The Frugal Garage

In my neighborhood, all of the houses have two car garages. What amazes me is how few people use their garages for their intended purpose. When I go out for a run, I see so many garage doors open and the garages are full of stuff, not cars. There is barely room to walk in some of them, so crammed are they with junk. I guess part of the problem is that these houses were built without basements or attics so there’s no place to store the overflow of junk that most people have.

If you have a garage full of stuff and no room to put your cars, you might want to give some thought to cleaning it out and putting your cars in it. Using the garage as a garage rather than a storage facility has


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18 Responses to The Frugal Garage

  1. Great post! I don’t have a garage, and I never really thought about the money to be saved by parking a car in one. Very thought provoking!

  2. MollyJ says:

    Funny. I noticed that a lot of the garages in my neighborhood are packed to the gills with stuff while the cars sit outside. I saw one that was so full it was overflowing when the door was open. I’d hate to have to clean that out.

  3. Monkey Mama says:

    Are you kidding? After years as a renter syuck on the street, of course we park our cars in the garage!!! (There is a lot of vandalism and auto theft in our area).

    Actually, with our HOA we are required to park in the garage on some level, so most our neighbors do use their garages for their cars. But yeah, it is so much nicer and comfortable keeping the cars in there.

  4. Lori says:

    Just to add to the additional storage point: There is ususally a lot of room above the cars that is unused space. By installing roof-hung platforms, you can give yourselves a semi-attic. Just make sure you know your weight limits.

  5. Julie says:

    We have two, 2 car garages. We always keep our 4 cars in the garages to keep them looking nice all the time. However, the two work vans do sit outside.

  6. A Marino says:

    Good post. I didn’t realize that the insurance would give you a discount for garaging your car.

    I have a one-car garage where my cars stays. It is a 1999 and the paint job still looks great. I know that it’s because it’s garaged.

    Great points about vandelism and theft also.

  7. David G. Mitchell says:

    I wish I could put my car in our garage but the garage has design flaws. Although the garage was sold as a three car garage, we can only fit one of our cars into it!

  8. Diane says:

    Our neighborhood has only 1 car garages – small ones! The houses are small and the laundry area is in the garage.

    Since most people have at least 2 cars (many have 3) the garages are rarely used for cars – most are used for storage areas.

    Our garage is used for laundry, a work-out area, a bath/kennel area for the dog (we have a utility sink & grooming table) & a feeding/litterbox area for the cat.

    I would LOVE to have a house large enough to have a laundry room, work-out area etc. AND a garage large enough to park 2 cars. Maybe someday…

  9. Jo says:

    I have noticed the same in our neighborhood, the double and triple garages are used for everything but storing vehicles.

  10. Texas Girl says:

    I’d be willing to bet the state of someone’s financial situation is reflected in how the garage looks. Hmmmmm…..

  11. Robb says:

    Another important point: A packed garage is an extreme fire danger! All of that “stuff” burns like crazy once ignited!
    WHOOSH! and it’s GONE IN A FLASH!!!
    Just another reason NOT to pack your garage to the ceiling with all kinds of junk!

  12. I disagree on one point. You stated it is harder to steal valuables from your car when it is in the garage. If the theif does gain garage access, it actually can make it easier, as he can not be observed from the street. I had a friend who had her car in the garage and overnight they stole the wheels, stereo, seats–stripped it clean. They also got 3 other cars in the same neighborhood, all in locked garages.
    Make sure your garage doors are locked and have good locks on them.

  13. Bimmer says:

    mom-from-missouri: It depends on the garage. Some have windows, doors to the back yard, etc that allow easier access for a thief. Others only have the garage door and door to the inside of the house.

    One mistake I see is people do not lock their cars when they are in the garage. This must still be done!

    Overall, good blog entry!

  14. Shannon C. says:

    I also used to think it odd that everyone in our neighborhood parked outside their garages, but ours is now full of stuff, too.

    However, that stuff makes us money — it’s the things we sell online, our “inventory.”

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  16. THANK YOU! I’m tempted to print out this post and deliver it to a bunch of the neighbors.

    Another thing you might add: Keeping the rolling stock off the front yard improves the property value of your home and of your neighbors’ homes. A lot of cars, trucks, and trailers permanently parked in driveways and in front yards makes the whole neighborhood look like Pore White Trash Central.

    On the issue of whether the burglar can get unimpeded access to your car by breaking into the garage:

    a) Get an up-to-date garage door opener; these are designed so that they respond only to YOUR remote, not to some clown driving up and down the street pointing his remote at every garage door in the neighborhood.

    b) If you have a door from the garage to the yard, install a security door (available at Home Depot or Lowe’s for a reasonable price) and keep it locked.

    My 1971 two-car garage contains the washer & dryer, a utility sink, and ceiling-to-floor storage cabinets along two walls, but I’ve managed to park two cars in there. Clean out the junk and you should be able to get two small to medium-size cars inside a double garage that also has other functions.

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