Garage Cleaning – Reclaim Your Space

Step-by-Step Guide for Garage Cleaning

Garages can become filled with all kinds of stuff faster than any room in the house. The basement is a close second, but you have to carry the items down the stairs. It is much easier to put things in the garage. From the day you begin moving into your house, the garage starts accumulating boxes of household items, deliveries of new items, bicycles, toys, gardening supplies and tools, yard maintenance equipment, auto maintenance supplies, and so much more. If you want to keep your car or cars in the garage, regular garage cleaning is essential.

garage cleaning photo

Photo from blog post

Fortunately, cleaning and organizing expert Donna Smallin Kuper recently posted an article on her blog that presents a step-by-step plan for cleaning your garage. According to the article, “With a few simple organization ideas, tidying up your garage and keeping it neat and clean is not only possible, it’s very doable.” Here is a summary.

Declutter First
  • Pick a starting point and then go through every single item and sort into four piles – Keep, Donate, Sell, Toss. A good tip for judging which items to let go of is to ask yourself, Have I used this in the past year? If your answer is no, then it’s time to get rid of it. (Of course, some things in a garage are used less frequently, so you might want to increase the time frame to 3 or even 5 years.)
  • You might hate to let go of things that you spent a lot of money on. Keep in mind that the money has already been spent. Whether you keep the item (and never use it) or let it go, the money spent on it is not coming back.  It’s best to just let go and gain extra space in the garage.
  • Trash or recycle items you’ve decided to toss.
  • If you have hazardous materials, like oil, insecticides, paint, solvents, that you don’t need, check with your local city or county government to see how to properly dispose of these materials. There might be a nearby recycling center that will take these materials.
Organize What is Left

Once you have eliminated the items you don’t need, continue your garage cleaning by organizing what you have left. Figure out how much space you need for your car or cars and then figure out how to place what is left based on types and uses.

Frequently Used Items: For items you need frequently, such as shopping bags, dog leashes and trash bags, keep them by the door. For a detached garage, this would be the garage door. For an attached garage, you might want these items by the door to the house. Keep them on hooks or shelves. (Keep a cup or mug handy on a shelf with pens, pencils, and Scrigit Scrapers for cleaning gardening equipment and vehicles and for removing mud from the treads of shoes and boots.)

Items Used Together: Group items used together, such as sports equipment, gardening supplies and auto supplies, in specific areas. Gardening supplies and sports equipment should be kept handy near the garage door.

Bulkier Items: Keep larger items, such as out the out-of-season lawnmower or snowblower, in the back corners of the garage.

Rarely Used: Items, such as snow tires and holiday decorations, that are rarely used should be kept higher up on shelves or a ceiling storage system.

Tools and Bicycles: Larger tools, such as shovels and rakes can be hung from hooks in the wall. Bicycles can be hung from hooks in the wall or ceiling near the back wall.

Keep it Tidy

Once everything is off the floor, sweep and possibly wash off the floor. Clean the floor on a regular basis. Repeat this garage cleaning process a couple times a year to keep your garage tidy.

To see the full article, go to “Cleaning Your Garage – A Step by Step Plan.”

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