Does your garage need a clean out? Spend a weekend taking the time to clean and organize your garage! Here are 7 simple steps to organize your garage:
How to Clean and Organize Your Garage
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Our garage is an extension of our homes. Unfortunately, the garage is often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and organizing on a regular basis. It can become a dumping ground for things we do not know what to do with. If you have kids, the garage accumulates a lot of sporting goods and outdoor toys. It is amazing what all can be stored in a garage including gardening and lawn tools, trash and recycling, bikes, outdoor sporting goods, paint and extra building supplies. The list goes on and on! Honestly, it is no wonder that the garage can be a mess!
By cleaning and organizing your garage on an annual basis, you can help to keep the clutter at bay. When you have a clean and organized garage, you have a better functioning space!
This past weekend, we took a day to completely clean and organize your garage. Here are 7 Steps to Cleaning and Organizing Your Garage:
1. Take Everything Out of the Garage
The first step of cleaning your garage is to take every single thing out of your garage. This step is probably the hardest part of the process. But, it is absolutely vital to take everything out in order to end up with an organized garage.
You will find that you will end up putting items back in later that are not in the same place as before. So, it is really helpful to start with a clean slate.
2. Clean the Garage
Once the garage is completely clear, now is the time to sweep and wash the floors and shelves.
First, we swept the floors. Then used our Shop Vacuum to get up more debris. Lastly, we used the Power Washer to clean the floors.
I also wiped down all of our shelves and windows.
3. Group Similar Items Together
As you are taking items out of the garage, you can group similar items together on your driveway. For instance, you should group all sports equipment together. We had spots on our driveway for tools, sporting goods, beach toys, bikes, garbage and recycling etc.
If you have other similar items in other parts of your home, bring those out. For instance, do you have a shed that also has tools or sporting goods? Make sure you are considering those items when you get to the next step which is decluttering!
4. Get Rid of Unwanted Items
Now, you will want to make the tough decisions on what to keep. Do you have 10 basketballs that are mostly going unused? We had so many extra sporting goods, we took an honest assessment of what we really need.
Do you have old building materials? Get rid of those things. We had extra tiles and flooring from old projects that we will never use again.
Do you have things from a hobby that you no longer have an interest in? Be realistic. If you are hanging on to golf clubs and you never play golf anymore, now is the time to get rid of them.
Did you know you should not keep paint in your garage? It is better to keep paint indoors. Read about What to Do with Unwanted Paint.
5. Trash, Sell or Donate
As you are going through your items, make piles for trash, donate or sell. It is really amazing what you can sell if you are willing to take the time. I have really good luck selling on Facebook Marketplace. The key is to always sell fair and low. If you want it sold, you need to have a low price.
For items that you do not think will sell, consider donating them or offering them for free. We had a huge box of unused lightbulbs that we did not want to go to waste. I put them on Facebook for free and I had someone come by in an hour to pick them up. I feel much better about items going to a new home than ending up in the city dump.
Of course, there are certainly items that have no value and can not be used by anyone. You will most likely have large trash pile.
6. Have a Plan
Before you start filling your garage back up again, decide on a plan. My husband and I talked through the different options and what wasn’t working before. If you are considering new shelving or hooks, be sure to measure your space before you buy anything.
Figure out if you will need any bins, shelves or baskets. Be sure to buy them before you put everything back.
You still might do some rearranging once you start to put everything back, but at least you want to start with a general idea of where things should go.
Keep in mind that you do not need to spend any money to declutter and organize your garage! It is helpful to have some shelves and bins but only buy what is necessary. Maybe you will have some luck selling old things and then you can use that money to buy anything new you need for the garage.
7. Use Every Inch of Your Garage
There are many ways to organize your garage efficiently. The best garage organization tip is to think vertically. Consider how you can use shelving, your walls and even your ceiling to store items. If you have a smaller garage like mine, you will need to use every square inch possible.
Think about your family’s routine.
You really want to consider how your family uses the garage. You might have a zone for sporting equipment and shoes. What things in your garage does your family use the most? Those items should be easily accessbile.
Store less used items out of reach.
One thing we realized in our recent garage clean out is that the kids could not access their things very easily. Which meant, we had to help them get to their stuff and it usually was a mess.
This time, we put our tools and other less used supplies up high and put away. We used our shelving system to store our summer activities. In the winter, if we find that we need these shelve to store winter things, we can easily make a swap. When it comes to organization, nothing is ever permanent. So try an idea and see if it works!
We have so many bikes that we need to hang some from our ceiling using these strong hooks. We keep the kids bike down low since they use them daily in the summer. Plus, it is a lot easier for my husband or I to get our bikes down than it would be for the kids.
We considered getting one of these bike racks for our garage. But, we do not have enough room. Decide what works best for your garage.
Find a Home For Everything
Be intentional about every single item in your garage. Everything needs to have a permanent home and everyone needs to know where things go. If your kids are not familiar with where things belong, you can be sure your garage will be a mess in no time!
Get Started to Clean and Organize Your Garage
What do you think? Are you ready to start to clean and organize your garage? Home ownership is a never ending list of projects. But, by taking care of our home, including our garage, we can be sure we are helping keep and increase the value of our home.
Make it a fun weekend family project and be sure to clean and organize your garage this year!