22 Clever Garage Cleaning Tricks
Having a garage is very convenient, both for keeping your car safe and for storing your possessions. However, it’s very easy for your garage to get out of control if you don’t keep it clean. Cleaning your garage doesn’t have to be a difficult process – there are several easy strategies you can use to keep things nice and organized. Here are 21 easy garage cleaning tricks.
1. Use a tennis ball to keep your car perfectly parked.
This trick is very familiar to many people, but it’s still great for helping to keep your garage organized. Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling using a string to mark where your front bumper should go. This helps you park your car evenly in the garage every single time, and will prevent you from knocking over or damaging items you like to store there.
2. Use a spray sealant to repair cracks in your garage floor.
Although they may seem harmless, the cracks that appear over time on the floor of your garage can be detrimental to the structure and safety of your home in the long run. To prevent the cracks from growing, purchase a spray sealant from a local home improvement store and put a coat directly over the top.
3. Install ceiling hooks to store items.
If you have high ceilings in your garage, consider installing ceiling hooks to hang some of your items from. In particular, this is a great way to hang any item that is large but lightweight, such as kid’s toys, bikes, and even ladders. These hooks are easy to find at home improvement stores, and they’ll save tons of space in your garage.
4. Clean Oil Stains with Cat Litter
If you’ve got a tough oil spill or stain in your garage, it’s easy to clean! Simply take some cat litter and spread it all over the oil spill. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes. When you come back, you can take an outdoor broom and scrub the cat litter around, allowing it to soak up more of the oil. Let sit for another 10-20 minutes. When you come back, the oil should be soaked up by the cat litter, and all you need to do is scoop the litter into the trash.
5. Store paint and other chemicals safely.
Many people keep chemical home improvement products in their garage. It is very important to store these items safely, particularly if you have kids or pets. Keep paint, antifreeze, and pesticides in their original containers, and then store them up high and out of reach. Ideally, you should also install a lock on these items for extra safety.
6. Label each storage space or shelving unit.
Often what happens right after a garage gets organized is it stays clean for a few weeks, but then as people remove items from the shelves, they don’t put them back in the correct place and everything becomes messy again. To prevent this from happening, use a label maker to designate exactly what each storage space is for, and encourage your family to put things back in the correct places. This will eliminate confusion regarding what goes where.
7. Separate areas of your garage by function.
If you plan on using your garage for multiple purposes (ie, parking your cars and using it as an extra workspace), make sure you separate these two areas distinctly to help keep things organized effectively. You don’t have to put in an extra wall, but installing a divider and placing furniture in an efficient way can help make each part of the space feel more appropriate for its purpose.
8. Paint the floor of your garage.
Because you’re bringing in your vehicles and other items from outside, the floor of your garage can tend to get very dingy and collect debris. Because of the concrete base of the garage, it can be very difficult to see how dirty the floor has gotten until it is very difficult to clean. To make things easier, try painting the floor of your garage. It will make the surface smooth and easy to clean, and you’ll be able to see any debris that has collected there very easily.
9. Make a tradition of having an annual garage sale.
A big part of the reason that garages can feel dirty and disorganized is because they are used to store items that homeowners don’t want to keep in their house. To keep your old junk from piling up, take time every year to host a garage sale (or even every six months if you find your garage gets particularly cluttered). You can sell to friends and neighbors, and you can also put unwanted items online. This is a great way to make a little bit of extra money and get rid of items you don’t use.
10. Install vertical shelving all the way up to the ceiling.
You’ll be surprised how much space you can save if you store things vertically instead of just on the floor in boxes. Take some time to make your own shelves for your garage with plywood, or invest in an affordable ready-made option from a local store. Store the items you use the most towards the bottom, and keep rarely-used seasonal items up top. This will make your garage feel less cluttered and give you more room for your cars.
11. Keep a limit on how many of each type of item you have.
This is a great trick to prevent you from hanging on to items that you don’t need. Start by sorting your items into categories for each shelf or storage area that you have. Then, assess what can fit into each space, and get rid of the things that are used the least. For example, if you have a section for children’s toys, be realistic about how much your child uses each one, and get rid of them if they haven’t been played with in over a year.
12. Replace cardboard or paper boxes with more durable options.
Cardboard boxes break down over time and aren’t particularly water or damage-proof, so they aren’t the best option to use for long term storage. Instead, invest in heavy-duty bins that you can use to organize your items. You’ll get way more bang for your buck, and the items in your garage will be much safer in the long run.
13. Make sure your garage is well-lit.
You’ll be more likely to want to keep your garage organized when you can actually see where everything should go. When your garage is well-lit, it will feel less like a storage area for all the items you don’t use frequently, and more like an actual part of your home. Invest in a few bright lighting fixtures to hang from the ceiling instead of just one old lightbulb.
14. Make a habit of sweeping and dusting every week.
This one may sound self-explanatory, but many people don’t realize just how important it is. When you don’t take time to remove the dust and debris from your garage, it builds up and makes it much more difficult to clean in the long run. Take 20 minutes each weekend to sweep and dust your surfaces. Don’t forget about the ceiling – it’s one of the biggest places for cobwebs.
15. Don’t be afraid to make your garage look stylish.
Just because it’s a garage doesn’t mean it can’t be a chic and stylish part of your home. You’ll be much more motivated to keep your garage clean if you design it to look stylish and appealing. Paint any surfaces that are looking dingy, and if you have extra wall space, hang up some posters or other visual to brighten up the space.
16. Use mason jars to store small items.
Many people like to keep their favorite hardware items in their garage, but these items are very easy to lose if you don’t keep track of them. To prevent small pieces from getting lost in the shuffle, invest in some heavy duty mason jars and bolt them to shelving in your garage. Label them with the appropriate items, and then you’ll know exactly where to find them and where to put them away.
17. Don’t keep bulk foods in your garage.
Although it may be tempting to store bulk foods in your garage or basement, this is also an easy way to bring pests into your home. If you can, store them somewhere inside your house, but if there’s just no room for them, then invest in completely sealed and air-tight storage units for your food.
18. Install a shoe rack by the door.
Many people prefer to keep their shoes in the garage to prevent them from tracking mud all over the house. This is a great idea, with one caveat – it’s very easy for the shoes to clutter up the garage. To prevent this from happening, install a shoe rack or other easy storage device right by the interior door of your garage. This way, everyone will know exactly where their shoes are, and things stay nice and neat. You can even build your own shoe rack if you don’t want to buy one.
19. Use a pegboard to store tools.
A pegboard is the perfect way to store all your tools on the wall and save space in the garage. Not only does this make it very easy to find everything (because you can see it), but it also adds a chic, industrial look to your garage. You can purchase pegboards at home improvement stores as well as online.
20. Use unfinished wall studs to keep things organized.
Many garages have one or more unfinished walls. If this is true for your garage, you can actually make the most of it by using them for organization. You can hang lightweight items from wall studs, and you can also use them to separate items that store vertically, such as shovels and sports equipment.
21. Install a fold-out workbench.
If you like working on DIY or construction projects, then it makes sense to have a workbench in your closet. However, they can take up quite a bit of space, which may be frustrating if your garage is already cluttered. This problem can be solved by installing a fold-out workbench, which allows you the best of both worlds.
22. Spruce up the outside of your garage.
The outside of your garage door has a huge impact on the overall curb appeal of your home, so why not add some decorative flair to make it more stylish? When you have pride in your space, you’ll be more motivated to keep it clean. You can easily purchase kits at home improvement stores specifically for improving the outside of your garage.