Springtime means cleaning out the clutter from your garage, especially if it’s overrun with boxes, discarded packaging, and other non-essential items. Here are some spring cleaning tips for turning your garage into clean and spacious area.
Rent a Dumpster
For big cleanouts, an open-top dumpster could be a good idea. Consider renting a small dumpster for a day or two so you can eliminate any non-necessities. Just make sure you are allowed to throw away certain items, since chemicals and small appliances are typically banned.
Dispose of Any Chemicals Properly
If you’re like most people, your garage will include paint thinner, old chemicals, spent motor oil, or some other hazardous materials. Make sure you know how to properly dispose of these or you could end up paying a hefty fine. Most municipalities accept chemicals on specific days, according to set schedules. Check with your town’s sanitation department to learn when and how you can take advantage.
Separate Items Into 3 Piles
Make piles for things you’ll keep, things you’ll donate, and things you’ll toss/sell. This will help you assess how much space you’ll eventually have and give you ideas for where you might start storing things you intend to keep.
For things you’ll donate, consider some of these great places.
Once you’ve filled your dumpster and your donate pile, you should start thinking about how you can use all the new space. If you need to stow one or more vehicles inside, you’ll want to take advantage of wall space.
If you plan to use the garage as a workshop, you can use shelves or old dressers to store items.
Make sure you give everything a proper place. When everything has a place, nothing gets lost. One good way to do this is to create zones within your garage. You can use one zone for tools, another for gardening supplies, and so on. However you decide to do it, make sure everyone in the family understands that items should always be returned to their designated zones.
Choose the Right Containers
Avoid using cardboard boxes to store items, since this can leave them vulnerable to water damage and pests. Invest in plastic storage bins that will keep water, mice, spiders, ants, roaches, and other critters at bay.
Leverage Overhead Space
When most people think about organizing their garages, they focus on hanging items from the walls. This is a good way to conserve floor space. But you can also use overhead space to store items, too!
Consider constructing an overhead frame by strategically mounting two-by-fours to the joists in your ceiling. You can then slide your plastic bins into this overhead frame, where they will be safe, secure, and out of the way.
Just be careful if you have a garage door opener. Be sure to leave space for it to operate and to avoid having things fall on it.
Find Alternative Storage
Most garages contain at least a few items that rarely get used. Take an honest inventory of your garage and see if you can find a few things that are simply taking up space. If these things have sentimental value or you believe you will need them at some point in the future, see if you can find someplace else to store them. If you don’t have a basement or external shed, consider renting a small off-site storage unit so you can keep your garage clean, clear, and functional.
Have a Sale
If your garage is glutted with things you no longer use, consider having a sale. You’d be surprised how many people would be interested in your old furniture, tools, children’s toys, or gardening equipment. If you still have leftover items at the conclusion of the sale, see if you can donate them to a local nonprofit organization.