Cleaning the garage is one of those tasks that repeatedly gets postponed because it can seem overwhelming and even impossible. Tailored Living® would like to help you get control of your garage, and a good spring cleaning will make it more inviting and you’ll begin to see its potential for organized storage and functional living space. Grab a helper or two and you’ll be amazed how quickly you can whip that garage into shape!
A clean and organized garage is not out of reach with custom storage solutions to store everything you keep in your garage
Step one: empty the garage
Remove everything from the garage that is not a fixture, like shelves, cabinets, or appliances. You want to be able to access all surfaces for cleaning, including walls, floors, workbenches, and shelves. Assemble cleaning supplies and equipment that you’ll need:
- Broom, Swiffer, vacuums
- Cleaning cloths, brushes
- Cleaning solutions, bucket
- Gloves and masks
Step two: clean the garage from top to bottom
Eliminating dust and dirt is the goal here so, for this step, a wet-dry shop vac is the ideal tool, because it can clean up anything from pesky ceiling cobwebs to dust and moisture-laden dirt and gunk on the floor. It can make quick work of dusty shelves, windows, walls, and floors. Attachments like crevice tools, dusting brush, bare floor brush, and extension wands can quickly clean hard-to-reach places as well as eliminating dirt you really don’t want to touch such as spider webs, dead bugs, rodent droppings, or toxic spills like pesticides. The ability to convert the shop vac to a blower lets you clean underneath elevated racks and cabinets, cleaning out deep corners. Without a shop vac, brooms, Swiffers®, and a regular vacuum can do the trick with just a little extra elbow grease.
- Swiffers have disposable cleaning pads that grab and hold dust so you can swipe and toss for quick work on dusty walls and ceilings.
- Or, wrap a microfiber towel around a broom and use that to wipe walls and reach high places.
- A vacuum or wide push broom will clear the floor of any dust and debris in preparation for washing down the surfaces.
- Wearing a protective mask is a good idea since you’ll be stirring up dust and dirt you don’t want to breathe in.
Step three: wash away ground-in dirt and stains
A busy garage will undoubtedly be a dirty garage with product spills, workbench debris, and oils and grease that get on countertops, walls, and floors. With all the loose dust and dirt gone, you’ll want to clean and sanitize the space before you “reload” the garage. Everyone has their favorite cleaning products, ranging from DIY solutions to consumer-grade and industrial-strength products. Whatever you prefer to use, protect yourself with gloves and mask and wipe all surfaces clean, including walls (Swiffers are handy here too). Mix cleaning solution in a bucket for ease of use, trying to clean an entire garage with a spray bottle will take forever! (You may need to mix more than once, as you wash and rinse the water will get dirty.) Most surfaces may only require a once-over with your favorite cleaner, but you may have some difficult stains to remove, such as on the concrete garage floor.
The right tools make the job of cleaning a concrete garage floor faster and easier
- The wet-dry shop vac can also be used to clean the garage floor, with attachments for scrubbing the floor and vacuuming up the dirty water.
- Power washers can also do a quick job on ground-in dirt.
- A push broom and concrete cleaner will effectively scrub the floor; then use a squeegee to push out the water, leaving a clean floor.
- Pretreat oil or grease stains with a strong concentrate degreaser such as biodegradable Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner.
- Check out How To Clean Concrete Garage Floors.
Step four: sort and purge the garage contents
While the sparkling clean garage is drying and airing out, go through all the garage contents to get rid of anything you no longer need or want. Save investigating every box or bin for another day, just focus on real space-eaters like garage sale leftovers, the neighbor’s lawnmower, broken or duplicate equipment or tools, home improvement excesses like wood scraps, tile, and old light fixtures, outgrown bikes or games, and old furniture. Set up four collection areas in the driveway or on the lawn—keep, donate, trash, or recycle—and sort everything. Then, put the trash out, return the neighbor’s lawnmower, take recyclables to the recycle center and donations to the local thrift store; don’t put them back in the garage.
Purging down to only what you need will free up space for those things your family uses every day
Step five: return and organize your purged garage contents
As you return all the “keep” items to the garage, give thought to functional organization and create zones to store like items together. For instance, one zone could be for sports equipment, one for gardening implements, one for car care, and another for holiday decorations. As you return each item, clean or dust anything that needs it. You don’t want to return grime to your clean garage! Here are some storage tips for keeping the garage clean and maintaining your garage for maximum efficiency:
- Store seldom-used items up high; keep what you use most often within easy reach to eliminate constantly shifting things around.
- Assign low-level storage shelves with drawers or baskets to the kids so they can manage their own things like sports and hobby equipment.
- Use plastic, lidded storage bins instead of cardboard boxes to protect stored items; cardboard absorbs moisture, attracts pests, and deteriorates over time.
- Transfer bags that can burst open and spill into plastic containers with secure lids (pet food, sand, plant food).
- Create DIY moisture absorbers using charcoal briquettes or sidewalk chalk. Put several pieces in a breathable bag and place in a cabinet, drawer, or near tools to prevent rust and eliminate moisture.
- Keep a handy designated “donations” box for family discards and when it’s full, take it to your charity of choice.
- Keep the floor clear. Bulky items like camping tents, holiday decorations, and lawn furniture can store out of the way in overhead storage racks, including automated lifts.
You’ll love the total garage with durable, easy-care garage flooring and storage options that keep garage life organized
Get organized with custom garage storage solutions
If your garage needs more than just cleaning, Tailored Living can design custom storage and organization solutions for the way you want to use your garage: park the cars, a home gym, craft and hobby area, game room, etc. Garage storage cabinets, Slatwall wall storage, overhead garage storage racks, and custom, easy-care garage flooring are just some of the options for getting control of garage clutter and transforming your garage into functional living space. Go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you or call 866-712-3404 to schedule a free, in-home or virtual* consultation to discuss garage organization or any other storage or organization needs you have in any area of your home.
For more tips on taming garage clutter: Never Again Have A Messy Garage
*Virtual consultations are not available at all locations.