Home garages alongside the basement rank high as spaces where most people dump things with no immediate use at home. These spaces make it easy to store packages that haven’t been opened, outdoor equipment, unused paint, and empty containers. However, you cannot ignore this clutter forever. Below are tips to keep your garage clean and clutter-free.
Identifying and removing everything is the first step of garage decluttering. Start from the entrance and take everything out to the driveway, where you can easily sort them. Besides easing the garage cleaning process, removing everything allows you to see the space in your garage and identify the best storage option when it is time to organize these items.
Decide What to Keep
With everything out, the next step is choosing what to keep. Deciding materials to keep speeds up the garage cleaning process as it prevents you from agonizing over useless materials. You can use this criterion when deciding what to keep in your garage;
- Keep items that you have used severally in the past year
- Keep things that are in good working condition
- Keep tools that you cannot easily borrow or rent
Decide What to Do with Garage Clutter
All items or materials that don’t fit the conditions mentioned above are cluttered by default, and you shouldn’t let them stay in your garage. With items to keep set aside, go through the rest and identify things that can be sold or donated first. Use plastic bins or cardboard boxes to segment items with ease. Also, have a bag or box for junk items, which cannot be sold or donated. For this, hire a residential trash removal service provider depending on the amount of clutter you need to get rid of.
Deep Clean your Garage
With all items in your driveway or backyard, it is prudent to clean your garage before returning the essentials. As a rule of thumb, scrub your garage from top to bottom. Begin by dusting and wiping shelves and cabinets, proceed to walls and doors using a warm cloth and detergent, and wind up by sweeping the floor to eliminate dust. Depending on your garage floor material, you can mop the floor and allow some time to dry before returning things into the garage.
Find New Home for Garage Clutter
As mentioned, most homeowners use their garage as a storage room. However, you can find new homes for the following items;
- Paint should be stored where children and pets cannot reach. Paint storage rooms should also have a consistent temperature. Based on this, your basement might be ideal.
- Propane and other gas tanks shouldn’t be stored in the garage, as a tiny spark can ignite the tanks. Keep them outside in a room with proper ventilation.
- Plates, cardboard, paper towels, and other paper products should be stored in the pantry. Keeping them in your garage can attract bugs or moisture damage.
- Pet foods shouldn’t be in the garage as well. They attract rats, mice, and other damaging creatures.
Find Better Storage Solutions
Choosing appropriate storage solutions in your garage can be challenging. However, this depends on the nature of items that you need to store in your garage. Interestingly, nearly everything kept in the garage, including weed trimmers, sports equipment, and chainsaws, are oddly shaped, large, and bulky. Others may be small and easy to lose, such as screws and nails.
Therefore, ask around for the best garage storage solutions. You can use bins for small items, a bench for oddly shaped items, shelves, and hooks for large items, such as bikes and kayaks.
Seal Cracks and Repair Hazards
Like the basement, garages handle some of the toughest weather conditions. In most homes, they are not conditioned, and temperature fluctuations provide ample conditions for mold growth. Since you don’t spend much time in the garage, other cracks and leaks often stay unnoticed until they become difficult to repair.
That said, with all items outside the garage, inspect and identify areas that need some repairs and touch-ups. Seal cracks with spray foams or sealants. Also, check out the wiring system and ensure that everything is in good condition.
Reassemble and Recommit
With your garage clean and fresh, you can return the essential items in an order. Organize and segment your garage appropriately, ensuring that every item is easily accessible. If you keep your recycling bin in the garage, ensure that you use tightly sealed bags that prevent odors and cannot attract varmints.
While cleaning your garage may seem challenging, it is a rewarding and worthwhile exercise. You will not only save money and declutter the space, but you will also protect and lengthen the lifespan of various items in the garage, such as bikes and gardening tools, by keeping them in a clean and dry environment.