Monday, April 19, 2010

The ‘Taj’ Garage

My garage makes me smile. I have always dreamed of having the ‘ultimate’ garage, not just for cars, but for all the stuff that is ordinary relegated to the lost nooks and crannies of the house too. In general I am a fan of large areas of open space but no matter what I do, my garage always seems stuffed from corner to corner with important possessions. Those things are not always valuable but they ‘MAY’ have a repair purpose someday, so I feel compelled to keep them. Despite the clutter, I am proud of the possibilities that are contained in those walls, and that makes me happy.

Now I can handle lumping general tools, toys, garden, and auto stuff into respective corners of the garage but that’s about where my contributions end. My wife is far better at organizing the big picture down into all of those little sub-categories so I can logically store things and more importantly FIND them easily. 9 times out of 10, that is our biggest pet peeve – not that we don’t have something, but that we CANNOT find it. I like a garage to have character, not necessarily to be perfect. I like having those odd-ball screws, springs, or raw material that I can make into something needed someday and somehow.

I had a neighbor who dealt with clutter HIS best way and that was to NEVER let it start. He simply would throw out or give away his leftover garage things. He found it all too messy to store and classify so he would just buy what he needed new every time garage parts or fix-its were in order. Every couple of weeks he even would use a pressure hose to wash out his garages to make the floors spotless and dust free. The walls were white and in one corner was a mower, a trash can, and a few garden tools and that was it. I had another neighbor who lit up her garage like a car sales showroom and had glossy black and white tiles over the entire floor. She had white closed cabinets at the back of the space and a TV hanging from the ceiling in one corner with a large mirror along one side wall. I kind of felt like it was more of a coffee shop for the cars than an actual garage?

I know I will never have garages like either neighbor described. Though the simplistic beauty of having clean uncluttered space is attractive to me, in another way I find that my neighbors have missed the point of a REAL garage. That space is supposed to be for all the things that aren’t good enough for the other parts of the house. It is the work space to service and support all the machines and systems that make our homes and lives tolerable. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be organized and functional for a large variety of missions. It needs to fit your personality like a glove and to be more than a place to store cars, bikes and things – it needs to make you smile. Yes, the ultimate ‘Taj Mahal’ garage provides functional opportunities for your work, your passions, and your limitless possibilities – as long as you can ULTIMATELY find them of course.


  1. Hello. I am Gary, Your Garage.
    You said the garage is for things "not good enough" for places in the house.
    Sorry, but let me remind you of what WE GARAGES
    hold to be true:
    Your Garage is for things TOO IMPORTANT to be stashed (and misplaced) in your HOUSE. Or thrown out by wives who get tired of wiping the grease off of them.
    Now excuse me -- I have to get rid of someone who is threatening to clean me up!

  2. Ha - Gary the Garage you are right. My garage often retalitates if I try to clean it up by throwing things off of high shelves on top of me. W.C.C.