Cleaning and Organizing your Garage
Remember when you first moved in and there was nothing in your garage but your car and maybe the lawn mower? But now it’s overflowing with wood scraps, tools you haven’t put back in the right place, the kids’ sports equipment, bicycles, and who knows what else. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could walk into your garage and see order where there once was chaos?
All throughout the month of January we’ll be featuring a new blog post each week to help you clean and organize different parts of your home. We are starting off the series with these helpful hints on how to clean out and organize your garage to keep it looking nice all year long!
1. Pick a Date
The first thing you need to do is set aside an entire weekend (or two-day span) when you can dedicate all that time to focusing on the garage. It’s best to select a time when the weather will be pleasant, sunny, and warm. Put an ad in the local paper for a yard sale on the second day of the cleanout a week or two in advance and hang some signs around the neighborhood earlier that morning to let people know about it as they drive by.
2. Take it All Out
Once you’ve got the timing down, cleaning out your garage starts just like any other home clean out project. The first step is to remove everything – that’s right, everything. This is the only way you can really inventory what you have and examine each object to see what is worth saving. As you remove each item, start sorting into designated piles (Keep, Sell/Donate, Trash). To help you decide what you really need to keep and what can be donated or trashed, ask yourself the following questions:
- When was the last time I used this? If it was a year ago or more, donate, sell, or trash it depending on its condition.
- Do I have something else just like it? If yes, consolidate and donate, sell, or trash the duplicates.
- Can someone else benefit from this more than I can? If yes, donate!
Now that the garage is empty, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that it’s filthy. Sure, it’s mostly located outside and is open to the elements, but it doesn’t have to be thatdirty. Give it a good sweep (or power-wash if it’s really grungy), freshen the paint on the walls and doors and it will look good as new.
While the paint is drying, use this time to tackle your piles. Within the Keep pile, start smaller piles sorting by kind (tools, sports equipment, etc.) so everything is organized when you go to put it back. Take a good look at what you’re keeping and figure out what you use the most – this is what will be placed in the most easily-accessible areas. Your clean, empty garage is a blank canvas. Start thinking systematically about how you can organize the space with shelving, hooks, and plastic bins. Just because the hammer used to be in the toolbox that was kept near the door doesn’t mean it always has to be there. Start fresh and put items in their most logical place based on frequency of use.
5. Put Everything Back in Place
Once your shelving is set up and you have a plan, fill up bins with your sorted items, label them, and put them on the shelves. Use hooks to get bicycles and equipment like weed whackers and rakes off the floor and elegantly hung on the wall. With less objects on the ground, bigger items like heavier lawn equipment and generators can be easily maneuvered out of the garage when needed. No more fighting through piles of clutter to access what you need!
6. Sell / Donate / Trash
Have a yard sale for any items in the Sell pile. If items don’t sell, but are still in good condition, add them to the donate pile. You can drive your donations to your local charity and hope that they take it all or you can give The Junkluggers a call and we can remove it all for you in one trip! We’ll take your donations and your trash, sorting them as we load them onto the truck. We will donate whatever we can on your behalf and provide you with the donation receipt for your tax records. We will then recycle whatever we can and then dispose of the rest. Save yourself multiple trips to donation centers, transfer stations, and dumps! With just one call to The Junkluggers we can take it all for you!
Sit back and admire all your hard work. And now that your garage is organized – keep it that way!