5 Tips for Cleaning for Fall


Clean and Organize the Garage

A garage like this will nothing to cure those winter blues.
A garage like this will nothing to cure those winter blues.

It's pretty common to cringe when you consider cleaning the garage. For lots of folks, the condition of the garage is a guilty secret. If space in its dark expanse is getting so tight that the car won't even fit inside anymore, it's time to get that clutter under control.

This can be a big job if you haven't done it in a while, so start with some preliminary recon. Take an inventory of what your garage contains and how you'd like to organize the space. Make a list of things you're planning to pitch. Move from there to stuff you want to give away, like old toys or that exercise equipment that you never use. Your third list should include items that you plan on keeping, but start to see them in relation to the space. Begin at the car entry door and work back. Keep the most useful items, like tools, in front. Anything you won't use for six months or more can be positioned toward the back. Make some notes on the list to remind you of where put what.

If you know that you still have lots more stuff than your garage can comfortably accommodate, try considering a few creative storage alternatives, like wall shelves or overhead bins. Storage doesn't have to be expensive, and getting things up off the ground will liberate a surprising amount of space. Camping gear, sports equipment, pool toys and some larger tools can be affixed to the wall or placed on a high shelf to make getting around easier and less hazardous.

Once you have a plan, pull everything out of the garage into your three piles, sweep or go over the floor with a wet-dry vacuum, and install any shelving or bins. Now, you're ready to start putting away the things you plan on keeping.

This chore alone could easily take a weekend, but after that, maintaining a clear and useful garage space will be easy.