With spring well and truly here, why not give your life a spring clean too? One area of a tidy and organised home that often gets overlooked is the garage. Here are some tips on how to not only spring clean your garage but to help keep it organised throughout the rest of the year.
Mainly used as a dumping ground for items which don’t seem to have a place in the home, cleaning the garage is usually deep down at the bottom of most people’s priority list. However, a tidy and well organised garage can increase efficiency and make your life a lot easier and safer. The size of the job will vary depending on the size of the garage and how much clutter is in there to begin with. Cleaning out a garage could take between half a day and a full weekend; however, the time spent will be worth it in the long run.
Create a checklist
With any de-cluttering task, it’s important to have a plan in your head of what you want to achieve and how you are going to tackle it. Cleaning and de-cluttering a large space unsystematically can result in more mess than you started with – and more hard work. Laying down some ground work and a plan not only makes it easier for you, but it is also easier to spot progress as you go down your list ticking things off.
Clear everything out
Usually the garage floor is cluttered making it impossible to walk around or park your car. Pick a section and pull everything out onto the driveway so you can not only see what you have to clear but also what space you have to play with.
When clearing each section, it is best to sort into piles of the items you wish to keep, donate, sell or throw away. Local charities would happily take away your unused items, however ring up to double check they accept the goods you may have collected. Clearing out the garage could potentially earn you a little bit of extra cash if you have goods which are in a good condition to sell. There is a wide variety of second hand websites and apps, as well as the Facebook marketplace.
Start closest to the door and work your way back. This should help to keep things organised and prevent any hazardous trips or falls.
Any garage clutter which can’t be sold or donated, chuck it away! Depending on the size of the mission, you may be able to fit everything into your car and take it to the tip. However, if you’re getting rid of loads of big items such as garden furniture, then it may be best to rent a skip for a weekend.
Now that you have emptied the garage, it’s a great idea to give the open space a deep clean. Start by dusting down the tops of shelves, cabinets, fridges and freezers as well as scrubbing any muck and cobwebs off the walls with a warm, damp cloth and disinfectant. Once you have finished, sweep the floor to clear away the loose muck, then mop and hose the floor. Allow the floor to completely dry before putting things back.
Organise Everything into Groups
Once you have decided what you are going to keep, it’s a great idea to sort them into groups such as gardening items, car tools, DIY tools and camping equipment. Grouping items together will help keep you organised and avoid having to search through a mountain of clutter to find your toolkit!
Install Storage – Shelving/Units/Benches
Now that you’ve emptied your garage, thoroughly cleaned it, decided what you’re going to keep and grouped it all together, it’s nearly time to start putting everything back! Installing shelving throughout the garage is a quick and effective way to help organise your items.
They are also useful for keeping sharp objects and chemicals away from children. Use shelving organised into sections, such as cube shelves, as it’s a great way to keep everything separated.
If you found any boxes when cleaning out the garage, clean these down and use them for storage. Having everything grouped into boxes and placed on the floor or on lower down shelves is great for those tools you need to use regularly. Unused cabinets and desks are all also great for storage; if you have recently replaced, or are planning to replace your kitchen, keep some of the units behind to use in the garage. Not only can these be used for storage, but you will also have worktop space.
To keep your tools well organised, place a peg board on the wall which you can hang these from. These are great for helping you find your tools quickly and it’ll be easy and quick for you to put them back after using them.
Take Your Time
The most important thing to remember when cleaning out your garage is that patience is key. This doesn’t need to be an overwhelming job as long as you make your plan and stick to it. If you tackle these steps one at a time, then you will soon reclaim your parking space in one single weekend.
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