The garage can be an afterthought when it comes to a clean and organized house. You can ignore it for a while, pushing more things to the back and hoping you’ll open the garage door one day, and by some magic spell, your garage will be clean and organized. I’m here to tell you that if you know that particular magic spell, please share it, but otherwise, you’re just going to have to break down and clean the garage!
This part is going to take a little work, but cleaning the garage and organizing now will ensure that when you open the garage door in the future, you can smile instead of squeezing your eyes shut. You shouldn’t need many special tools: a broom, a wire brush, maybe some soap and an oil absorber, and a little muscle.
If you have space and the weather allows, move everything you can out of the garage and onto the driveway. Decide as you touch every item whether you will keep, donate, or toss it. Be honest with yourself. Head right away to the hazardous drop off in your area for old batteries, chemicals, or electronics. Donate or sell anything in good condition that you can no longer use. Throw away anything that is actually junk. Don’t put any junk back in your clean garage.
Before you transfer everything back into your garage, while you’ve got the space open, tackle any spills and unsightly stains on the floor. The only specific item you might need to buy for this job is a stiff-bristled brush or a wire brush. For oil and grease, spread clay kitty litter, coconut husks, or sawdust on the stain and let it sit until it has absorbed as much as possible, spreading a new layer as needed until as much of the oil has been pulled out of the concrete as possible. Sweep away the debris. Use a strong solution of dishwashing liquid or dry laundry detergent next, much more soap than water, and let it sit on the stain for an hour or more. Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the stain. It might take a little work as concrete is porous and very easily soaks up stains.
Next, pull out the heavy-duty vacuum if you’ve got one. If you don’t, put down a sweeping compound to keep down dust while you give the floor a thorough sweeping. If you’ve had things piled on the floor or packed around the perimeter walls, you’re sure to find a lot of debris and dust hiding in those corners.
In colder climates where car tires will be tracking in slush and snow during the winter months, make sure you’ve got a broom or squeegee to move standing water toward the doors or the drain, depending on your garage.
You’ve already done the hard work of cleaning your garage, sorting and disposing of unwanted stuff, and cleaning up spills and dust. Vow not to repeat the same mistakes that led to your messy garage. As you put your garage back together, be thoughtful and organized.
A garage is an ideal place for utilizing every inch you can find. So much of what you store in your garage is seasonal or rarely used that putting those things high out of reach can be practical. Depending on your overhead space, spools of holiday lights can be hung from the ceiling. In colder climates, bikes can be easily hung from the ceiling for part of the year, freeing up floor space.
An organized garage is a clean garage. Luckily, a wide variety of storage options for the garage exist, and finding what’s right for you could go a long way toward keeping it clean. Consider a system that allows for a variety of solutions such as a modular system where you could choose shelves and cabinets, including baskets and bins as needed to corral smaller things. Wire shelves or cabinets can be a part of the vertical storage space, holding stuff you use less often. Consider locking cabinets and drawers if you have chemicals or tools you’d like to keep secure. If you use your garage as a workspace, or if you’ve always wanted to but never had space, make room for a workbench. The wall behind a workbench can hold shallow shelves, hooks, and slat board to keep tools accessible for projects.
You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed by the idea of figuring out what garage storage solutions would make your life easier. Harkraft is here to help with our wide array of wire shelves and modular laminate units. We’ll walk you through the entire process, and you’ll be thrilled with your clean and organized garage. Contact us today.