Make cleaning your garage a family affair. After all, everyone in the family goes in and out of the garage – no wonder it becomes the impromptu storage site for stuff that doesn't seem to have a place anywhere in your house. "Tackle the garage in stages," suggests Laura Wittmann, author of Clutter Rehab: 101 Tips & Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It! who blogs at I'm an Organizing Junkie. That's exactly what Wittmann did recently to rid her garage of extras and to get it organized again.
"I cleaned out my garage in stages over several weekends," Wittmann notes. "What I did was make zones for different types of things. Zones are the biggest time saver. I made zones for bikes, zones for toys. If you can create zones, then you can organize." Another advantage of creating zones for your stuff is that it helps prevent garage overflow later – everything will have a place. For an in-depth look at cleaning out your garage, you can follow Wittmann step-by-step.
Ready to start your garage spring cleaning? This checklist can help you get going:
- Work in zones to remove all of the items in that section of the garage.
- For each zone, create three piles: items to toss, items to remain in that area and items that need to be stored elsewhere.
- Toss any items you no longer need and/or any items you haven't used in the past year (you may also want to donate these items).
- Reorganize the items you're keeping in that zone; space organizers and bins may be helpful for storing items neatly.
- Develop a system for stowing and organizing seasonal items like bicycles, rakes, yard tools and sleds.
- Decide on a place for items you use regularly like cleaning tools, hardware tools, garbage bins and other items.
- Sweep out your entire garage to get rid of dust and other debris.
- Rid corners and wall surfaces of cobwebs and other debris.
- Admire your hard work cleaning up your garage!