Spring Cleaning in the Garage

Cleaning out a garage is a task that is unbelievably difficult.
Cleaning a garage can be a surprisingly difficult task. It’s also a very personal task as it depends specifically on what is in your garage. A garage is meant to be a place for us to park our cars to shelter them and ourselves from the weather. Many of us though use the garage for storage and park our cars in the driveway. I must admit I am one who uses hers for storage. Mine is full of everything that doesn’t have a place in the house. No home or room into the house then it must go to the garage, right?!

Effectively organize storage

When I walk into the garage one of the things I find is all of my Christmas decorations sitting on a table my grandmother gave me. They are in an unorganized mess. My first task is to purchase a plastic bin from a retail store and pack away my ornaments and decorations in a neat and orderly fashion so that they don’t get broken or dirty.

The next thing I notice when I walk around the maze in my garage is there are boxes of cookbooks. Many of these cookbooks have been gifts to me so, storing them in a cardboard box in the garage is asking for mice and mold. The cookbooks that have meaning behind them need to be brought into the house and put into a book case or I need to purchase a large plastic tub to store them in the garage so they will be safe.

After I finish with the cookbooks I discover several boxes of paperback books. These books have no sentimental value. I’m assuming I left them there planning to have a garage sale one day. Clearly though they are just cluttering up my garage and must go. There is a bookstore locally that will take book donations and sell them with the proceeds going to the public library. This is step three in cleaning my garage.

Next, I move onto random tools scattered around the floor. Tools need one central location or else they are never where we need them to be. Shelving or a tool box would be an appropriate method of storage for these type of belongings.

Declutter

Sometimes, clothing is put into the garage when it’s too small or for any number of reasons and it’s forgotten about. Leaving clothing in the garage is never a good idea. Unless it’s stored in a vacuum-sealed bag or a plastic tub it’s going to be ruined. The humidity and critters that can crawl around and destroy the fibers of the fabric make the environment hazardous. Part of any spring cleaning should include cleaning the garage and if there are clothes that aren’t needed then either have a garage sale, contribute to someone who is having a garage sale, or donate them to charity.

Husbands work on cars at home a lot. They love to DIY, Do it yourself, a lot. Often there are remains from a car project left in the garage. Cleaning and disposing of this requires a special type of care. If there is any oil or antifreeze or any other chemical on the floor of the garage pour cat litter on it to soak up the liquid. These chemicals are toxic to our pets and other critters. Once the cat litter has soaked up all the fluid then sweep up the cat litter and dispose of it. The floor of the garage should be swept and mopped prior to being used for anything except driving on.

If you have a pool, which we hope to one day, there are chemicals that have to be kept on hand to treat the water and test the water. There are special water toys and floating devices that are used. There are special towels as well. Most of the time during the winter the Summer time pool products stay in the garage wherever there is room. This isn’t very effective though. Much like car chemicals, pool chemicals are dangerous to our children, pets, and other critters. The chemicals need to be on a shelf high off the ground and out of children’s reach. The floating devices need to be deflated and stored neatly with the other toys.

Replace Old & Broken Items

One thing that is amusing that is in my garage and most likely in yours too, or something similar, are boxes of VHS tapes. I’ve always been a movie buff. But why do I continue to hang on to a technology that is no longer valid. I’m sure some of you will find 8 tracks. It’s ok to admit it. Since the technology isn’t valid anymore with the digital revolution these VHS tapes can be sold at a garage sale, donated to a charity that can sell them to benefit a program or something like that. There is no real money to be made from selling VHS tapes.

Toys your children have outgrown will make their way to the garage. Maybe it’s because we have no time to take them to charity or maybe we can’t let go but they are sitting in the garage collecting dust. Pick out one or two that have special meaning and put the rest in your car to donate them to charity. Or begin pricing them for a garage sale.

The last thing that I often see in my garage and others’ garages is household furniture. Items such as end tables, dining tables, chairs, and things like this. Examine these pieces and determine if they will work with the decorating scheme going on in the house right now. Determine if you even want the pieces of furniture. Perhaps it needs a fresh coat of paint or a new cushion and then it’s perfect for the house. Make those decisions and act accordingly. If the furniture is something that is broken or you don’t like anymore feel free to dispose of it by whatever means necessary.

Each Garage is as unique as the family that inhabits the house attached to it. Use these ideas as a starting point to customize a plan for your household. Determining early on whether you want to have a garage sale or if you just want to donate to charity will help with the organization process as well.

http://housekeeping.about.com/od/garageandstorage/Garage_and_Storage.htm

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