Image by riebschlager via FlickrDespite being created by a lawyer, there's a very nice blog, "The Sharing Solution," that has some really great ideas, including this one on repurposing garages and turning them into community building and useful spaces. An excerpt:
Picture a block where 8 neighbors repurpose their garages:
- Garage #1:The Gym. Drawing from neighbors' existing equipment, put in the stationary bike, a treadmill, an elliptical machine or two, weights, and so on, and give everyone access during reasonable hours. Cancel your gym memberships and save some money, too.
- Garage #2: The Music Room. Soundproof the heck out of one garage, roll in a piano, put in a drum set, and a disco ball, and the neighborhood garage bands will be off and rockin'. Sometimes open the garage door and have a dance party in the driveway.
- Garage #3: The Workshop. Consolidate tools, workbenches, and other useful items into one garage. Be sure to carefully label everything or take inventory so you don't forget whose tools are whose. All neighbors can come to repair broken household items, or do wood working projects.
- Garage #4: The Rec Room. Give it a cozy feel with some carpeting and couches, fill it with toys, games, and a ping pong table, and let the fun begin!
- Garage #5: Art Studio. This would be a place for folks to share art supplies, spread out with their art projects, and store their works in progress.
- Garage #6: Stuff Library. This is where you store that one neighborhood lawn mower, and any other items that neighbors are willing to lend to each other - bread machines, sewing machines, camping gear, volleyball net, and so on.
- Garage #7: Dry Goods "Store." Neighbors who want to save money could make bulk orders together and store goods in once place, and maybe come up with a ticket system for dividing expenses. For example, neighbors could buy 500 rolls of [recycled] toilet paper and store them in Garage #7. Each time a neighbor needs to stock up, he or she can go in the garage, "pay" 4 tickets per roll, and take home what is needed. It's like having an informal grocery cooperative on your own block.
- Garage #8: The Library. Carefully label your books and DVDs and shelve them here. Come up with a system for checking items out. Add a couch or two, and the library becomes a quiet place for anyone to come, relax, and get lost in book land.