Is your garage nothing more than a disorganized storage room? Do you dread going into your garage because of all the clutter, and wondering if you will be able to find what you are looking for? Wouldn’t it be nice to actually be able to use your garage for its original purpose, to park your car or truck? Getting your garage clean and organized will not only be easier than you think but will also be quite rewarding when you can get into your vehicle on a cold rainy or snowy morning without getting all wet or having to scrape snow and ice off the windows. Here are 6 steps to help you get all that clutter and transform your dirty garage into a clean garage.
The very first thing you will need to do to organize your garage is to empty it out. Completely remove everything. Try to schedule your project during nice weather, or have tarps to cover your belongings as you will most likely put them outside on the driveway. During this process, you will want to group similar items together. This is best done on removal so that you can see how much of a particular group of items you have when you start organizing and putting everything you will keep back in. This is also the perfect time to identify anything that is either broken, no longer wanted, no longer needed or no longer of use to you. These items will be sold, donated to charity or put directly into the trash bin.
You should be able to accomplish this in the morning if you start early enough, so now you will want to look over the items to you will keep and decide how best to store them. You may want to have plywood or boards ready for seldom-used items so they can go up in the rafters. Always be very careful when placing items in the rafters. Make sure you use a suitable ladder and that everything is situated firmly in place on boards or shelving you have placed up there for this purpose. You will want to decide then whether to get shelves, cabinets, bins, tool chest, hanging bike racks, etc… You may know in advance that you will need some of these items and so you will want to shop for them before the weekend of organizing the garage to save some time.
Now it’s time to clean. You should have brooms, mops and a pale for water and cleanser. Depending on if your floor is greasy or just full of dirt will determine the type of cleanser you will use. You should sweep first, and if the floor needs more attention than that, get your mop, bucket, appropriate cleanser and water ready to go. Always be very careful not to slip on wet concrete in your now clean garage. Always wait for it to dry and you can use a fan to help speed the process up. Once it is clean you should make every effort to keep it that way for your own enjoyment.
Now it’s time to decorate! No, I don’t mean hang up paintings and put chairs and tables out. You may want to paint the walls white if the garage does not have any windows to let natural light in. You could also paint or seal the floor, and there are even tiles that you can put down to keep it looking nice and a little easier on the legs if you are out there working for a long time. Now would be the time to do any of this while the garage is empty.
Time to organize and arrange everything so that you truly have an organized garage. Put tools, supplies, and materials that you use often within easy reach. Remember too, if you can put it back easily, it is more likely you will put it back in its place. Items used less frequently in the less accessible areas of the garage such as on a higher shelf or in a cabinet further back. Label the shelves and cabinets, bins and drawers to make it easy to find and replace your belongings. This is one of the best ways to get and keep your garage organized.
Finally, make sure you implement rules for yourself and anyone using your garage. The number one rule should be to return items to the same place you got them from. Another good rule is that if you make a mess, clean it up. These rules should be strictly followed to make sure your garage stays neat, clean organized and user-friendly.