How to Clean Out a Garage Full of Junk

How to Clean Out a Garage Full of Junk
Before

If you have a garage at home, it’s probably filled with all types of thing. But did you know that some of the most common items found in garages shouldn’t be there in the first place. A garage is the main storage area in any house, a place to keep things that may never be needed.

You might stop and think that you have many shelves and can keep everything intact. But having too much shelf isn’t the issue, it’s a type of stuff you have that could be hazardous. Cleaning a garage full of junk can be tedious, but if you do it the right way, you will be able to have a clean and an organized garage in next few hours.

What should not be stored in a garage?

There are things that we’re putting into the garage that exposes us to higher risks when things happen.

  • Red flag items include extra fuel which could be flammable, paint or home improvement chemicals, furniture, clothing, artwork, pictures, electronics and food.
  • You’ve got dog food, pet food, bird food, human food all of the above. And again you’re subject to those things not only going bad, but you’re going to potentially attract rodents. Those rodents could ruin your car.

A lot of people get rats up in the interior of the car that eat up all the wires and can cause you to have an auto loss. Regarding paint, you don’t know how the chemical components are going to change and then you add the extra side of it that it could be sitting next to a heater and potentially cause a fire.

Related: How can I make my Garage Smell Good?

As for clothing, furniture, artwork, pictures and electronics, the heat humidity and fumes inside a garage could ruin the quality unless they’re wrapped well or covered. Tools, gardening, supplies and sporting equipment, that’s all okay.

What is the best way to organize a garage?

Plastic bins opposed to cardboard boxes work best also to avoid water damage. Find a way to keep things off the ground. Finally, just like you do inside your home, keep an inventory of what you have in your garage by writing things down and taking pictures so that you can replace that if something happens.

12 Amazing Tips on how to clean and organize your garage.

  1. Empty the garage.

So first things first, take everything out the garage. This is probably the most intimidating step. Just getting started because you stare at all your stuff and you just get really easily overwhelmed. But just know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Related: How to Clean Out a Hoarders Garage

You take everything out of your garage, and in order to help you with further steps, be sure to place those items in somewhat of an organized fashion. So don’t just dump it all in one space. You can throw away anything that is not needed in the garbage can.

Put all the like items together, that way when you start to go through stuff and organize, you’ve got all your Christmas decorations in one spot, you’ve got all your toys and the other. Yes, this can take a considerable amount of time, but let me tell you, seeing an empty garage is really, really inspiring.

  1. Get a wide push broom and sweep your garage.

You want to start with a clean slate, so what’s best is if you just get all the dust, all the cobwebs, all the grossness. Sweep it out and start with a clean slate.

Also Check: How Do I Get Rid of Dust in my Garage?

  1. You want to sort all of your items.

So this is when you go through everything and you identify the different piles. You have your yes pile, you want to keep it. You have your no pile, you want to get rid of it, trash it, donate it. You just don’t need it anymore.

And then maybe your ‘maybe pile’’ that you maybe kind of sort of should get rid of but you’re not quite sure need someone to really tell you to do that. Put in the maybe pile. You don’t have to get rid of it just yet, but at least you have it out of your yes pile. That’s the important thing.

  1. Don’t just store it, use it.

You may have a couple different old pieces of furniture that you do not want to get rid of and have just been storing. Instead of just stacking those old pieces of furniture, use them as organizational aides. Not only does this save you money, but it actually saves you space and helps you prolong some of these nice furniture pieces to use in your home when you move into a bigger spot.

Related: Can you Power Wash your Garage?

  1. Make a floor plan.

After making a floor plan, actually plan out the space before you bring everything back in. This is important to sit down and identify what their goals are for the space. If you want to park a car in the garage, it’s going to change things for you. For us, we identified three different stations. We have our workstation, we have our easily accessible station and then we have our storage station, things that we don’t really need access to all the time. Put it in the back.

  1. Consolidate like items when you go to put them back.

So when you’re putting them in a organizational aid of some sort, make sure you put things that go together, together. So if you’re bring cleaning supplies, put your paper towels there. If you’re doing your tools, put all of your tools together in one area. That way when you come back to use the space, you think oh where are the scissors. Oh they’re in the tool section.

If you put them just in random places, you’re never going to remember where stuff is. A really important tip is all of your DIY supplies, all of your craft tools, all of that is in one unit. Don’t spread it around. Keep them together.

Related: Can I Vacuum my Garage?

  1. Use the walls.

So in a space it’s small, I always say no matter what room it is, use your walls. Store buckets bins right on top of them. And if the bins are open, do not put things that are really delicate or meaningful or sensitive to spiders or dirt. Put things like electrical cords or spray paint or things that you don’t want to have out on the shelves because it doesn’t make it look very good. Even if it’s your garage, you wanted to look nice.

  1. Keep your bulky stuff and your seasonal stuff in the back.

This is basically hard-to-reach areas, places you do not need to access very often. A good example would be a spare tire or old headboard or maybe some Christmas decorations, things that we really don’t need to see.

Related: Best Vacuum Cleaner for Garage (Reviewed 2021)

  1. Use clear bins to store stuff.

Clear bins will help you easily see what’s in them in case you do need to get into them. This also saves a ton of time because you know exactly where everything is.

  1. Use an old rag.

Put an inexpensive old also allowed in your garage to add that extra homey touch. If you are someone who likes working out, this can be fun as you will not have trouble walking barefoot. It can be a comfy place for your pet to hang out too. Check out these cleaning mops you can use to clean your garage.

  1. Frequent items in front.

Store the items that you use frequently closest to the garage door. That way you can access them really easily. Otherwise, ensure you have storage cabinets or  one of these garage storage system to efficiently organize the items in your garage.

Related: Best Pressure Washers for Garage Floors (Reviewed 2021)

  1. Light it up all on one switch.

Not only are lights functional obviously, but it’s an extra way for you to add an extra touch of communist to your garage. You can get really high quality garage lighting that can last long.

Simple Tips for Organizing Garage

How to Clean Out a Garage Full of Junk
After

Why is it important to have a clean and organized garage? The primary reason is so that you know where everything is. If you know that you need to find that 14 mm socket and you have no idea where you normally put it or where it normally goes, then you’ve just got to go hunting. Even if it’s in your tool box and you’re just like, Hey I know it’s in here somewhere and you’re digging along, it just becomes a time waster and a time suck.

Related: 5 Best Cleaner for Garage Floor (Reviewed 2021)

So if you have one of those little strips and it’s always connected to that little strip and you have that in your tool box, then you just go in there and you dig in and you try to find those little strips. You might pull out though a quarter inch drive or the half inch drive ones when you need that three eighths. But that’s a lot faster than digging all the way to the bottom trying to find that one specific socket that you’re looking for.

 

A Few tricks to keep a garage space better organized.

Tubs and Tupperware: These can be used all over the place. They come in different sizes and different uses. You can slide some underneath the shelves and you can put others on shelves back. They can be made out of wood or made out of plastic. It doesn’t really matter how they are. It just matters what you put in them and how you remember what is in them and where that specific stuff is.

So once you drop your electrical cords all into one bin then you know, okay, whatever I need an electrical cord, I’ve got to go to that bin and whenever I’m done with that electrical cord I should put it back into that bin.

Smaller Bins: You should have smaller bins in plenty because they come in handy when it comes to keeping super small items. These are really great for motor swaps. You can start working on a project and you just drop the little objects into these bins and then write yourself a little note about what is in this specific little bit.

Related: 5 Best Air Purifier for Garage (Reviewed 2021)

They can also be used for small gear accessories. So if you need a specific size or a specific turn, you know which one is where. It just works out really fast and you can grab specific things take it out put it right back in and it makes your process a lot quicker when you have a good organized set.

Snack Baggies:  These are one of the most popular garage organization bags. They come in bigger sizes and also smaller sizes. This will depend on what you intent to use them for.

And what do you do with the snack baggies is you just drop some of the nuts and bolts and items into them and then you write yourself a little note. You can always throw it on blue tape so you can reuse the bag a few times, but a lot of people will just write on the baggie what is in there. Then you can throw all these little baggies into the bigger bins and then you have all you’re like, Hey this is all the bolts for the engine bay in that bin and then you store that away. And then they’re out spread out everywhere, they’re not all over the place. And you know hey I need some exhaust manifold bolts and you go into the bin and you’d find your little baggie and it just helps keep everything organized.

Related: Best Air Fresheners for Garage (Reviewed 2021)

Conclusion

So those are some of the tricks I use in my shop. I would love to hear some other tricks. I could always use better advice for trying to keep my shop organized. So let me know what you guys do down in the comments. If you have a good trick for keeping your shop organized, I want to know what it is.

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Mike

My name is Mike Thorne, a car enthusiast and a DIY for life person. I love spending time in my garage and that is why you will get firsthand information on this blog about all things garage-related.

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