I am currently a member of the MetLife Auto & Home Insurance Blogger Program and this post is part of my involvement. While MetLife has provided me with materials and necessary resources to complete various activities, all statements and sentiment in Baby to Boomer are my own.
There are some things that are sacred in a marriage like the rooms of the house that you designate as your own. It’s a silent takeover, but it’s understood from the beginning and no one dare cross those lines. For me it’s the kitchen, for my husband it’s the garage. We each have our sanctuary where we go to spend a little time alone and it allows us to have one area in the house that we don’t have to compromise on.
Well that was until I started a home business. Though I promised my husband that I wouldn’t outgrow the entire basement floor, I did. It wasn’t long until I needed “just a corner” of his beloved garage. He agreed because he knew he didn’t have a choice. Within a day of requesting the space, he was dutifully installing a set of shelves and moving my mailing boxes to the garage. You don’t need a crystal ball to guess what happened next. That one little shelf was the unintentional start of my total domination over the place he called his sanctuary.
That was seven years ago and so many times over the last few years I’ve caught him staring wistfully at the three-quarters of the garage that are now covered with shelving and filled with pink, frilly costumes and toys. I swear when it rained I could see him pout. Of course rain is something that happens here in Seattle all too often. No longer could we park a car in the garage which meant repairs had to be done in the driveway where he was exposed to the elements.
Sure, I felt guilty, but my “hobby” was earning me a living wage so it was easy to justify the takeover. But as the boys moved out and I closed my online store to commit to blogging full-time, I started looking at the garage again and I’ve decided it’s time to give it back to him. But I don’t want to give it back to him without improving on the space.
First I have to liquidate the inventory, not an easy task, transfer business equipment to my new business. Plus I have figure out what to do with the four-foot high stack of pink tissue paper, rolls upon rolls of pink ribbon, and bags full of shredded pink packing material; not to mention the hundreds of boxes in every size.
I know I’m not the only one that stores more than cars in the garage. Many DIY enthusiasts, gardeners, and woodworkers store cleaning products, paint, chemicals, and more there. Add to that the gasoline for the lawnmower and trimmers and you’ll soon realize that the garage can be a hazardous place. No matter what you store out there, you should know how to store it safely.
MetLife Auto & Home provided these helpful tips to help you avoid a flammable fiasco and keep your garage organized:
Garage Organization and Safety Tips from MetLife Auto & Home
- Use sturdy shelving and attach them to each other and to the wall, ceiling, or floor. In the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster, falling shelves could lead to chemical combing into a toxic soup or start a fire. If you garage is attached to your home, that could lead to it spreading to your living area
- MetLife Auto & Home recommends that you use bins to avoid clutter and potential falling objects and that you stack them properly. Falling items can be hazardous and cause injury while you’re trying to get in or out of your garage. The Container Store and stores like it are a great place to buy garage organizing systems.
- Ventilation is crucial in keeping your garage safe. MetLife Auto & Home also recommends installing a Carbon Monoxide detector in your garage. CO2 is a silent killer – you won’t hear it, see it, or smell it – the detector is a must, and don’t forget a fire extinguisher – one by the door between the house and garage and a second near the garage doors.
- Keep dangerous chemicals like gasoline, pool chlorine, solvents and lubricants, and paints and thinners in their original containers. That way should an accident happen, you have the information about what the hazards are as well as how to treat the person who’s been exposed. You may want to consider storing these types of items in a metal shed away from the house to lessen the danger. This should also be considered for insecticides, fertilizer, and other chemicals. All of these should be kept 16-20 feet away from any known flammable chemicals.
- Store blades and equipment with sharp edges out of children’s reach and in a spot where they’re secure to prevent injury.
- Never put a recently used lawn mower, gardening tools, or ice removers away before allowing it to cool down completely. These types of equipment would also benefit from being stored away from the house. Additionally, keep machines clear of grass and debris – clogging can cause a heat build-up which can result in them catching fire.
- Propane tanks are common – they’re used for barbecue grills, patio heaters, lights, and more. Find out how to smartly and safely store your tanks at
- Know how to open your garage door manually if you rely on an opener. Power outages, storms, blown fuses, or a fire in the home can mean it won’t work. Knowing how to open the door in case of emergency should be taught to everyone in the family in case that’s your only egress.
- NEVER run an internal combustible engine in a garage or closed structure. Even with the door open, you can’t be sure you’re not being poisoned by the CO2. Extreme caution should always be used and your CO2 detector should be checked to be sure it’s in working condition.
So how does our garage score on the organization and safety list in its current state? Well, not so great. Granted, if my inventory hits the ground we’ll be swimming in sequins which is much less of a tragedy, but there’s still a chance of injury by falling object or by falling on object. I’m committed to turning the garage into a safe haven where my husband can plan his future retirement years. I’ve given myself until the first of January to make it over into a proper garage with all the tools necessary to keep him safe and give him a spot to work on his cars.
Protections and Money Saving
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Find out more about MetLife Auto & Home and the coverage they offer (collision, comprehensive, and liability) plus ways to save by visiting by the MetLife website (current MetLife Auto & Home policy information), MetLife Your Life (safety tips, educational and seasonal information, for home and auto safety needs), or MetLife Auto. Then visit MetLife Instaquote to start saving. You can also connect via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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*Average annual savings based on national savings figures reported by new MetLife Auto & Home policyholders who called our call center and switched their auto policy to MetLife Auto & Home from 1/13 to 12/13. Source: MetLife Auto & Home internal research (2014).
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”