9 Reasons You Should Avoid Renting Self Storage Units

The Storage Wars TV series has now run for 10 seasons comprised of well over 200 episodes. Regional spinoff versions of the show, along with other copycat shows that focus on the world of self storage units, are also in production.

One would think there couldn’t possibly be enough junk-related source material to fuel all of this entertainment. The shocking statistics involving the usage of self storage units tells another story, however.

self storage units cloudy sky green doors

1 in 10 households rent self storage units

Survey results released by the Self Storage Association show that self storage units are rented by 1 in 10 U.S. households. To put that in perspective, only 1 in 17 American households used self storage units in 1995.

There are currently an estimated 58,000 self storage units in the U.S. The Orlando Sentinel reports that this is more than the country’s number of McDonald’s, Subways, and Starbucks combined.

In Canada, which has around one tenth of America’s population, there are 3,000 self storage units. The rest of the world outside of those two countries only has a total of 10,000 self storage units.

With such heavy usage of off-site storage, it’s no wonder there are so many TV shows that deal with the topic. Clearly, North Americans are purchasing far more than they need and living beyond their means.

One of the end results of this is clutter and, by extension, finding enough storage space for all the things we own.

The financial hole only gets deeper when homeowners end up turning to self storage units as a perceived solution. In truth, there are many reasons to avoid using off-site storage facilities and here are nine of them.

1. Self storage units are too expensive

Self storage units come in sizes that most commonly range from 5′ x 5′ to 20′ x 20′. The most popular size for rental units is 10′ x 10′, which around 16% of American renters choose.

Aside from how big the space you need to rent is, factors like the storage facility’s location and whether or not you choose extra features like climate control will affect your monthly rental cost. Hidden costs also need to be factored in (more on that below).

Consumer Reports estimates that on average, a 10′ x 10′ self storage unit will cost you almost $2,000 per year to rent in the U.S. That cost rises dramatically when the self storage facility is in a large city. The same storage unit can end up costing $2,500 in Los Angeles and jumps to a whopping $3,700 in New York City.

In downtown Toronto, a 10′ x 10′ storage unit will currently cost you $325 to rent for four weeks. That works out to $200 more annually then you’ll pay for the same sized unit in The Big Apple (not counting the exchange rate).

Considering that the Self Storage Association’s stats show that more than half of those renting will keep their unit for a year or more, the costs can add up significantly. And, of course, you’ll have nothing tangible to show for your expenses when you end your rental agreement.

 2. Hidden costs and extra services or features

On top of the storage unit’s basic monthly rental fee, hidden costs and services can increase what you originally expected to pay.

Some costs, like a storage unit setup fee and mandatory monthly insurance fees, have been known to be hidden in your rental contract’s fine print.

Then there’s the extra services and features the self storage facility will try to upsell to you to increase their profit margin. This can include paying extra for more secure locks or a better location for your storage unit that’s closer to the facility’s access points.

The bottom line is that you should expect to pay more for renting a self storage unit than the price you’ll get off their website.

3. The inconvenience of accessing your self storage unit

Clearly, any items being kept in a self storage unit aren’t exactly everyday use items for you. Even still, you’ve held onto them for a reason.

When you do you need to gain access to your unit, you’ll need to go to the trouble of making a trip to the storage facility. Depending on its location, that can be time-consuming.

On top of that, you’re at the mercy of the storage facility’s hours when it comes to getting into your storage unit. Many self storage locations aren’t open 24 hours or accessible on major holidays.

4. The worry of maintenance, theft, and damage

Even with a locked storage unit, you’re putting a lot of faith in complete strangers to safeguard the belongings you’ve stored. Here are some factors you’ll need to consider:

  • Is there security personnel on the premises around the clock?
  • How properly vetted and trained are the security personnel?
  • Is there 24 hour video surveillance?
  • How secure are the premises (including lighting, heights of gates, and crime rates in the area)?
  • Does the facility have a proper sprinkler and fire alarm system?
  • How clean and well-maintained is the facility?
  • Does the climate control work properly to prevent mold, mildew, and pest problems?
  • In the event of theft or damage to your belongings, how much insurance protection do you have?

Using a self storage unit doesn’t just mean placing your trust in the facility’s employees to keep your stored items safe. You also have no idea what the neighboring units have inside them. It could include everything from drugs to firearms to stolen merchandise to dangerous chemicals.

5. You don’t need most of what’s in your self storage unit

Self storage units can admittedly be useful in certain short-term situations. Perhaps you’re supposed to move but your newly built home isn’t quite ready yet, or the home you’re buying from someone hit an unexpected snag before the deal closed.

Or perhaps you need to travel overseas for an extended period of time and need somewhere to keep your things until you return. If you’re downsizing or going through a divorce, a self storage unit can help you store a bunch of extra belongings until you can figure out what to do with them.

However, the truth is that most self storage units are being used because a homeowner just hasn’t taken the time to properly declutter and let go of things they don’t need.

Anything that has true sentimental value that’s worthy of holding onto should probably be kept close, not stored in a remote location.

6. Self storage units hold you back from decluttering

Because your clutter has been stored in an off-site location, there’s a much greater chance you just won’t bother dealing with it. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say.

Before you know it, years will have passed and the junk in your storage unit will just collect more dust, while your bank account will be emptier.

And if you’ve had to resort to renting a self storage unit then it’s likely your home is being filled up with even more clutter. That makes your home less functional. Clutter is also a noted contributor to stress.

7. Others can make use of what you don’t need

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

You can use the thinking behind this well-known quote and apply it to your own situation to help you get rid of your junk and clutter.

This can include selling items you don’t need to local secondhand stores or online through sites like eBay and Craigslist.

Charities will also welcome donations of some of your items, particularly furniture. Furniture Bank in Canada and the U.S. can pick up your old furniture and make sure it gets to those in need.

For any useless clutter you have that can’t be donated or sold, spend a weekend getting it out of your home or storage unit. Rent a truck, enlist some help, and toss the items at your local dump or recycling facility.

8. Self storage units leave a big environmental footprint

If you’re environmentally conscious, consider the size of the environmental footprint left by storage facilities.

The Self Storage Association says that all of the storage units in America take up 2.3 billion square feet of space. The hydro costs for climate control and lighting for that much space must be staggering.

It puts a needless and wasteful burden on our resources, especially when you consider so much of the contents of self storage units is just junk.

self storage units slatwall

Add better storage and organization systems to your home (like slatwall panels) instead of wasting money on a self storage unit rental.

9. You’re better off upgrading your home’s storage and organization systems

It should be obvious that self storage units simply aren’t a financially viable storage solution. The thousands of dollars you’ll spend over many years for off-site storage could be invested in better storage and organization systems for your home.

That’s something the estimated 65% of homeowners who have garages – yet still rent self storage units – have failed to discover.

While the garage may be a clutter hotspot, there are storage solutions available for this space that can minimize the amount of clutter in your home.

Garage Living knows that your garage walls and vertical space are typically not used to their full potential. We can remedy that in the following ways:

The bottom line: renting self storage units is a bad idea

Renting a self storage unit on a long-term basis just doesn’t make much sense. Take the time to declutter and re-evaluate the effectiveness of the storage systems in your garage and elsewhere in your home.

For help with turning your garage into a more functional space, schedule a free in-home consultation with one of our design experts.

See also:

13 Fall Garage Storage Tips and Ideas to Get Your Space Winter-Ready

fall garage storage

As the days get shorter and winter approaches, the yearly ritual of preparing your home for the dreaded colder weather is now underway.

Homeowners will change furnace filters, cover up air conditioners, rake a never-ending amount of leaves, clear out gutters, and plant bulbs for spring, to name just a few of many necessary fall tasks.

Of course, storing items used during the spring and summer will also require your attention. Naturally, your garage will be the primary storage space for these seasonal items. Can it accommodate your fall garage storage requirements?

Don’t procrastinate on fall garage storage preparations

Procrastinating on making sure your garage is winter-ready has several negative effects, including:

  • causing you to deal with your fall garage storage concerns later when temperatures in your garage are less comfortable
  • creating potential extra costs due to lower garage energy efficiency and damage to items from improper winter storage
  • the extra time that’s wasted looking for things
  • generally prohibiting you from getting the most functionality out of your garage space

Taking a proactive approach to your fall garage storage considerations will serve you well throughout the coming colder months. You’ll also notice the benefits when the warm weather returns.

These 13 fall garage storage and preparation tips and ideas will help get your space optimized for better organization and functionality this winter.

1. Get decluttering

Getting your garage organized and keeping it that way requires you to declutter regularly. As a rule, it should be your very first task when it comes to your fall garage storage preparations.

Garages are the go-to dumping ground for items that you’re reluctant to part with or just can’t find a storage spot for within your heated living space. You know, clutter.

Anyone with a well-kept garage space will undoubtedly be taking the time to declutter this area at least once a year (at minimum). The benefits of decluttering include:

  • it frees up space for indoor parking and improves garage functionality and organization
  • implementing better storage solutions such as garage cabinetry is easier
  • it makes your garage safer by eliminating tripping hazards from items left on the floor (like rakes)
  • locating items when you need them will be easier

2. Clean your garage floor

Your fall garage storage tasks should include making sure your space is clean and as free of dirt, dust, and grime as possible. Spring cleaning your garage after the messy toll that winter takes on it is essential.

You’d also be advised to take the time to clean your garage floor before the snow comes. After all, garages in colder climates will almost certainly get more use during the spring and summer months. That creates a lot of foot traffic and tracks in dirt from your yard on shoes, boots, and tools.

A Floortex™ floor coating is extremely durable and resilient, but even it requires an occasional cleaning. Luckily, that requires relatively little effort on your part.

After decluttering, give your garage floor a good sweep and thoroughly rinse off the remaining debris with a hose. Make sure any electrical outlets that might come in contact with spray from your hose are covered up.

Then remove the remaining water on your floor with a good squeegee (you can pick one up at your local Garage Living showroom). Your clean Floortex-coated floor will look just like new and be all ready for the demands of winter.

3. Turn off your outdoor water and empty and store all hoses

Before freezing temperatures become the norm, make sure your home’s outdoor water connection is shut off for the winter. Drain the lines as much as possible as well. This will greatly minimize the chance of pipes bursting during winter time, which can be an expensive repair.

Your garden hoses should also receive attention when you’re carrying out your fall garage storage preparations. Garden hoses should be kept coiled and unkinked at all times to prolong their life and prevent cracking and leaks.

Invest in a hose reel to make this easier and keep hoses off your garage floor or walkways. Garage Living carries high quality wall-mounted reels and portable hose reel carts, in addition to excellent kink-resistant garden hoses that are very durable.

Disconnect your garden hose from its water connection and make sure you’ve drained all the water from it. It’s a bad idea to leave water in hoses over the winter for a few reasons. Don’t forget to drain sprinklers and watering wands as well.

Specifically, water left in hoses that freezes can rupture the hose or cause it to crack. An undrained hose that’s left connected could also cause ice to potentially creep its way into your pipes and cause them to burst.

fall garage storage hose reels

Drain your garden hoses and make sure they’re properly stored before sub-zero temperatures arrive.

4. Make sure certain items aren’t kept in the garage

More than a few homeowners make the mistake of using their garage to store items that should be stored in their heated living space. Here are a few items that you shouldn’t be keeping in the garage:

  • paint, cleaning products, and many household chemicals (frigid temperatures affect their consistency, color, and effectiveness)
  • electronics you plan to donate (condensation can damage solder joints and cause circuit boards to rust or crack)
  • clothing or linens that aren’t in vacuum-sealed storage bags
  • propane tanks (store them in a shed or covered outdoor area)
  • paper, which attracts rodents and other pests

5. Make your garage more energy efficient

Your garage doors are the largest moving object in your home. They also account for as much as third of your home’s front exterior. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to make sure this home feature is properly outfitted to maximize your garage’s energy efficiency.

Make sure your garage doors are properly insulated to keep as much warm air in and as much cold air out. Modern garage doors offer much better insulation features than older models, which can help lower your heating costs.

Steel garage doors, in particular, are a popular choice for homeowners looking for garage doors that provide stylish aesthetics and effective insulating features.

Adding insulation to your garage ceiling and walls can have a major beneficial impact on your garage’s energy efficiency. This can be a big, messy job that also isn’t cheap, but it’s a smart long-term investment.

Make sure your garage doors, window frames, and any other doors have weatherstripping to eliminate drafts. Weatherstripping can peel and crack over time, so be sure to inspect it periodically. You can also eliminate drafts around window and door frames, vents, and any outlets with caulking.

Remember, improving your garage’s energy efficiency during the winter also means it’ll be more energy efficient during the rest of the year. A well-insulated attached garage should ease the burden of your air conditioner when the weather heats up.

6. Make better use of your garage’s wall space

One of the most commonly underutilized storage areas in garages are its walls. What’s the main thing that’s keeping you from using your garage for parking? Floor clutter, of course!

Reclaiming that valuable garage floor space to allow for parking will be especially appreciated when the cold weather arrives. You won’t need to brush snow off vehicles and de-ice their windows, sparing you extra exposure to any inclement weather. Vehicles will also warm up quicker.

Adding a slatwall storage system to your garage walls will make it a lot easier to maintain an organized garage. Our PVC slatwall panels also add a more clean, finished look to your garage interior.

And by making use of the more than 40 types of slatwall accessories available, you’ll be able to hang up most of your tools and belongings that are only used during spring and summer.

Everything from bikes to gardening supplies to sports and camping equipment can be hung with our speciality hooks, shelves, brackets, baskets, and bins, in an endless number of configurations. Up to 50 lbs can be supported.

And because slatwall panels give you so much extra storage space, you can find a dedicated year-round home for all your tools. There’ll be no need to switch out summer tools like rakes with snow shovels, or vice versa. This can save you many hours of time over the coming years. Seasonal transitions in your garage will be a breeze!

fall garage storage slatwall

PVC slatwall panels provide flexible storage space for all of your lawn and garden tools.

7. Test all garage alarm devices and check your fire extinguisher

Many fire departments advise you to test your smoke, carbon monoxide, and heat detectors a minimum of twice a year. Make a practice of doing so whenever the clocks go forward and go back.

Your garage should have a heat detector and carbon monoxide detector installed, so make it a habit to add testing these devices to your fall garage storage and preparation to-do list.

If your garage also contains a fire extinguisher that can be stored in colder temperatures, give it an inspection. Check that its expiry date is still good and check its pressure if there’s a pressure gauge.

If you’re not storing a fire extinguisher in your garage, store one just inside the door that enters your home from your attached garage.

What’s that, you say? Your garage doesn’t have a fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, or heat detector? Investing in any or all three of these inexpensive items is a sensible idea as an extra safety measure to protect your home.

8. Prepare your equipment and tools for winter storage

A little preventative care when storing your lawn tools and equipment for the winter will extend their life. This also includes patio furniture. Come the spring time, they’ll all be ready to use right away. Take the time to declutter any tools that are barely used or worn out and no longer useful.

Lawn and garden tools like wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, tillers, and edgers can be hosed down, which should remove most dirt. To remove stubborn caked-on soil and dirt, hose the tools down and use a light wire brush for cleaning (this can also be used to remove light rust). Make sure to dry all washed items before storing them.

Now let’s give your cutting tools a little attention. Your pruners, loppers, shears, saws, and hedge trimmer blade will likely have sap on them. Use a cutting tool cleaner (or turpentine, which is also effective) to remove any sticky residue. Also inspect the sharpness of the tools’ blades.

Powered yard equipment needs even more care before storing them for the winter to maximize their life. Clean any grass clippings and residue from lawn mowers and grass trimmers.

For gas-powered equipment, drain all gas, oil, and other additives from the tools and dispose of the fluids properly. Consider an end-of-season tune-up for your lawn mower so you’ll have one less thing to deal with when spring comes.

9. Look up to find more fall garage storage space

Along with a garage’s walls, its vertical space is rarely used to the best of its abilities for storage. Remedy that and find more fall garage storage space by adding specialty overhead racking to store your bulkier and seasonal items.

Because these larger items have more weight, you’ll need a more heavy-duty storage solution, which our overhead racks provide. Up to 600 lbs can be supported on our adjustable racks, which are available in a variety of sizes.

Many homeowners taking care of their fall garage storage needs in colder climates will own an extra set of car tires. If you have more than one vehicle with a second set of tires, that can take up more garage floor space than you’d prefer. Try using a heavy-duty wall-mounted tire rack instead.

With these bulky items stored vertically, you’ll be amazed at how much space this can free up on your garage floor. Parking will be easier and you’ll be able to quickly locate those storage bins or totes full of holiday decorations when needed.

fall garage storage tire racks

A heavy-duty wall-mounted tire rack keeps your extra set of tires off your garage floor.

10. Store your summer car on a car lift

If you own a classic car or sports car that only gets driven for half the year due to the weather where you live, storing it during the winter can pose a problem.

Either you’ll need to use up one of your garage’s parking spots for it or you’ll need to store it in an off-site facility. Both of these can be inconvenient, but a car lift makes for a great solution.

A 4 post car lift also makes use of the underutilized ceiling space in your garage to provide you with extra storage space. Simply raise your car on the lift and keep it there until spring, while parking your everyday use vehicle below it.

A car lift can also be used (with the right attachment) for storing other seasonal items like motorcycles and riding mowers.

11. Inspect your winter tools and equipment

You won’t want to wait until after that first blizzard hits to find out your snow blower isn’t functioning properly. Be sure that your fall garage storage and preparation checklist includes snow removal equipment inspection.

Consider taking your snow blower in for a tune-up if it’s been awhile since a pro performed maintenance on it. If you’re more of the hands-on type, change the spark plug and fill it up with gas, oil, and any additives like fuel stabilizer.

The tires and pull cord should also be checked. Take proactive measures by having backups for parts that more commonly need replacing, so you’re not inconvenienced with a maintenance issue when the snow blower is really needed. This includes shear pins and extra drive belts.

12. Consider additional storage solutions like garage cabinetry

Garage cabinetry helps you maximize storage space and can be extremely valuable when it comes to finding extra fall garage storage space for all your belongings.

Garage Living has several lines of cabinet systems to fit any budget. From our GL Signature cabinets (which are great for smaller garages) to our top-of-the-line GL Custom Steel cabinets, any system you choose will drastically improve your garage’s functionality and looks.

fall garage storage cabinets

GL Custom Steel cabinets add more functionality and great aesthetics to your garage space.

13. Add a garage heater

Using your garage as workshop gives you the freedom to tinker and repair things in your own private space, without worrying about messes or noise. Cold weather limits your ability to use it comfortably, however.

Your multipurpose garage space can be more useful during the year’s more frigid months by adding heating to it. Needless to say, 24/7 garage heating during the winter can get expensive, unfortunately.

One alternative solution is to use a portable electric heater. An even better idea is to get a more effective heating solution that can be fastened to your wall, like an electric radiant infrared heater.

Garage Living’s electric radiant heaters come in 110V and 220V models that have a long power cord and a remote control. It’s meant to heat a smaller area of your garage so you’ll be able to continue using your garage for your hobbies all year-round.

Consult a pro for your fall garage storage needs

Garage Living can help with your fall garage storage preparations. Schedule your free in-home consultation to get your garage winter-ready with our smart and effective garage organization and storage solutions.

See also:

5 Ways Great Garage Flooring Improves A Multipurpose Garage Space

For many years, the garage was viewed as a separate space in homes. Parking vehicles and storing yard tools and excess household items that didn’t have a home seemed to be its main purpose.

Any thoughts of aesthetics and style when it came to a garage space ranked low on the list of homeowners’ concerns about their property. This ingrained apathy towards a garage’s looks can perhaps best be exemplified with garage flooring.

For close to a century after the birth of the home garage in the early 1900s, the look of garage flooring was about as boring as could be. “Gray”, “dirty”, and “completely devoid of character” would be three appropriate descriptors that sum up how garage flooring was viewed for most homes.

Over the past 10-15 years, however, that mindset has been changing. An increasing number of homeowners have evolved their thinking when it comes to their garage space and how it looks and is used. They’ve come to realize that:

  • the garage is commonly the largest room in your house and offers a multitude of design possibilities
  • garages account for a substantial percentage of a home’s overall square footage and need to be utilized better to maximize your investment
  • the garage is being used more and more as a multipurpose space that should be considered an extension of your living space

One impactful way to improve your garage’s looks and functionality is to upgrade your garage flooring. Here’s five ways your busy garage space will benefit from having its floor surface revitalized.

1. New garage flooring simply looks much nicer

Just about anything would look better than a drab concrete floor that’s cracked and crumbling. Typical DIY approaches to restoring it can involve a few different approaches. Far more often than not, these fixes fail to produce optimal results, especially when it comes to looks.

Fillers and patches for repairing cracks and missing chunks of your garage flooring leave an uneven, ugly look and generally need to be fixed again just a few years later.

Painting your garage flooring isn’t ideal, as it quickly cracks and peels (especially in a busy multipurpose garage space). DIY garage flooring epoxy kits are another option that might be a marginally better than floor paint. However, they can be messy to work with and don’t produce the satisfying results of higher quality garage flooring options.

A true transformation of your busy garage space starts from the floor up and you won’t find a better-looking garage flooring option than a polyaspartic coating like Floortex™.

The multicolored look of a professional applied polyaspartic floor coating injects character and personality into your garage flooring’s appearance. Your floor’s fresh top coat will also deliver a long-lasting shine that improves the space’s aesthetics.

That’s why adding great garage flooring to such a busy area of your home only makes sense. Improving your surrounding environment enhances your comfort level and makes the space more inviting. There’s a reason appearance-conscious places like stores and car showrooms use this type of higher quality floor coating.

garage flooring

2. You have more flexibility to shape your garage’s look

With the understanding that great garage flooring has a big impact on the space’s overall look, design flexibility becomes important.

Upgrading your multipurpose garage space can also involve adding a slatwall panel storage system. You’ll want to make sure everything ties together with color schemes that effectively complement each other.

Shaping your garage’s look becomes easier when your garage flooring color choices give you more flexibility. Floortex™ floor coatings come in 14 available colors to help you achieve your design goals.

Choose your floor color to complement your garage’s existing décor or color schemes of newly added upgrades, such as garage cabinetry. You can take the color of vehicles into consideration when choosing a coating color that will work best.

Floor tiles are another smart option when it comes upgrading your garage flooring. These easy-to-install PVC tiles have interlocking teeth and also offer a wide range of options to achieve the look you want. You can create an endless number of designs with the different colors and styles available.

3. Durable garage flooring makes more sense for a multipurpose space

Garages are now the main home access point for the majority of those that own a house. And garages are increasingly being used as multipurpose spaces that house workshops, crafting areas, fitness spaces, and man caves.

Because our garages are being used more, their surface needs to be durable. The daily rigours that a multipurpose garage space is subjected to demands it, in fact.

Compared to epoxy and polyurethane floor coatings, polyaspartic coatings are better able to accommodate the demands of this high traffic area in your home. Its exceptional adhesive properties form a strong bond with your old concrete floor.

Extreme temperature changes which cause your concrete floor to contract and expand are also less of an issue with a polyaspartic coating, which provides more flexibility.

Floortex™ floor coatings are also highly resistant to impacts and abrasions. That means dropped tools and heavy foot traffic on your garage flooring won’t result in unsightly premature wear and damage.

The coating’s strong resistance to oil, gas, salt, and most household chemicals also helps prolong its life. The resilient top coat is also UV stable, which ensures the garage flooring maintains its color and glossy look. And you’ll get better traction with this type of garage flooring because it has a textured surface.

4. A polyaspartic garage floor coating is easy to maintain

As pristine as a polyaspartic floor coating can look, the garage is still an area that’s going to get dirty. Nobody likes to clean, but wouldn’t it be nice to have garage flooring that makes this as easy as possible?

One of the benefits of a Floortex™ floor coating is that it actually does a great job obscuring the appearance of dirt and dust on its surface. That’s a result of the decorative flakes used during its application process and the textured floor surface it produces. This helps your garage flooring maintain a clean look for longer.

Of course, the dirt may be obscured, but it still needs to be dealt with eventually. Dirt and dust will sweep up easily off the smooth surface and any spills are a breeze to clean up.

A more thorough cleaning also doesn’t require much effort. Simply give your garage floor a good sweep, hose it off, and squeegee out the excess water.

The ease of maintenance with higher quality garage floor coatings also extends to the fact they won’t need to be repaired for years. That durable surface will be intact and problem-free for much longer than what you’ll get from inferior types of floor coatings.

garage flooring spill

5. Polyaspartic garage floor coatings are safer and a greener option

Garages are used to store a number of harmful solvents and chemicals, such as gas, cleaning products, paints, and automotive fluids. Naturally, you take great care to store these safely.

But have you ever considered whether or not your garage flooring itself is safe and environmentally friendly? Chances are you’ve never given it a second thought.

One advantage of polyaspartic floor coatings is that they’re a safer and greener option when it comes to these two areas. A polyaspartic coating is ultra low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds). They’re the slowly releasing organic chemicals that can be harmful in higher quantities.

If you’re using your garage frequently, environmental safety warrants consideration. A polyaspartic coating is your safest option and if it’s safer for you, it’s safer for the environment outside your garage.

Getting great garage flooring can take less than a day

Does new garage flooring like a Floortex™ polyaspartic coating sound like the perfect way to improve your busy garage space? If so, Garage Living is just a free in-home design consultation away!

A member of our design team can further explain the benefits of this great product. That includes the facts that Floortex™ floor coating projects come with a 10 year limited warranty and can take less than a day to complete.

See also:

The Top 7 Major Benefits of Using Home Garage Parking

A Wall Street Journal survey of homeowners revealed that 74% of them believe parking is the most important function of a garage.

So why do so many homeowners ignore the many benefits of home garage parking?

Garage clutter is the biggest reason that vehicles aren’t being parked indoors. A garage that lacks proper storage systems won’t make the most efficient use of its storage space.

Garage clutter can accumulate quickly and before long it will build up to the point where your vehicles will be relegated to using the outdoors as a storage space.

If you start using your garage for its intended purpose (storing vehicles), you’ll quickly wonder why you waited so long to make garage parking an everyday habit. These seven points illustrate the major benefits of using garage parking.

garage parking

1. You’ll protect your vehicle investment with garage parking

Parking your vehicles outside when you have a garage simply doesn’t make sense. That’s because a new vehicle is likely the second biggest financial investment you’ll make after a home purchase.

The average cost of a new vehicle in Canada is $38,000 and in the U.S. it’s $35,000.

Protecting your significant investment in your car or truck is just one of many reasons garage parking should be considered essential. You’ll extend the life of your car or truck and get the maximum return on your investment.

2. Garage parking keeps vehicles more secure

It’s a no-brainer that parking your vehicles in a locked garage keeps them more secure. Even with modern auto alarm systems, leaving your car or truck parked in your driveway is an open invitation to a resourceful car thief.

Luxury cars are an obviously desirable targets for thieves. You might be surprised, however, to find that the top ten most-stolen vehicles in America last year doesn’t include any vehicles in the high-end category.

The theft of popular cars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry fuels a black market for parts like rims, tires, airbags, and catalytic converters.

Even if your vehicle isn’t stolen outright from your driveway, parking outdoors also makes vehicles a much easier target for vandalism. The contents inside your vehicle are more vulnerable to theft or perhaps you’ll be unlucky enough to have your windows broken or paint job scratched.

However you’re hit by vehicle theft or vandalism, the after-effects won’t be pleasant because:

  • you’ll need to deal with the headache of an insurance claim
  • it’s deeply unsettling to have one’s property stolen or violated
  • you’ll face the temporary inconvenience of not having a vehicle

Some insurance providers might actually take garage parking into consideration when setting your auto insurance premiums. Allstate, for example, recommends it as one of their insurance premium cost-cutting tips.

3. Garage parking protects your vehicles from the elements

Modern cars and trucks may be highly engineered to provide many years of use while withstanding everything Mother Nature can toss their way, but they do have a shelf life.

Even vehicles lucky enough to have dedicated owners who lovingly wash, wax, and rust-proof them like clockwork will begin to show the toll that the elements can take on vehicles.

Rain, snow, and ice will speed up the rusting process. Road salt is also notoriously bad for the bodies of vehicles. Even dew or a light frost on your car or truck will take likely take a cumulative toll over the course of many years.

And homes in warmer climates are also vulnerable to the drawbacks of parking in driveways. Extreme heat makes it very uncomfortable to enter a vehicle that’s been parked in the sun. Scorching temperatures can also cause engine hoses and seals to dry out and crack faster.

Hail, which can cause major damage, is another weather-related consideration. Regardless of where you live, UV exposure also causes vehicle paint jobs and interior colors to fade prematurely.

Acidic bird droppings, damage from tree sap, and exposure to airborne elements like dust, dirt, and pollen will also take their toll on vehicles. The harmful effects of weather-related factors alone should be enough to make garage parking a necessity!

4. It’s more convenient to use home garage parking

Your driveway may be only just beyond your garage doors, but that small amount of distance can be an inconvenience in certain situations.

Garage parking allows you to store your vehicle just a few feet from garage’s interior access door to your home. That can be a huge benefit when you have lots of groceries to bring in. The closer proximity also makes it easier to load items into your vehicle when required.

Even a short walk to a car parked in the driveway when it’s pouring rain can result in a soggy wardrobe if you can’t find an umbrella. That’s why bad weather becomes a non-issue when you need to enter or exit a vehicle that’s parked in a garage.

Homeowners in colder climates will especially appreciate the huge advantage of garage parking when the snow comes. Your covered vehicles won’t need mounds of snow cleaned off them and ice scraped off their windows. They’ll also warm up quicker.

These benefits will save you small amounts of time individually, but add up to many hours that will be collectively saved over the long term.

garage parking 2

5. Home garage parking can keep you safer

The convenience that comes with using your home’s garage parking also factors into another one of its benefits – it can keep you safer.

A locked garage that you enter from the interior door of your home provides a safer environment than your driveway when it comes to accessing your vehicle.

And when you arrive home and pull into your garage, anyone looking to do you harm will be more reluctant to take that riskier step of entering your home to do so. They might have fewer reservations if you’re parking in the driveway.

Some garage door openers (like LiftMaster models with MyQ Technology) also let you keep tabs on whether your garage door has been opened while you’re away, for extra peace of mind. Other home security features let you turn on interior and exterior lights shortly before arriving home for added safety.

6. Parking in the garage preserves your curb appeal

Homeowners invest lots of time and money into improving curb appeal by upgrading their home and property’s appearance.

Parking vehicles in your driveway can detract from your home’s curb appeal. In fact, some might even view it as a form of clutter.

Certainly, an empty driveway compared to a driveway with one or more vehicles parked in it projects a cleaner, less cluttered look for a house.

After all, there’s a reason the vast majority of real estate listing photos don’t include parked vehicles in the property’s driveway.

7. Your vehicles are only driven 5% of the time

Most vehicle owners would probably be surprised at how little their vehicles are actually being used.

According to transportation experts, vehicles are typically only being driven 5% of the time. That means vehicles are sitting parked 95% of the time!

For almost any item you own that’s used such a relatively small amount, it would make sense to keep it stored out of sight. A vehicle shouldn’t be any different.

If parking indoors seems like a farfetched reality due to your garage clutter, there are solutions available. Garage Living’s storage racking, slatwall, and cabinetry will help you make room for garage parking in your home once again.

Schedule your free in-home design consultation with us to start taking advantage of the benefits that come with garage parking for your vehicles.

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Top 7 Reasons You Have Garage Clutter (and Solutions to Eliminate It)

When you think of clutter hotspots in homes, a few areas immediately come to mind.

Bedroom closets, guest bedrooms, entryways, basements, and home offices are notorious for commonly being found in a disorganized state in many homes.

And then there’s the garage. Garages may well be the most problematic area when it comes to keeping a home organized. You can find many statistics on how prevalent garage clutter is – here’s just a few:

  • 50% of homeowners polled named the garage as the most disorganized area of their house (NAPO study)
  • in a survey of 1,000 Americans, 47% of them admitted to encountering problems with garage parking due to clutter (Sparefoot survey)
  • a third of two-car garage homeowners are only able to park one vehicle inside (U.S. Department of Energy study)
  • approximately 9% of Americans rent storage space, despite the fact that 65% of them have a garage (Self Storage Association stat)

And garage clutter isn’t a problem that’s unique to American and Canadian homeowners. A study of 1,000 Australians by the Australia Institute found that just under half of them also had problems parking in their garages because of clutter.

garage clutter

A one-car garage in need of better storage solutions.

Identify the main causes of your garage clutter

So what factors contribute to garage clutter? Recognizing and understanding the reasons your garage has become a disorganized mess is the first important step in resolving the problem.

Here are seven common reasons for garage clutter, followed by some solutions that can help you get organized and reclaim your garage space.

1. You have garage clutter because you’re habitually disorganized

Not all of us are neatniks. Even for the most organized person, keeping home clutter at bay can be a relentless challenge.

The slow creep of clutter demands that any homeowner maintains a diligent and systematic approach to keeping home clutter at a minimum.

The hectic pace of life doesn’t always cooperate with this well-intentioned approach to home organization and limiting garage clutter.

And clutter is all too eager to take advantage of the shortcomings of anyone who’s habitually disorganized. While it’s true that we’re always capable of changing our ways and habits, the reality is that it gets harder and more unrealistic the older we get.

2. It’s too daunting to deal with your garage clutter

The longer your garage clutter problem goes on, the more difficult it becomes to fix. Years of neglect towards clutter can create a scenario where the problem seems too daunting to even begin to tackle.

Giving in to these strong feelings only feeds the vicious circle of guilt, self-doubt, and stress that becomes a harmful by-product of living in a clutter-filled environment.

Clutter prevents us from easily finding items, which frustrates us. Our brains also view clutter as work that needs to be done, which negatively affects our focus.

Another non-solution to dealing with clutter in the garage is to just adapt to the mess. Instead of mustering up the energy it’ll require to transform your cluttered garage space, you’ll convince yourself that it’ll be easier to just “work around” the stacks of junk.

The U.S. self storage industry now generates $25 billion annually. You can bet that the vast majority of those customers were plagued with garage clutter problems they simply ignored or adapted to.

3. Your garage is an easy dumping ground

Garages (especially larger ones) can seem like a fairly practical area to store items that don’t have a proper home in your house’s main interior.

That empty corner of the garage that can hold a bunch of stacked storage boxes or bins you don’t know what to do with? It seems ideal, especially if you believe you’ll come up with a better storage solution later on. It’s this “I’ll deal with it eventually” mindset that can create garage clutter in a hurry.

The “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy also comes into play in these scenarios. If you think about it, however, that’s a rather backwards way of thinking.

That’s because data shows that garage doors are now one of the most frequently used doors in homes. That means you’re accessing your garage several times during the course of a day.

This frequent usage of your garage doesn’t just negate the “out of sight” half of this well-known phrase. You’ll also find it virtually impossible not to be increasingly mindful of the mounting garage clutter that’s limiting your ability to take advantage of the space’s full functionality.

4. Your garage and overall home space is too small

While large garages can be an all-too-easy storage spot, smaller garages can present a real challenge when it comes to finding extra storage space.

The problems are compounded if the rest of your home is lacking in square footage. This increases the likelihood that your one-car garage will be filled with clutter and not with a parked vehicle.

Sure, small garages may be more of a challenge to set up as effective storage spaces. You’d be surprised at a small garage’s storage potential, however, when its walls and vertical space are utilized better (more on that shortly).

5. Seasonal changes contribute to your garage clutter

Transitions from one season to another in northern climates can be a significant contributor to garage clutter, particularly in spring and fall.

Come fall time, you’ll need space to store your yard equipment and tools, patio furniture, summer sports equipment, barbecue, and other items until they’re needed several months later. You might even need storage space in your garage for a classic car that only gets driven when the weather is warmer.

In the springtime, your snow removal equipment, snow tires, and other winter-related belongings will need to be stored. Swapping out your summer belongings with your winter belongings isn’t always a neat and tidy process, unfortunately.

And there’s also holiday decorations to consider. Your boxes and storage bins containing your Christmas, Halloween, and other seasonal decorative items will only be needed once a year. Therefore, you’ll want them stored well out of your way and not taking up valuable garage floor space for the entire year.

garage clutter tire rack

A heavy-duty tire rack keeps out-of-season tires off your garage floor.

6. You struggle to let go of your belongings

Another main cause of garage clutter is the inability we tend to have of letting go of things. Nostalgia has a strong pull on us, but it’s important not to get too wrapped up in sentimentality.

Certain important keepsakes are certainly well worth holding onto, but how much is too much? You’ll know it’s time to seriously confront your emotional attachments to your belongings when garage clutter becomes a persistent problem.

Some precious keepsakes (like photos) shouldn’t be stored in the garage anyway, due to fluctuating temperatures that generate moisture from humidity and condensation. This can lead to mold forming on items (especially papers and fabrics) stored for lengthy periods in garages.

For treasured items you simply can’t let go of, find storage space in an area of your home that’s climate controlled. In the case of a photo collection, you can also take the time to digitally archive your pictures.

For everything else that doesn’t have any sentimental value, ask yourself whether or not you’ve used it in the past couple of years. If it hasn’t been used in that time, donate it, sell it, or toss it.

Also try and resist the “but I might need it someday” mentality. This way of thinking only leads to what’s been called “aspirational clutter”.

7. Your garage lacks effective storage and organization systems

When you really get down to it, one of the main reasons you’re struggling with garage clutter is because you’re probably lacking effective storage and organization systems.

Just as a messy closet can be transformed with the addition of a closet organizer, so too can your garage benefit from the addition of helpful storage systems.

Smartly designed organization and storage systems greatly improve your odds of keeping specific areas of your home tidy and well-maintained.

4 solutions to eliminate your garage clutter

Wouldn’t it be nice to drive into your garage and feel like you’ve arrived home to a comfortable, clean, and inviting space that you take pride in?

That feeling would certainly be better than the alternative of entering a cluttered garage (on foot, of course – there’s nowhere to park!) and being reminded of your garage organization failings.

Garage Living can eliminate your garage clutter problems with the following solutions:

Creating a clutter-free garage space is easier when you turn to a trusted garage professional that has the right products and expertise.

Get your garage organization project started by scheduling a free in-home consultation with a member of Garage Living’s design team today.

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