Quick Tips for Cleaning & Organizing Your Garage
How much time do you spend in your garage? For many homeowners, the garage is strictly a utility space used for parking vehicles, storing extra stuff, or often both. A clean, well-organized garage can help save you time when searching for things you only need occasionally and prevent damage to expensive equipment or priceless sentimental items—not to mention how relaxing it can be to pull into a tidy garage every time you come home. Our team at Merry Maids® has some quick tips for where to start and what to do when cleaning and organizing your garage. Read on!
Start with the Basics
Sometimes just clearing the cobwebs—literally—can make a dramatic difference. Use a broom or a shop vacuum to remove spider webs, leaves, and dust from the upper corners of the garage. Sprinkle cat litter or sawdust on any oil slicks and allow the absorbent material to soak up the spots, then give the floor a thorough sweeping.
Know What to Store
If you’re like many homeowners, you probably have a few cans of old paint or a bag of dog food in your garage. Though the garage may seem like a smart space to store these items, it’s actually best to find another home for them.
Store these household items commonly found in the garage elsewhere:
New or partially used cans of paint - Extreme temperatures can affect color and performance, so you may end up needing to buy new paint anyway. If possible, store in the basement or even under a sink.
Open or unopened pet food - Wild animals looking for their next meal, including possums or rats, can sniff it out and help themselves. Empty into an airtight container and store in the pantry.
Propane tank - Always keep propane outside, since a spark from your vehicle or elsewhere could ignite the fumes and cause a fire or explosion.
Paper items - Paperwork, photographs, books, extra toilet paper, and other paper goods are a big neon “welcome” sign for roaches and other bugs. Keep these items indoors.
Clear Out the Clutter
Be intentional about what you store in your garage. Since it’s walled off from the rest of your home, there may be a tendency to treat it like a dumping ground for all the things that don’t quite go anywhere else. When decluttering your garage, take the same approach you would when decluttering your closet: Decide what you want to keep, what can be donated or sold, and what should be thrown away, then create spaces for anything that should live in the garage.
Often, things that end up in the garage end up being the things we don’t really want to keep but feel guilty for getting rid of or unmotivated to dispose of properly. Contact your local waste management company to arrange for large-item disposal or to find out how to throw away old paint or chemicals.
Once you know what items you want to store in the garage, group them together in zones by category so that everything you need for a particular activity is in one place. For instance, you could have zones for car supplies, sports equipment, holiday decorations, gardening supplies, and home improvement tools. This way, when it’s time to put up the Christmas tree or wash your car, you won’t have to go searching in several places.
The average two-car garage doesn’t have too much extra width or depth, so think tall—especially if you use your garage for its intended purpose and park two vehicles inside. Take full advantage of the height of the walls and hang shelving or hooks that go all the way to the ceiling. A floor-to-ceiling pegboard wall is particularly useful in garages, since you can position hooks or shelves in any configuration that best suits your needs. Hang brooms, rakes, gardening or woodworking tools, and more.
Let Merry Maids® handle the house cleaning indoors to give you more time for special projects like organizing the garage. Request a free estimate today!