Ah, spring is almost here! Unless you are an avid winter sportsman, winter can feel almost as long as the other seasons combined. The most popular ritual of spring has to be cleaning off the barbeque and I think the second most popular has to be cleaning out the garage. It’s almost like therapy!
Here is my 5 step simple checklist to help you along in this task.
1) Take a general tour
Start with a general tour of the garage to get an idea of what needs to be done. You don’t want to get started and realize it is a very big job and get discouraged.
Not too bad? Great! Looks like a big job? Enlist the help of your spouse, kids, your neighbor or a professional.
2 ) Give yourself time
Set the time aside. If it looks like just a tidy and upkeep job then set aside an afternoon to get things done. Otherwise plan a whole day to get it done. If you finish earlier, so much the better.
3) Get ready, go!
Get started. Take stock of everything you have and start to sort into three piles – keep, toss and donate. The donate pile is your easiest as most charities will pick up donations or you can drive them to your favorite local charity site and drop them off.
The items designated for tossing must be sorted according to your local trash pick up regulations. Items such as paint, chemicals and fluorescent tubes must be taken to a special disposal site that you can easily find on line. Now we are left with the items you wish to keep. Sort these items into piles – garden equipment, automotive supplies, sporting goods, etc.
4) Determine storage
Determine the type of storage system you require. At the front of my garage I have a resin 5 level storage shelf where I keep my gardening supplies roller blades, automotive cleaning products, etc. I have each shelf labeled so anyone in the house knows where to put things once they have been used. I have even assigned a spot for my husband’s empty bottles…… who wants those old bottles hanging around the house?
All of your shovels, rakes, etc. can be hung on a wall with any one of many systems that are available, or just by using a 2 x 4 strapped securely in place with a few hooks. Just make sure you secure it to studs to prevent them from falling down later.
5) Clean sweep
Get rid of the winter dirt. Now that everything is up and out of the way you can give the floor a good sweeping and cleaning to get rid of the dirt and salt that has fallen from the car over the winter. Hint – unless you want dust kicking up in your face pick up some floor sweeping compound and put it down prior to sweeping. It will help to keep dust from getting in the air and into your home. Some of you may even want to put down an epoxy coat on the floor to protect the concrete and reduce the dust.
Do it again in the fall. Don’t forget to take anything that can freeze out of the garage and into the house in the fall. That is a good time for another cleaning before winter sets in. I know, I mentioned the dreaded W word before it is even over!
I know most men are itching to get back into the garage to clean it up and to get back into their “tinkering”. Follow the steps above to get your garage cleaned and organized for the spring and maybe reclaim some of that space in the basement. If hubby is too busy or is “organizationally challenged” contact us here for assistance.