Your garage does more than just house your car. For many people, it also serves as a vital storage area, and that means that it can become cluttered quickly. Doing a garage clean out from time to time can help to keep things organized and go a long way toward keeping the area smelling fresh. If the size of the job seems daunting, don’t worry. The following garage cleaning tips for the overwhelmed will teach you how to clean a garage to make the task much easier.
Clear the Clutter From Your Garage
Before you can really start cleaning out the garage, you need to get everything out of the space. In addition to giving you plenty of room to work, the clear-out step also gives you a chance to look through what you have stored. As you shift products from the garage to your yard or driveway, place them in three different areas: one for things you will keep, one for things you plan to donate or sell and one for things you want to throw away.
If possible, park your vehicles along the street, at your neighbor’s house or in a public parking lot while you’re cleaning so that they’re not in the way.
Deep Clean the Space
Once everything is out of your garage, it’s time to give the space a deep clean by:
- Sweeping the floor or running a shop vacuum
- Removing cobwebs from corners, nooks and crannies
- Scrubbing surfaces like walls and shelves with warm, soapy water
- Wiping down tools and equipment that are dusty or dirty
If you have oil stains on the floor, apply a paste made from powdered laundry detergent and water when you begin your deep cleaning. When you’ve finished everything else, rinse the spot with water. If the stain persists, use a grease-cutting dish soap and a stiff scrub brush to eliminate it.
Invest in Storage Solutions
Once everything is clean, examine your “keep” area and determine the best way to store it all. Which options will be right for your garage will depend on how much room there is and what you need to keep accessible. You can consider shelves, pegboards, cabinets and storage bins for various items.
If you don’t have the storage solutions available on the day you clean, move the keepers back into the garage and put them in temporary locations until you’re ready to create your organization system. Take an approach that makes sense to you. For example, you may want to put lawn and garden equipment near the people door of a garage for easy access, or hang items that you use both in your home and in the garage stored near the interior door.
Label Everything in Your Garage
A storage system won’t be much help if you quickly abandon it. Unfortunately, it can be hard to remember where things were when you grab a lot of stuff to complete a home improvement job, auto repair task or outdoor chore.
The good news is that you can easily add reminders that will make returning items to their correct places a lot easier. Purchase self-adhesive labels and put them on all shelves and containers. Make sure that you switch out the labels when you reorganize in the future.
Keep the Garage Air Fresh With Fresh Wave
Your newly cleaned garage probably smells great, but the fresh, clean scent may not last for long. Unpleasant garage odors are common due to leakage from vehicles, dirt and decaying grass and leaves stuck on lawn equipment. You may notice bad smells year-round, but they’re likely to be worse during hot, humid weather.
Improving air flow and controlling humidity can help combat odors in the future. Use fans or open windows or the garage door when possible to air out the space, and consider adding a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels in check.
Using odor removers like Fresh Wave Odor-Eliminating Gel Buckets can also make a big difference. Powered by plant based ingredients, our gels absorb and neutralize the compounds that cause odors. You can use the bucket as-is by removing the lid, or purchase jar-sized Odor-Eliminating Gels to place on shelves and refill with the bucket as needed.
In problem areas like around the lawn mower or inside the trash can, try Fresh Wave Odor-Eliminating Packs and Pods. Like the gels, the packs target the root causes of odors with plant-derived ingredients rather than masking them with chemical perfumes. Tuck them away inside the pods and use the self-adhesive strips to stick them wherever odors are most prominent.
Maintain Your Newly Cleaned Space
A thorough garage cleaning can get your space back in shape. When the job is done, make a commitment to keep the garage in the same condition going forward. Create a regular cleaning schedule to sweep and wipe down shelves, and plan to do a deep clean once or twice per year. Hold everyone in the family accountable for using the labels to put items back where they belong.
Before you add something new to store, ask yourself if the item is really worth holding on to. If so, find a place to put it that makes sense in your organization system, and don’t forget to update the label or use a new one.
Get Your Clean Out Underway
Now that you know how to clean out a garage, you’re ready to tackle the clutter in yours. Let the above clean garage ideas inspire you as you plan for the task, and don’t forget to take steps to reduce odors during the process. Shop the full line of Fresh Wave Odor Eliminators now to find the right ones for your garage, and check out our blog for more cleaning tips.