6 Spring cleaning tips for your cluttered garage

Denise Caron-Quinn

This spring, commit to keeping your garage clean by reducing clutter. You’ll not only feel more inclined to use the items in your garage but will also be able to find them more easily, saving you time and frustration.

1. First, take everything out

Since it’s so easy to use your garage as overflow storage for items you’re not sure where to put, start by taking everything out of the garage and organizing items into piles: One to keep, one to donate, one to throw away and one undecided pile. This way, when you uncover those three extra rakes stashed at the back of the garage, you can choose the best one or two to keep and trash the third. Once everything has been sorted, inventory the items you plan to keep as well as those in the “maybe” pile and think about ideal storage solutions.

2. Deep clean

With your garage empty, now is the perfect time to deep clean all those cobwebbed corners. Sweep the floor to remove debris, then mop it. If you store your car in the garage, the floor may have oil stains. Treat these with a degreaser or a laundry pre-solvent (which acts as a degreaser). Wash the windows, the walls, and any surfaces.

3. Zone your garage

To keep clutter at bay for good, try a zoned approach. Brainstorm all of the things you’d like to use the garage for, such as car storage, sports equipment storage, trash and recycling center and woodworking. Then, use a site like Planyourroom.com, to map out your garage and dedicate a space for each purpose. This way, you can keep all of the woodworking equipment separate from the sports equipment, and can more easily maintain a clutter-free garage. Better still, all family members will know where to look for garage items, so it won’t fall on you to keep the garage organized.

4. Dispose of any chemicals properly

If you, like many people, have old chemicals, paint thinner, paint cans, and other hazardous materials in your garage, take this chance to dispose of them properly. Some municipalities accept these items on a specific hazardous waste day held quarterly or on another schedule. Your town’s sanitation department can guide you.

5. Organize tools

To help keep your newly cleaned and zoned garage organized, purchase the right storage equipment. You might consider large plastic tubs or metal crates to keep sports equipment organized, or a pegboard to hang woodworking tools. For specialty items, like motocross helmets, Motosport recommends that you use a dirtbike helmet bag to protect the helmet and help keep it organized. Awkward items like skis and snowboards should be stored on their tails in a cool, dry spot. If you’ve had problems with rodents in the past, keeping any potential nesting materials (such as clothes, paper, and other soft material) in plastic bins will deter these pests from nesting in your garage.

6. Go vertical

Vertical space is a major asset in the garage, and can help keep clutter off the floor. Vertically-oriented storage units, shelves and hooks can rescue clutter and enable you to use the space more efficiently than you are at present.