The garage can quickly turn into a mess if you aren’t careful about what you store in it. We have the tendency to store everything that we cannot find space for in the house, in the garage. This can quickly turn into a bit of a nightmare, with things taking up so much space in your garage that you can’t actually park your car in the garage; there is no room for it.
If you are reading this, it is probably because you have a messy garage and you would like some help sorting through and decluttering the mess that is your garage. You probably have boxes and boxes of stuff that you don’t use. We all know, the garage is the modern-day storeroom. For those who don’t have a basement, the garage can become even messier.
Tips for Decluttering Garage
Decluttering can give you a new lease on life, turn your garage into a spacious haven and give you the opportunity to completely transform your garage into something more useful, such as a workshop. If you’re thinking of transforming your garage to make more use of it, the chances are you won’t just have to declutter, but you would have to get rid of most of the stuff stored in the garage.
Either way, when it comes to decluttering, there are some sure tips that you should keep in mind. These tips will help you get a long way in decluttering the space and help you clean your garage.
Hence without further adieu, here are our tips for you to help declutter your garage.
Tip 1: Sort the Clutter
The first thing that you should do when you are trying to declutter and clean your garage is to sort through the things sorted in the garage. If it was as easy as throwing everything away, you wouldn’t have to worry about sorting through the mess.
However, it is more likely that you would want to keep some of the stuff stored in the garage. Even if you want to keep everything that is stored in the garage, sorting through everything will help you to pack them up properly and store them better.
Don’t look at the sorting process as a chore, make it fun and get the kids involved. What you would ideally want to do is make three piles. The first pile should be the things that you hold too close to your heart to give or throw away. Hence the first pile will be the things that you keep. The second pile would be the things in good condition that you simply do not have any use for. This is the donate or sell pile. The last pile is the stuff that is in bad condition that you feel nobody would have any use for. This is the throw-away pile.
If you find yourself emotionally attached to most of the things, this could quickly turn into a problem. Again, you are trying to declutter the space not simply reorganise. Though you may find yourself emotionally attached to some of the stuff in the garage, you should try your best to only hold on to the things that are extremely valuable to you. The coconut phone that you once bought on that trip that now you have realised looks tacky with everything should not be something you hold on to. We know, this may be hard, but you have to do what has to be done.
A good question to ask yourself before you add them to the keep pile is, ‘have I used this item in the last year?‘ If you haven’t used it in the last year, chances are you are storing something that you simply do not need. You are pointlessly using up storage space with clutter that you should ideally get rid of.
If you have expensive items in the garage that you spent quite some money on, then you would have more to gain by adding them to the donate or sell pile. This way, if you choose to have a yard sale, you would be able to sell the item at a reasonable price and make some money out of it.
As for things that you add to the donate or sell pile and decide to donate, don’t hold off on the donation. Don’t store the pile in hopes that you would donate it one fine day. Chances are, you would forget about it and the stuff will soon add to more clutter in the garage. Simply schedule a pickup or drop them off at the nearest donation drop off. We cannot highlight this point enough, don’t leave it for another day, you will forget about it.
Tip 2: Be Careful of Toxic Material
When you are cleaning your garage, chances are you would find things like old batteries, cleaning products, fertilizers and waste oil. All of this stuff is considered generally toxic and should not be poured down the drain. You should be careful of these toxic materials and attend to them specifically.
It is advisable to keep the toxic stuff separate, so you can dispose of them safely. You don’t want to throw old batteries in the garbage nor do you want to dispose of old waste oil incorrectly.
Hence be mindful of these things and make sure to dispose of them properly. Many counties have drop-off locations for toxic items. This would be the best way to go about disposing of these things.
Tip 3: Arrange a Garage Sale
Once you have segregated the things into piles, most of your work is done. You have the things that you want to keep and the things that you want to throw away have been thrown away. Now, what is left is the stuff that you either want to donate or sell.
A garage sale is the easiest way to get rid of the stuff that you don’t need and make a quick buck out of it. If there are specific items that you would specifically prefer donating, keep that separate. You could also consider donating everything, in which case, you wouldn’t really have any use for this tip. However, if you do decide to sell them to your neighbours to ensure your stuff is getting a nice home, arrange a garage sale.
Garage sales are probably the most reliable means to declutter. They are easy to arrange and you are sure to make some easy money in the process. However, regardless of whether you choose to donate everything or sell, get rid of the stuff as soon as possible. Don’t waste time in arranging a garage sale or think that you have to advertise it months ahead of time. Act fast, because otherwise, you would be holding on to the clutter.
Another great way to approach this is to arrange a garage sale and sell as much stuff as you can over the course of a few days or a week. Then once you have sold some stuff and you still have things left over, consider donating this stuff. This way, you get rid of everything, which is important. You don’t want to have to hold on to the things that do no sell. This would only add to the remaining clutter. Hence, be sure to get rid of everything in that donate or sell pile.
Tip 4: Organise Your Space
Once you have sorted through the mess of things in the garage and managed them accordingly, the next thing that you would have to do is organise the space in your garage. This could take some time based on what you are planning to do with space. If you are looking to build a small workshop, this would be a good time to plan things out and lay the groundwork.
First things first, figure out how much space you would need for your vehicle. At the end of the day, you have a garage and you should park in your garage, not outside the garage. Once you have sorted out the space for the vehicle, arrange the spaces for the bigger items that you store in the garage, such as a lawnmower or garden hose.
Once all the bigger items have been awarded space, look for the best places in the garage to work as storage. Remember the things that you added to the keep pile. Well, you have to find space for them. So plan out where you would be storing this stuff. You can organise the storage categorically and divide the garage into various zones in which you store the category of items. This way, when you are looking for something, you don’t have to go through all the boxes and make a huge mess. For instance, you can store the automotive items in one area and the cleaning products in another area.
If you don’t already have any shelves in the garage, now would be a good time to install some shelves. Shelves are a great space saver and can help you make the most out of a tiny space. They are great for storage and can really help you keep your garage organised.
Refrain from using cardboard boxes to store anything. These cardboard boxes are not insect or rodent-proof, which could lead to damage over time. Instead, opt for plastic bins which can be labelled clearly. Remember, the more organised the space is, the more welcoming it will feel.
You can also make use of the walls to hang things. Things such as bicycles and garden tools can all be hung on the wall. This is another space saver that will help you make the most out of a small space.
The important thing to do is to designate a specific space for everything in an organised manner. This way, it will be easy to find the item that you are looking for without making a mess.
Tip 5: Install Shelves
As mentioned, if your garage does not have shelves, it is high time that you install them. Many people simply forget how useful shelves can be. For instance, you could store your Christmas decorations on them, or a box of old memorables.
Everything does not have to be on the floor, you can make use of the space above the floor by adding shelves to your garage.
Installing shelves will really help you organise your space better and make the most out of a tiny room. After all, we don’t assume you have room to waste when it comes to your garage.
Keep the things that you use most often at eye level and store the things that you use rarely or once a year like Christmas decorations on the higher shelves.
Tip 6: Repair Anything Broken
Once you have installed the shelves, this would be a good time to start repairing anything that is broken in the garage. This will include sealing gaps, fixing broken hangers and shelves or mildew.
You may have craking leaks and other issues in the garage, all of which should be attended to now. You don’t want to put things into place and realise that you have a crack or a leak.
Due to the fact that we don’t really spend a lot of time in the garage, we don’t really notice these things that are usually broken and needs fixing. If you ignore these things, over time, they can become difficult to repair. Hence it is best to attend to the matter when you have the chance; don’t leave it for another day.
Fix the things that are broken and touch up the space. This is probably the only chance you will get to do this. Seal any cracks with spray-in foam or sealant. Use a protective coat with a flexible coating to protect the surfaces.
It is also a good time to check the wiring in the garage and make sure nothing has been chewed away. This could be a fire hazard, hence do not dismiss it as unnecessary.
Call for a professional if necessary, just get the job done. Don’t leave it for another day, you will regret it.
Tip 7: Clean, Clean, Clean
Now that you have done the task of repairing everything and figuring out what goes where in the garage, the next thing to do is actually go about cleaning the garage. This would mean cleaning all the surfaces and scrubbing out those stains and marks which have been left on for years.
Really take some time to clean the garage, because it is not every day that this space is cleaned. Do a deep clean of the space and finish up by hosing off and mopping the floor. Do allow enough time for the floors to dry before you start putting things back in the garage.
Some cleaning tips to remember when doing a deep clean of the garage.
- You can use a floor fan to speed up drying the floor after mopping it.
- Use a sponge mop to clean the walls.
- Use a microfibre cloth to dry the walls once cleaned.
- You can wipe away mould using either bleach or diluted vinegar.
- Motor oil stains on the floor can be removed using cat litter, dish soap and a wire scrub brush.
Give the whole garage a good clean, make it spotless. Don’t cut corners, make sure you clean all surfaces. The garage isn’t cleaned as often as the rest of your house, so really get in there and clean it up.
Tip 8: Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
Once you have repaired everything and cleaned the space, you could give it a nice new coat of paint. This will really transform your garage into a completely new space. Don’t underestimate how amazing paint can be. It can simply change the feel of a room based on the colour that you choose.
Garages tend to have dark spaces, hence opt for a lighter shade of paint when picking a colour. Using a dark shade will only make the already dark environment even darker.
If you are making a small workshop and have plenty of lighting in the workshop, you could do dark paint on one of the walls. The dark paint is less likely to get dirty over time and can be good if you are working with grease or oil.
Tip 9: Assemble and Keep it Clean
Now that you have transformed the space, the only thing left to do is assemble the things into the designated spaces and ensure that you keep the space clean.
As mentioned, place the things into the spaces that you designated for each category; tools, sporting foods, automotive, storage, gardening etc.
If you are storing your trash and recycling in the garage, make sure to keep the things in bags and keep them tightly sealed. This way, you will prevent any unnecessary odours from breaking out. Hose the trashcan once a month and sprinkle some baking soda to help keep the smells away.
In the process of assembling the items, go through the things again. If you find that you don’t really need a specific item, add that to another pile to either donate, sell or throw away.
Your new garage will give you the space to revisit hobbies and can feel like an inspired new space in which you can start a new project. You may even finally be able to park your car in your garage; what a feeling that would be!
Make sure to keep a track of things like tools you have; maybe showcase them on the wall. This way, you would prevent yourself from buying tools that you already have.
Whatever you do, refrain by all means from shoving things in the garage. Now that you have decluttered and cleaned the space, you don’t want to turn it into a mess again. Keep the floor space clear and make sure to do a gentle sweep and clean once in a while. This will really help you keep your garage clean and decluttered.
A Clean, Decluttered Garage
A clean garage can really give you a new lease on life. It would give you back the space in your house which used to be cluttered with things; so cluttered, that you would have a hard time parking your car in there.
Now that you have decluttered your garage, what is important is that you keep it decluttered. After all, how often do you want to do the whole decluttering thing anyway? That being the case, decluttering can be an ongoing process. Doing an annual clean of the garage can really help prevent clutter build up and help you keep the garage space organised.
The garage will feel like a whole new space and you won’t believe how much room you actually had in the garage, all of which was shrouded by the endless amounts of junk that you were storing.
If after reading this, you have come to terms with the fact that you do have to declutter your garage, or if we were able to inspire you to make a change, sit down and make a plan. We have set out our tips in a step by step form which would easily help you make a plan on how to go about the task of decluttering and cleaning your garage.
Once you have cleaned your garage, you won’t be shy about opening the garage door and would be able to showcase your beautiful space to the whole neighbourhood. So get to it, follow our tips and you won’t go wrong!