Growing up in a small suburban neighborhood, almost everyone had a car, not to mention the garage it was kept in. We stored outdoor items such as lawn chairs and bicycles along the walls or rafters of the garage, but that was about it. Today, you can drive through neighborhoods all over and see automobiles in driveways, so why aren’t they in their garages? That’s why they were built, to store your automobile, but that’s ‘not’ what they’re actually being used for; boxes upon boxes are seen in many garages, along with multiple other items too numerous to mention. When driving through neighborhoods, glance at properties with the open garage doors and see what kind of mess is really in there, it’s crazy. People are storing stuff everywhere, from garages to basements, attics and now renting storage units to store items they no longer use; ‘why’ not downsize instead of storing items, or are they things you cannot part with? My guess is most of the stuff hasn’t been looked at for years, but for whatever reasons, people are under the impression that ‘more’ is better.

Speaking from what I know, I have members of my family who won’t throw away anything, and then those who get rid of most everything, if not been used in the last year; polar opposites. It’s incredible, from a minimalist to a hoarder (well, almost). Trying to understand people who stuff their garages is difficult for me, and when I see some that are piled to the ceiling without any order… it literally drives me nuts. I have a hunch that many of those who save then store it, probably don’t know half of what they have today. According to DIY magazine found that 82% of homeowners with a 2-car garage (and larger) don’t store their automobiles in them. Only 15% actually park a vehicle in the garage…isn’t that amazing… however, totally believable.

What’s stored in your garage today; do you really know or do you use it for overflow of groceries, because a lot people have a second refrigerator they use there. What they don’t think about are the items that should never be stored in a garage, such as paper products, paint and any other flammable items like propane. If you store pet food, this would be like sending an ‘invitation’ to unwanted pesky critters, and let’s face it…with stuff in boxes (in garages) these critters will find a nice dwelling place to call home. I don’t know that anyone ‘knows’ the real reason that so many continue to store personal items in their garage, but if you’re one of these people…consider organizing them in plastic air-tight containers, and while you downsize find an organization such as Salvation Army or another charity to give away some of that stuff you haven’t looked at for over a year, maybe more. Some items found stored… such as coffee pots, Tupperware, silverware and other miscellaneous items continue to evolve over the years, making improvements of sorts, so why save the old items when they’re replaced with the newer version? I don’t know the answer, but go to a rummage some time and you’ll notice some households have multiples of the same items; because they saved them all, usually in their garage. Storing ‘stuff’ is what we Americans seem to be doing these days, and using built space for what was intended for our vehicles… has now become a dumping ground for items people no longer want in their home but cannot part with. I say let the garage be a garage, use it for the vehicles, as it will improve the appearance of your property, besides the neighborhood. Often times I hear a little voice over my shoulder, so I will leave you with the words I hear… “Less is more.”


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