Summer is the perfect time to tackle home improvement projects, and a great place to start is your garage. Why? Because, more likely than not, you store a lot of extraneous things in your garage. It probably hasn't been organized, cleaned, or freshened up in a while. After all, why would you? You have rooms you see every day to worry about cleaning! Plus, you don’t want to disturb the family of squirrels that lives inside your snow tires. Right? Wrong! Giving your garage a once-over every summer is important. It’ll help you stay better organized, happy, and pest free.
In this first installment of our ongoing “summer projects” series, we’re looking at how to clean out your garage. Here’s our complete guide to cleaning your garage as completely and effectively as possible.
First thing’s first: take everything out.
Take everything out of your garage and put it into the driveway. You could also bring some of that stuff inside if you feel comfortable. The important thing is moving it out of the garage so you can get started organizing it. When you’re finished with this step, there should be nothing in your garage.
Sort your garage contents into five piles.
To clean your garage for real, you’ll have to go through all of its contents thoroughly. You’re not organizing if you just pull everything out of your garage, sweep, then toss it all back. Here are the five piles we recommend dividing things into: “keep,” “sell,” “donate,” “toss,” and “store.”
The “keep” pile is for things you use regularly. You’ll want “keep” things back in your garage ASAP. Your “sell” pile is for things you don't want to keep but you think you could sell to someone. The “donate” pile is for things that you don't want anymore, but think someone else could use. The “trash” pile is for any stuff you can’t use, sell, or donate. The final pile is, of course, the “storage” pile. This is for things you want to keep but don't need to access right now. If you want to keep something but don’t want to make room for it, storing it is a great option. You could keep sports equipment, seasonal items, holiday decorations, and all kinds of other garage-clogging items in storage.
Be honest with yourself: you're not going to completely empty and clean your garage often. That’s ok! It just means when you do clean out your garage, you should be thorough. First, wash the walls. Vacuum up spider webs and dust bunnies. Fill a bucket with water and your favorite cleaner and wipe down the walls thoroughly. Make sure you sweep and mop the floor. Give everything time to dry before closing up the garage again to avoid mold growth.
Organize the things in your keep pile before putting them back.
This is your final step. Once the garage has been cleaned and dried, it's time to put things back. How you organize what goes back is up to you, and what you've decided to keep. There are comprehensive garage shelving options you can look into. You can use clearly labeled plastic bins to simplify storage. The most important thing is to make a plan and stick to it. That way, it’s easier to keep organized and keep things tidy.
There you have it! After you’ve followed these steps, your garage will be clean, clear, and ready to go. There are two things you need to make any home organization project successful. The first is a little elbow grease. The second is the helpful backup of a storage unit.
If you’re interested in making your next summer project easier, give Storage Direct a call. We’ll help you find the storage solution you need, no matter what.