Clean Your Garage Once and For All

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Spring and summer is the perfect time to haul out the patio furniture from its storage space in the garage to get ready for all of those summer BBQ's and gatherings with friends and family. That is when it hits you: your garage looks like a disaster area! You probably have been meaning to clean it up and get it organized for years, but you never seem to find the time to get this massive job done.

Garages are usually not the most enjoyable places to spend your time, especially in the spring after a very cold and damp winter. It is completely natural that you procrastinate and put off cleaning the garage until the warmer, summer months. Unfortunately, when summer finally does roll around, it either seems too hot to even think about cleaning out your garage, or you are out having too much fun with summer-time activities, leaving you with no time.

Over the years, your garage items and mess seem to accumulate. With items being stored in random places, and with spills and messes contributing, you can often get overwhelmed with the feeling of chaos. By the time your garage gets to this stage, the thought of cleaning it up begins to feel intimidating because there is so much that needs to be done.

If you find yourself in this situation, or heading towards it, your first step is to try not to worry. It may seem like cleaning up your garage and keeping it in good shape is an impossible dream, but with the right attitude, the right tools, and plenty of motivation, it will be easy as one, two, three, and four!

Step One: Make a Start

Step one is usually the hardest part of the entire process. Making a start on cleaning out the cave that is your garage is the only way to get the job done at all. When your motivation is at an all time low, this can be a very tricky task. The ideal way to approach this situation is to schedule a weekend, or another time when you know you are going to have at least two consecutive days free, to work in the garage. The night before, gather together all of the things you need to start in the garage, such as trash bags, old clothes to wear, gloves, and comfortable shoes. Wake up the next morning and, after enjoying a healthy breakfast that will give you energy and motivation, get in the garage and make a start. After you start it is smooth sailing from there!

Step Two: Tame Your Messy Garage

If your garage is particularly large and unruly, step two will probably be completed over the course of several sessions. Once you have completed the worst of the mess, and are somewhat cleaned up, you might find yourself actually enjoying this process. It is definitely a satisfying feeling to see a clean and orderly garage emerge from the clutter that you once had to deal with.

During your first cleaning sessions, it is a good idea to simply sift through all of the items stored in your garage and decide what you want to keep and what you no longer need. Once you have removed all the unwanted items and have either donated them to charities or disposed of them, organizing what is left is much easier. Devote your next session to cleaning up the space, including walls, floors, and the ceiling if possible. If your garage is prone to dampness, use an anti-mold treatment on the walls.

Step Three: Organize Your Garage

Step three is what is considered the fun part. With your garage de-cluttered, stripped, and cleaned, now you are finally ready to start to think about ways to organize everything you need to store in there. Below are a few great options for garage storage including helpful ways to keep all of your tools, sports equipment, and other items in good condition, and to keep your garage free from mess and clutter.

• Wall-mounted Tool Holders:
Perfect for brooms, brushes, rakes, hoes, and other garden tools.
• Free-standing Garage Shelves:
Can help you use up the vertical space in your garage where most of the floor space is usually taken up by the car.
• Hose Organizer:
The garden hose is one item that typically sits in a messy pile in the corner of your garage. Using the hose organize will help it remain in a neat coil to make sure it does not get any punctures.
• Sports Equipment Organizers:
You can keep your sports equipment looking great with items such as a movable fishing rod rack or a ceiling-mounted fishing rod holder. Grab yourself a sports garage EZNET to hold balls, mitts, bats, and other items.

Step Four: Maintenance

Your garage is now finally clean and looks fantastic. The most important part now, is to not let it slowly descend back into chaos over the next few years. Keeping your garage looking good is an ongoing process, but it is important to remember that you have got the hard part out of the way. After the initial cleaning and organizing process, maintenance is definitely much easier. Return items to their proper place when you use them, clean up spills and messes as soon as they occur, and give your garage a good airing to keep it smelling fresh.

Shannon McCoy is a freelance writer who writes about home organization often focusing on a specific kind of item such as garage organizers

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