Only 30% of car-owners keep their five-figure investment in the garage. That is due to the clutter that fills the garage to the very top. Winter weather can be very harsh to a car, not only decreasing the battery power and life, but the intense elements can cause the paint to chip and the metal to rust. With winter quickly approaching, now is as good a time as any to make space in your garage to protect your precious vehicle. Below are four tips that will make the cleanup infinitely easier.
Cleaning out a garage is an overwhelming task. If you try to get it done in a short amount of time, you will quickly become distracted and discouraged by the amount of unorganized rubbish that you did not know that you owned. Set aside an afternoon or an entire Saturday to tackle the task.
Take things out of the garage
Emptying the garage will not only make it easier to clean, but it will also give you a better understanding of what is actually in there. As you pull things out of the garage, put them in four piles in your yard, keep, throw away, sell, and donate. This will make it easier as you dive into organization later on.
Throw things away
Most of us have things in our garages that we have not touched since the day we took it off the moving truck. Sure, it may be nice to have a collection of “just in case” items, but chances are, if you haven’t used that can of paint in eight years, the extreme winters and summers have probably ruined it. A good rule of thumb is that if you have not used it in over a year, throw it away. Obvious exceptions are family heirlooms, photographs, and antiques. However, those should be stored in more temperate areas than your garage anyway. Schedule a neighborhood dumpster on the day that you will be cleaning, and make sure your other neighbors don’t try to add to it as you will quickly run out of room. If they are still in good condition, donate a lot of items to Goodwill.
Designate different areas in your garage for different types of storage. Winter tools are in one corner, summer in another, etc. Use plastic containers to make your garage look less cluttered. Avoid using cardboard boxes, as tempting as they may be, as mice and moisture can penetrate into the boxes. Create storage shelves to save space around the garage, and install racks to hang shovels, rakes and lawn chairs. Take an inventory of all of the things you have stored in the garage and where they are located so that you can easily find them next time you need them.