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Home Owners Tackle Garage Messes | Realtor Magazine

The garage is hardly a showpiece of the home. Instead, it can be a sore spot of mounting clutter, storing the lawn mower, sports equipment, storage bins, old paint cans, and more.

For many owners, the clutter may be getting to be too much. Garage organization products are going through the roof. Sales of these products are expected to rise 4.5 percent this year and each year through 2019. Ultimately, garage organization products are expected to reach a $2.4 billion business, a 25 percent rise from 2014, according to Freedonia Group, a market research firm.

Home owners are “starting to realize that our very expensive cars are sitting in the driveway while we’re housing our inexpensive stuff – and even junk – in the garage,” Lisa Mark, a professional organizer in Los Altos, Calif., told The Wall Street Journal.

A quarter of home owners admit they can’t fit even one car into their garage, according to a survey conducted in 2015 by Whirlpool Corp.’s Gladiator GarageWorks line. Also in that survey, a third of respondents said they keep their garage door shut because they don’t want others to see their messy garage. What’s more, 20 percent of owners say they have argued with their spouse over the state of the garage.

“There’s a lot of friction in the family about the garage,” says Josh Gitlin, Gladiator’s general manager. Realizing that garage messes can be a big project to take on, Gitlin says the company now also offers starter kits to help owners get a small start at digging through the clutter. The kit includes a few hooks and hanging units for items like lawn tools, sports equipment, and ladders.

California Closets says its garage product sales have doubled since 2010 as more owners focus on taking control over their garage messes’.

“When clients are moving into a new home, they’re even choosing to do their garage ahead of certain furniture purchases and landscaping, because they’re so starved for storage and organization,” Benjamin Weiss, a senior design consultant for California Closets, told The Wall Street Journal.

Some owners are even turning their garage into a spot they want to show off. A family in San Diego told The Wall Street Journal that they spent $15,000 on renovating their garage, adding cabinets and trying to make the space feel more like an extension of their home. A new epoxy floor is speckled black, gray and white. The walls are painted the same gray shade as the inside of the home. Three charcoal-colored cubbies near the door offer a mudroom, allowing the family’s children to place their jackets and shoes.

Now, “when I show people the house, I say ‘You have to see the garage,’” says Heather Weisman, the owner of the home.


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