Garages are often seen as places for cars or storage, but in fact, there are many other uses for your garage. If you don’t need extra storage space (because you’re using self storage, for example), and if your car has another place to park, you can transform your garage into a big, additional room. 

To make your garage into a liveable space, you’ll first need to make it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The main way to do that is through better insulation, as well as adding heating, an overhead fan, and/or air conditioning to the space. 

After that, you need to choose what kind of room you want to create in your garage. Then, you can decide whether you want to add a large rug or different flooring. There are many great uses for your garage. In winter, its spacious size is especially perfect for the following ideas.

3 Excellent Uses for Your Garage

Kids Playroom

During the darkness of winter, when the weather turns miserable, kids can get cooped up inside. They can get restless and lack the space to play active games and run around. Although TV and video games can help cure their boredom, their restlessness can stick around, as their bodies still have energy that needs to get out.

Turning the garage into a playroom can give them an open space to release their energy and go crazy without getting on anyone’s nerves. You can put in storage for their toys, add a slide or playhouse, and lay down a foam floor mat to cushion any falls and make cleaning up easier.

As an added benefit, putting their toys in the garage can also make the rest of the house look tidier. They’ll have the freedom to make giant Lego cities and paint a dozen pictures, and you won’t have to think about tidying it all up when guests come over.

Related: Tips to Teach your Kids Bedroom Organization

DIY Cave

In the summer, you can use your backyard for DIY projects that need space, like painting furniture or woodworking. But in the winter, you don’t have that luxury unless you’re living in a desert. You have to plan your projects according to the weather, or wait for the snow to melt.

To keep your DIY hobby going throughout the year, you can turn your garage into a perfect DIY space. Even if your hobby doesn’t take up much room, like jewelry making, you can use the rest of the garage as a space for inspiration and creativity. You can hang up inspirational pictures and have shelves for books and magazines related to your hobby. Add some chairs or couches, and you can host DIY meet-ups with people who do the same thing.

Your creative goals might even grow or change with this extra space. For instance, if you like painting, you might think about doing a giant painting for once. Or you might think about taking on more DIY hobbies, rather than limiting yourself to one!

Related: New Jersey Home Renovation Trends for 2018

Home Gym

If you love doing outdoor sports in the summer, like biking or trail running, the winter can be a depressing time when you struggle to exercise. Even if you love skiing or working out in the gym, there are winter storms and icy roads that can make going out discouraging or even dangerous.

Making your garage into a personal gym is one way to cope with winter blues and keep yourself in shape for next summer. You can play your favorite music, put up inspirational posters, and store your summer sports gear in your gym for motivation. 

If you balk at the price of weights and other gym equipment, think about the price of a gym membership and the fuel it takes to go back and forth to the gym. If having weights or other exercise equipment at home will allow you to stop going to the gym, you’ll save that money. 

Plus, having a home gym can help you work out more often, boosting your mood and overall health. You don’t have to buy a big work-out machine, either. Some of the most effective exercises don’t require any equipment at all!

So next time you look at your garage, think about its possibilities. What kind of extra space do you need in your life? With some creative thinking, your garage could become another place to hang out and bond with the kids, get an invigorating workout, or watch sports.

Related: It’s Never Too Late to Celebrate National Clean Out Your Garage Day