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A Dang Good Garage Cleanout

Last Updated: April 20, 2024

Written by Karen Norman

Give your Garage some TLC! 

Tips for a Garage Cleanout and suggestions keep it organized for good. 

If everything but the car is in the garage, it’s time for a good garage cleanout. Your garage is an extension of your home and deserves the same love, care and attention. Besides, if the garage is not housing your cars, you are costing yourself money and time. For example: running the car to warm it in the winter, paint fading in the sun and touch-ups needed. Not to mention there is a higher risk of vandalism and theft – see Calgary’s Operation Cold Start

A messy garage also costs you when you have to buy tools or supplies you know you have – but can’t find in the clutter. No more excuses! Let’s reclaim the space with a garage cleanout, declutter, sort and clean up.

Getting Started on a Garage Cleanout. 

Before you begin, gather together some tools for the job. Here is a list of items to make your garage cleanout and organization processes easier.

  • Pressure washer or hose
  • Brush
  • Bucket
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drill
  • Assortment of screws and wall plugs
  • Storage bins and containers
  • Gardening gloves
  • Stanley knife
  • Cleaning products
  • Tape measure
  • Step ladder
  • Garbage bags and bins

The Garage Declutter and Clearout. 

The first step is to get rid of everything you no longer need. Make different piles, such as one for a garage sale or for taking to the dump. 

This is also a great time to rent a roll-off garbage bin, as many items stored in the garage are too bulky for regular trash pickup. Ensure you know what can go in the bin. Some items like old paint, electronics, old fire extinguishers and car batteries may need special disposal.

Bob Vila lists 12 things you should always toss with a garage cleanout.

As you do the clearing out, be sure to organize items into categories for the reinstatement and the organization phase. Decide what to

    • Keep
    • Chuck
    • Donate or Give to Charity
    • Repair
    • And perhaps even a box of items you are not quite sure what to do with.

Items to keep include the following:

    • Tools
    • Camping gear
    • Cycling
    • Gardening tools
    • Car maintenance items
    • Seasonal décor
    • Sports equipment
    • Kids toys

Also, give consideration to what you regularly use that might need to be easily accessible.

Extra Garage Cleanout Hacks. 

  • If you decide to rent that roll-off bin, it’s also a great time to quickly purge the home and toss other large items such as broken blinds or bed frames, large artwork, monitors, mattresses, chairs, etc.
  • Make it a weekend project, or alternatively, pick a corner of the garage at a time to sort out.
  • Get friends or family involved. On the condition of pizza or an agreement to help with their garage cleanout or another room in the home.
  • If you want some more visual ideas before you get started check out the videos: How to Organize a Garage with Monica from the Weekender or Organization Ideas and Organized Garage Tour by Abby Organizes. 

The Garage Deep Clean. 

Once you are left only with the items that will be reinstated, it’s time for a deep clean.

Start by sweeping the floor. This will kick up a lot of dust, so put on a mask and keep the garage door open. Take care not to sweep it onto the lawn if you have metal shavings from toolwork, grease spills, and other such items in the grit and dirt. Put the dirt into a bin. After you sweep up:

  • Pressure wash or hose down the floor
  • Wipe shelves and surfaces
  • Allow the garage to dry, use a fan if necessary

If the floor has oil, grease or paint stains, try these tips on removing paint from concrete or check out this video on removing oil stains from concrete.

The Garage Repair Phase. 

Before putting things back, fix broken or damaged items and tools. Don’t forget to assess the garage itself. Here’s a checklist of garage repairs:

  • Repair cracks in the garage floor
  • Address trip hazards
  • Resurface or paint the floor
  • Clean the garage window
  • Paint the trim around the garage door
  • Replace or maintain the garage door if needed We strongly recommend you use a professional. See the Dangers of Garage Door Spring Repair. It can be tricky. Torsion springs, and even extension springs, can cause severe injury or worse if not handled properly. Garage door installers are trained on how to handle these springs.

The Garage Organization Phase. 

Once the garage has been cleared out and repaired and you are ready to place items back in, you first need a system so the garage stays organized.

  • Designate certain areas of the garage for different categories. 
  • Make use of the walls with shelves and hooks.
  • Use pegboards.
  • Use stackable bins.
  • Use overhead space.
  • Install cabinets or closets.

Make a list of where you have put everything in the garage. Use a binder for this and keep it in a safe place.

You may even want to have a plan ahead of your garage cleanout day. Inspecting the garage ahead of time and noting what is in there may be useful for plotting out how you want your garage organized going forward. 

After your Garage Cleanout. 

It is now time to give further thought to all the items that are not going back into the garage. There are a number of options to consider: 

  • Renting a Dumpster 
  • Taking items to the Local Dump
  • A Garage or Yard sale
  • Where to dispose of
    • Paint
    • Paint Thinner
    • Chemicals
    • Other Hazardous Materials

Remember to include a garage cleanout on your spring cleaning checklist and at other times when decluttering your home. Your garage should not be a holding tank for discarded items. It helps protect your vehicles, adds needed storage and value to your home when looked after.

We have several blog posts on Cleaning Hacks for many areas of the home and yard. 

If you are looking for more specialized cleaning in the Calgary area, check out our Options for cleaning Carpets, Furnaces, Upholstery, Tiles and Windows. Consider Dang Good when you are planning a deep cleaning of the home.  

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