What Every Man Should Have: A Garage

by laura.johnson

1955 Ad for Crawford Marvel-Lift Garage Doors

Probably the thing we miss the most about living in an apartment as opposed to a house is a garage. A place to work on projects, be messy and keep our tools. When your living room is your primary work space it becomes a little bit more taxing to embark on 3-day projects. Our friends are good enough to let us come and share their ample work space, especially because we often spend more time on their projects than our own. But that still leaves the matter of our tools, and oh our tools.

At first we tried paring them down to what we thought we really needed and keeping the rest in the back of the closet…. that didn’t work. It was a pain to get to them and let’s face it, it’s never good to start a project frustrated. So we moved our ‘garage’ to the next logical place, under our bed. Still out of daily sight and a little easier to get to but the majority of our tools in storage we’d still run into the problem of ‘I swear I used to own ____’.  Then we’d either have to do some creative problem solving on how we could get by not using the desired tool or drive over to storage to pick it up. Not a good situation either.

This is were my ingenious husband steps in. In 1929, when our building was constructed, they didn’t have curbside pickup for trash. So being the fancy pants building it was, it had an incinerator. While that may not be the most eco-friendly option, it’s still pretty awesome! But round about the advent of the aerosol can, the incinerator became a bigger liability than an asset, forcing it to be shut down.   The management clogged the chutes and locked the closets on each floor with the except for the one right outside our door.

Cody seized  this unused space as our new garage (after checking with the manager of course). Mind you, it’s not big only 34″ wide by 14″ deep, but baby it holds all of our tool boxes, cans of paint, half finished projects, and even has room for smelly ultimate Frisbee cleats! Hoorah!

Occasionally you’ll still find a project midway done, hanging out on our floors for a few days at a time, but at least now we can get to the screwdriver within a few minutes.

What creative solutions have you other apartment dwellers come up with for ‘garage’ type storage?

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  1. One of THE best ideas my husband came up with for organizing things in a tight space (i.e. our first apartment after we were married) was to take a clear see-through plastic hanging shoe organizer (the kind with the pockets that go from left to right with 4 rows across and 5 or 6 columns down) and hang it on the inside of our teeny tiny pantry door (not wide enough for me to fit both my shoulders in) where I could put all of my spices/other little baking/cooking supplies. So instead of those things taking up valuable horizontal space in the pantry, it all hung vertical and was easy to see because of the see through pockets. I mourn the loss of doors like that in my home now because it worked so incredibly well.

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