Spring cleaning is the time when most of us like to have a good clear out, tidy up and deep clean of our homes. If you are planning to spring clean your home though, have you given thought to do the same in your garage too?
Garages are one of the most regularly used spaces in our homes. However, they are also the most cluttered. According to some recent research, around 50% of all homeowners interviewed stated that their garage was the most disorganized area or room in their home. The study was conducted by NAPO. the National Association Of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.
A good spring cleaning in your garage will not only help to clean it up but declutter it also and you may find that you have more space to use than you realized. Below we have put together some tips to help make your garage spring clean as effective and efficient as possible.
Plan Your Work And Ask For Assistance
Generally, a good garage spring cleaning should only take about a weekend. However, if you have a large amount of junk stacked up from floor to ceiling that has been gathering up for a number of years, it may take a lot more time.
The best way to approach spring cleaning your garage is with a fully organized plan of what you are looking to accomplish and how you are going to do it. Making a garage spring cleaning checklist may be helpful. When it comes to the actual work, ask for help from relatives and even friends. Assign members of your family with different jobs to help speed things up. But remember, to pace yourself so you don’t burn out. Working with the end goal in sight will help you to make efficient use of your time.
To avoid things becoming too stale and boring, you could listen to your favorite music.
Decluttering Your Garage
Decluttering is probably the most time-consuming aspect of the whole garage spring cleaning process. Particularly if you have a lot of stuff to sort through. You need to empty absolutely everything out of your garage. We say everything for two very good reasons –
You will find it easier to thoroughly clean your garage when its empty
You will be able to best assess the contents of your garage that you are going to keep and get rid of
Try to plan on doing this part of the process on a day when you know the weather will be clear. Put all of the contents of your garage on your patio, lawn or somewhere away from directly in front of the garage doors. Then organize the items into five different categories:
- Throw away
If there are items you are finding it hard to get rid of, you should ask yourself when the last time it was used. If it hasn’t been used for some time, either by you or someone else in your household it may be time to say goodbye to it. Have a plan of action in place for all the things you are getting rid of – whether they are for the rubbish tip, selling or donating – to make sure you do it sooner rather than later. All your hard work will be in vain if you are just going to put everything back in with no clear end in sight.
Air Your Garage Out
Once your garage is completely empty, open all the windows and doors to give it a good airing out. This will improve the airflow and help to clear any moldy, musty scents. You can further improve the airflow and ventilation by sitting a fan close to one of the opened windows or doors while you work on cleaning your garage.
Wipe And Sweep The Interior
It could be worth investing in a dust mask and protective goggles for this task as it can get pretty messy depending on when you last cleaned your garage. Wipe all of the flat surfaces in the garage, apart from the floors, but including the walls and shelving. For the smoother surfaces, an old rag and some cleaning solution might be all you need; whereas, for the rougher surfaces such as brick or drywall, you may need to use a broom sweeping them in a downward motion. A broom is also great for removing any cobwebs you come across. Once you have finished wiping the surfaces, use the brush to sweep the dirt, debris and whatever else out of the garage, paying close attention to the corners.
Hose Your Garage Floor
There are various ways you can clean your garage floor, but the easiest and most effective way to do it is by using a hose and a light cleaning solution. A clean broom can be used to work the cleaning agent into the surface. Once you have thoroughly cleaned it, use the hose to rinse the garage. If you haven’t already done so, this is a good opportunity to rinse off the walls as well.
Now, you just have to let nature take its course and allow it to air dry.
Inspect And Clean Your Garage Door
Now you need to focus your attention on your garage door. Start by rinsing it down with the hose and then wipe it using a soft sponge and some dish soap mixed with warm water. Make sure you clean both the outside and inside of your garage door.
You should also use this time to inspect your garage door and ensure that it opens smoothly and correctly. Check that the photo eyes are clean and are correctly aligned. Check for any warping, rust or anything else that could cause problems. If your garage door needs maintenance or repairs, it is probably best to hire a professional.
Wash The Door Frame
If your garage door frame has aluminum capping, it can be wiped down and hosed in seconds. Without aluminum capping, you may have to consider stripping paint or stain and then re-applying fresh coats every couple of years to keep it looking good.
Wash The Windows
Next, move on to the windows. This includes window inserts and panels on the garage door, as well as windows on the back or side door and windows on the wall of your garage. To wash the windows, you just need to use a simple solution of warm water and some dish detergent, applying it with a soft sponge before rinsing it off.
If there are particularly stubborn stains on any of the windows, you can use pure vinegar to remove these. After you have rinsed them, you could use a small squeegee. To dry them, use a newspaper or microfiber cloth to avoid streaks.
Look At The Garage Organization and Storage Systems You Currently Use
The last part of the process of spring cleaning your garage is to look at the current organization and storage systems you are currently using. Do you have designated spaces for items? Are items shelved or hung together in well-defined categories. If they aren’t, it might be time to sort that. Storing all your garden equipment together in one area, then your decorating equipment in another area will not only make your garage look tidier but will help you find things as and when you need them quicker and more easily.
It will also help to increase the available floor space, to allow you to park your vehicles inside the garage. Obviously, there are numerous benefits to parking vehicles inside your garage, such as:
- Avoiding the inconvenience of bad weather
- Protection for your vehicle against tree saps, bird droppings and exposure to UV light
- Increased protection against vandalism or theft
By following the tips above, you should have a clearer, cleaner and more organized garage that you won’t have to turn a blind eye to anytime you walk by it.