Deep Spring Cleaning: The Grungy Garage

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After a long few months stuck indoors due to impossibly terrible cold weather, it is intensely pleasing to scour the house of dust and grime and breathe the fresh, warm spring air. Yet, most people don’t go nearly deep enough in their spring cleans. Though your kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms definitely deserve your attention after winter, your garage needs just as much TLC ― if not more.

If you are like most people, you have not cleaned or organized your garage since you moved in. This spring, you can finally wrest control of this space, so you can maximize your storage and minimize your waste and clutter.

Let There Be Light

It can be intimidating to step into your dank, dark garage and get to work sorting through the mess, so this first step is mercifully easy: turn on the lights. If you can, open your garage door to allow sunlight to infiltrate the space, and make sure the electric lights around the room are functional. The light shows you the extent of your project ― just how disordered and dirty the place is ― and helps motivate you to clean and tidy.

Assess the Big Stuff

The purpose of a garage is to give your big, expensive purchases protection from the elements. Thus, the major benefit of overhauling your garage is being able to move precious property like cars, boats, or RVs indoors. However, if you don’t believe your possessions to be worthy of protecting, you might want to evaluate why you have them.

Old clunker cars and beat-up family boats don’t do you any good. Since you are taking the time to clean and de-clutter your garage, you should invest in property you will be proud to make room for. You can always donate your old boats or vehicles for a sizeable tax refund that will help you afford a newer, better model that suits your garage’s new style. Once you know what large items will need to fit in your garage, you will know how much space to conserve during the rest of your garage transformation.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Usually, the worst culprit of a chaotic garage isn’t your rusty RV. Holiday decorations, baby clothes, exercise equipment, wedding gifts, pet supplies, school projects ― the list of small stuff that causes mayhem in your garage is nearly endless. For the longest, hardest step in this entire process, you must sift through all your stuff and determine what can stay and what must go.

Gamification is a way to speed up the tedious activity, especially if you hope to engage the whole family. Make three areas: keep, donate, and throw away. For every item that gets placed in the “keep” pile, one item must be placed in the “donate” or “throw away” piles. However, any extra items that are placed in the latter two earn points which can be redeemed for special treats.

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Designate Zones

Once you have a manageable “keep” pile, it is time to create structure in your garage with a strict system of organization. Sort through the “keep” pile and divide your belongings into categories, such as yard tools, sentimental possessions, and holiday decorations. Then, assign appropriately-sized regions of your garage to those categories. When done correctly, the zone system prevents you from opening every cupboard and looking in every cardboard box when you need something; instead, you can go straight to the proper zone and find what you’re looking for.

Scour, Scrub, Spruce

Surprisingly, the actual cleaning part of spring cleaning in your garage is rather short and sweet. You shouldn’t expect your garage to be as spotless as more important rooms of your home, like your kitchen or bedrooms, so a perfunctory sweeping of dirt and dusting of cobwebs is usually enough. If you are feeling especially motivated, you can seal your garage floor with an epoxy coating to prevent unsightly stains.

Use All Your Space

Finally, you can begin reassembling your garage: placing your possessions in their zones and carefully driving your vehicles into their spaces. However, if you find you still have less storage space than you need, you might consider alternative ways of stashing your stuff in your garage. Items like screwdrivers and shovels are sometimes difficult to arrange on horizontal surfaces; instead, you should think vertical, utilizing resources like pegboards to help keep tools tidy. You might even hang a few shelves in the space above your car to store boxes of items you don’t often need.


  1. When you’re cleaning out a garage it’s amazing the kinda stuff you can find. Might find yourself coming across old boxes of memorabilia, comic books, antiques, etc. It may be beneficial for you to look into donating your stuff. It’s kind of a win win situation. You receive a deduction, and you get more space in your garage. Collectibles With Causes accepts a wide variety of items, you might be able to donate your stuff to them. Most of the time when you have a lot of things they’ll actually pick them up.

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