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Last Updated on August 22, 2019 by Diane Hoffmaster
If cleaning out the garage is on your to-do list this summer, this post will help make the process a little bit easier! My husband and I have a 2 car garage that is rather overflowing with stuff. The garage holds one car, one motorcycle, a lawnmower, the kid's bikes, an extra fridge and so much other stuff that we can barely move in there. A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided that we needed to do some major cleaning. Organizing the garage is not something I look forward to. I thought I would share a few tips for cleaning out the garage if you want to join me in cleaning out that very cluttered space! It's a great way to keep spiders out of the house AND give you more space to park your car!
Tips for Cleaning Out the Garage
Organizing the garage is about as complicated as a well planned military maneuver. Before you get started, do a little bit of shopping and planning. Be prepared for a busy day of physical labor and recruit some help to make it easier. Here are a few garage organization tips that might help.
Move everything outside before you start
First things first, you need to see every space, nook, and cranny so it can be swept, wiped down, patched with Spackle or otherwise fixed. Make sure you choose a day that will be completely sunny and just drag everything into the driveway. While you are at it, clean out the garbage cans. Toss a bit of dish soap in there and hose it out. Nothing makes a garage smell worse than smelly trash cans! If your garage is super crowded, consider buying some large outdoor garbage cans and store your trash outside.
Sort the Mess
Separate your items into categories. Then pitch, donate or sell items you don’t use. After deciding what stays, separate the garage into zones for storing each category of items, and then choose the most appropriate storage method. If you are going to have a ton of stuff to throw away, consider renting a dumpster for the day.
We created areas for gardening supplies, one for toys, another for the husband's tools and projects, etc. Keeping things organized is an important part of organizing the garage but you will have to stay on top of it so chaos doesn't take over again.
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Recycle or dispose of everything properly
We found tons of things that could be recycled like old plastic flower pots, beat up frisbees and an assortment of other things. Make sure you dispose of household chemicals and paint properly. Do NOT pour things down the drain or toss them in the trashcan! Check out Earth911 for details on what you can recycle and how. If you forget all the other tips for cleaning out the garage, DON'T forget this one. Our environment needs you to dispose of chemicals safely!
For things that cannot be reused, recycled, or donated, you will need to throw them away. If you have a lot of stuff, consider renting a dumpster to make your life easier. If you don't feel like you have enough stuff to fill a dumpster, talk to your neighbors. It is quite possible that you can join forces and rent one dumpster to share!
Securely Store Hazardous Items
Place toxic materials such as paint, paint thinner, weed and bug killers, fertilizer, and gasoline in high cabinets or lockable tool chests out of children’s reach. Use well-supported shelves to store cleaning solutions and vehicle fluids.
Garages provide ample wall and ceiling space to easily convert for storage through the use of hanging garage shelves, wall mounted pegboards, storing rails and overhead systems. Store seasonal items like Christmas tree stands up high since you won't use them often. Make sure you store tools you use frequently on lower shelves or in an easy to get to the tool box.
Make sure things are secured properly
Ladders can be hazardous if you just leave them leaning up against a wall. It can tip over very easily, damaging your car or hurting your child. Lean it against the wall horizontally at floor level or store it on hooks where kids won't bump into it.
Check doors and windows
All of these tips for cleaning out the garage won't help if someone breaks in and steals your stuff. Check to make sure your locks work and that garage windows are not broken.
Cleaning out the garage does not have to be stressful if you take things one step at a time and move along in an organized fashion. Invest in a garage organization kit to help you get started. Once you have finished organizing the garage, consider hosting a garage sale to get rid of the stuff you no longer need. Don't just drag it all back into your clean garage again!
Do you have any other tips for organizing the garage?
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.