With the arrival of the warm weather, spring cleaning is in full swing! It’s also a good time to tackle cleaning out the garage—a space often used for storage. The garage is also a place where we keep “just-in- case” items, which frankly are often things that will never be used again in the future. Entraide diabétique du Québec explains in a few simple steps how to make your garage cleaning a success!
Choose a goal
When the decision is finally made to clean out the garage, it’s important to set a goal and keep it in mind. The desire to declutter, tidy and clean the garage can be driven by a number of reasons: wanting to keep your car there for the winter, store your outdoor tools and equipment and rotate between seasons, have a place to tinker with this or that, or just to relax, to use the space as an additional room in the house, etc. Whether it’s to organize a workshop, set up a gym or a room for your artistic hobbies and various projects, all reasons are good to take the time to tidy up this often neglected space.
Visualize and organize
Once you have your goal in mind, you’re almost there; you just have to find a moment when you will have time—on a long weekend, for example. Visualize your garage and look for storage and organization solutions that best suit your needs based on your space and what you want to store there. Consider sturdy plastic shelving that is easy to assemble and customize. Opt for wall and ceiling hanging systems (rake, broom, shovel, bike, canoe, kayak, paddles, etc.). Also, consider cabinets that lock for toxic products or sharp, dangerous tools if left unattended.
When you are ready, start by sorting your things. To make the most of your garage cleaning, you’ll need to get rid of anything you no longer use or have duplicates of. It takes a lot of discipline to choose wisely what you keep and what you don’t. Separate your belongings into 4 piles: keep, sell, give away or throw away. The purpose of this task is to have you think about the usefulness of each item and to ask yourself questions. Throw away what is no longer good and can be disposed of in your local garbage collection and bring your used oil, old tools or equipment and hazardous materials to the ecocentre. Sell items in good condition that you no longer need, either on Market Place or Kijiji, or offer them to a loved one who needs them. If your garage is a real treasure trove and your things in good condition are on the list of items accepted by the EDQ, don’t hesitate to make arrangements for a home pick-up. It will be our pleasure to give a second life to your belongings!
Tips from a pro
- The garage is often used as a storage space for things you don’t want to have lying around the house, so when putting away what you keep, remember to make a little room for recycling bins, garbage, compost, empty bottles and cans.
- The more cluttered your garage is, the harder it will be to find what you’re looking for and this may cause you to spend money on something you already have, so…. declutter!
- Label or identify storage bins and boxes; it will be much easier to find your Christmas decorations when the time comes.
And lastly, cleaning out the garage is also about cleaning the space itself. Sweep the floor or use a vacuum cleaner, as needed. Wash the floor and walls, clean the workbench, shelves and cabinets as needed. Remember, if your garage is clean, you’ll be more likely to spend time in it and store your items properly there, as you use them.
We wish you all the best and, most of all… good garage cleaning!