The days are getting warmer, the sun is setting later, and the sweet smell of spring is in the air. What a perfect time to give your home a much-needed spring cleaning and shake off the gloom of New Jersey’s winter. But where do you start? The garage is often one of the messiest and most cluttered places in our homes. It’s kind of like the infamous “junk drawer” in the kitchen—except it’s an entire room filled with junk. It seems to pile up slowly, and before you know it, you’re maneuvering your car to squeeze between the piles of old clothing and cans and bottles that never made it to the recycling bin.
Let’s remedy those cluttered-garage blues. Keep reading for some incredibly helpful tips that will get your garage looking like new this spring.
- De-clutter!The very first step is to get rid of the junk; as we mentioned earlier, the garage tends to accumulate lots of it.
Those old clothes that are too small for the kids? Put them in the garage to bring to Goodwill.
That broken rake? Toss it in the garage, and we’ll fix it.
The piles of old magazines in the kitchen drawers? To the garage!
Chances are, your garage is filled with a chaotic jumble of items from old holiday decorations to broken light fixtures to tangles of electrical cords. This is probably the longest and most painful process for spring cleaning your garage, but it is absolutely essential.
Pro organizer Peter Walsh recommends tossing anything that hasn’t been used in 12 months. Make two piles—one for donations and one for trash. Don’t keep a bunch of items that you have been saving because you “might” use them some day. If it doesn’t fit your current lifestyle, get rid of it. If you find items with sentimental value, however, pack them carefully in a box to store in the attic.
- Storage is a must. It’s okay to put stuff in the garage, but the trick is to put it in the right place. If you just go tossing things in there willy-nilly, you’ll end up with a giant mess that resembles the city dump. Storage spaces help keep everything organized.
Designate certain areas of the garage for specific items and tasks. Create a recycling area with separate bins for plastic, metal, glass, and paper. Stack the bins on a mobile platform so you can easily roll it outside on recycling day.
You can also store excess grocery items and paper goods in another area. Any type of large cabinet can be used as a pantry for storage of items like cleaning supplies, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, bottled water and other drinks, and packaged snack items. Hang a pad of paper to the outside of the cabinet to keep track of your inventory.
Create a “tool wall” where you can hang all of your large tools that don’t fit in the tool box. Add hanging storage for large items like bicycles, and grab a few large bins to stow sports equipment organized by seasons.
- Clear those cobwebs (and all that dirt). Garages are dirty—there’s no sugar-coating that. Dirt comes off your shoes on the way into the house. Dirt drifts in from outside. Dirt falls off of rakes and shovels. Your car tires track in dirt… Basically, there’s dirt everywhere. If you use your garage as a workshop, there’s the dust and mess that comes from saws and drills. There are also a lot of spiders, which means lots of webs.
Start by banishing those stubborn spider webs with a poly-fiber duster (on a telescopic pole to help reach even the highest corners). Use a heavy-duty Shop-Vac to get all the dirt, dust, and residue off of window sills, doorways, walls, and the floor. Banish nasty odors from garbage bins by cleaning them outside with soapy water and a hose, and allowing them to dry well before returning to the garage.
Next, focus on any windows your garage has—inside and out. These are bound to be fairly grimy after a long winter full of rain, sleet, and snow. Experts from This Old House recommend trading the glass cleaner and paper towels for some soapy water and a squeegee. Not only is this method easier but it also leaves your windows sparkling clean. For windows that seem to keep getting hard water stains, they suggest a surface protectant—the clear polymer coating applied after each cleaning will prevent those stains from coming back—be used. Another handy option for cleaning stubborn windows is a steam machine with a squeegee attachment.
Don’t forget your garage doors! A lot of gunk builds up on these, but they can be easily cleaned with some soapy water and a pressure washer (be sure to set your pressure washer on a low setting to avoid damaging your doors).
Fill Your Garage with Something Special: A New Nissan
Well, you’re finally finished. You’ve gotten rid of all the junk, organized your belongings, and spring cleaned the garage until it sparkles. However, now you notice a glaring problem; your garage is brilliantly gleaming, but it’s drawing attention to the fact that your car, well, is not. As a matter of fact, it’s looking pretty tired and old. Your delightful garage needs a charming new addition—a shiny new Nissan. We’re sure to have a gorgeous new car, SUV, or van that would love to be parked in that empty space.
Contact Nissan World of Denville at (973) 343-5004 or stop by our dealership to check out our fantastic inventory and find the perfect Nissan to fit all your needs, and then some. We serve the entire Denville, NJ area, including Parsippany-Troy Hills, Morristown, and Dover.
Sources & Photos: