How to Keep Your Garage Clean and Tidy
It’s not unusual, when we show up for a garage door repair service call, to hear the homeowner sheepishly apologize for the state of their garage. Remember that to service your garage door we need a clear corridor wide enough for a step ladder–both along the inside of the garage door, and beneath the operator boom and head. While a bit of clutter certainly doesn’t hamper us, cleaning out your garage does make it easier for you to find and use the things you store there. And a clean garage represents less of a fire and safety hazard — and can make it more convenient for you to use your automobiles.
The only problem? Cleaning your garage is no fun, and keeping it tidy and organized takes a little bit of forethought and planning. Luckily, we’re here to help. Here are a handful of tips you can start using right away to keep your garage neat and organized for as long as you own your home:
Bite the Bullet and Spend a Saturday Cleaning Your Garage
Your garage can’t stay clean until it is clean in the first place. While you certainly could tackle the task of cleaning out your garage half an hour at a time, we recommend doing it all at once. That way, you’ll get a chance to move lots of different items around and see where they go. Plus, you’ll get a sense of what’s actually in your garage (something a lot of homeowners don’t actually know).
Get Rid of What You Don’t Need
Chances are, if you have a cluttered garage it’s because there are literally dozens of items stored there that you haven’t seen or used in years. If that’s the case, it might be time for a yard sale or trip to your favorite charitable donation center. Get rid of anything you don’t want, or can’t see yourself using. You aren’t likely to miss it, and it’s hard to keep a cluttered garage in good condition.
Make Necessary Repairs or Replacements
While you are emptying out your garage, look for any problems or issues (like leaking roofs, broken garage doors, or cracked cement floors) that could use your attention. This is a good chance to take care of little repair jobs and return your garage into top condition.
Get the Right Tools for the Job
Some items, such as bicycles and kayaks, won’t fit neatly into the open spaces you have in your garage. And other possessions like tools and sports equipment are best stored in a way that makes them safe and visible. The answer to both issues is to get the right tools for the job. That is, go to your local hardware store and pick out everything you need to organize the space in your garage. Most of the hooks and other employment you need don’t cost much, but can go a long way towards reducing clutter.
Make a Regular Garage Cleaning Appointment
Once your garage is clean and organized, make a point of keeping it that way by looking things over on a regular basis. Usually, 15 minutes spent looking things over (on the first Saturday morning of the month, for example) is all it takes to keep your garage clean and tidy once it has been thoroughly sorted out. What you don’t want to have happen is that you neglect your garage for too long and let it fall back into clutter in disarray.
Follow a “One in, One Out” Approach
Of course, if you find a place for everything in your garage and never add anything new, it’s going to stay clean and organized. But how often does that happen? Since you’ll probably keep bringing items into your garage, it will be necessary to keep taking them out, too. Follow a “one in, one out” approach that requires you to remove something in your garage for everything new you place inside of it. That will stop clutter from getting out of control.
Celebrate Your Clean Garage
Don’t forget to give yourself a treat once you’ve cleaned out your garage. It’s an easy way to reinforce your own positive behavior, and you’ll have earned a reward! And this might also be the perfect time to call and book annual maintenance for your garage door!
Your garage is a valuable part of your home, and one you might not pay enough attention to. Why not clean it out this weekend and then follow our tips to keep it organized? It only takes a little bit of time, and you’ll regain a useful and versatile space to enjoy for years to come.