We can’t think of a better time than now to clean out the garage. Not only is it the perfect time of the year to get your garage ready for the warmer months ahead (they don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing!), it’s also fantastic way to clear your mind during this stressful time, as we come together (and yet, remain at home) to end the spread of COVID-19.
Keeping things clean is top of mind these days, indeed. And not only does a clean home and garage help keep you and your family safe and healthy, but studies have shown that a clutter-free environment leads to less stress and more happiness. Now, who wouldn’t want that?
So if these next few weeks mean more down time at home, why not add cleaning out the garage to your list of things to do? Our list below can help get you started.
Get in the game! It’s helpful to approach garage cleaning with positivity. Don’t look at it as a chore you have to do, but a chance to clear out the old to welcome in the new. Take a look at the forecast and pick a nice sunny day to start your project. Make sure to have a great playlist of motivating music on hand, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Plan accordingly. When it comes to cleaning your garage, you’re going to want to do it right. That means planning for a top-to-bottom thorough cleaning of your entire garage from the floor to ceiling, and yes, the garage door, too. For this, make sure to stock up on all cleaning supplies before you begin so you can get everything done without having to run to the store.
Clean everything. And everywhere. Start by removing everything from your garage. Remove cabinets, shelving, all equipment like bikes, lawn mowers, and shovels. Use tools to remove cabinets and shelves from walls, and pile everything outside of the garage.
Then, clean beginning with the ceiling and ending with the garage door (more on that later). This is also a great time to inspect your garage for any cracks or leaks and make plans to repair.
Decide what to keep. This is the time to remember the Marie Kondo rule of letting items go if they don’t “spark joy.” Take a look at what’s in the pile from your garage and ask yourself if it’s something you really need. If it’s not, you’ve got some choices to make. You can toss it, recycle it, sell it, or donate it.
Make sure you have a plan to get rid of the unwanted items quickly. Here’s where things can get tricky. If you place the items you don’t want to keep back in your garage, there’s a good chance they’ll stay there. If you’re selling items, have an account ready if you’re selling online, or drive it immediately to the consignment store.
Do the same with items you’re donating. And if you’re giving things away, make sure the receiver is picking the item up sooner than later. Tossing it? Know when your city picks up bigger items or arrange a pickup if it’s required.
Air it out. If you’ve hosed down your garage floor, or if you’ve used powerful cleaning solutions on your garage’s floors and walls, make sure to well-ventilate before closing the garage door. Strategically place a box or shop fan in the garage to help air it out quickly.
Clean the garage door. First, gently hose the garage door down on both sides to eliminate cobwebs, dirt and other residue, then use a sponge, gentle soap (dishwashing soap works fine), and warm water to really scrub down the door. Don’t forget to pay special attention to windows on your garage door. You can clean them with any window cleaner, but for stubborn stains, we recommend using a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water.
Inspect your garage door. This is as important as keeping your garage clean and one aspect you don’t want to forget to do. Make sure there’s no rust on your garage door parts including the garage door springs, hinges and on the tracks. You can also apply a spray lubricant to the garage door springs and pulleys, but for any more garage door maintenance, it’s best to leave it up to us professionals.
This is also a good time to check your garage door opener. Clean the opener’s “eye” and properly lubricate its chain drive.
Consider what you need next. Do you need a better garage organization system? If so, maybe now is the time to add slat wall, cabinets, and maybe even a workspace if your garage is large enough. We like Organized Living’s garage activity organizers, and if you’re thinking simple and smaller scale, check out IKEA for durable, low cost storage.
Here are some great ideas to transform your cluttered garage into one of the most organized places in your home.
Reward yourself. Make sure to have a reward waiting for you once you’re ready to call it a day, like a favorite dessert or beverage or treat yourself to a night of Netflix (go ahead, you deserve it!)