There comes a day for every DIY enthusiast with a garage shop when reality sets in and it hits you. You’ve got to clean your garage. It’s not just the sawdust and remnants from past projects that have turned your garage into a disaster zone. It is all the stuff that has been tracked in, blown-in, stored, spilled, and forgotten that has turned your shop into a dive. You have a garage vacuum if you are lucky, but even it isn’t powerful enough to completely clean and organize your garage space.
You are not alone. Fully one in four two-car garages in America are so cluttered cars need to be parked in the driveway. Garages tend to be dark environments filled with large tools, storage boxes, flammable chemicals, and paint, plus a large helping of “don’t know what to do with this” items that were previously cluttering the inside of the house.
If you are ready to make your garage a brighter, cleaner, safer, and better-organized place, consider the following:
- Take Everything Out. Pick a section of your garage and move everything out to the drive. Set up three piles, trash, donate/sell, and keep. Sort through everything you brought out and place it in the appropriate pile. Rinse and repeat. When you have everything out and sorted, you’ll be able to see what you are dealing with. You’ll also know what legitimately needs to go back in to visualize how you are going to store it.
- Clean the Garage Walls and Windows. Now that your garage is free of clutter, it is an excellent time to knock down the dust, cobwebs, project debris, and other undesirables from your walls. If you have a garage vacuum, you can make short work of the task, otherwise use a broom. Don’t worry about knocking all this stuff on the floor. You’re going to tackle that next. Also, if you have windows, now is an excellent time to clean them inside and out to allow a maximum amount of light in.
- Clean the Garage Floor. Next up is the floor. If your garage floor is like most, it has stains from automotive fluids (oil, coolant, etc.) and other spills like paint, garden chemicals, even fast food items like milkshakes and Slurpees. The first step is to remove all the dust and loose debris. A push broom and dustpan can get the job done but, once again, a heavy-duty garage vacuum can get it done much faster. With the surface dirt gone, it is time to tackle the stains. Bob Vila recommends a one-eighth cup of dishwashing liquid (Dawn) poured into a spray bottle topped off with warm water. Spray directly on the stain, wait 15 minutes, then scrub with a firm bristle brush. Lastly, rinse off the entire floor, preferably with a power washer, but a car wash nozzle on a garden hose will do.
When the floor dries, it’s time to move the items you intend to keep inside. It’s also a great time to think about what you can do to organize the garage better and prevent it from becoming the junk pile you just cleaned up.
Those improvements probably would include shelving, tool racks, storage cabinets for chemicals and flammables, and, if you don’t already have one, a dedicated shop vacuum that has the power and capability to clean up shop activity and all the debris that is tracked in.
At CoolMyGarage.com, we know garages inside and out. While we mostly deal in garage cooling and ventilation systems, we also have a versatile garage vacuum unit that makes garage cleaning a snap. So take a moment now and check out our inventory.