A garage is the most overlooked but one of the most important parts of the house. Anything (and everything) that comes in the way is usually stored (and forgotten) in the garage.
With time, things start piling up and the next thing you know, the garage is home to everything except the car.
Garage organization and cleaning is an overwhelming task and most homeowners delay it for as long as possible. However, that shouldn’t be a plan for you as we have rounded up the top garage cleaning tips to make the task effortless and hopefully, long-lasting.
So without further ado, let’s get cleaning.
Before you begin:
The first step to cleaning and garage organization is to declutter the items stored in the garage. Take out everything that you own outside and thoroughly sort through the items. Make categories of each item that you find: Keep, donate, or trash. When all the items are separated, you will have a better idea of the space left in the garage and consider the type of storage that might work best for your garage.
To speed up the garage cleaning process, set out some ground rules for the items that you will keep or throw.
- The ‘Keep’ criteria
Your keep pile should include the essential items that you have used within the past six months or year. It should also include the tools that you own (and use) along with memorabilia items such as photos and certificates.
- The “Throw” aways
The items that are broken or are no longer in working condition automatically goes in the trash. Keep garbage bags or even a dumpster handy so you can immediately throw away the things you need without agonizing.
- Donate or Sell
Set aside items that you no longer need but are in good, usable condition for charity. If you own items that have commercial value, consider selling them in garage sales or through online marketplaces such as Kijiji.
Deep clean the room:
Once the garage is completely empty from the items, it may be a good idea to give it a comprehensive cleaning – from top to bottom. Start by dusting the cabinets or any shelves that you have installed. If you own a blower machine, simply move it around the garage to quickly get rid of the dust, especially the ones accumulated in corners and cracks. Make sure to use a dust mask to protect your lungs as the dust from the blower flies everywhere and inhaling it can cause health issues.
Next, wipe down the garage walls with a damp cloth and a mild dishwashing agent. Wipe any residue you see on the floor as well and don’t ignore the windows, ledges, and shelves. Finish up by sweeping and mopping the floor.
Allow the room to dry for 2 to four hours before putting the things away.
Now that you have taken an inventory of the items you own (and want to store in the garage), you must have a smaller pile than the one you began with. Seize this opportunity to prevent clutter from building up again by organizing efficiently and keeping a specified space for all the knick-knacks.
If everything is always kept in its place, you may never have to deal with a mess of this size again. Right!
Separate your belongings
Again, sort through your ‘keep’ pile and categorize the items in separate areas. For example, group all the sports gear you own together, tools and supplies in one-place and car wash items in other. Keeping them categorized will make it easy for you to find the items when they are needed – and you can also easily put them back again when you are finished using.
Ditch the cardboard boxes and invest in small baskets, tubs, or storage bins for your garage organization project. Dedicate specific categories to each of them. For instance, holiday decoration items can go in one bin while gift-wrapping items can be stored in small baskets. Make sure to label everything as you are sorting for ease of access.
If you don’t already have, consider installing cabinets and shelves to store the items. You can also get pegboards with hooks installed in the garage where you can hang tools and other accessories.
Consider roll out shelves
If you are short of space in your garage, get roll-out shelves installed on the sidewalls that offer more storage options without compromising the space. They are accessible too and make it easy to find small things.
Recycle bin rack
Recycle products tend to take up most of the space in the garage. Set aside big tubs or even large dumpsters to work as recycle bin boxes. Any item that you find in your home as recyclable, simply throw them in the box and take it out when convenient.
Take your time
The garage cleaning procedure can be overwhelming. This is why many homeowners delay it as much as they can. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting if you tackle the process one step at a time. But, yes, don’t prolong it that it never ends. As a general rule of thumb, plan for the complete reclaim of the garage space to span over a weekend. And don’t forget to donate, bin, or sell the items that you no longer need during the cleaning weekend as well.
Good luck and let us know about your garage organization experience by sharing before and after pictures.