Merriam-Webster defines garage as “a shelter or repair shop for automotive vehicles,” borrowing from the French verb garer, which means “to park.” For many Americans, however, garages have instead become extensions of their living spaces. Large outdoor closets for storing anything and everything. Except vehicles.
Residential neighborhoods have become so cluttered it’s difficult to see the houses through the cars that are lining streets or parked two-deep in driveways. While this is understandable and, in some scenarios, unavoidable, as with older, historic homes containing limited parking options or no garage structure at all, it’s not the case in modern suburbia where sprawling residences sport two-, sometimes three-car garages.
So, what’s driving people’s parking behavior?
Factors reported by Quora include easier egress, absence of homeowner’s association mandates and the desire to leave their fancy imports out for show. Some admit to plain laziness. The most common reason for not parking cars in the garage? Garages tend to fill up with so much other stuff, to the point that there’s no room at the inn.
Reclaim your curb appeal with self storage
Consider these storage solutions for decluttering your living environment, as well as reducing risk and preventing unforeseen costs.
- Park cars inside the structure for which they were intended. They’ll stay looking newer longer when not constantly exposed to the elements. If left on the street, a car is more vulnerable to theft and vandalism, as well as damage caused by collision, fallen tree limbs, hail and flooding. Plus, some comprehensive auto insurance plans provide discounts for parking vehicles inside a garage.
- Likewise, park storable contents inside the structure for which they were intended. Think seasonal items such as holiday decorations, sporting gear, as well as files, income tax returns and photos. Self storage facilities offer off-site preservation and convenient protection of valuables that you need not be tripping over at home.
- If you own multiple vehicles for everyday driving, recreational use, as a collector, or for driving-age children, consider storing classic, project or sports cars in a drive-up self storage unit. The cost to rent standard self storage ? on average from $60 to $180 per month ? is minimal in relation to the protection self storage offers, not to mention a boost in exterior home appeal and value.
There is likely a storage facility within three miles of your home due to their popularity, quick access and convenience. Neat and tidy neighbors ? those without cars cluttering their driveway and common areas ? may be the best resource for recommendations.
Tara Botkin-Longwell is the owner of Storage 4U, a family owned and operated self-storage company with two locations and over 1,200 storage units and parking spaces in the San Antonio area.