Ok Seattle homeowners, can we get real for a minute? It’s just you and me.
We need to talk about our garages. You know, the ones on our property that were built for storing motor vehicles.
Let’s be honest: many of us don’t use our garages for parking cars. I was tooling around Madrona the other night, looking for a parking space, and every spot on the street was taken. How could that be, I thought, when every house had a garage? Why are all the residents of Madrona parking on the street when they have perfectly usable garages?
I’ll tell you why. It’s because our garages are stuffed with more junk than a Greenwood antique shop. The typical Seattle garage contains six pairs of snowshoes, four vintage dining room chairs, a Fender amplifier, and at least one kayak. Can’t have that stuff in the house, of course, so in the garage it goes!
I don’t mean to pick on Madrona, it’s just where I happened to be. But I’ve been in enough Seattle neighborhoods on those pleasant Spring Saturdays, when the garages are open and everyone’s working on various “projects.” I know the score. I’m looking at you, guy in Phinney Ridge who brews his own beer. And you too, lady in Wallingford who keeps a loom in the garage for the day you start, what, a… textile business?
And don’t get me started on the townhouse folks. You guys don’t have basements, so there’s no way in hell you’re using your garage to store a car. Not like you could anyway… most Seattle townhouse garages can’t fit anything bigger than a Mini Cooper, and even then you have to do a 17-point turn to get it in the auto court.
So next time you show up at a community meeting, complaining that some new apartment or condo is going to take up precious street parking, you may not get much sympathy. You can’t just leave the snowshoes and the kayak in the street for 23 hours a day, right?
I say it’s time for a city-wide purging. Let’s get rid of all that crap, because, let’s face it: you went kayaking that one time, you didn’t really enjoy it that much, and you can rent Kayaks pretty cheap at Agua Verde or REI anyway. Is your garage sparkling and you use it only for your car and always park your car there? Good for you; maybe work on your neighbor.
Personally, I don’t have a garage. I have a basement, and as you can see from the photo above, it’s full of junk. If I had a garage, then I’d probably be using it for junk storage as well. I’ve got at least three REI tents in there I don’t use anymore. I spent last weekend making trips to the transfer station and Goodwill in an effort to start my own purge. It felt great.
But hey, if you really want to keep storing junk in your garage, that’s your business. Just keep it in mind next time you’re circling the block looking for a spot.