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How Many Cars Do You Park In Your Garage?

November 17, 2010 · 68 comments

in Home & Garden

When house shopping 10 years ago, we originally planned on buying a home with a 3 car garage.  However, we quickly found out that 3 car garages are usually attached to much larger houses.  Therefore, the large garage got scrapped from our list of requirements and we ended up purchasing a house with a 2-car garage.

Despite having 1000 bikes, endless sporting equipment, a lawn mower, garbage cans, golf clubs, and more, we manage to park both our cars in the garage.  I am very grateful for this garage when I wake up and see frost all over the cars parked out in the street.  (One of those cars in the street is ours since we are a three car household.  That is because no matter how hard we try, we cannot cram that third car in between the other two cars in the garage…)

So,  I am wondering why more people do not maximize the space in their garage so that both vehicles will fit?   Often times, I will drive by a house and see one car in the garage, another car in the driveway, and a stack of stuff piled up on the other side of the garage.  I wonder why people put what is probably their second most expensive asset in the driveway, and provide shelter to a bunch of stuff that is probably rarely, if ever, used.

I hate to sound judgmental, but I always think that if we can fit two cars in the garage with all the stuff we have stored in there, anyone can do it.  There are so many hooks you can put up in your garage to hang bikes, wheelbarrows, etc.  We sometimes have to walk sideways to navigate around the garage, but we can do it.

My question to readers out there is- if you only park one car in a two-car garage, what is the reason?

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Reasons November 17, 2010 at 6:43 am

Hehe, we only have a 2 car garage, and we only fit one in because of bikes, sports equipment, ride on cars, wagons, lawnmower, snowthrower, etc…

So my car sits out in the cold, so I get to scrap the windows in the morning (fun)…

Once the kids get older, and I can toss half of the toys… I’m putting my car in the garage too!!!
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 7:44 am

I can picture your garage now MR- it is a very common site in our neighborhood. I remember that darn Cozy Coupe took up so much space.

You gotta figure out a way to get that car in the garage for the winter!

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Money Reasons November 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm

We got way, way to much in our small garage! :)
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alex January 28, 2011 at 5:32 am

I totally agree, it is that garages are often used as big sheds. Personally I prefer to live relatively clutter free, so I would much rather have the big clear out, sell off some as you say un-used junk and keep my car a little warmer.
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Kris January 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

You are right, garages have become big shed! The problem for us used to be the giant plastic toys the kids had. We still got our cars in the garage, but it was a tight squeeze.

I think part of the problem is that many associations don’t allow sheds and such, and people don’t have a place to put their lawn equipment. Oh, and also the fact that people accumulate a ton of junk.

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc November 17, 2010 at 7:31 am

2 1/2? what?!?

We have assigned parking but no garage at our current home :(
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Everyday Tips November 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

Shawn, you haven’t seen a 2.5 car garage? Maybe I better remove that part from the post if it is confusing…
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Andrew @ 101 Centavos November 17, 2010 at 8:18 am

Kris, we have a very tight two car garage. In the summertime, only one car is parked as we need the room for garage sale finds, sports equipment, and so on. In the wintertime, the space is maximized since we need to park both my wife’s car and my truck (w/ 2 inches to spare). Right now, both are in the driveway, since the garage is full with furniture restoration project for the new house.
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm

We have about 2 inches to spare in our garage too. I can’t count the number of times I have slammed my elbows on the mirrors and such. But it is worth it to not have to scrape!

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Philip November 17, 2010 at 8:29 am

Only one, but that is because I only have one vehicle. However I am not real sure how I would be able to clear all my stuff from the other half to fit in another car. My workbench and bike repair stand take up too much space plus I truly do have 6 bikes hanging on the wall but stick out far enough they would be in the way of a car to park there.

Really narrow garage that does not have much space on the sides or front for any extra storage.

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm

It is amazing the difference even a couple of feet will make. Our previous house had a 2 car garage and almost nothing but the cars would fit. This house has an extra foot on each side and we felt like we had struck the lottery when putting things away in this garage.

Thank God for hooks and such!

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Nicole November 17, 2010 at 8:57 am

We have a two car garage with two cars in it. We have a storage shed in the back for garden stuff, so the only thing we keep in the garage besides cars is the recycling.
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Nicole, you have my dream garage. A shed would look awful on our property since it opens up to a park/hill, so we just cram it all in the garage. I bruise myself frequently bumping into things though…

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Terry November 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

We have a two car garage. One car (hers) is parked in the garage and my beater is in the driveway. The other half of the garage is all yard stuff and kids toys.
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

It drives me crazy how big kid’s toys are nowdays. We didn’t have a garage growing up, but I can be sure that our stuff would be rusting in the rain and the car would be in the garage if we had one. However, if I didn’t have room, I am sure the kid’s toys would get priority in the garage too. Things just weren’t so massive when I was a kid.

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Jacq @ Single Mom Rich Mom November 17, 2010 at 9:36 am

I have one car – which hasn’t gone into the garage yet – because of all the renovation materials that are stacked up. But they’re coming out this weekend and the car is going IN.

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Jacq- renovation is at least fun! I don’t think my neighbor could even get a hot wheel car in her garage it is so packed. I am unfortunately serious too.

Good luck moving the car back in!

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beth November 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

We have a two car garage with zero cars parked in it. We have toys, building supplies for finishing the basement, our patio furniture (during winter), etc. Someday we will be able to park in our garage….

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Beth- you need those kids to grow bigger before you can get rid of the toys. Plus, you actually have building supplies in your garage- such items are not heard of at our house. :)

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Lola November 17, 2010 at 9:44 am

We have a really pitiful situation right now – one car in the 2 car garage and 3 vehicles out on the driveway. The hubs has a table saw and drill press that he wants accessible, but truth be told, he hardly ever uses them. We don’t have walk out basement, so it would be hard to move the bench tools down there. Thus, the workshop stays in the garage. Since a car’s not going in, we have the bikes standing around, the lawnmower, and then assorted junk.

According to our neighborhood association rules, we are not supposed to put a shed up in the backyard – not to say that rule is very widely enforced in the ‘hood, but we are good citizens and follow the code.

At least our weather is fairly benign here, but we do a fair amount of scraping each winter. I really hate that scraping.

My father built the house I grew up in, and it had the most AWESOME attached garage and a wonderful, wide, level driveway. He had three to four lawn mowers stored in there at any time, plus we had thee or four bikes in there. (His workbench was in the walkout basement, however). My dad insisted that my mother learn to drive back when they got married in the 1940′s, so I think part of the deal was that she would never have to get into a cold, iced up car and would have a very wide entrance way so she wouldn’t have to worry about scraping the side of the garage. She even had tires against the wall so she could just pull in till she hit the tires and know she had gone in far enough.

One of these days I WILL have the garage of my childhood once again!

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Lola – aren’t the things we dream up funny when we get older. I bet as a kid you never thought “I really hope I have a garage like this when I grow up”. It just existed and fit your family’s needs.

A workbench would be a problem for us for sure, but we don’t do workbench activities. Actually, we have so much garbage around the perimeter of our garage that it is shocking we can fit two cars in there. Golf clubs, sleds, old toys, outgrown rollerblades, you name it.

I hope you attain the garage of your dreams one day!

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Little House November 17, 2010 at 9:53 am

We just moved from a rental house that had a 2-car garage. Because we only have one car, we always parked it in the garage and had lots of space for storage and workbenches, etc. However, very few of our neighbors parked their cars in the garage because they had boxes of stuff jam-packed in their garages. And those that did couldn’t fit the second car.
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Little House, I do think the scenario you described is quite common just about everywhere, especially in more temperate climates. I know I will do whatever it takes to get my car in the garage because I hate frost.

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Olga November 17, 2010 at 10:40 am

The idea behind an American house with 2-car garage full of stuff always bewildered me. If you have 1 car, 2 car garage and use space for a work-bench, sport equip and so on, great. If you have 2 cars outside, and mom’s furniture, baby’s clothes and lawn mower in – nah. Build a shed for ellectric helpers, and rid off the clutter.
It helps to move often to keep the trim, and to be raised in a country with rather small (by local standards) appartements for living. And my family was on a wealthy side..
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Olga, we really need to get rid of the clutter at our house, but fortunately the cars still fit. It is like we are fish and adapt to our surroundings. (We will fill up the spare space with nonsense stuff.)

Moving definitely helps get rid of things, that is for sure!

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etinca November 17, 2010 at 10:47 am

We have a smallish older 2-car (maybe a 1.5) garage. No cars parked in it. My DH enclosed about 1/3 of it as closed storage for chemicals & supplies he uses on our farm properties, which are about 10 miles away so storing things there is asking for them to be stolen.

Another 1/4 holds a built-in walk in commercial type cooler, which we used when we were selling produce at a farmers market. Now it’s another nice dust-free storage area. What room remains is mostly farm/yard tools & small equipment, along with his ski equipment.

We avoid scraping ice off windshields by using small tarps to cover the glass at night. Fortunately it rarely snows here & protecting the windshield/side windows from condensation is sufficient.

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Etinca – you definitely have a lot more going on at your house than I do! You pretty much don’t have a choice but to store your farm stuff at your house.

If I covered my car with a tarp outside, the tarp would probably be stolen by sassy teens!

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DGR November 17, 2010 at 11:37 am

I wait a long time to buy a house, longer then I should have, but when i did buy one, or should I had it built it; I got a two car garage, with the sole purpose of parking my car and wife car in there, it’s been 13 years and there still in there. My wife has two vehicles, a Mazda RX8 and of corse an SUV, the SUV sits in the drive way a long with my 3 kids cars. I love never having to never scrap frost of my windows in the morning. I also park my motorcycle in between the two cars, so needless to say, there’s not a lot of room for junk; just don’t look in my basement, because that another post altogether.

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm

DGR- you have a lot of vehicles at your house! I sense you have many people that live there too, so I can imagine your basement has quite a bit of stuff in it.

I need a weekend to just purge everything. It would feel so good to have things just be gone.

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Vandil November 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

1 car in a 2 car garage, snow thrower, mower, motorcycle, air compressor, bandsaw, drill press, work bench, kids toys, ect ect.

Remote Start…. never scrap frost again.

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Vandil- The car we park outside has automatic start, but I think my son forgets to turn the defroster to ‘on’ before he turns the car off at night, so I don’t think it works real well for him. It is a good idea though.

Our generator takes up a lot of space, but there is nowhere else for it to go, like your bandsaw and air compressor I am sure.

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Crystal @ BFS November 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

We park both of our cars in the garage. We also keep a ladder and deep freezer in the garage as well. We don’t actually own a bike, but our boardgaming table is leaning up against a wall too. :-)

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Crystal @ BFS November 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Oh, and the few tools we have for gardening are against a wall too. We don’t ever need a snowblower and we don’t mow our own lawm, so that frees up space too.

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

To not have to store yard things in the garage would be a dream come true. Bikes are a killer, I think we have six,and the handlebars always seem to jab me in the side somehow as I walk by. I must be expanding….

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Invest It Wisely November 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I park one car in the indoor parking at our apartment, and in the condo I’ll still be parking one car in their indoor parking as well. I don’t remember, but I hope there’s a spot for my bike, too!
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Kevin- won’t one car have to be outside at your new condo? Whose will it be? :)

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Invest It Wisely November 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Luckily we only need one car! We live next to a subway station and neither of us drives to work during the week. The car only really gets used on the weekends.

It’s a good thing, too, cause there is nowhere to park on the street. The parking regulations around here are retarded, probably to herd people into the paid parking for the subway station.
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Kevin, I am incredibly envious. Not about the bad parking rules, but the ability to live with only one car!

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Invest It Wisely November 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm

;) It does have its conveniences.

On the other hand I’m not too happy about the coming increases in fare. Pretty soon I’m going to be spending nearly as much as I would on a second car on this public transit pass!
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Lindy Mint November 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm

We parked two cars in our two-car garage for about 3 months. Then baby #2 came, and the garage became filled with baby gear boxes, and it kind of went down hill from there.

Now that we’re purging our stuff, the garage is our staging area. I’m looking forward to the day when we’ve finally gotten rid of everything and can move the other car back in.
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Lindy- Babies are so little, but their stuff takes up so much darn space.

Work on getting that garage back- you will be so happy you did!

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The Saved Quarter November 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Our garage was converted to an office with a tiny second bathroom. It’s not attached to our house. Our vehicles are parked outside year round, but not on the street because in our city you have to pay to park on the street in front of your own home! We rent from a family member and when she lived here, she pulled out most of the front yard to put in a half-circle driveway with two curbs. That makes it possible to park three, four if we’re careful, so we can have overnight guests for free.

We also live in California and don’t get harsh weather. Maybe that makes a difference? None of our neighbors park in their garages.
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I am sure the climate makes a big difference in terms of using your garage for your car or not. I personally love to have my car in the garage so we can play four square on our driveway in the nice weather.

That is interesting that the garage was converted into an office. Ingenious to have a bathroom in there too.

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Car Negotiation Coach November 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Kris, I’ve got a very tight two car garage….so I built my storage up, literally! My father and I installed big cabinets above my work bench which in turn allow us to store more stuff on top of the cabinets….and then we hung two platforms above the garage doors that allow us to fit a bunch of stuff above the cars…wallaa, a tight two car garage fits….2 cars!
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Kris November 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm

CNC- I have seen garages like that that have a ton of storage up above. We have an attic above ours, so we have to shove things through the little door in the ceiling. Of course you have to precariously balance everything on the rafters so things don’t fall through. Your system sounds much better.

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Amanda L Grossman November 17, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Hello!

We have two cars…and not one in the garage. This drives me crazy. We moved in a year ago and have done lots of projects, so we need to organize our garage in order to move a car in. There’s not a lot of stuff in it…but it’s just laying out in the center. Also, my husband sees the garage as a man cave, and so he wants to turn it into a hang out spot! I told him I would compromsie with parking one car in (it’s a two-car garage), and leaving one out in the driveway so that he has some “man room”. Hahahaha.

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Kris November 17, 2010 at 10:48 pm

I am sure you could park a vehicle and still leave some room for a cave. All he needs is a little chair, a tv and a college-fridge for beer, right?

Tell your husband that for Christmas you want to garage cleaned out! :)

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Suba @ Wealth Informatics November 18, 2010 at 12:24 am

We live in an apartment, so don’t have a garage. When we look for a house, we would like to have 2 car garage. Hopefully we won’t fill them up with junk :)

In CA a lot of people keep their cars outside and have stuff in their garage. I think it is due to (1) weather being good all the time (2) no basement or any type of storage available other than the garage. I used to stay with an older woman (I just rented a room from her). She had a mercedes parked in the driveway and had a full garage, 2 car garage with her kids stuff. The kids no longer lived there, but she still hold on to every single thing.
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First Gen American November 18, 2010 at 7:26 am

We do a little of both. We only have a very small 1950′s garage, so at most we have 1 in there. But when we go away, my husband likes to park our other car on the street so it looks like someone is home (even if we do have the room).

Anyway, in the summer, we don’t use the garage because we are doing projects, so there’s usually a table saw and other things scattered around. We get lazy and stuff ends up in the middle of the garage during kid biking season. In the winter, that stuff is easily put away in the rafters or basement and we use the garage. My van doesn’t fit in it, so I guess my husband’s lucky and will get exclusive rights to it this year. I love that newer houses have bigger garages.

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The Biz of Life November 18, 2010 at 8:42 am

We have a car for every family member– five in total. I think it is way too many, and that the kiddies could share, but “the boss” thinks otherwise.
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Cadillac Escalade November 18, 2010 at 9:05 am

This is so true.

I have a two car garage and neither of our cars are parked in there. This year I decided to get a dumpster to get all the stuff out. I had 6 lawn mowers, 1 ride on lawn mower, TVs, 1 snow blower, 3 weed wackers, 1 attachable wagon for the ride on lawn mower, bikes and so much more. Everything that was broken and dangerous and had to be discarded in the dump went in the garage. I never had time to go to the dump. I am a mother to 7 kids. Between driving the kids to part time jobs, sports, community service, doctor/dentists appts, etc and I worked full time. It got out of control.

I found a company that allowed me to rent a dunpster. I have been working at it every week. Still haven’t finished, but I can park one of the cars. Of course, now the garage door broke and the automatic door opener doesn’t work.

Always something!

So, it was full of stuff because I had very little time to empty it out. My goal? I will have that garage emptied out before the New Year…
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Saving Money Today November 19, 2010 at 9:07 am

We only have a 1 car garage, sort of. It’s tiny (the minivan won’t fit in at all, and a sedan can just squeeze in with inches to spare on all sides). But I haven’t kept a car in there for years…no room for anything else if I do!
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Kris November 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Mike- sounds like you have a pretty cramped garage! If you have any lawn equipment at all, it sounds like a vehicle would never fit. Guess then you just view it as a storage room!

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Financial Samurai November 21, 2010 at 6:32 am

Only 1, although I have a two car tandem! I wish I could fit 2, comfortably, but I only have literally 2 inches of breathing room, so it’s too much of a PITA!
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Kris November 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Sam, do you have two cars? Several motorcycles? A boat? Or just a car?

Some of the two car garages would only fit maybe 2 Yugos. I don’t even know how they can advertise some as a two car garage.

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Used car dealers December 20, 2010 at 5:01 am

I’m car dealer, I have a big service center(attached with garage) 20 cars could be parked there.

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Sandy H @ Journey To Our Home January 14, 2011 at 7:14 am

I love this post! I just posted on my site that I MISS MY GARAGE! We moved about 7 months ago from a 2 garage house – we parked my van in the garage and my husband’s huge lawn mower. We now live in a tiny duplex with a 1 car garage and guess what gets parked in it? The lawn mower!!
On cold snowy days- I MISS my garage so badly!!
We plan to build a new home in the next year or so and my husband has plans of having a shop garage that will fit oh so much more! Can’t wait to get into a warm car I didn’t have to scrape all the ice off of in the mornings again!
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Melissa Sarajo January 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Thank you for sharing! I’m glad I found it though, will be checking back soon to see what other info you have.

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Driving School Houston February 8, 2011 at 9:17 am

A very interesting article. Certainly shows how useful it is to keep your garage free from clutter.

Please visit my website.
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jess February 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I love this post, well i am dreaming to buy ferrari, i have a big garage and wish i could buy 20 sport car. Your post is really energetic keep on posting more..very interesting
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JPS January 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Great posts, I love it and hope my neighbors read it. I have 2 cars in the garage a SUV and a full size extended cab Pick-up. What seems to help me and my family is a quarterly neighborhood yard sales, an exterior shed for lawn equipment, and a desire for cleanliness. Every house in my neighborhood has a 2 car garage and most will have 1 car inside. What kills me are the people who come home park in the driveway or on the street, open their garage door to go into their large investment of a home only to have to walk along this 2 foot cleared path between the wall and what looks to be like a rented storage unit. but that’s okay because you can shut the garage door and I don’t have to see it anymore, however, when you park your cars in the road, I do have to drive around them like a nascar driver warming up his tires under caution, stopping occasionally to allow on coming drivers to pass by because a fellow neighbor should be on the TV series hoarders.

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Kris January 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I know those houses very well. I cannot imagine choosing to put my car in the driveway when I have a perfectly warm and dry garage to park in. If you don’t have room for it, then don’t buy it! (Meaning the stuff, not the car!)

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Daniel July 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Well, I have a two car garage however only one car is parked there because I use some space for lawn mowers and some other equipment. The second car is usually parked outside.

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Joel November 12, 2013 at 5:44 am

I have 3 cars two of them are in my garage and one on the street. The car that I frequently use is always on the street the more “fun” cars are stored inside.

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crush secret June 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm

When I originally commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now
on each time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the
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