“A car in every garage, a chicken in every pot.” That was the rallying call after WWII. It was the prosperity standard everyone was striving for. Today, garages are an important feature for any home whether they are attached or stand alone. However, just because you have a garage doesn’t mean you have to park your car in there. If you have a decent driveway that is free of tree branches, then why not park out there an put your garage to better use? Here are 5 things you can do with your garage besides parking a car in there:

1. Home Gym

Converting a garage into a home gym is a very popular option. But it shouldn’t just be about dragging a stationary bike and some dumbbells in. As with any kind of garage conversion, you should cover exposed walls with drywall and put down decent flooring. There should also be electric outlets for a TV or stereo to help make the workout go smoother. The space in a garage can also allow you to add pieces of equipment to bulk up your home gym. How easy will it be to get in a work out when you only have to walk a few feet.

2. Guest Bedroom

Again, start with the premise that you’ve covered the walls and floors with standard “room” material. If you make this garage into a guest bedroom, then you might want to replace the garage door with an actual wall or doors with windows. There might also be room for another bathroom. With one conversion, you can elevate the value of your home by leaps and bounds.

3. A Home Office

There are plenty of stories about successful businesses starting in a garage. Can you say, “Apple?” If you’re starting a home-based business, then you should have a dedicated office space to get your work done. Even if your business is outside the home, having a place to do the books, place orders and work on social media marketing can cut down on expenses at a commercial space.

4. Play Room

It is easy to distinguish a home with kids. There will be “evidence” in nearly every room consisting of scattered toys. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of that could be gathered into a single room? A converted garage is a great place for a play room. Put down padding for the floor and some low shelves for easy access and the kids can be in a safe place for hours on end.

5. Arts and Craft Studio

Most garages have the space for a workbench. But in order to get any work done, the car has to be kept aside. Why not go all the way and make the entire space a working area of tinkering and arts and crafts? There will be plenty of room for storage of materials and tools. You can also place a large central table under a new skylight for the work space.

What’s in your garage?