If you’re reading this, chances are your garage is in bad shape.
Not only are you unable to fit your car in like you’re supposed to, but it has become the default storage facility for all your unwanted belongings, a disorganized mess of items and tools and products you sometimes use, but can never find when you need.
Yes, you are in need of a garage clean-out.
Whether you have a single-car garage or multi-car garage, we’ll outline some helpful steps you can take to clean your garage out, get organized, and find things when you need them.
Step 1: Take Inventory
Like any major home project, it helps to know what you’re working with before you get started cleaning your garage.
Most likely there is a good amount of junk in your garage that you’ll want to get rid of or donate, some stuff you’ll want to keep, and maybe even some stuff you can sell.
The first step you need to take when you clean out a garage is to take inventory of everything in your garage space.
Take Everything Out Of The Garage Depending on how much you’ve accumulated over the years, this can seem daunting. However, there are probably boxes of miscellaneous items from a previous move, old tools, donation piles, etc. that you’ve forgotten about.
Take everything out of the garage so you have a good idea of what you’re working with before you start organizing and cleaning. This step will save you time later because it ensures you’re doing a thorough job.
Step 2: Categorize
Now that you have an idea of all the items in your garage you can start categorizing them. The simplest way to do this is to create two piles: Keep and Discard.
Make some space either in your garage, driveway, or yard for each of the piles. Visually, this will make it easier to start coming up with ways you want to organize your items in the next step.
Keep For the items you plan on keeping, you can start by creating additional piles for like items. For example, you may have a healthy collection of loose tools that need a home in your garage.
Discard For items you plan on discarding, you can decide whether or not they’re worth donating or selling, or simply throwing them away.
Oftentimes, there are items you no longer need or use but may be worth something to someone in need. If you have a donation center nearby, you can look at donating items like clothing, old furniture, kids' toys, etc.
Here’s a quick list of ideas to help you decide whether or not to keep or discard the items in your garage:
Is it important? If yes, Keep. If no, Discard.
Do you have duplicates? If no, Keep. If yes, Discard.
Do you use it regularly? If yes, Keep. If no, Discard.
Does it bring you joy? If yes, Keep. If no, Discard.
Could it be put to better use? If no, Keep. If yes, Discard.
Step 3: Organize
When you clean a garage out, the most important step to ensure a job well done is to organize (and organize well)!
With your Keep and Discard piles in order, the next step is to organize your Keep pile into separate categories you can easily navigate to find things when you need them.
Depending on where you live your organizational categories might look different, but we wanted to provide you with some common themes to give you ideas.
Garage Organization Categories
Once you’ve decided which categories your garage space needs, you’ll want to have a convenient way to store everything so you can access it whenever you need it.
For example, you may want to purchase large storage boxes for your holiday decorations, or a tool chest for all your tools. Whichever categories you come up with will determine which storage appliances you will need.
Step 4: Clean
With the garage being a catch-all for both indoor and outdoor items, chances are the space has accumulated a good amount of dirt and dust over the years.
Seal open spaces In many cases, garage doors and access points are not properly sealed which allows dirt from outside to accumulate inside. Seal up any open spaces to help prevent unwanted debris from coming into the garage.
Dust the shelves Take a cloth and wipe down the shelving units in your garage before you fill them back up with your storage containers and other items.
Sweep and powerwash Whether you park your car in your garage or not, the garage floor can accumulate all kinds of dirt, fluids, and other materials. Make sure you sweep and if possible use a power washer to thoroughly clean the garage floors.
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