Do you cringe every time you open your garage door and pull in? Maybe you frown whenever you walk from the inside of your house into the garage. If you cringe or frown, then it’s time to do something about it. Unsightly stains, clutter, disorganization, and unnecessary messes stress you out. And let’s be honest, this day and age the last thing anyone needs is more stress in their lives. You might need some help with your garage organization.
Still, when you sit down and think about it, cleaning your garage can feel like a daunting task. This is especially true if your garage is a mess. If you’ve been putting it off for years, all while you use your garage as your store-anything space, the idea of cleaning it may get your nerves going. Well, don’t worry, we have your top tips and expert advice on cleaning your garage right here.
Start With the Right Materials
Before you get down and dirty in your garage, you need to put a list together of items you will need. The last thing you want to do is be in the middle of an intense clean-up and then have to stop and head to the store. So, start by creating a list for yourself. Before you begin any of your cleaning and organizing jobs, refer to your list. And what should you have on that list?
Consider face and body coverings. Obviously, you will probably want gloves and a face mask, two things that are not in short supply these days. Stock up on heavy-duty trash bags, and a vacuum of some type. Also pay close attention to your cleaning agents. Baking soda, cleaning soap, and a bucket are also must-haves. Finally, find a good scrub brush, a washcloth or sponge, and dry cleaning towels. A step-ladder could come in handy for those hard to reach places. Garage organization is about having the right items handy when you need them.
You may also have powered items. If you have a shop-vac, this would be a good time to use it. A power washer, leaf blower, and/or air compressor might also be good bets. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you should never use a power washer on your garage door itself. Power washers are – as is in their name – very powerful, and they could dent or damage your garage door unnecessarily.
Finally, consider storage as you complete your garage cleaning and organization project. When a home owner begins a garage organization project, they often find they have a lot of left-over stuff. Having shelves, cabinets, and big plastic storage bins on hand might be just what you need. Now, let’s talk about the strategy of cleaning.
Create Yourself a Cleaning and Garage Organization Strategy
Cleaning does not happen in a vacuum – pun intended. Once you have your checklist written out and your supplies in hand, it’s time to strategize. You need to break your project down into manageable chunks. The last thing you need is to overwhelm yourself before you’ve even gotten started. Your first step should be to remove clutter that’s getting in your way.
Decluttering is essential to cleaning. They are not one in the same. Stopping to periodically move items around so that you can reach floors, walls, and ceilings can be quite annoying. There are a couple ways of approaching this. You could store your stuff outside, in your yard or driveway, though there are garage security concerns at play there. Consider putting a tarp over your belongings for added security. You could also move items into your home or backyard.
As you declutter, consider finding a home for some items that should not be in your garage. Do you have hazardous items like propane or gasoline stored in your garage? It might be a good idea to find more suitable storage for such items as you go about your work. Even boxes, papers, and firewood contributes to clutter and attract unwanted pests. The goal is to prevent as many “hiding places” as possible in your garage.
Eliminate Dust Layers on Surfaces
Dust is the bane of every home owner. Whether in your home or in the garage, dust is everywhere, always. So, removing dust should be your first go-to. But you will also need to vacuum and it is a good idea to get your vacuuming done first, as the vacuuming will itself kick up dust. If you have a shop-vac, make sure to use it thoroughly on floors, walls, and ceilings.
Once you have completed vacuuming, begin dusting from top to bottom. Remember that garage dust can sometimes be too fine for a broom and dustpan. You will need to use your face mask as you dust, otherwise you may get hit with an unwanted allergy attack.
You want to make sure you take what steps you can to prevent dust from becoming a problem in your garage. Consider a concrete sealer on your floor to further dust-proof it. You can also prevent garage dust be ensuring you don’t store dusty and dirty items in the garage. If you must store lawn and garden tools in the garage, make sure to give them a good cleaning before you bring them in. Also utilize storage containers for things like fertilizer and grass seed. Finally, make sure your garage door is properly weather sealed.
Final Cleaning Considerations
You can’t forget to clean the floor. While different solutions work better than others, you need to get tough if you have oil stains on your floor. Try dish soap or laundry detergent and let it sit for 45 minutes before dousing with hot water and scrubbing with a strong-bristled brush. White vinegar comes in handy for annoying rust stains, though you may need to repeat these processes for really tough stains. For general cleaning, non-toxic cleaning solutions work. You can also mix a cup of baking soda with a gallon of hot water for effective cleaning.
You’ll also want to pay special attention to your garage door. Knowing how to properly clean your garage door prevents rust and damage and extends its lifespan. Be very cautious when you clean your garage door. Use dishwashing or car soap for the door itself and use a non-abrasive cloth. For garage doors with glass windows, use ammoniated cleaners and a non-abrasive cloth. Never scrape your windows or garage door with squeegees, razor blades or sharp tools.
Finally, make sure you organize properly when you complete the job. Plan your final layout ahead of time so that – as you clean – you can move things to their new storage space. Strategize how much room you have in the garage. This is what garage organization is all about. When you finish the job, you’ll be happy with the result. But just in case your garage door is too far gone to simply clean, give Prestige Door a call!