07/31/2014 11:19 am ET Updated Sep 30, 2014

Garages Terrify Me

In the fall of 2008, when my husband and I were looking to purchase our first home together, we met with a realtor. She learned about our likes and dislikes, our price range for purchasing a home (under $100,000 and move in ready). She took us around to a handful of places in our community. I started to notice a trend. She was putting a lot of stock in the fact that some of the properties had garages. She'd say, "Well this is a cozy house but it has a garage with extra storage for you." I can't live in a garage, Ms. Realtor.

When we finally found our diamond in the rough, it came without a garage. Our realtor was quick to point this out and I said, "Look, we're not looking for a Garage Mahal here. In fact, we've never had a garage before. We'll make do." The property had two garden sheds, one of which collapsed during a particularly heavy snowfall a few years back. We dismantled it and got rid of it. Now we have a completely wide open backyard in which to run and play. Specifically baseball and hacky sack.

Here are the contents of our (dilapidated...the sliding doors aren't working as well as of late) garden shed:

-5 bikes (my husband has two), a bike tire pump, a bike trailer, and a jogger stroller
-gardening and snow removal supplies (a few shovels and rakes, an edger, our reel mower)
-BBQ & campfire supplies (a bellows, charcoal briquettes, lighter fluid)
-a lifejacket, paddle, and roof rack mounting wedges to transport my kayak (the kayak is behind the shed)

That's it.

Where's our weed whacker? Don't have one.

Snow blower? Nope.

Normal people lawn mower? We're not normal. You should know that by now.

Kids outdoor toys? Aha, we do love our children and we let them play with toys! We store those outside the garden shed. A number of balls, bats, rackets, and digging and exploring toys are at their curious disposal.

So what's my point here? I've lived so long without a garage, that I can't imagine having one. I'm afraid that it might be a dumping ground for well intended purchases and the detritus of my mind and life that I don't have the time or energy to face. Also, my grandmother is a hoarder and I may be railing against the fact that holding on to too many things may be in my genetic code so I don't want to give a physical space for that mental health problem of hoarding to potentially manifest itself.

I've never owned a car that has required garaging. We've carved out special spaces within our home (basement and sunporch) to get away from each other if need be but at 1,076 square feet, it's best we all just get along. :)

So there it is. Garages terrify me.

This post originally appeared at