10 Steps for Spring Cleaning Your Garage


10 Steps for Spring Cleaning Your GarageA garage is often the place we tend to dump things that we don't know what else to do with, and one that we rarely truly clean. Even after a year at home, when many of us have deep cleaned, purged, and organized our entire houses, the garage may still be filthy, full of junk, disorganized, or all three. So if you're ready to tackle this space, here's how to start (and finish).

  1. Give yourself time: Set aside an uninterrupted afternoon or weekend to tackle the project. Starting and stopping won't get you very far, and it will be much more satisfactory if you do the project from start to finish rather than piecemeal it.
  2. Take everything out: In order to really get a handle on what's in your garage and truly get it organized, don't skip this step or do it halfway. You can even start the organization process by grouping similar items together as you take them out, making it easier to put them back in.
  3. Decide what to toss: It may be tempting to hang onto things you think you might use in the future, but be honest with yourself and try to purge as much as you can. Get rid of things like old paint; broken tools, gear or equipment; or anything you haven't used in a year or more.
  4. Take care of your stuff: You won't get much value out of the things you have decided to keep if they're dirty or not working. Make sure the items you have decided to keep are cleaned, fixed, or given some TLC before you put them back in the garage.
  5. Clean the space: Before you move on to organizing everything and giving it a forever home, take some time to give your garage a nice, thorough cleaning. Sweep and mop the floors, dust out those cobwebs, wipe down the cabinets, shelves, walls, and any other surfaces, and dispose of any trash or debris.
  6. Create an organization plan: Now that you can see the space you have to work with, make a rough sketch of where things will be stored permanently when you put them away. If you need to, this is the time to put up shelves or purchase clear plastic containers to make the organization process easier.
  7. Use the entire space: High shelves, pegboards, or wall mounts can be super helpful for storing things like bikes, holiday decorations, and gear that's only in use during specific seasons.
  8. Make things visible: You won't get much value or pleasure out of the stuff in your garage if you can't find it when you need it or don't even remember that you have it in the first place. Use labels or clear plastic containers to make your newly organized space as user-friendly as possible.
  9. Donate, recycle, or trash: From your "do not keep" pile, donate anything in decent condition to your local thrift store or someone who needs it, and recycle anything that can be recycled. Check online to find out how to dispose of or recycle toxic or unusual items like paint, chemicals, or electronics.
  10. Maintain: If you've accomplished this monumental process, celebrate. After that, it's just a matter of putting things away after you use them, and adding the garage to your cleaning schedule. If you follow this step, you'll never have to worry about having an out-of-control garage again.

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