You may feel overwhelmed when confronted with the prospect of cleaning out your garage, but don’t let the enormity of the task make you postpone doing it. Professional organizers suggest making the activity a family affair since every member of the family goes in and out of the garage and uses it for storage. If you have a lot of garage clutter, clean in stages or over several weekends. Create zones within the garage to clean so you tackle one specific area at a time. This is how you can make an overwhelming job seem manageable.
Use this checklist of the critical things to do as an organizational guide when cleaning up your garage:
1 – Inventory the Mess
Sort through the existing stuff and put everything in one of three piles: keep, donate, and trash. Use cardboard boxes or bags to put all the sorted items so you can easily store, donate or throw out later. Remember, the more stuff you eliminate, the more space you will create. Take your donations to charity or many of them will pick up. Put the items you are tossing with the trash or recycle.
2 – Edit the Keep Pile
Arrange everything you are keeping into new categories, like automotive supplies, sporting equipment, gardening equipment power tools, etc. Determine where in the garage you will put each category and make sure that garage safety is a priority. Make sure that you keep all chemicals and dangerous tools out of the reach of children.
3 – Choose the Right Storage Solutions
Now that you know what you are keeping and the location of where it’s going, it’s time to make decisions regarding what garage storage solutions you will use to maintain a clean, organized garage. Consider installing custom cabinetry, which is made specifically for your storage needs, versatile so you can move components around as your storage needs change and because it’s custom, you can choose a design to fit your home’s décor. Also, use steel shelving, which withstands heat and humidity better than wood and is ideal for large items. Install slatwalls to utilize all your space so you can hang items like hoses, tools and cords on the wall.
4 – Deep Clean
Choose a temperate day to clean since heat or cold can make it difficult to work in the garage. First, sweep out the entire garage. Use a non-toxic, sweeping powder to clean dirt and dust off the floors. Follow up with a degreaser and treat oil stains with a heavy-duty cleaner before using a stiff brush to scrub the stain. Tougher stains may need to sit overnight. Clean out corners and walls of cobwebs and other debris.
5 – Develop A System and Organize
Now it’s time to take everything out of the temporary boxes and put them into your storage systems. Organize things that are used together near one other such as tools and automotive supplies so everything is easily accessible when you need it. Label as needed.
6 – Monthly Maintenance
You probably don’t want to go through this ordeal again, so throughout the year, maintain the upkeep of your garage. Always store things where they belong and periodically, see if anything can be donated or disposed of. A monthly sweeping will help keep your floor clean of dust and dirt and if you want to make life even easier, install new garage flooring that has a Polyaspartic coating which is durable, stain resistant and adds an attractive finishing touch to your garage.
Motor Trend Garage can offer you a variety of storage solutions as you organize your garage. Take a look at the variety of options here.