Adobe Stock

Many well-known brands started in garages—Amazon, Disney, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Harley-Davidson. While the 1903 “garage” that Harley-Davidson was founded in was more of a wooden shed compared with today’s finished and ventilated spaces, the uses and interpretations of a garage have greatly evolved over time.

As the 1908 Ford Model T became more accessible, the need for a parking solution grew, and carriage houses became the first detached garages. According to research by Michigan State University Extension, the first attached garages came to be in the 1920s. As the garage gained popularity post-war, it moved from the rear of the house—where a carriage house may have stood—to the front façade where most are incorporated today.

Although each decade brought a new variation of the garage, all had the same purpose of storing a vehicle. Today, garages serve more purposes than just car storage. As true extensions of the home, the American garage has transformed into workshops, home gyms, living areas, and especially storage areas.

In fact, 36% of Americans say they can no longer park a vehicle inside their garage because of clutter, according to a new Craftsman Take Back Your Garage Survey. The survey has found that 52% of U.S. adults with garages say they are unsatisfied with how their garage is organized, yet 90% believe a well-organized garage can make a small garage appear larger. Additionally, 85% consider a well-organized and usable garage as a source of pride.

“There are over 82 million garages in the U.S., and, according to the Craftsman survey, more than 60% of Americans with garages feel their garage is the untidiest area in their house,” says Tabata Gomez, chief marketing officer of tools and outdoor for Stanley Black & Decker.

Functionally, 53% say they use their garage for DIY projects, with millennials being the most frequent at-home DIYers (62%), followed by Gen X at 56% and Gen Z at 54%. The most common activities in the garage are automotive maintenance and home renovation projects, both at 46%. Woodworking (41%), leisure activities like socializing and hosting parties (33%), and furniture restoration or redesign (26%) were also top activities for the space.

In order to accomplish these projects and tasks, 56% of adults say power drills are their most-used tool, and 41% use shop vacs most frequently. Nearly 80% report power tools and hand tools as the top products in their garage, and 76% also keep outdoor tools and equipment inside.

Of the outdoor equipment stored in the garage, the most common is the leaf blower at 62%, followed by string trimmers at 57%, push lawn mowers at 51%, hedge trimmers at 49%, and chainsaws at 48%. The garage also serves as a space to store arts and crafts materials for 31% of respondents.

To achieve that sense of pride that 85% hope for, 67% say that keeping tools organized is a must because they own so many, and 52% prefer tools and storage systems that match.

More about Craftsman
Find products, contact information and articles about Craftsman