Some homeowners find their garages to be a cluttered space that seems impossible to organise.
A garage typically accumulates miscellaneous items that don’t have alternative storage spaces; this creates clutter that soon gets out of hand because it’s hard to resist haphazardly storing items when dealing with a faraway space from organised.
Therefore, it’s always best to tackle garage cleaning and organising before it gets to a state where you feel overwhelmed by the mess every time you see it.
Nevertheless, if you’ve neglected your garage for long enough and wish to get it cleared, cleaned, and organised without the help of the garage cleaning service, you’ve come to the right place!
A day (or two) dedicated to clearing out and organising your garage will get you ready for all the warm-weather activities just around the corner.
Doesn’t that sound nice? So, to help start this season on a clutter-free foot, we tapped a few experts to guide us through organising this often-ignored space.
Like death and taxes, emptying and then actually cleaning the garage is an inevitable part of life.
Clutter in the garage tends to grow and expand until it fills all the space in the garage. Clutter tends to multiply and split like cells in the body splitting.
Although in the case of a garage, the only thing that may split is the walls!
If you own a garage, the chances are that you store excess items there. This is a convenient arrangement to an extent, but it can also be a problem.
Say you consistently lose things in there, or you’ve bought a new riding mower that needs a place to live.
Your stored clutter is now a nuisance. It might be time to empty, clean, and organise your garage to promote efficiency. This can sound like a daunting task, though.
Cleaning your garage is not as bad as it seems. In fact, with some of our garage cleaning ideas, you could make it a fun family exercise!
This guide will walk you through a couple of systematic steps to efficiently clean and organise your garage. But, first, here’s how to handle a garage cleanout. A storage solution from Garage Storage Solutions can transform your garage into a social focal point for visitors with a modern look.
Tips On Cleaning For Your Garage
If you’re wondering how to clean your garage fast, we’re here to help you! To put things in perspective, let’s start by understanding that organisation is the key.
And to get you organised, we have listed a step-by-step approach herein. Here are easy garage cleaning tips to get your garage sorted in a jiffy.
Start With A Well-defined Plan
What do you want to accomplish with this cleanout? Are you looking to gut out the garage entirely and start from scratch with a redesign and new storage systems?
Maybe you’re just looking to remove excess junk and organise the stuff you already have. Spring cleaning?
No matter the scale of the job, start by sitting down and spending a few minutes creating a plan of attack.
Consider these things when creating your plan:
- Decide how big the project will be. Don’t start a project that you don’t think you can’t finish in a reasonable amount of time.
For instance, don’t plan to complete reorganisation, disposal, and new storage installation unless you have several weekends to get the job done. A position left unfinished defeats the whole purpose of the cleanup.
- Please write down your plan and add it to your calendar to ensure a detailed schedule to complete the project.
Although it may seem inconsequential, this simple step helps hold you to the project and reduces the chance of putting it off another weekend, or two, or:
- Be detailed in creating your organisational and disposal plans. This may include design sketches when a complete redesign is a goal and other details that can help keep the project on track and completed efficiently.
Read the rest of the garage cleanout tips and tricks below before creating your garage organisational plan. Then, you can use the information below to help formulate your plan of action.
Prepare A Wide Open Space To Accommodate Items From Your Garage
It’s near impossible to organise or clean a garage efficiently without emptying it first.
Particularly in smaller spaces or garages that are cramped from all the stuff inside, attempting to organise within the four walls of the room can be very frustrating.
To avoid a troublesome process like the one above, clear a vast enough space outside the garage for everything from inside to be transferred there.
The driveway is suitable for this if it isn’t sloping down.
Alternatively, any side space near the garage like a lawn can also be used; basically, any place within a few metres of the garage so that you don’t tire yourself out going back and forth.
Keep Boxes, Tape, Garbage Bags And Plastic Storage Containers Handy
You will need these items to organise your garage more efficiently.
From packing things in boxes and plastic storage containers to garbage bags for getting rid of junk, it speeds things along when you are prepared!
As you pull things out, organise them by category. For example, separate items to be donated, discarded and kept.
You can go one step further to categorise items that you would like to pack in boxes, large items to be placed in the back, and so on.
Carry Out Large Items First
To make space to move around more freely, carry out the big stuff first. If you have family or friends willing to help you with this, don’t turn down their offer!
For smaller items, a wheelbarrow is handy to transport many things from your garage to their temporary holding place.
Sort Through Garage Items; Fill Up Boxes And Bags
Garage cleaning is the perfect time to re-evaluate the things you’ve been keeping in there.
If you’ve got years’ worth of stuff accumulated in the garage, you will indeed find a lot of it to be useless or unusable at this point.
The average garage holds things like old and worn-out sports gear, broken or old appliances, rusted garden tools, and many more such items that you haven’t touched in years.
Although you have already grouped items by category, there will be some possessions that you haven’t given enough thought to and hence, ended up putting in the ‘keep’ pile.
Well, we strongly suggest you re-evaluate belongings that are more than likely never to be used by anyone in your household and put them in your ‘donation’ pile instead.
When you’re satisfied with what stays and what goes, start filling up those donation boxes and garbage bags (for rubbish).
Bear in mind that electronics should be disposed of properly and not thrown in the bin.
Call a local e-waste company for assistance on how to get rid of old/broken electronics that no one can use.
Organise Your ‘keeps’ In Boxes/Storage Containers
Stuff that is small enough to be stored in boxes or containers should be organised in this manner as it will reduce clutter in your garage.
Store similar items and things that you use more frequently together. Be sure to label the containers/boxes with their category name or write out a table of contents to locate items more conveniently.
Fill up as many boxes or containers as possible, leaving only more oversized garage items and a few other things to be stored as-is.
By this time, all the piles or grouped items will be organised and ready to go to their respective destinations, i.e., donated, discarded, and put back in the garage. Before that last one, though, you’ll need to clean the space!
Pull Out Everything
This is the first step to start garage spring cleaning.
Emptying the entire floor space should be a yearly exercise you begin with. This will help you clear out what you don’t need and re-stock what’s replenishing.
Organise all that you need into three sections — keep, donate, dispose of. Then, wipe and sort the things to keep in one carton.
The donation carton box can have things that you aren’t using anymore, but someone else could. And lastly, the disposable carton box is what you began cleaning the garage for in the first place.
Complete your garage organisation plan by getting your gear off the floor with garage bright storage baskets.
Be Mindful Of How You Dispose
Before you upturn your to-be-disposed carton in a trash can or a rag to be thrown away, be mindful of how you do it.
Some of the mess may involve chemicals and hazardous stuff that should be handled with care. Check for directions to dispose of the exterior of the pack and take adequate care in doing so.
An empty garage is the easiest to clean.
Now that you have cleared out the entire space, starts with an excellent, thorough sweep of the floor—dust out shelves, cabins, crevices and every nook of the garage.
Wipe the ceiling to remove smoke stains, greasy dirt, and cobwebs. Then, run a water hose to wash down the floor and drive all the ground out to the outside of the garage.
Though garage cleaning is a tiring affair, it is well worth it in the end! But, of course, if you go about cleaning systematically, it is always easier. The tips below will help you do just that!
Utilise Vertical Space
Most residential garages have an area large enough to shelter a couple of cars. However, that shouldn’t stop you from maximising the space in your garage and storing your outdoor necessities.
Use its vertical height to set up hooks and shelves to lodge garden equipment and sort your tools necessity-wise.
An empty garage is the best time to plan your vertical shelves and have them installed.
Keep what you seldom need on the higher shelves to save space and double up your garage as outdoor storage.
Organise Your Tools & Equipment
Dig into your to-keep carton and sort out its contents in order of usage.
You want to stack the most used items in easily accessible places and toss the rarely used ones on the top rack of your shelves.
This is one of the essential yet most useful garages organising hacks. First, check if you need to re-stock some of your lubricants, oils and other equipment.
Now your garage is looking its best; it’s time to put your stuff back in a way that keeps everything organised and tidy.
A great way to start is installing some shelving and sorting your belongings into labelled bins or containers.
Creating a home for everything is the best way to make things easy to find when you need them.
Put Things Back Neatly
After all the trouble you’ve taken, don’t end your garage cleaning on an untidy note!
Although you will be tired and tempted to push boxes and containers back inside and deal with them another time, it’s best to finish what you started by placing things in a neat and organised manner.
Boxes or containers that hold items that are not going to be used very often should be kept in the back or at the bottom while others are stacked on top of them (make sure that all the labels are facing outward).
For large items, designate one wall or a corner of the garage to accommodate them. Store them by size, i.e. more oversized items at the back and smaller ones in front of them.
If the donation boxes and garbage bags need to be dealt with later, temporarily store them on one side in your garage.
Get That Annual Maintenance Done
And lastly, after cleaning out the garage, get that annual maintenance done of your garage door and your door opener. Your garage has survived a harsh winter. There’s no saying the kind of damage it may have survived unless you have an expert over to check it.
This maintenance exercise is the last but most crucial step on your garage spring cleaning checklist before you load all your stock into its rightful place.
Check for any cracks or breakages in your garage, locking system or opener controls. Once you round off the maintenance, you have covered all the steps to clean a garage. Complete your garage organisation plan by getting your gear off the floor with Garage Storage Solutions’ smart shelving and basket storage.
How To Deep Clean Your Garage
Remove Everything & Prepare Your Supplies
Pick a day when the weather is on your side and pull everything out of your garage and into your driveway or yard.
It can seem productive to tackle a corner at a time, but honestly? Just getting everything out will help you assess what you have, take note of the grime level, and stay motivated to keep too many things from returning to their old spots.
Gather a ready supply of towels, a bucket, a broom and cleaning spray. You may also want to keep a measuring tape handy and some big, strong garbage bags or bins for sorting items.
Start by wiping down or hosing off anything dirty or dusty.
Sort, Eliminate, Donate Or Sell
Once everything is out of the garage, it’s time to start sorting everything into piles: keep, donate/sell and eliminate. Purge once, then go back through the keep pile and purge again.
Ask yourself if the item is something you’ll use again or something you’ve used in the last year—be realistic and honest.
Holding onto those roller blades because you think your kids might want to use them or that tennis racket that needs to be re-strung?
These are the types of things that create clutter. Many sports stores will buy back equipment or sell it on consignment. You may even make a nice little profit that can be put towards something the whole family will like.
When it comes to tools, consider what you use frequently and what can be borrowed or rented. This is a difficult one because many of us (and many husbands) fancy ourselves to be “Bob the Builder” or “Rosie the Riveter” and tend to hoard tools.
If your husband is indeed a handyman, and especially if it’s a hobby, then, by all means, let him keep a tool bench/workstation area, but keep it organised and helpful.
Broken items or items rusted or past their prime can be tossed immediately. Permit yourself to let go and stop keeping things in hopes that you’ll get around to repairing them one day.
If you’re a gardener, keep one rust-free version of each tool you frequently use.
Toss seeds over a year old (most will not grow past that time, and pests LOVE them), and be sure all pots and planting items (including tomato cages, hoses and gardening decorations) are clean and free of dirt and moisture before storing.
Car repair items and cleaning supplies should be assessed for usefulness and potency. Some car fluids do expire, so keeping them might create a fire hazard.
Always get rid of any oil rags and don’t allow them to pile up, as they’re combustible.
Chemicals, paint and other items that have outlived their usefulness should be disposed of using the proper channels.
Contact your local recycling and waste management or municipality to find out how to safely dispose of chemicals in your area.
Find Storage Solutions That Work For You
Depending on what you have in your garage and what you need to store, you may be facing some exciting storage dilemmas.
It seems that nearly EVERYTHING in the garage is oddly shaped—it’s either very, very large and bulky (such as weed trimmers, chainsaws or sports equipment) or very, very small and easy to lose (like nails, screws, bits or gardening markers).
For tools, we have found that a collection of bins works well; many other organisation experts recommend using a pegboard over a workbench.
Small, clearly marked jars work well for sorting various odds and ends that go along with your tools.
More oversized items like saws and electrical tools can be stored in shelving. Toolboxes should be kept off the floor and away from moisture.
Baseball bats, rackets, balls and bulky sports items store well in ball bins, large totes or even repurposed trash cans.
If you sort carefully to pare down to just the necessary items, you can arrange everything clearly on a shallow shelf. (Deep shelves tend to create a magical abyss where things disappear.)
Get bikes, kayaks and other large items off the floor so they’re protected from damage. Instead, hang them up on ceiling hooks tightly fastened to support beams in the garage.
Hanging large items such as ladders, shovels, rakes and other tools will keep the ground free of clutter and provide each item with a safe place to rest. (We all want to prevent things from falling on kids or cars!)
Think about the storage options you’ll need and assess what you have on hand. Then, assemble all storage containers and hooks and get them ready to house your remaining, now-clean garage equipment.
Seal Cracks And Repair Hazards
Garages bear the brunt of the harshest weather. Often they’re not heated or cooled, and temperature fluctuations and moisture tend to cause mildew, cracking leaks and other issues.
Since most of us don’t spend ample time in the garage, many of these issues can go unnoticed until they’re difficult to repair.
With everything out of the garage, survey any areas that might need to be fixed or touched up.
Seal any cracks with spray-in foam or sealant and consider spraying on a protective coat of LeakSeal or another flexible coating.
This is also the time to check out the wires around your garage and make sure nothing looks chewed on or presents a fire hazard.
Look at anything that might be exposed and call a professional if needed. For example, clean the gutters around your garage, and be sure to look for signs of water damage.
This is also an excellent time to check lighting, locks and seals around your windows. You want to ensure not only weather protection but protection from intruders.
Dust, Wash, Clean And Paint
Put that broom to use! Put on a mask. (Garages can house mouse droppings, bugs, chemicals, and all sorts of things you don’t want to breathe in.)
Thoroughly clean out all corners, wash down the walls, and make sure everything is dust-free. This will prevent all of that dirt from tracking into your house later.
Not all of us are ready to put in epoxy floor coating in the garage, but if you’re able, it’s an investment that will help make things feel more “finished.”
If you have oil spills on the floor, kitty litter works wonders for soaking it up and keeping the floor looking its best.
Consider putting down an inexpensive garage floor protector or even a piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting or rug to protect from future damage.
A simple coat of latex paint in white will keep things fresh and help prevent mildew as well. Finally, caulk around the windows and caulk any cracked or leaking seals.
You don’t have to sew curtains or put up wall decals, but if you feel inclined to add a simple decorative touch, it may help you think more of that “extension of your home” mentality and keep things clean in the future.
Reassemble And Re-commit
Now that you have a beautiful, clean and fresh garage put the necessities back in place and organise your areas—tools, sporting goods, car repair, storage (in a few marked bins) and gardening.
If you store your trash and recycling in your garage, be sure you keep things in bags, tightly sealed and closed to prevent odour and varmints.
Keep a mat or paper under the can in case of spills. Hose out your trashcan monthly and sprinkle with baking soda to help prevent smells from wafting throughout the garage (or into your house).
As you return your items to the garage, keep purging and eliminating them. Aim for a garage where things are easily accessible and organised.
Again, consider if you’re genuinely using each item or simply storing it. (If it’s the latter, time to get rid of it!)
With a clean garage, you’ll find you may even start to enjoy doing things outdoors more often. For example, you may revisit hobbies or feel more inspired to garden or work on projects.
Deep cleaning your garage can be surprisingly inspiring and motivating! You may even be so excited that you want to make a video of parking your car in it for the first time in 11 years!
In the end, while the task may seem daunting, the rewards are well worth the effort.
Not only will you save money and keep your house cleaner, but you’ll also protect your investment in your car, bikes and other items because they’re stored in a clean, dry environment, and finally be able to work on new projects that you never had space for before.
Cleaning and organising the garage is a daunting task, and everyone is guilty of procrastinating. As a result, you can feel unmotivated to start because the process seems time-consuming and draining.
However, by using the tips mentioned above and seeking the assistance of professional end of lease cleaners, you can manage this feat without any challenges or stress. Garage storage wall hooks should form part of any garage makeover as they provide a clean and really easy way to lift anything from your garage floor and have it accessible via your garage wall.