As you get ready to decorate for the holidays, you’ve probably made a few trips into the scariest room in the house – your garage. Before the whirlwind of the busy holiday season begins, take a day (or maybe a weekend) and tackle the garage. Read below for cleaning tips clean garage organization:
Plan your day
Look ahead and make sure that your cleaning day isn’t overly hot, or too cold, and the chances of rain. Take a look at your family’s schedule – if you have a lot of things in the garage, many hands will help get it cleared out, cleaned, and replaced.
Prepare to organize your space
If you don’t have shelving in your garage, consider purchasing some easy to assemble plastic or metal units. Pro tip: replace the cardboard boxes you have for storage with rubber or plastic storage tubs. Rodents like to build nests out of cardboard and will be looking for a warm home indoors this winter. Don’t make yours enticing for them. Label each tub, and when replacing them on the shelves, sort by type of item or owner.
Clean it up before you fill it up
Completely empty out your garage. Sweep it, and either hose it down or mop it. If there is oil or chemical drips from your car, use an industrial degreaser to remove the spots. Pro Tip: if you aren’t sure what came out of your car – call a local mechanic for cleaner recommendations. Some home chemicals may have very unpleasant reactions to car emissions. If you are skittish about spiders and bugs, wear gardening gloves while you’re cleaning everything out.
Sort everything before putting it back
Lay out three tarps in your driveway. Make signs: “Keep”, “Toss”, and “Donate”. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless – if items have been unused in your garage for a few years, chances are you don’t need them anymore. If you plan to keep items that need minor repairs, such as a new tire, fixed wiring, or a coat of paint, schedule a day to take care of those tasks. If you don’t have a plan to make these items usable again, they might end up just taking up space in your garage again.
The things you don’t want
For the “Donate” items, you can simply donate to a secondhand store or charity – nearby donation sites are Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and Goodwill. If you feel entrepreneurial, consider having a garage sale. Pro Tip: If your neighborhood has a Homeowners Association, they make have “neighborhood-wide” garage sale weekends. With many houses in the neighborhood having sales, your traffic will increase substantially.
For your “Toss” pile, most towns and cities offer curbside pickup. If it’s an particularly large pile you can arrange a pickup with your local waste service. Call and let them know so they can schedule the pickup and to ensure that your pile meets their guidelines for pick-up. Or, you can take your trash to the local dump – many require proof of residency, so have a current water or power bill ready.
Repack, and relax
Place your shelves out of the way of your vehicles. Then, stack your rubber tubs with their neat labels. Make sure that you put lighter items on the top shelves, and heavier ones on the bottom – getting heavy items down can be more difficult than putting them up. If you have a lot of tools to store, consider a tool pegboard along one wall. For multiple bikes, use large hooks or bike racks. Now that you’ve deep cleaned and parsed down your things, it will be easier to find your stored items, it will look much neater and you can actually park in your garage!
If you are looking for a garage of your own to keep clean, check out these great homes with garages and call if you see one you are interested in 704-408-2834.
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