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Peter Walsh’s Take-Home Pointers for Spring-Cleaning Your Garage

Photo credit: mconnors from morguefile.com

Spring is definitely the time to clean house. Since most of us do not have the money to call in a maid or cleaners, cleaning house is just something that we must do. In fact, cleaning carpet is probably one of my least favorite things of all time.

Check out these tips from expert Peter Walsh to make your Spring house cleaning much more organized.

Call in the troops: Walsh recommends a labor exchange with similarly clutter-challenged friends and family: Tackle your garage one weekend, theirs the next. “It makes the task at hand a social event instead of a dreary chore,” he says. It also makes an overwhelming undertaking doable in a single day.

Rent a Dumpster: “People chronically underestimate just how much trash is in their garage,” says Walsh. “For not very much money—usually about $200 to$400—you can get a ten-yard Dumpster delivered and picked up, which is so worth it.” Google “Dumpster rental” and the name of the city nearest you, to compare prices. If you really don’t think you can fill the whole thing, share the cost with a neighbor.

Know your zones: “What do you want your garage to be used for?” asks Walsh. Parking? Storage? Maybe woodworking? Make every area its own zone, based on use, and keep only the things that fit in each.

 

Put it in plastic: “Rodents can get inside the engine of your car, where they’ll chew the coating off the wires,” cautions Walsh. “Make them feel unwelcome by banishing nesting materials like paper and fabric from your garage, or sealing such materials in labeled plastic bins.

 

Think vertical: A sheet of particleboard or medium density fiberboard secured to the rafters creates a useful loft for deep storage. Frequently used items like tools can be affixed to a piece of pegboard or hung from hooks within easy reach.

 

Corral chemicals: “Never put paint and chemicals in the trash or down the drain,” says Walsh. “They can contaminate the soil and groundwater.” Visit earth911.com; the site’s recycling directory (or its iPhone app iRecycle) will list a collection facility near you.

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6 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Debra P

    Thank you for the tips! I have this horrible habit lately. When I don’t know where to store something, it’s been going in the garage! Now that it’s the first day of Spring, I’ve been getting the Spring Cleaning itch and i definitely have to hit the garage! I like the idea of zones and I am definitely going to do that and get more organized.

    My mind feels much clearer when my house is organized 🙂

  2. Eileen

    you really have NO idea how bad ours is. This is our project to do as a family during spring break…yahoo (*sarcasm interjected) and all of us would much rather have our nails imbedded with wooden skewers or have teeth extracted. We havent been able to get a car in all winter. Small garage, but big bunches of hunting, fishing, biking, gardening and tools we cant seem to organize. I like the idea of the dumpster but truly, most of our stuff is usable and would rather donate. Easter Seals will stop by if you call ahead and take decent items to donate.

    Id LOVE to make our garage a fun place to play pingpong, watch tv (on an old tv we have) and have kids invite over for movies. Our house is small, so we could use the garage space for 3 seasons this way. Love to decorate simply with sports memorabilia …hope this dream is fulfilled before our kids are off to their own lives!

  3. ellen

    Ahhh the garage… now you are talking man zone! My husband is a carpenter & a shade tree meachnic- everything in there is a treasure 😉

    He does get the cleaning bug, and he takes in metal and does dispose of things, but most if not all is usable and he has 2 or 3 projects happening at once. Not that a car is in there mind you!

  4. This might be weird, but I consider it to be officially spring when I see the big dumpster come to the neighborhood. It means that it is spring cleaning time. It is super useful for all the stuff we store up over the year that becomes clutter. http://www.lrsrecycles.com

  5. This is some of the best advice I’ve heard for de-cluttering a chronically cluttered house. Especially that second point; I know the first few times I cleared out my garage I ended up with far more trips to the dump than I estimated. But now I rent dumpsters when I do big cleaning projects, and I’m much happier for it. It’s so much easier than making 4 or 5 trips to the dump in an afternoon. Thanks so much for writing!

  6. I really like your tip to rent a dumpster when cleaning out your garage. It’s hard to keep up with cleaning when you run out of space for the trash, so preparing beforehand and renting a dumpster can insure that you don’t meet any garbage roadblocks along the way. Plus, as you said, you could split the cost with a neighbor if both of you are working on intense spring cleaning, so cost isn’t even that much of an issue. Thanks for the tips!

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