If your garage is knee deep in clutter and everything’s thick with dust and grime, it’s time you give it a proper cleaning. We’ve collected 30 of the best spring-cleaning plans in one step-by-step guide, so you don’t have to look anywhere else.
Before You Start
1. Don’t try to do it alone. The best and easiest way to spring-clean your garage is with help from your family and friends. As they say, many hands make light work.
2. Give it the time it needs. Don’t underestimate how long a thorough clean will take from start to finish.
3. Get it all out. If you want to clean your garage from top to bottom, start clearing everything out. The more you can remove from your garage space, the easier it will be to de-clutter and clean. The other benefit is that you’ll get to see your garage completely empty- you’ll get a better idea of the space and how you can rearrange it when you’re done.
4. Wait for the right weather. If you’re going to drag everything out on to your driveway, the last thing you want is a torrential downpour.
5. It’s time to de-clutter. While you’re dragging everything out of your garage, use the three-pile method to decide what you’re going to keep, what’s getting sold or donated, and what’s going in the bin. It makes everything easy to keep track of. Stick to the plan and you’ll end up with three piles rather than a heap of stuff you’ll spend a week trying to sort out again.
6. The keep pile is for things that are useful or beautiful. No exceptions. If you need it so badly, why was it stuffed in the garage?
7. Selling your unwanted things has never been easier- if you’ve got a smartphone you can take pictures, write something great about it and list it online for free in seconds. The same goes for donating- if you’ve got a local Freecycle group someone will take your old gear away with a big smile on their face.
8. If you’re going to bin your old junk, check to see if it can be recycled first. The less that goes to landfill, the better.
9. If the things you want to get rid of are too big or too heavy to deal with, you need to get in touch with a registered waste removal service. They’ll have a van and do the heavy lifting for you.
10. If you’ve got so much stuff that you don’t know where to begin, start on the floor nearest the door. Organise what’s right in front of you and don’t get distracted by what lurks at the back.
The Big Clean
11. Now you have an empty space to work with, its time to get busy. When you’re cleaning always start from the top and work your way to the bottom. Dust falls, after all. Use a broom to brush off the ceiling and get right into those cobweb-filled corners.
12. Deal with the dry dirt and dust before you start with any liquid cleaning products or water. If your garage is super dusty, make sure you wear a mask to avoid getting any of the fine particles in your lungs.
13. Sweep up as much of the dust and leaves that have blown in under the garage door as you can with a broom into the centre of the space. Pay close attention to the corners and the along the edges of the walls, there’s always more dust lurking there.
14. Once all the bigger bits are piled up in the middle, you can collect it all into a dustpan and bin it.
15. If your concrete garage is thick with years of dirt and grime, and you can leave it to air out afterwards, blast the walls and floor with a pressure washer. You’ll cut your cleaning time in half, but make sure the water can get out and not soak into the floor.
16. Look out for a surface cleaner attachment for your pressure washer- it allows you to clean much larger areas at a time than with the regular nozzle. A must for large garage spaces.
17. If you can’t get hold of a pressure washer, good old fashioned elbow grease will get the job done. Use a large scrubbing brush with nylon bristles for the walls, it’ll shift the grime without scratching the surfaces.
18. Use hot water and washing up liquid to clean the walls. Scrub from top to bottom and you’ll get a good workout as you clean.
19. The floor is always going to be the dirtiest part of your garage. If you park your car inside there’s bound to be old oil and other nasty stuff ground into the floor over time. If you can’t use a pressure washer, get some concrete cleaning fluid or some type of outdoor cleaner to cut through the grease and dirt.
20. For stubborn oil stains, use some outdoor cleaner and a stiff broom to work it into the patches. Make sure you wear work gloves, long sleeves and eye protection because it’s a powerful cleaner that you don’t want on your skin. Rinse the area once the stain has lifted off.
21. Use your broom to sweep out any standing water and let the floor dry. It’s another good reason to pick a dry and sunny day to spring clean your garage.
Time to Spruce Up
22. Now you have a clean and empty garage, take the opportunity to give the walls a lick of paint. It will freshen them up and help protect your garage from going mouldy.
24. For a grippy surface and an industrial look, go for hard-wearing floor paint. It’ll keep the concrete in good condition and there’s a wide range of colours to choose from.
25. With your clean, empty garage in front of you, it’s time to plan how you’re going to make the most of your space. Look at your keep pile and decide the best way to store it all- whether it’s shelving, peg board organisers or racks, now’s the best time to maximise your storage space.
27. Don’t forget your ceiling- there are solutions for getting the most out of the space above your head such as ladder racks and baskets that attach to roof beams.
29. Hooks are your secret weapon in the fight against putting long and odd-shaped objects on the floor. Screw them into the walls and ceiling and you have storage wherever you need it.
30. Finally, keep your three-pile system going in your head. If something’s not useful or beautiful to you, don’t just throw it in the garage, or you’ll be spring cleaning again before you know it.
You’ve probably put off spring cleaning your garage for far too long. But now it’s done, you’ve reclaimed your space and organised it for the future. You’ve got space to work, park your car or even just hide from the outside world. It’s been worth all the effort, right?