Garages. The spot in the house where a lot of men take over and create their “castle” and the one spot in the entire house where every other family member piles their junk.
I have always wondered if the kings of ancient kingdoms tricked out their stables (horse garages) and hung up “Ye old Pub” posters and classless calendars, regardless, the problem is the same stable or garage—How to keep it clean.
Garages tend to be a workshop, storage, and sanctuary all rolled into one, which is why they are hard to keep clean. Plus, every family member has things in the garage and with multiple people going in and out it makes it even more difficult to keep the garage clean. So how can you get the garage clean and keep it clean? Well, let’s tackle it step by step.
1. Organize your Garage and give Everyone an Area
Designate a specific area in the garage for each member of the family. Now, this can change year to year or even month to month as members grow, move out or move back.
The important thing here is that by having their own space each family member won’t have to go through someone else’s things every time they need something.
This keeps things organized and when the next person comes along, the item they are looking for should be right where they left it. This is an amazingly simple and cheap tip and will make a huge difference!
2. Buy Shelves for your Garage and go Vertical
Floor space in a garage is always in short supply so maximize space by going vertical with durable metal or wire shelving. Shelving has come a long way and there are many great options for super strong clip-together shelves.
These clip-together shelves are basically light-duty pallet racking similar to what warehouses use. It is super easy to use, adjust and set up. Using shelves in your garage will make it easy to see what and where you have stored things.
When you get shelves, it may make sense to buy plastic totes so you can store things together. For example, in my garage, we have all the plumbing tools and parts in a “plumbing” tote, the electrical tools and supplies in an “electrical” tote, and the seasonal decorations in a tote call “things I have to hang up” (no joke). Totes can help organize your shelves and can easily be used with tip #1.
3. Install Good Lighting in your Garage so it’s BRIGHT
Many garages are dimly lit and poor lighting further makes things feel dark and dirty. Good lighting eliminates dark areas and makes the garage feel bigger. It is surprising how much bigger a room gets with good lighting (just perspective, you’re not going to get more square feet).
If you’re comfortable with wiring and know the codes this may be a project you can tackle yourself, but electricity is very dangerous or if you are not an electrician—call one.
Bonus: Installing newer more efficient lighting can help lower your electricity bill. Also, check with your local municipality and see if there is any assistance for updating the lighting in your garage, some cities have grants (free money) available to help with the cost.
4. Seal the Floor in your Garage
A concrete floor is great, but an unsealed concrete floor can be difficult to sweep and may “sweat” (get wet) during temperature fluctuations. So, find out if your floor is sealed and if not—Seal it!
Sealing the floor of your garage has a ton of benefits. It will be easier to sweep, water will drain away easier, it will not “sweat”, and it will prevent spills from staining the concrete floor. Many people seal their own garage floors, but before you try it make sure to watch some online DIY videos and make sure to get the right sealer for your floor.
Some sealers must be applied when the concrete is fresh and not fully cured whereas others can be painted on at any time. So, log some hours on the internet and get the right product for your garage.
5. Fix Oil Spots on your Garage Floor
Cars, trucks, lawnmowers, and ATVs/UTVs are notorious for leaving oil spots on garage floors. Oil spots are an absolute pain to clean up and drastically reduce the “clean” image of your garage.
To fix an oil spot, locate where the oil is coming from: Is the oil coming from your car’s engine? Power Steering Pump? Transmission? The good news is that if you can identify where the oil leak causing the oil spot is coming from; the engine, power steering system, or transmission the fix is going to be the same.
Add AirTec Oil Stop/Stop Leak to the system that is leaking. Oil leaks typically are the result of dried-up or brittle seals. AirTec Oil Stop/Stop Leak is a seal conditioner that rejuvenates the seals in the engine, power steering, and/or transmission and stops them from leaking.
So, the fix is simple all you have to do is identify which system is leaking and where to add the AirTec Oil Stop/Stop Leak and you won’t ever have to clean up another oil spot!
6. Stop Sweeping and Start Vacuuming
Does it seem like your garage is always dusty? Well, most likely you are creating most of that dust when you sweep. So, stop sweeping and get a vacuum for your garage.
By vacuuming you are preventing those annoying dust particles from getting air born, escaping your dustpan, and then settling somewhere else that is much harder to clean. Sweep your sidewalk and driveway, not your garage.
Tip: If you have a leaf blower you can sell your broom altogether and use your leaf blower to “sweep” your driveway and sidewalk, but make sure your garage door is closed so that dust doesn’t land in your garage.
These 6 tips (Yes, 6. More thorough than 5 and so much less reading than 10) will get your garage in shape and help you keep it clean. The main thing is staying ahead of the mess.
Put things back, pick things up, and make sure everyone knows they should do the same. For the repeat mess makers, there is a simple solution, it involves cardboard, a sharpie, and the words “Garage Sale”. You might even make enough to buy more shelves, Oil stop, or totes!