While there are several variations of spring cleaning checklists to help you clean, wash, and tidy your house and your vehicle, don’t forget to pay attention to that other important area of your home that may often be overlooked during your typical spring cleaning routine – your garage.
If your garage is running low on space and getting overrun by clutter, use the following spring cleaning tips to help declutter, reorganize, and reclaim your garage.
Tip #1: Set Aside Enough Time
Before you begin spring cleaning your cluttered garage, make sure you set aside enough time to get the job done properly. You’ll want to set aside at least two days, preferably consecutively, to get through your entire garage cleaning project. A weekend, for example, is ideal.
Tip #2: Enlist Help
Decluttering and cleaning out your less-than-tidy garage is certainly not a one-person job! Enlist the help of family members or close friends to help you in your quest – you’ll need all the help you can get.
Cleaning out a garage is a less than glamorous task, so be sure to provide a nice lunch for everyone who helps out, and drinks or refreshments afterwards to help wind down after all that hard work.
Tip #3: Use Containers
To make sure your garage cleaning process goes as smoothly as possible, you’ll want to make sure you have enough storage containers on hand before you begin, so that you can effectively organize and store all of your belongings.
Stackable clear plastic bins are perfect for storage small to medium-sized objects, since you can see the contents of each box without having to open it.
Clear glass jars in various sizes are great for sorting smaller items and hardware – clean mason jars or food jars should do the trick.
Consider a lockable cabinet for storing chemicals, cleaning products, and other items you want to keep out of reach of children and pets.
Tip #4: Categorize and Organize
Next, you’ll want to go through all of things in your garage, and sort them into categories – such as “tools,” “sports gear” and “pet supplies.” This will make it much easier to prepare for the next step, which involves sorting your possessions into three or four separate piles – keep, donate, sell, and discard.
Tip #5: Don’t be Afraid to Discard
While sorting your possessions into piles to determine their ultimate fate, you should not be afraid to add items to the “discard” pile for fear that you may in fact, some day, need them for one purpose or another.
Ask yourself: have I used this item in the past few years? If the answer is “no,” you’ll want to consider whether you will actually use the item again in the near future, and whether the space it’s occupying and the clutter it’s creating is actually worth it.
As you begin to clear more and more space in your garage, discarding unused and unnecessary items along the way, you may find it easier and easier to determine which items are truly worthy of the “keep” pile.
Tip #6: Make Storage Space
If your garage has fallen into disarray during the winter months, reclaim some of that precious space using a few simple space-saving garage storage solutions.
The best part? You don’t have to be a home renovation expert in order to take advantage of these space-saving solutions. With just a few materials purchased from your local hardware or home improvement store, you can create effective and budget-friendly ways to store and organize the objects in your garage – from easy-to-install shelves made from plywood, to a simple-yet-effective lattice yard utensil rack.
Tip #7: Hang Your Tools
A great way to organize tools, paintbrushes, and other small objects, while simultaneously making room for larger, bulkier objects, is by hanging them on a peg board. You can even make one yourself – all you need is a peg board, a tape measure, furring strips, a drill, wood screws, a table saw, and pegboard hangers.
Tip #8: Wipe and Sweep
After you’ve done the bulk of your organizing and tidying, you’ll want to wipe down any shelves and flat surfaces to get rid of dust and debris that’s built up over the years.
Use a simple rag to wipe down slatwall panel walls, or sweep with a broom if your garage walls are made of drywall or brick. Remove cobwebs with a broom, then sweep the floor to get rid of dust, dirt and salt deposits.
Tip #9: Hose Out Your Garage
When you’ve thoroughly swept your garage floor, wash it with your garden hose and a gentle cleaning solution. Use a squeegee to get rid of any water left over after your final rinse.
Tip #10: Prevent Future Clutter
After your spring garage clean-up is complete, you’ll want to make sure it stays clean and organized for the future. Prevent clutter from piling up once more – keep your floor free of clutter as much as possible, and regularly sweep and hose it down to keep dust and dirt at bay. Most importantly, repeat your garage clean-up routine each spring to keep the clutter from piling up once more.