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When a Garage is Not a Garage

How to Avoid Letting Your Garage Become a Dumping Ground

If you know me personally, you know I know a garage! You also know our garage is an anomoly in Alexandria that we fondly call the "Garage Mahal." If it weren't for Dave, a garage in my family would quickly be filled with junk, trash and disposable items that take up space to a point where it just feels overwhelming. But a little effort and planning can help you avoid turning your garage into a dumping ground so you, too, can have a Garage Mahal!

I read this interesting article that suggests the garage doesn't have to be "just a garage." Why not make it a the space to play, relax...and possibly park a few cars.

If you're like me, every winter I think about how this will be the summer I look amazing at the beach. I have lofty plans to work out. But going to the gym after I've gotten home is a hassel. Consider this: if you turned the garage into a home guy, think about all the intense workouts you could be doing in your garage if you cleared out the clutter! By simply sifting through the items in your garage and clearing space, you can have a dedicated home gym to work out in that can save you time going to the gym and spending money on a gym membership. You may need to make a few structural modifications to make sure there is proper ventilation and create strong wall and floor supports for heavier pieces of equipment.

Home Office

What about a home office? If you work from home, your garage may make an ideal home office space since it's separated from your traditional living areas. With plenty of outlets, you could set up a homey and productive workspace with a desk, printer and Wi-Fi access. Add a mini fridge with drinks to help make the space even more comfortable while you are working to meet deadlines. Once again, organizing the items in your garage and getting rid of unused items will make the perfect space for a home office.

Guest Room

If you have a two-car garage, this can be great guest suite. Before you convert a separate garage, make sure to check on your city's zoning laws, since some cities prohibit freestanding living structures. Cities may also prohibit turning your one-family home into a two-family home. If you do get the go-ahead, make sure to insulate it and add a space heater and plenty of blankets while you're building. Using a portion of your garage as a guest room can offer your guests a private space without having to stay in a hotel. I actually did this in a one-car garage that was so tight, I could never imagine actually parking my car in that space...not without getting it scratched up on both sides! So we converted the garage to an extra bedroom. We insulated and ran heating in the room. We debated on whether to swap the garage door with French doors. Ultimately for practicality, we installed the French doors and it was beautiful!

Game Room

Always wanted a game room but just never had the space in your home? If you have a garage, you have the space for a game room! You can add area rugs, artwork, game-themed

Your garage doesn't have to just be home to your cars; you can make your garage much more than a garage simply by using these four tips and ideas for different uses. From a home office to a game room, your garage has so much potential – all it takes is a little planning and organizing!

When you finish converting your garage to extra living space, send me some photos and a story about what you did!

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