Spring Cleaning and Organizing-GARAGE edition!

This is last entry in the Spring Cleaning and Organizing series before the fun task of refreshing your interior.

The garage is usually one of those areas that is best cleaned and organized on a nice day. We generally remove the vehicles and park them on the street, then start taking everything from the garage and putting items on the driveway and lawn. Things like work tables and shelving stay, but we try to get most large seasonal items out of the way.

Using a couple of brooms or the leaf blower, we do a really thorough cleaning of the floor. There are several products on the market that help remove oil and gasoline stains, and this is a great time to try that after a season of cold.

After the floor is cleaned, it is a good idea to winterize your snowblower before storing. Following your owner’s manual is a great first step, taking it to a dealer, or doing it yourself.

Once the snowblower is tucked away, it is good to get shovels and other winter gear stored. One handy trick we’ve used is suspended shelves. They have really helped for items we rarely access, and keeps the floor and shelving available for higher use items.

Along that same idea, items that are not used in the warmer months are placed on clean shelves or hung up, making sure to keep “like” minded items together. Try to avoid storing anything in cardboard boxes, and these tend to retain moisture, often ruining the contents. Items that are rusty, dirty, or broken are tossed, and noted if they need replacing.

Flower pots and garden tools get a quick spray-down with diluted bleach from a spray bottle, which keeps plant diseases from spreading. Until planting season, these are placed near the front of the garage for easy access.

The lawn mower gets a tune up, oil change, and blade sharpening, and we get weed whackers ready as well. At the same time, we maintain our bicycles by making sure the gears and chain are lubricated, and tires are inflated.

One final thing that we do is arrange our shoes. Years ago, we installed metal shelving right outside the door to the house. Shoes are taken off and put on in the garage on a mat we (try to) keep clean. It has helped bring down the clutter (and the tripping!) in the entry to the house, and we have to clean the indoor floors less, too.

Once all of the items have been returned to the garage, we maintain the vehicles. We make sure regular maintenance has been done, or schedule it, then, using Windex, Armor All, paper towels, and a vacuum, we get the interior clean first. After that is done, if the weather is nice enough, we give the kids buckets of diluted dish soap and clean sponges and rags, and the hose, and have them get busy cleaning the outside. Surprisingly enough, they love to do this.

I hope this series has been beneficial. We’ll touch on one final aspect later this week and then be done. If you have comments or suggestions, please be sure to share them. I really appreciate the feedback.

Coming Wednesday-a final clean and then REFRESH!