what’s in your garage? {enough, day 20}

Oh, friends. K’nyome ah-gkome lahng. (“I am tired” in Khmer.) If you want to know why (and no, I’m not pregnant), ask me to add you to our e-newsletter list where I share life updates I don’t necessarily want to spew on the big wide internet.

Today’s challenge: THE GARAGE.

My wonderful used-to-be-neighbor Allison suggested this as a possible next de-cluttering spot, but she wondered how many women have “purging rights” to the garage. Not to be all sexist or stereotypical, but (if you’re married) is your garage your husband’s domain?

I remember back in the day when our garage was transformed into Gabe’s office, so no place for parking a car or storing junk. Then we moved to Columbus to a house with a (technically) 2-car garage (but we only fit one in it), and I was so thankful to not have to scrape ice off our van windows.

Now we’re garage-less again, and I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER. No mowing, no raking, no hosing, no weed-whacking, no biking, no nothing. FREEDOM.

We sold, gave away, or pitched every single thing in our garage (except for Gabe’s bike).

What’s in your garage? (Seriously. I want to know.)

Is it possible that it’s harboring a thing or two (or 600) that you don’t really need?

If the garage is the exclusive domain of your husband, maybe he’s been inspired by your 19 days of purging so far and wants to get rid of some of his crap?

(Am I being overly optimistic?)

Let’s share some garage stories. The good, bad, ugly. What do you use yours for? Is it working for your family? Do you need to de-clutter? What can you get rid of today? Shall I pray for your marriage?

28 thoughts on “what’s in your garage? {enough, day 20}

  1. Sharon

    Other than my car being parked in the garage, it is all my husband’s domain. I hardly know what’s in there, but am thankful to say that over the past year or so, the island between our two cars has become considerably decluttered. My husband has a work bench that has who knows what on it. I don’t really spend a second more in the garage than I have to. Ya know, spiders and all. Yuck! But, I LOVE having a garage. Anytime I spend the night at my Mom’s house and have to actually scrape snow off the car, I’m reminded of how much I love, love, love the perks of having a garage. And, I’m also glad that the stuff in it is sparse enough that we can always, always, always, park both cars in it. We have our trash can in there. Oh, my husband and a friend spent a lot of time dry-walling the garage and then my husband hung up some of his tools and a shovel. It doesn’t get in my way, so I’m fine with it being in there.

  2. Lisa Basner

    As I have said in previous comments – I’m SO thankful I have recently moved! It forced me to deal with a lot of stuff! I have a 1 car garage with a finished room upstairs that I mainly use for off season and craft storage. I spent a lot of time purging last week to get ready for my yard sale – craft stuff, CDs, books, toys – put a lot in the sale and sold most of it! The main part of the garage is where camping equipment, kayaks, canning jars/supplies (when they’re not in use), and outdoor sports stuff (soccer balls, tennis rackets…..) are kept. My father in law, who is extremely generous to us, bought us a new, beautiful fridge as a house warming gift, and I had kept the old fridge in the garage to put back in the house for when we moved out. Well, I have NO idea when we might move again, so it dawned on me, as I’ve been purging unnecessary stuff, that the extra fridge was completely unnecessary! It might not even work when I go to move. So I put it up for sale at the garage sale on Saturday, and wouldn’t you know, the first person to stop at the yard sale bought the fridge!!! Yeah!!!! I’m so thankful I’m not still hanging on to it. Now I have a nice open spot where it used to be. I still have more work to do in the garage, but it’s getting there! I’ll be selling my minivan soon, so the snow tires will go with that (more empty space!). Thank you for this series! I’ll be sad when it’s over! 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      I love your fridge story!! And I love that your in-laws are so awesome. And I’ll be sad when the series is over too! (I’m sure we can keep the spirit of it going somehow.)

  3. Kim

    No garage here and the sheds are his to deal with but yesterday I did go through my flower pots and tidied up the backyard a bit. Some stuff went to trash, some to recycle and old soil in pots to compost. Also 2 pillow covers I unearthed from the linen closet last week went onto 2 old outdoor pillows and will go in the hammock after it gets a good soaking. So they have gone from being clutter to beautifying the backyard and creating a place of rest.

  4. cyndee

    We have never had a garage and it is on my “must have” list if we ever move. First of all, because we live in NJ and oh! the scraping, de-icing, and schlepping through snow to the car! I’m so over it. Second, because we’re spoiled rich Americans we have a large yard and a pool that we get to enjoy for less than half the year, so for 6-7 months we have to have someplace to store pool equipment, yard furniture, bikes, etc. The 2 sheds we have keep it manageable
    AND we are blessed to have an awesome neighbor who not only has a garage, but shares my husband belief that he doesn’t need to personally own everything. They buy snow blowers and other large tools together and store them in the large, detached garage. But I still wish I had a garage to declutter! 🙂

  5. Alicia

    So, I have a funny garage story. My husband is into cars. When we were looking for a house, the garage was just as important, if not more so, than the actual house itself. He currently has a lift and three of his vehicles in there. I park my mini-van outside. (On an side note, I am very blessed that God gave him the ability and the desire to maintain and fix all of our vehicles. Every time I see that one you’re having trouble with one of your cars I wish that you lived in NJ and could just bring it over for him to take a look at.) Anyway, when we moved in, my parents had given me a huge box and a rubbermaid container of my grandmother’s china. I’m not a china kind of girl, so we stuck it in the corner of the garage and I told Lou I’d get to it later. And it sat. For 9 years. And for those 9 years he complained about how this big box was in his way and that I should find a home for it. I felt bad about sending my late grandma’s good china (that I’d been told over and over again how much she wanted me to have it) to the Salvation Army. So I kept putting it off. Then, about two months ago I was looking for a pie plate and decided to check in that big ol’ box of china. I opened it up, and there was nothing but packing material in there! All of the china has been repacked and was sitting in a much smaller rubbermaid container. All those years of me avoiding it and Lou complaining about it and it was just an empty box. Cracks me up.

    1. Marla Taviano

      There’s a great life analogy in there, friend. How many things do we avoid because of whatever and then IT’S NOT SO BAD AFTER ALL? And thanks for offering to fix our cars. xoxoxo

  6. Kerry

    Camping gear above the door, kids’ bikes/scooters/toys (some can go), toolbox, outdoor stuff and six baskets (to sort washing as I go: whites/whites with a bit of colour/pale coloureds/deep dyed coloureds/darks/towels and bedding). I know … Ridiculous! I have to be brave and simplify the system.

  7. Allison

    Ours is a1.5 car garage where we keep tools, old paint, roller blades, suitcases, a propane tank for the grill we no longer own, the lawn mower, our deep freezer, the kids’ bikes and scooters, ladders, and a bunch of stuff my MIL has given us to work on cars (except we don’t). i am fortunate that my husband doesn’t care about that space. I can purge at will, though i will ask him about some things to see if they are worth keeping. Yesterday I got rid of a bunch of empty paint cans and left a bunch if others open to dry out. I’ll head back out there again today and see if there’s more I can rehome .

  8. Brooke

    we have a 1 1/2 car garage – technically 2, but only a door for one. we can sandwich both my tiny toyota and his jeep into it, but both they have to enter one at a time and the 1st to go in has to wait to come out until the other one is out. does that make sense? since we are a 3 car family, we typically put the jeep top down in the summer, squeeze it in, and leave it there (save when we want to ride around) until winter when we put the top up and move it outside.
    we also store our trash there – he won’t pay for pickup service, so it marinates in the garage until he hauls it to the dump. also his yard tools are there, as well as our pool toys, outdoor chairs, fire pit, and fishing gear.
    UPSTAIRS in the garage he’s keeping his empty bottle collection (alcohol glass), our christmas decorations, and all those things we don’t need yet he refuses to get rid of.
    HOW DID I FORGET we also have a queen size bed frame and mattress in the garage downstairs. because you never know when you might need one.
    okay. i’m going to stop now before i reduce anyone to stressed out tears.

  9. Jill Foley

    I hate our garage….the majority of it is my husband’s domain and I won’t touch it. I do keep some stuff out there and do my best to keep it minimal. I would say 80% of what’s out there doesn’t get used – ever. So much of it is in case we need it at the next house. And it’s been like that for the past 4 houses.

  10. Melissa

    Having only lived in this house a year-ish we haven’t accumulated very much in our garage at all. The only thing that would be worth decluttering is the work bench because it has some stuff left behind by the previous owners that they no longer wanted. I’m gonna have to wait for Nick to do that because I have no idea what’s useful/valuable when it comes to that kind of stuff and he does. Also, I will tell you the not recommended form of decluttering is thievery. We discovered this past weekend that someone stole our weed whacker out of our garage. Sigh.

  11. jess

    the garage is DO not my domain. It’s like the holy scriptures of our rooms. I am not to add to or take away from anything that’s in the garage. oh, well, except there’s one good-sized area of shelves that I can have free reign with. but that’s alright. I have full control of all things in the house, so I just go with it.

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