Despite my best efforts to stop this habit every year, my garage ALWAYS seems to end up being a catch-all place for my family’s stuff. Bikes, outdoor toys, cleaning supplies, extra stuff that just doesn’t seem to have a place inside the house…the list goes on and the garage just gets more full and more full every time I look at it.
That is why one of the first stops on my spring cleaning spree is always the garage. If your garage looks anything like mine, you could probably benefit from some of these cleaning tips!
Cleaning the garage (when you have kids)
Unlike cleaning up your home, attic, and yard this spring, cleaning up a garage requires specific strategies and careful planning. You will need a piece of paper, a pen and lots of outdoor space so you can place all the items out of your garage and go over them carefully. It is advisable to take the car out and park it temporarily somewhere so to have sufficient space.
Get Everything Out
A good place to start is to take all the items out and make a list of all the items that are stored in your garage. Then, along with all family members, the items should be divided into three categories: the useful, the ugly and the useless. This will help to determine their level of importance and their ultimate fate. At this point, three outdoor areas must be created to temporarily store these three categories of items. Get the kids to help out and have fun by marking these areas with sidewalk chalk!
It is SO much easier to clean when you have empty space! Arm yourself with a broom and sweep away all the dust and debris from the floors. Wipe down all the cabinets, shelves, tables and chairs, if any. Take away all the spider webs from the ceiling corners and make sure to collect all the debris left behind. Then take a step back and take a mental picture – remember how nice your garage looks when it’s clutter-free! Maybe this reminder will help to keep the clutter at bay throughout the year.
Get Rid of the Useless
The main purpose of spring cleaning your garage should be primarily getting rid of the clutter (all the useless items). That means removing all items that are not necessary to you and that you may have stored away because you did not have enough time to determine how to get rid of them. Now is that time to put these items finally to rest by either: putting them in the trash, plan to call a junk removal company, or if they can be of any use to others – putting them for sale in a yard sale or donating them to others who could use them.
Plan for the Ugly
If you are left with some items that are useful but are simply too bulky or too ugly to store in your home (think bins of off-season clothes, garden tools, etc.) you must be ready for some major decision making. You may either store them in your attic, find a space for them in some secluded closet, or simply decide to keep them still in the garage if feasible. If you decide to keep them in the garage, make sure you store them in a neat and orderly way to make them accessible when you want them, but out of the way for everyday use of the garage.
Take Care of the Useful
You have probably determined that you have some items that you definitely cannot live without. No problem. Everybody has them. The most important factor is to ensure that you have a spot for them and that this spot is well organized. There are many solutions if you are willing to invest some money on some items that will facilitate storing them. Overhead storage, tire racks, cabinetry, shelves, and slat wall panels may be the perfect solution for your storage needs.
With these tips, your garage should look well organized and clean. Now, it is surely worth it to put some effort from now on, on trying to limit the accumulation of clutter and junk so next year’s garage spring cleaning chores will be a breeze (I know, I know…so much easier said than done!!).
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