Five steps for a clean and organized garage

Did you know that there’s a day dedicated solely to cleaning your garage? National Clean Your Garage Day takes place on the first Saturday after Labor Day every year, but it’s not too soon to get a jump on the mess. If there’s no room to park your car in the garage, it might be time for a good old fashioned throw and stow.

1. Declutter

Cleaning your garage takes a whole lot of elbow grease and some serious determination. Set aside at a full day, or even a weekend to get the job done. Get friends and family to pitch in to make the job both quick and entertaining.

Go through absolutely everything – boxes, bags and storage tubs – all of it! Sort items into three categories: keep, donate and toss. Sort the keepers into broad categories to be stored later. Anything you wish to donate should be taken where it needs to go as soon as possible. Don’t let it sit around and clutter things up!

garage12. Contain

Once you have your belongings sorted, you’ll need to contain them. Stackable clear-plastic bins with lids are your best option for larger items. Clear jars, painted soup cans or even kitchen food canisters are all handy for sorting hardware and small items.

Keep your kids’ toys contained in a safe corner of the garage away from any potential dangers (sharp tools, flammable liquids, chemicals, etc.) Make sure they are easily accessible and labeled with large print and graphics so little ones know what items belong to them.

3. Store

The best thing you can do to keep your garage clean is to store items off the floor whenever possible. You’ll free up room for your car and avoid large areas of clutter.

The garage ceiling is the perfect spot for hanging long, flat items you don’t use every day, such as ladders, lumber, skis and snowboards. Be sure to check clearance when hanging shelves from the ceiling so as not to interfere with your garage door’s operation or scrape the roof of your car.garage2

Pegboards are a great way to keep things off the floor. They are easy to install, can be cut to size, and painted to match your garage decor. They also keep things visible; you can draw the outline of the tools on the pegboard to easily tell at a glance if one is missing.

Use tool racks to keep garden tools, brooms and mops out from underfoot.

4. Secure

Chemicals are a common household danger for children and pets. Keep pesticides, paints, antifreeze, and other chemical substances in their original containers and in a locked cabinet. Teach kids what is and is not safe to touch and consider getting a sheet of Mr. Yuk stickers to warn children of poisons.

 

5. Maintain

Rain, leaves, bugs and dirt will find their way inside your garage if the doors aren’t sealed well.

John Morris of Gold Label Door explains, “Weather seals keep the weather out. This keeps the garage clean and dry.”

If the bottom of your garage door doesn’t sit flush with the floor, create a snug fit by attaching a rubberized threshold seal where the door lands to save some cleanup time.garage5

To keep seasonal insects at bay, use a pesticide perimeter treatment to stop them before they get it.

As for general maintenance:

  • Keep a bag of kitty litter for absorbing oil and grease spills.
  • Sweep and hose down the floor regularly.
  • Go through your belongings and donate or toss what you don’t need at least once a year.
  • Cleaning out your garage may seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of help and a touch of organization, you’ll find yourself parking your car where it belongs before you know it.

Liz Greene hails from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho. She’s a lover of all things geek and is happiest when cuddling with her dogs and catching up on the latest Marvel movies. You can follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene.

DIY Cedar Closet… A Saturday Project

cedar closet DIY projectHappy New Year! In true clutter-control-freak style, I spent the weekend before the New Year cleaning out my bedroom closet. And at the same time, I decided to install cedar planks because I’ve always wanted a cedar closet. Nothing drives me crazy faster than pulling out a quality dress or sweater that I’ve “invested in” and finding moth holes in it, and cedar helps immensely with that as a natural insect-repellent. Installing a cedar closet is easier than you think.

It is a great beginner’s 1-day DIY project. Read more

How I Fit My Entire Family In My Home For Thanksgiving

crazy ThanksgivingAs I mentioned before in my previous post, this year the arduous task of hosting Thanksgiving for both sides of my family has fallen to me and my wife. As I was writing about the best way to store and preserve all of that leftover turkey and stuffing, I recalled another hurdle that I cleared the first time I hosted Thanksgiving:

“How am I going to fit all of those family members into my dining room?” Read more

Vinyl’s Made A Comeback! Tips For Storing Record Albums

State Faults As you may or may not know, one of the most popular formats for recorded music is once again the vinyl record. Though every time a new format made its debut as the “next big thing” – whether it was the cassette tape, compact disc, 8-track, or MP3- and the vinyl album would be written off as a thing of the past, they have actually held on quite well. In fact, many record labels that specialize in pressing vinyl records have bucked most music industry trends and actually seen increased sales and profits.

I will readily admit that I am certainly helping to contribute to these profits as I have been collecting vinyl records for the last 10 years or so. Read more

Why I Just Can’t Let Go of my Vegetable Garden

winter vegetablesFor me, gardening feeds my soul. Of course it’s fun if it feeds my belly too, but getting my hands in the dirt, daily watering and fertilizing make up one of the pleasures in life that make my heart sing. So why should I give this up during fall and winter, a time when, frankly, my soul needs all the calories it can get?

Luckily, I don’t have to stop gardening during the winter, and neither do you. Read more

Coat Racks are Not Just for Coats

hooks in laundry roomIf you could see the walls of my laundry room you would think I was on some kind of jacket-shopaholic kick, as I have no less than four 5-hook coat racks mounted to the wall. Yet I don’t have a single coat hanging from these hooks. Turns out coat racks are one of the best and brightest organizers in town, and I happily make use of them all over my home.

In the laundry room I have them mounted one right over the other in two rows, which allows me to best utilize the vertical space on what is otherwise a wasted wall. I hang everything from my gym bag to jump ropes, lost and found items and more on these 20 hooks. Since it is the laundry room, aesthetics are less important. Read more

Winterize Your Home – Part 2

mulcherNow that we’ve had our fun in the garden, it’s time to get serious about winterizing our homes.

But don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple.

We are not going to cover some of the more serious items, like pipes, as you may want to turn to a professional for those important items. Instead, we will focus on what the average person can do to get ready for winter. Read more

My Fall Prep Plans

mama's mac and cheeseIt’s difficult to think fall when the weather doesn’t agree. Days this week have been in the upper 90’s and low 100’s here in Wine Country. But it’s still not deterring me from preparing my home and heart for the inevitable cool and wonderful fall weather that’s surely on its way.

Here are some of the things I’m doing this weekend to prepare myself and my home for fall: Read more