Spring Challenge: Cleaning the Garage

Organize Your Garage

Mild temperatures and the absence of annoying insects make spring the perfect time to clean and organize your garage. It may seem like a bit of a chore but an organized garage will save you time in the long run and greatly reduce those “where the (bleep) is the…” moments!

GETTING STARTED

Start in one corner of your garage and work your way around, removing items and placing them in KEEP or GET RID OF piles in your yard. If you’re not sure, place the item in a TBD (to be determined) pile and make the decision later. You’ll be surprised how many of these items end up on the chopping block. Once everything is out of your garage, sweep floors and knock down cobwebs. Use a hose or power washer to remove dirt and grime from the floor. While the floor is drying, go through your KEEP, GET RID OF and TBD piles. Donate gently used items you’ve decided to get rid of and toss the rest. Now it’s time to get organized.

STORAGE TIPS

  • Place paper goods in airtight containers to keep moisture and bugs away.
  • Bird seed, pet food and other “edibles” should be stored in well-sealed, airtight containers to keep the critters out.
  • Every garage should have a fire extinguisher. Choose one that states it is for multiple types of fires and store it near an exit so you have an easy escape if things get out of hand.
  • Store like items together, i.e., gardening tools, sports equipment, grilling tools, etc.
  • Use moisture-wicking mats like Drymate® Toolbox Liners in toolboxes and other places where tools are stored to keep tools dry and reduce rusting.
  • Shoot for getting everything up off the floor to make periodic sweeping easy. Use peg board or slatted wall panels for hanging tools, shovels, rakes and other implements. Or build your own storage like this Weekend Wall of Storage from Family Handyman.

WHAT NOT TO STORE IN YOUR GARAGE

We’re all probably guilty of having a few no-nos in our garage. Here are a few items that should NOT be stored in your garage and some tips on where and how to properly store them.

  • Propane should never be stored in your garage or home. Store propane tanks outside, upright, on a non-flammable surface and away from structures. If you store a grill in the garage, follow instructions on how to properly remove the propane tank first.
  • Garden seeds should be stored inside. Seeds exposed to extreme temperatures may not produce plants. Place seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
  • Anything sensitive to temperature swings should be stored inside, such as paint, cleaners, solvents, etc.

GARAGE FLOOR PROTECTION

Now that you have a clean and organized garage, finish off the look with an Armor All Garage Floor Mat. These absorbent mats soak up oil drips and other fluids, preventing stains to your garage floor. They also do a nice job of absorbing moisture and dirt from the bottom of your shoes so you don’t track it inside. Easy to clean and maintain, too!