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After a makeover by Garage Living.

Garage Living

Condo dwellers like to poke fun at homeowners because underground parking shields their cars safely from the elements. The other side of the argument is that a home's garage can be crucial for storing just about anything - including cars.

Both are valid points, and the latter is a key reason why companies do a brisk business selling garage organizers. As more and more homeowners make do with less space as they move closer to the bigger cities, the garage proves to be a perfect place to leave a cluttered mess to fester.

Aaron Cash, founder of Garage Living, said that a majority of his clients want to organize their garages to fit at least one vehicle - sometimes two.

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"Garage organization has become much more than shelves and hooks... our projects include flooring, cabinetry and organizers, in addition to insulation, drywall, painting, lighting and heating."

But what do you do in a case where there is a summer car parked inside a garage, buried underneath a mound of boxes and other items, to the point where it wasn't clear that a vehicle was even there? Cash described such a case: a wife's sports car slowly emerged after Garage Living helped her husband successfully organize his stock for his plumbing supply business into carefully planned storage in the garage.

Ceiling-mounted storage platforms offer a way to create more storage space in that instance, as do cabinetry and wall units. Indeed, Cash and other dealers and installers, such as Canadian Tire, Garage Boyz, OnWall Solutions and Nuvo Garage, all espouse the use of the ceiling as a way to maximize storage enough to get a car parked inside. "Wall organizers also help to get a lot of items off the floor to make room for parking a vehicle," he says.

The sheer level of choice is pretty astounding, especially if you factor custom work into the mix. Wall units with drawers, hooks and benches, as well as mounts for the ceiling with matching cabinets, are just the tip of the iceberg. Custom flooring, elevated lifts for garages with higher ceilings, so that the mechanically inclined can do anything from change the oil or perform a whole tune-up. There have been cases where the summer or hobby car is kept on the top level, leaving easy access to the regular ride.

"We have seen it all when it comes to clutter," Cash says. "It's common that people buy tools like an ice scraper for the car year after year because they either can't find the one used the year prior, or they were given one by a moving relative. Regardless, multiples of all tools is a common bad habit."

Naturally, budget matters, too, and giving your garage a facelift to create a proper shelter for your car could run you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on how elaborate you want it all to be.

The real question is just how important the other items sharing the garage are. True, one person's junk could be another's treasure, but can you afford not to park your car in your garage?

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