Seattle garages are so stuffed that most cars don’t fit inside

Jun 13, 2022, 4:18 PM | Updated: 4:28 pm
Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson...
Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson

It’s a Pacific Northwest thing to park your car on the street and pack your garage like a U-Haul, but doing this could cost you thousands and become potentially hazardous. First, one in four garages are so jam-packed that there’s no room to park a car. That’s a massive concern because items stored in a garage are generally worth a lot less than an actual car.

“Parking in a garage is one of the best ways to keep your car or its catalytic converter from being stolen,” Derek Wing, the Pemco Insurance spokesman, said.

This could save you thousands of dollars on deductibles and repairs.

After declining for two years in 2018 and 2019, Washington has now been named the No. 1 state in the nation for catalytic converter theft, according to a new report on crime statistics. Parking your car in your home’s garage could prevent this from happening.

Another added benefit is your car is less likely to develop rust, and it’s safer to drive “because, on frosty mornings, you won’t be tempted to drive before you scraped all your windows.”

Another thing Wing says is that cleaning a garage can clear out hazards you didn’t know were hiding. The list is longer than you might think!

  • Propane tanks, like for barbecues, can be dangerous. They could cause an explosion which could lead to a house fire.
  • Gas tanks for lawn mowers. A leaky tank could start a fire if the fumes come in contact with an ignition source.
  • Paper documents and photos which high humidity can ruin.
  • Food can attracts insects and rodents.
  • Firewood can bring in insects too. According to Wing, “one home we know of was inundated with fleas that hatched larvae were unknowingly brought in by firewood.”

Wing tells KIRO Newsradio that these items should be stored in a shed detached from the house or a temperature-controlled storage unit.

If your garage is completely jam-packed, how do you even begin to clear out the clutter? Wing says to try these steps so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

  1. Get rid of the dangerous stuff first.
  2. Use the Marie Kondo method and get rid of items that don’t spark joy.
  3. Get boxes and tools off the floor.
  4. Touch up seasonally. When you take out your patio furniture in the spring/summer, make time to put away or get rid of anything just thrown in the garage.
  5. If you can afford it, hire an organizer. They can do all the work for you and sometimes remove items for you.

The sooner you clean out the clutter and get organized, the faster you can safely store your vehicle … in the garage.

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Seattle garages are so stuffed that most cars don’t fit inside