Whether you’re Spring cleaning, or just tired of looking at a mess, this garage cleaning checklist will help you get this catch-all area of your home finally organized.
You will need:
- Work gloves – there are a lot of messy, toxic materials in a garage. Don’t let them come in contact with your skin.
- Step stool
- Microfiber cloths
- All-purpose cleaner (or make your own homemade mix)
- Boxes marked: Donate, Elsewhere, Recycle, Trash and Dispose (the latter is for things like old paint, used motor oil and other things that must be taken to your city’s waste disposal center.)
- Black permanent marker
Plan wisely: You’re going to need room for things you’ll be pulling out of the garage, so do this project on a sunny day.
Empty it out: Park your cars on the street, and begin pulling things out of your garage one at a time. As you do, put items that you’ll be donating or that don’t belong in the garage into the appropriate boxes. Separate recycling cycled from the trash, keeping hazardous materials apart.
Give it a good sweep: Using your broom, sweep the ceiling, the corners and the walls. Close the garage door and sweep the inside of it.
Wipe things off: Spray and wipe off the light switches, door jamb, door knobs and garage opener button. Using the damp cloth, clean the lights on the garage door opener and other light bulbs. (Just make sure they’re cool first.)
Determine the zones: Do you have a workbench in your garage? A pile of sports equipment? Do you store your holiday decorations in there? Visualize the different ways you use your garage and plan to store like items in “zones” so they’re easier to use.
Keep it up: If possible, install vertical storage shelves rather than storing things on the floor — you’ll maximize space and reduce the risk of a flood ruining your stuff. Keeping your floors clear also makes it easier to sweep your garage throughout the year. If you don’t currently have shelving in your garage, make or install some. Or consider using pegboard on the walls to provide storage for tools, sports equipment and other items. Use the black permanent marker to draw an outline around each item so everyone in the family knows where things belong.
Label it: Label unmarked boxes with the marker so you won’t have to dig around to find the Christmas lights or your flag for the 4th of July. And don’t forget to put extension cords in cardboard tubes and note their length on the tube. They’ll stay clean and untangled, and you’ll be able to find the right one in a flash.
Take a drive: Now’s the time to drop off the items you’ve set aside for charity, and the hazardous household waste that needs to be disposed of at your city’s waste management facility. Your reward for making that trip even though you’re tired is coming home to that good-looking garage!
Equipment I’ve Used For This: