Springtime means it’s time for warmer weather and more time outside. Perhaps you use your garage or shed for winter storage to keep equipment dry and safe from harsh weather. Or maybe you’ve been avoiding the clutter in your garage because it’s too cold. Once spring rolls around, you’ll want to make sure that all of the things you need to make the warmer months great – sports equipment, patio furniture, gardening tools, etc. – are accessible. And it’s also a good time to clear out some of those unwanted boxes and items dominating your floor and shelf space.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite organizational tips for spring cleaning your garage or storage shed.
1. Make a Plan
Every garage and household is different, so it’s important to make a plan that works for your space and belongings. First, put the time you plan to spend cleaning on your calendar. We recommend dedicating at least one full day to clean if possible, but depending on what kind of availability you have and what sorts of projects you want to do, you may need to give yourself more time.
Once you know how much time you have to clean, decide what your goals for this round of spring cleaning are. Do you plan to just clean and declutter? If you’re unhappy with your current garage layout, this spring cleaning project could involve renovating your garage and turning it into something new. For ideas about how to best use your garage, find inspiration here.
Before you start cleaning, know what you want to do with the items you don’t need anymore. Do you want to donate some things? Figure out where and when you will donate so those items don’t end up back in your garage once you lose the motivation of your spring cleaning spree.
Finally, make a garage spring cleaning checklist to keep track of what you need to do. This will also help split up the work into smaller, more manageable tasks.
2. Declutter One Area at a Time
It can be helpful to divide the garage into its component parts and focus on one section of the space at a time. Or divide and conquer with someone else to get the work done faster. You can split the space in multiple different ways. Two options include dividing it into four (front right corner, back right corner, front left corner, and back left corner) or dividing it vertically (floor vs. shelves). It may also make sense to organize based on the category of the objects you store in the garage. Maybe you start with lawn maintenance supplies then move on to tools then finish with any car-related items.
3. Dust, Sweep, and Wash the Garage Floor
As you declutter, you will likely want to move the majority of the items in your garage outside so you can wash and sweep the floor, clean the garage door and windows, and dust any shelves or surfaces. These cleaning steps are crucial to ensuring you don’t get bugs or other critters in your garage, and deep cleaning your garage at least once a year will keep it in good condition for longer. Plus, it will feel great to have a garage that is not only organized but truly clean as you enter the summer months and spend more time in that space!
4. Garage Shed Maintenance and Upkeep
Whether you have a garage attached to your house or a garage shed, you’ll need to take this opportunity to perform any maintenance or upkeep tasks. For a shed especially, examine the walls, foundations, and windows for any cracks or holes that may have formed during the bad weather of the winter. It may also be time to paint the outside of your shed or garage. If you’ve gone a few years without painting, the exterior paint on your shed may start to deteriorate, which can weaken the weatherproofing of your shed. For more information about shed upkeep and maintenance, read our post here.
5. Everything has its Place
After you’ve gone through your belongings, cleaned your garage, and performed any necessary maintenance tasks, it’s time to put your items back in the garage. As you do so, make sure that every item has a specific place to go back to. No random piles on the floor. Use bins and boxes to keep similar small things together (for example, kids’ toys in one bin, fishing gear in another).
Keep in mind as you put everything back what needs to be immediately accessible and what can be put in a bin in the back corner. Shelves installed at your eye line can be great for storing something you need to access quickly and frequently. And if you have kids, you should store anything they need to access (toys, sports gear, etc.) on lower shelves.
6. Use Vertical Storage Space
Shelves are obviously a great way to store what you need, but so are hooks and hanging devices on the walls: you can hang up tools like shovels and rakes to keep them off the ground. Before you put everything back in the garage, you may want to evaluate if you need to add any hooks or shelves to the walls. If you aren’t using the walls in your garage or shed, then you are not taking full advantage of your space.
7. Admit When You Need More Garage Storage Space
If you’ve already gone through the steps to declutter your garage, but you still feel like your garage and home are stuffed to the brim, it may be time to add a storage shed to your backyard. Sometimes the problem isn’t simply that you have too much stuff, but that you don’t have the storage space to contain all of the things you need for your hobbies or work.
Heartland Sheds offers a variety of options, from small garden sheds to large garage sheds. No matter which one you choose, our sheds are built to last with rigid 2×4 wall framing to stand up to harsh weather and treated LP siding, which will keep mold and insects at bay.