5 Easy Garage Cleaning Tips for Every Season
Spring cleaning season is upon us — but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. Whether you decide to tackle that garage-cleaning project now or later, here are a few tips to help you manage your clutter.
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Keep, toss, sell, or donate
Organizing guru Beth Levin recommends taking everything out of your garage so you can get serious about sorting. Take this as an opportunity to figure out which things you’ll keep, discard, sell, or donate. If you find yourself agonizing over each item, she suggests giving yourself some simple criteria. For instance, items that you keep should be used regularly or seasonally. They should also be items you can’t easily rent, borrow or replace, like large tools and sentimental items. And finally, they should be functional — not items that are awaiting repairs.
Unfortunately for your garage floor, cars leak fluids (although you might wanna get that checked out). These leaks can leave quite a mark on your concrete. Start off by using some clay kitty litter to soak up any fluids, then sweep it up and thoroughly scrub the area with degreasing soap and a stiff-bristle brush. Rinse, mop away excess water, and use a box fan to help speed up the drying process.
Keep toxic items out of reach
Some fluids, like antifreeze, are great for your car — but not for your pets. If you’ve got any containers of automotive fluids scattered around, make sure they’re thoroughly sealed and clean up any spills. Then, relocate them to a cabinet or high shelf, where pets and kids can’t give them a taste test.
Make necessary repairs
Now that your garage has been cleared out, take the opportunity to patch some cracks that may have formed over the winter. If mold has formed on the walls, slap on some gloves and wipe down the area with a diluted bleach solution. And while the garage empty, you should take the opportunity to inspect the wiring, Make sure it’s hasn’t been chewed or frayed, since that could become a fire hazard.
Invest in storage solutions
When every item has a home, you’re bound to spend less time searching for missing tools when you’re trying to take care of those weekend DIY repairs or trying to find the equipment you need for a recreational activity. Items like bikes and kayaks should be kept suspended from hooks, since they’re more likely to fall and be damaged if they’re left propped precariously against your garage wall. Items like soccer balls, kick balls, and basketballs, are best kept in mesh bags. And if your garage walls aren’t optimized for storage, this is your chance to remedy that issue. Pegboard can help you keep smaller items, like hammers, saws, shears, and screwdrivers, from getting lost in the clutter. And don’t overlook clean metal trash bins as viable storage items. They’re great for keeping animal food, like birdseed, safe from pests and moisture.
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Kimiko Kidd is a native Daytonian. She graduated from Wright State University with degrees in environmental science and sociology. She loves her trusty old Honda Civic, but dreams of owning a 1974 Ford Falcon XB with a custom paint job and a vintage Kawasaki Z1000. In her free time, Kimiko can be found watercolor-painting, baking muffins, collecting rocks, playing old-school Nintendo games, writing her novel, sewing stuffed animals, and cosplaying as her favorite Mad Max characters. See more articles by Kimiko.