Anyone else given up on having car in garage for practical reasons? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 35 Old 07-23-2009, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My goal has been to get the garage decluttered so that I can park my car in there again. But the other night I thought about this: what if I just gave up on the idea that I am "supposed" to park my car in the garage? I would love to make it into the cat area [litter boxes, food] along with bike and other storage.

Anyone else not parking the car in there on purpose?

Writer, teacher, and mama to Rhiannon Morningstar 6/28/05
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#2 of 35 Old 07-23-2009, 09:00 PM
 
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We've given up on putting the car in the garage. At one point I worked hard to plan it all out to get everything in & the car but it just wasn't practical. Yeah, in the winter it kind of sucks to have clean the car off & shovel around it but it really makes more sense for us. We don't have a basement so without using the garage for storage stuff (tools, gardening stuff, camping gear, overflow crafting stuff, etc.) we'd be drowning in junk in the house.

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#3 of 35 Old 07-23-2009, 09:00 PM
 
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I suppose you could say that we're like that. Our house is not large, and the garage has proven to be a valuable storage place for our bikes, lawnmower, tools, planting supplies, ladders, and so on. We have cleaned it out a few times in the year that we've owned the house, but have never quite gotten enough stuff out to be able to park a car in it. I like your idea! I think we should just shift our state of mind to "the car belongs in the driveway" because the garage is a great storage place.
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#4 of 35 Old 07-23-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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My husband has claimed 1/2 of our two car garage for his workout gym....which I can't complain about too much since that means he is keeping himself healthy and actually working out (and getting the kids into as well!).

Now with 6 people (and the bikes, strollers, ect...) the other half is pretty much taken with stuff that we are slowing organizing. There is a chance once we are all done a car will fit there - but since I am not the best 'small space' parker and can't pull out for a darn, my guess is that is will still be storage space LOL!

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#5 of 35 Old 07-23-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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We gave up on that idea years ago. Our plan this summer (actually this week and next) is to clean out the garage, reduce the amount of stuff in it by 50% (when we inherited the house from my dad, we also inherited his inability to throw away any loose nails, screws, nuts/bolts, old light switches and wall sockets ... ), and then be able to easily access what is left on the perimeters. Our goal is to have the middle open for our bikes, bike trailers, and lawn mower. The goal would be to be able to park dh's car (Civic) in there if need be should we go on vacation and want to put his car away. But, day-to-day parking, yeah, so not happening! (It's probably worse as we have a "two-car" garage, and somehow my dad was actually able to park two cars in it (an Explorer and Model T), and yet I can't imagine getting even dh's Civic in it. But, in our defense, he was the only person that lived here and could cram stuff in the extra bedrooms, whereas we have 5 people in here and need the garage. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! )

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#6 of 35 Old 07-23-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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No, I waited a very long time to be able to park inside a garage and I will fight tooth and nail to keep it. DH does not always have the space to park on his side, but that's his bag.
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#7 of 35 Old 07-23-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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Yes, we've given up. If I happen to get the garage clear while we're still living here, it will be used for storage and a place to line dry laundry in bad weather. If we had more space in the house, it might be a different story. Our second car is parked on the street and the main car in the driveway.
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#8 of 35 Old 07-23-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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We've lived in our current home for almost 5 years and have never parked a car in the garage. My dh uses it for his woodworking shop.

A happy woman
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#9 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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this is so funny!

the only time we had a car in the garage was in 2005, when we stuffed (literally) one car in there for safe-keeping during the preparation for Hurricane Rita, which never hit us. We couldn't get a car in for Hurricane Ike last September, which DID hit us, so we just prayed that the trees didn't fall on our cars, and they didn't.

I've been working on decluttering our garage for about 2 years now. All I've succeeded in doing is making enough space to empty a storage unit, which I'm GLAD about, but still ... A girl can dream, can't she?

We have a big huge garage, that could hold 2 cars + bikes, etc, easily - but we have too much crap. Maybe by the end of this year? If I could get one car in it, I'd jump for joy, though.

But seriously, I wish we could put our nicer car in there to keep the sap and bird crap off of it and be able to load kids into it without having them in the very public driveway.

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#10 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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My husband is a carpenter and uses the garage as his workspace. In the winter time when its -40C and snowing I try to snag a spot in the garage but its not always that easy!

I love the idea of using the garage as a gym! There's a very small area thats used for gardening supplies and bikes, but even thats going to get booted to a shed in the yard one day.

Oh, and I should also add that our garage is a double OVERSIZED garage and we don't even park in it lol
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#11 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay!

My house isn't that large either, though when i declutter it should gain some space. the thing is, we have lots of cats and there is no good place to have all of their litter boxes. So my thought is to put a cat door on the door to the garage and have a place for them. I would like to have one side available for parking for when i am away on vacation. But i live in Georgia and winter isn't THAT bad. Cold for us, but not for most people! Or maybe i could get the car in during the few cold month we have.

I also want to use it for bulk storage, maybe a freezer? So many options, and i feel secure with my car outside. I just don't leave any valuables in there.

thanks for the responses

Writer, teacher, and mama to Rhiannon Morningstar 6/28/05
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#12 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 01:50 AM
 
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We also do not park in our 2-car garage. It holds DH's tools, stuff headed out to goodwill, bikes, camping gear, ladders, brooms etc. It also serves as a staging area for whatever remodeling project is currently taking place. New materials on one side, demolition debris on the other.

Luckily we do not live in a snowy climate. Lots of homes here have the garage permanently converted into a room.
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#13 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 04:42 AM
 
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We have an awesome garage gym - rower, elliptical, free weights, etc. It gets a lot of use.

BUT its a two car garage an the other half is clutter waiting to move. My goal is to eventually be able to put the car in there at least some of the time.
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#14 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 05:42 AM
 
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When I was growing up, my parents NEVER parked a car in the garage (it was completely cluttered), so it always seemed foreign to me to park in mine. Even right after we moved into our house and the garage was empty, I felt extremely claustrophobic the few times I pulled my car in.

DP parks his motorcyle in one corner. We use another corner for tool/yard/extra-stuff storage. Most of the space, though, is just "play space". Most of the kids' toys are out there, DP has a dartboard, we have an extra fridge with drinks & a stereo. We love to open the garage doors and hang out there on nice days the way most people probably hang out on their patio.

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#15 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 09:15 AM
 
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We have a two-car garage and only use it for cars during the winter months.

During the summer we park in the driveway while the garage is used for boat storage, bikes, stroller, toys, etc. Every fall we reorganize the garage so we can get the cars in.

We do get some serious hail here and try to get the cars into the garage if a bad storm is coming. DH decided that one storm last year wasn't a big deal so he told me "Don't bother". Largest hail I've ever seen in my life! Both of our cars took a beating in that one. Oh well!

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#16 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
We've given up on putting the car in the garage. At one point I worked hard to plan it all out to get everything in & the car but it just wasn't practical. Yeah, in the winter it kind of sucks to have clean the car off & shovel around it but it really makes more sense for us. We don't have a basement so without using the garage for storage stuff (tools, gardening stuff, camping gear, overflow crafting stuff, etc.) we'd be drowning in junk in the house.
This is us exactly. We have neither basement nor attic. We have fairly small closet spaces too. It's been liberating for me not to obsess about clearing out the garage to park in there, when I realize that's where all the stuff that I don't have a place for goes. Like you we'd be drowing in "stuff" if I didn't have the garage. I would like it a bit better organized since my dh has a habit of just tossing stuff out there where it lands, but all in all I've accepted that I need some place to store things.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#17 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 07:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elsie View Post
No, I waited a very long time to be able to park inside a garage and I will fight tooth and nail to keep it. DH does not always have the space to park on his side, but that's his bag.
this is us. covered parking attached to the house was my one non-negotiable when we were house-hunting, and now that we have it (in t minus 6ish weeks), i'm not giving it up. especially with a solidly-built shed on the property, too!

christina

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#18 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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Our garage has our old kitchen table set up in it for games to stay set up on (without interfering with dinner on our main table), and a few other pieces of odd furniture. It's basically an extra room. But an extra room which also has the seasonal decorations and lawnmower, stuff like that.

eta, we don't' live in the north, where parking in the garage in the winter would make a difference.
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#19 of 35 Old 07-24-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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I always park my SUV in the garage, for 6 months of the year, DH parks outside. When he starts to snow then we rearrange so he can squeeze his car in to. It is a tiny two car garage, you can barely fit two cars in there if everything is cleared out.

We put up hooks for all the bikes, the strollers/bike bike trailer goes on one side, we keep the snowblower on the other side, it gets switched out for the lawn mover in the summer. We have shelves up by the ceiling that I store kids clothes in tubs along with our x-mas stuff. We have no attic or basement, only a tiny, tiny little shed built by the garage, it is as wide as our snow blower and not very long so not much gets in there. We stuff all the kids outdoor toys in there in the winter so DH can pull in the garage, the rest of the year, they are where his car would be in the garage.

We are arranging to have a shed that we own at our old house that we have rented out, moved here. I don't want tons of extra space, but we do need a little more storage space. We also have the our trash can inside because of bears and it is really cutting into the little space I have.

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#20 of 35 Old 07-25-2009, 02:06 AM
 
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we do park in the garage and still have one bay with bikes and oher "stuff" in it but it's likely only b/c we have a 3-car garage. we live in an area where basements are pretty much non-existent so we use a portion of the garage as one (ie, DH's drums are currently in it). At times we do use it as an indoor play area where the kids can ride their bikes and and such. It's nice b/c it's semi-finished w/painted floors/walls and a stereo system, so it's a cool place to get out of the heat.

Growing up, I recall my mom's garage almost always being unusable so actally parking a vehicle in one seemed kinda foreign . But now, at almost 30, this is the first time we've even had a garage so DH is set on actually parking in it. Luckily he seems to enjoy maintaining and organizing it (like you know, all the toys and other crap I toss out there that I don't want to deal with ).

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#21 of 35 Old 07-25-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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I struggle with this, we have a 2 car garage, but live in an area without basements or attics so the garage is the only storage we have. However I keep thinking what is in the garage that is more valuable than our cars?

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#22 of 35 Old 07-25-2009, 07:40 PM
 
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We have never once parked in our garage. In addition to bike & box storage, our garage is our messy art area - we have a little table with three chairs and a four-drawer plastic container with all kinds of art supplies. DD & I can sit in the garage with the door open, using natural sunlight to light our craft projects that we make. It's great!

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#23 of 35 Old 07-25-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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We have a one car garage which really isn't conducive to parking in. It is narrow and too short. While we can technically park either the Van (Grand Caravan, so it's longer) or the Charger in there, it is really tight and a pain to get in and out. Instead, we have limited storage in there and bikes, scooters, outside toys, tools, etc.

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#24 of 35 Old 07-25-2009, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are some really creative ideas in here about how to use the garage!

I do agree about my car being valuable, but I also feel like having order in my home is valuable too! There's just no GOOD place to have the cat boxes... our laundry room is also a half bath and we can only fit one box in there. But there are 6 cats in the house now! If we had a basement, they would be there.

Keep the ideas coming!

Writer, teacher, and mama to Rhiannon Morningstar 6/28/05
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#25 of 35 Old 07-27-2009, 02:32 PM
 
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We have never gotten a car into ours and never will. We have a 2 car garage but half is converted into a room, so its really a 1 car. Between the washer/dryer, the freezer, the extra fridge, the lawn mower, the tools, the lawn equipment, blah blah. It'll never happen. In FL we dont have basements so the garage is really it for storage.
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#26 of 35 Old 07-28-2009, 11:45 PM
 
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I have never parked our car in the garage. It's a 2 car garage and sure it's "suppose" to be that way but for us it doesn't make since. We do not have an attic, basement or shed so it serves as a storage area. We use it for bikes, baby stuff, holiday stuff and DH tools and gear. He did hang up 2 large shelves from the ceiling which has clear up alot of space. It's very common in FL Not to park your car in the garage but of course we do not have snow either.

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#27 of 35 Old 07-29-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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Growing up, we had a 4 car garage that was stuffed FULL of clutter. Not only were there 4 stalls, there was storage in the rafters and plenty of room along the back and sides.

Not being able to park her car inside was a HUGE issue for my mother. Like clockwork, there was a fall clean out (oh what painful times those were!) when my dad would freak out and start shuffling things.

We do park in the garage. It is one of DH's "things", since we have a garage, cars are to be parked in it. I like it as the garage is his space to clean organized and having the cars inside motivates him to keep it reasonably clutter free.

I don't think there is anything wrong with using a garage for hobbies or other useful purposes.

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#28 of 35 Old 07-29-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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We managed to park one car in a two-car garage. We didnt have a lot of stuff, but what we did have was large (bike, very large grill, etc).
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#29 of 35 Old 07-29-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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We have a two car garage that is organized and could easily fit at least one car, but we don't park either car in the garage right now. The BBQ grill is in there and gets pulled out in the driveway to grill when we need it, the bikes and lawn mower are in there as well. The kids use the space to play and much of the time we park the cars on the street to where the driveway is blocked off (people tend to turn around in our driveway a lot, and this keeps them from doing that while the kids are playing). Our kiddie pools get stored there in the summer too.

We keep lawn chairs in there set up too so we can sit and watch the kids play. Our backyard gets so muddy after it rains, plus we find we like the front because we tend to interact with the neighbors more often than if we just play in the backyard.

I've also found that my car tends to get more cluttered when I leave it in the garage because I can always "run right out and get what I need" from it (which doesn't happen, it just gets cluttered). But if I park in the driveway I tend to keep everything in a bag and carry it from the house to the car each time we go somewhere.

This winter we might push everything to the side and park in the garage, at least when it is going to snow, but not sure. It might be nice to have the space for the kids to ride bikes and skate in there.
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#30 of 35 Old 07-29-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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Recently I started parking my car in the driveway. This was mostly practicality though because our driveway is really narrow and angled very close to the house. I don't have any wiggle room with a second car parked in there. I was afraid I would run into the house.
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