the kitchen. Others will say their bedroom. Maybe it's a game room or media room. Perhaps a library or home office. No matter what your favorite room is, most likely, it's not the most important room in the house. That distinction belongs to the garage.


When we define a garage, we often say it's the part of the house where we park our cars. The reality is much more than that for most of us.


The Garage is the Hub

Our garages connect the inside of our homes to the outside world. Almost everything that enters and leaves a house flows through the garage. Order a new appliance? Most likely, it's brought in through the garage. Looking to donate a few bags of old clothes? Chances are you are temporarily housing those bags in the garage. The flow of goods, products, and people usually passes through the garage.


The Garage is Our Storage Unit

Have you priced a storage unit lately? During a time when everything is pricing itself to new highs, renting a storage unit is a luxury that most of us pass on. However, most of us have a lot of crap. Unless you have a walk-in attic or a dedicated storage room like my parents did in their old home, you probably store all those seasonal decorations and seldom-used small appliances in the garage.


The Garage is a Game Room

Unless you have a large enough home that has a dedicated game or media room, there are times when you need extra space for activities. Maybe you are hosting a football-watching party, or you have to buy that ping-pong table. Your living room is too small, so where do you turn? The garage, of course!


The Garage is a Home Gym

Some of us like to work out, but we don't like the cost of a gym membership or the perpetual narcissism of gym members. You know what I mean - you pay $75/month, and you can't lift because some douchebag is taking flex selfies in the mirror while blocking the racks. So we say fuck that guy and this gym and turn to our garages to set up and use the equipment we bought.


The Garage is a Second Pantry

Most people I know that have garages have a second refrigerator in it. A lot have deep freezers. Depending on climate control, others have storage bins for bulk items such as extra tp, paper towels, and packaged snacks. Thank you, Costco!


The Garage is a Workshop

We do all those home projects we love to try after watching HGTV. We either do them or stage them in the garage. Workbenches and power tools allow us to restore furniture, replace fences, make curb appeal dreams come true, and construct contraptions for our lives. It's how suburban dads show off to their fellow fathers in the never-ceasing neighborhood peacocking.


Don't Trash the Garage

However, the garage can also be the root cause of "nothing ever gets done around here." Because of its importance and strategic location, all those Honey-Does and DIY projects get delayed if a garage is a wreck. You know what that means, right? It creates the "if Momma ain't happy, none is happy" effect.


Tips for Organizing and Maintaining the Garage

Unless you are using your garage to park your vehicles, you need a plan for your garage to not only use it effectively but keep it from turning into this:

  1. Define what your garage is going to be. In my case, it is storage, a workshop, and a home gym.

  2. If defining multiple uses, such as I do, delineate dedicated areas to prevent conflict, overlap, and clutter. I don't want to be ducking under bikes and stepping over tools if I am doing a workout.

  3. Organize! Use suitable shelving and durable totes to store, stack, and protect your items.

  4. Eliminate the junk. For some, that is hard, but if something is stored without intended use, remove it. Offer it to family, friends, or donate.

  5. Paint the walls, and if you can, treat the floor. A garage with a finished look is more appealing than the typical unfinished look that home builders leave behind. Even if you are parking cars, it helps.

  6. Keep your garage clean. Treat it like you would the rest of your home.

  7. Keep enough free space available for your most valued vehicle if you can. We park in the driveway of my home, but if the weather is terrible (hail, tornadoes, ice storms, snow), we pull my wife's car into the garage. Nothing is worse than the weather sirens going off and trying to clear enough space to remove the car frantically.


 

If you utilize your garage for more than a covered parking space, please tell us what you do in the comments.

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