Steps to a Clean Garage

According to Garage Envy, one in four Americans can’t fit one car in their garage, and probably not because there’s a band rehearsing in it. Garages are a home’s catchall for storage, hobbies, projects, recreational equipment, and just plain junk.

Garages get dirty too. Those big doors welcome dead leaves and car debris from seasonal travel. And if your garage door can be seen from the front of your house, you know it plays a big role in your home’s curb appeal.

No one wants to be embarrassed for neighbors to see what’s inside. So, your garage should be at the top of your spring-cleaning checklist.

8 Steps to a Clean Garage

1) Have a plan, a timeframe, and a few helpers
Depending on the size of your garage, its condition, and the amount of clutter, cleaning it out can be a big job. But if you find a weekend with good weather when you can get the job done, it’ll totally be worth it in the end.

2) Sort everything into categories

Remove everything from the garage and distribute it into five piles:

  1. Keep
  2. Donate
  3. Recycle
  4. Trash
  5. Sell
    Many organizations will pick up your donations. Be sure to dispose of any paint, solvents, or batteries safely. And if your “sell” pile is big enough, hold a yard sale to show off your clean garage while you make a little cash.

3) Clean your garage top to bottom

While your garage is empty, give it a thorough cleaning. Start at the top, and sweep away any cobwebs from the ceiling and walls. Clean out light fixtures and replace bulbs. Open any side garage windows to air out the space. And don’t forget to dust shelves and clean workbenches.

Next, clean the floor. If it has oil spots, use a floor-friendly degreaser. Or you can try putting kitty litter on the stain and scrubbing with a wire brush. If you use a pressure washer, be sure to leave the unit outside for ventilation and be careful not to damage the walls. Sweep or use a leaf blower to remove any debris. Then hose things out and allow the floor to dry.

4) Clean your garage door inside and out
While the floor is drying, clean both sides of your garage door with a brush and a sponge. Inspect for any problem areas, including cracks, rust, or rot. Touch up paint or stain and make sure everything looks its best. If your garage door is old or showing signs of wear, it might be time to consider replacing it with a new one.

This is also a good time to inspect your garage door opener and lubricate the chain or screw drive. Check to be sure photo eyes are clean and properly aligned too.

5) Cleaning garage windows
Carefully inspect your garage windows while you clean them. Make sure there are no cracks where weather and moisture can invade your space. And do the same with any insert windows in your garage door.

6) Separate things based on interest

Now it’s time to separate your keeper pile from your garage clutter. Divide everything into categories such as:

  • Household tools
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Auto tools and accessories
  • Recreational equipment
  • Holiday/seasonal décor
  • Landscape supplies, gardening tools, and lawn equipment
  • Pet supplies
  • Throw out any cardboard boxes and replace them with sturdy plastic bins that keep moisture and pests away.

7) Organize!

Use your garage space wisely and save the floor space for your car(s). There are lots of garage storage solutions that help you make the most of wall and ceiling space. Check out Amazon or your local hardware store for storage ideas. You can even consult with specialists who sell organizational systems specifically designed for garage spaces.

To organize your garage, line the walls with:

  • Industrial wire shelving for easily accessible items
  • Cabinets for things that need protection
  • Pegboards for smaller items
  • Brackets to hold long-handled items like brooms, shovels, etc.
  • A workbench for power tools and storing small items like nails and screws
  • Rack units for lumber or recreational equipment

Use your garage ceiling for:

  • Bike racks
  • Overhead storage racks
  • Pulley racks for hanging kayaks
  • Fishing rod storage
  • Ventilating ceiling fans

8) Plan a monthly garage cleaning
Choose an hour a month or at the end of every season to clean your garage as you would your home. Toss out the trash, keep a bin for donations that you can put in your car for easy drop-offs, and give the floor a sweep.

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