We’ve never really given the asthetics of our garage much attention. It’s a typical 1980’s garage. It fits our two small cars with very little room left over. In order to get the lawn mower out, my husband has to back his car out into the driveway. The jogging stroller and bike trailer are hanging from the ceiling, and our tools are wherever we could fit them in on shelves and on a pegboard. The walls were painted (we assume) back when the house was built, but they had seen better days.
In my house staging reading, I came across an entry about garages. It suggested that you clear off all of the counter space in the garage, and leave a cup of tea on the counter, along with a hobby magazine. Um, did they say counter space? Cup of tea? Are we talking about the garage or the kitchen? Needless to say, there are no counters in our garage. But the stuff I read about staging the garage did make me take a long hard look at the place that we normally clean about once a year.
I might not be able to leave a hobby magazine open on the counter, but I decided that the garage could definitely look a little better. So we hauled everything out into the front yard. (Several cars drove by very slowly, probably thinking we were having a yard sale). Once the room was empty, we cleaned the floor with a hose, scrub brush, and powdered dishwasher detergent. Much better already. Then I dug around in our paint supply and found 3/4 of a can of primer, and another 3/4 of a can of white paint left over from some other job. I used them to paint the walls and ceiling. Only two of the walls in our garage have drywall, which cut down on the amount of paint I needed. I used up both cans of paint (bonus: two fewer can of paint on the shelf), and the room looks much better.
Then, we went through our stuff before we put it back in the garage. Lots of it got donated or trashed, and some is going to be stored somewhere else. I can’t put up before and after pics yet, because we’re using the garage right now as a sorting station – lots of piles of stuff to donate/trash/store. So you have to take my word for the fact that it looks much better. A garage is a great place to use up left over paint, and it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint, some scrubbing, and some decluttering did for ours. And it didn’t cost us a dime.
So while our garage doesn’t have any counters (or cups of tea), it won’t be the room that the realtor doesn’t want to show people.