5 Steps: Clean & Organize Your Garage
In a perfect world, the garage is where a father teaches his son about what’s under the hood, where neighbors visit after a long day yard work, and where there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.
For most of us, however, the world is not perfect, and the garage can be characterized as a domestic dumping ground. Knickknacks accumulate without rhyme or reason, forming stacks that tower to the ceiling, rendering the space impossible to fully utilize. But the garage has the potential to be so much more!
When your possessions are in their proper places, the garage becomes a delightfully practical, useful space—BUT, it doesn’t get to that point on it’s own. Clean out and organize your garage following these useful steps.
Step 1: Empty the garage & Sort
As much as you don’t want to, it must be done. Everything, right down to the last tiny Allen wrench, needs to be taken out of your garage. It’s the only way you’ll be able to clean effectively and rediscover all the treasures lost ages ago, including your collection of baseball cards—now vintage!
Starting with the first item you pull out, sort your belongings and arrange them into categories. Gather all of your sporting equipment together in one spot, then your tools, lawn gear, camping gear, decorations and so on. Sorting like items is a key step in the organization process not only when you are sorting but when putting things back into their established zones.
Step 2: Start Purging!
To purge, start by making four piles: pitch, donate, recycle, keep. As you purge, place each item into its respective category. Get rid of anything that is broken or things you haven’t used in over a year. Return items that don’t belong to you or belong somewhere else other than the garage. Get rid of duplicates.
If you’re having trouble getting rid of stuff remember to ask yourself these questions: Do I love it? Do I use it? Have I used it in the last year? Do I really need it? If not…put them in the donate, pitch or recycle piles.
Step 3: Take Inventory of What You Have
Now that you’ve cut down all of your stuff, take inventory of what you are keeping that way you’ll have a better understanding of the type of storage system that would be best suited to store each item. Use our garage inventory checklist in our FREE ebook here: http://www.encoregarageohio.com/#!planning-a-garage-organization-project/c15c2
Step 4: Clean the garage
Now that the garage is empty, it’s time to pull out the shop vac and suck up the dust bunnies, cobwebs and insects that have trapped themselves behind your workbench. Start from the ceiling and work your way to the floor. More than likely your concrete garage floor will have built up grime from oil, dirt and road salt. While you may not be able to get rid of the stains completely, using a push broom with extra strong bristles will loosen the grime. A hose or power washer can then be used to rinse away the dirt. To clean tougher stains, use laundry detergent mixed with warm or hot water.
Step 5: Install Garage organization and Storage Systems
Having already taken inventory of your, you should now have a good sense of what actually needs to go back in. Use this list to purchase and install appropriately sized cabinet storage systems, overhead storage racks, bike racks, hooks, shelves, and storage lifts. These items will restore order to your garage by providing a specific place for each of your belongings. Ideally, only your car and heavy equipment like a lawnmower will occupy the floor space of your garage, allowing you to easily maneuver items in and out when the time comes.
Stick to the task…
Attempting to organize a space as large as the garage can be a daunting task for most of us. For almost a decade, EncoreGarage has helped homeowners in the Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburgh areas maximize the potential of their garage space. From this knowledge base we have created this guide to help eliminate the frustration and anxiety while attempting a project of this magnitude.
Our guide, “Planning your Garage Organization Project”, will provide you with organization tools needed to begin your project and insight to the types of garage storage systems that are available through EncoreGarage. To download a copy of our “Planning your Garage Organization Project” Ebook click here: www.encoregarageohio.com/#!planning-a-garage-organization-project/c15c2
EncoreGarage is a full-service garage makeover company that offers custom installed garage storage systems and FLEXCORE™ advanced polymer Floor Coating Systems. EncoreGarage of Ohio serves clients in the Greater Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Columbus, and Pittsburgh areas.