If your garage is a dumping ground for all the unwanted items in your home, chances are you’re up to your ears in junk. We know it’s a big undertaking, so we pulled together a comprehensive list of garage clean up ideas to help you get started.
Start by setting aside some time for a clean-out-your-garage day. If you need to, you can even space it out among the whole weekend. Let’s get to work!
Aside from the daunting idea of cleaning out your garage, it can be difficult to let go of some of the things you’ve kept over the years. When all else fails, channel your inner Marie Kondo and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?” Use these tips to declutter your garage and sort everything into one of the following piles: keep, donate, sell, misplaced items and trash.
Ask yourself the following questions when deciding if you should keep something:
If you were able to part with it, what should you do with it? On to the things you no longer need.
From sports equipment to patio furniture, a variety of items can be donated. Someone else might be able to put it to good use, and you can deduct the donation from your taxes. Places like Goodwill, The Salvation Army and other local thrift stores are great places to take your unwanted items. Make sure to check the store’s donation guidelines before dropping your boxes off.
If you’re getting rid of furniture or other large items, consider dropping them off at your nearest Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
If you’re getting rid of a specialty item or something with a higher value, you may want to consider selling it. Maybe you can at least make some money back on what you no longer need. We’ve rounded up a few different ways you can sell your unwanted items.
There are several websites and apps that can be used to easily sell items online. All it takes is a picture and a description. You can try listing on:
If the weather is nice and you have enough items from your garage clean out to sell, you may want to consider planning a garage sale. Consider the following tips with advice from Gary Smith from Best Garage Sale Tips.
How to Have a Successful Garage Sale:
These are items that need to be moved out of the garage. Whether it’s something you borrowed and need to return, an item that needs to be repaired or an object that belongs somewhere else in your house, put them together in a pile. Make sure you actually follow through and return them, repair them or put them away. After all that hard work, don’t let them become clutter again and sit around collecting dust for another few years.
If it’s broken or unusable, it’s time to throw it away. If you’re doing a major garage clean out, you might want to consider renting a dumpster. Whether you have boxes of moth-eaten clothes or larger items like appliances and furniture, a dumpster rental is the most convenient option to get the job done. Depending on the size of your garage and the amount of junk you plan to throw away, try renting a 15 cubic yard dumpster.
Pro Tip: Did you come across paint thinners, gasoline, old batteries or other hazardous materials while you were cleaning? You can find out how to safely dispose of these and other prohibited items on your city or county’s websites. You can also search Earth911 to find out how to get rid of automotive fluids and other specific debris.
Now that you’ve cleaned out your garage, it’s time to scrub it down.
Take advantage of the momentum you have from your garage clean out and give it a good wash from top to bottom. Here are some garage cleaning tips to get help get rid of dust and stains.
The first and easiest thing to do is sweep the floor to get rid of dust and dirt. If you don’t have any stains, go over the floor with a mop, or even try power washing the area, and you’re good to go. If you find grease, oil or paint spills that have left a mark on your floor, we have some steps for you to try that should leave your garage spotless.
Step 1: Absorb the stain.
Step 2: Scrub out the rest of the stain with a detergent or cleaning agent.
Step 3: Mop the floor with water and floor cleaner.
Did you spill some paint during your last DIY project? Here’s how to get it off your floor.
You’re less likely to have major stains on your garage door or the wall, so getting this clean should be a lot easier.
Pro Tip: While you’re cleaning the garage door, check for any hinges that need to be tightened or greased.
Now that you finally have a cleaned out and cleaned up garage, you’re ready to organize everything that made it into the “keep” pile. For ideas on where to put what’s left and how to keep the space clean year-round, check out our post on how to organize your garage.