Reducing Stress the Old Fashion Way - Part VII: How to Clean Out your Garage

how to clean your garage and garage floors

Like a a lot of big jobs around the house, it's easiest sometimes to focus on doing them in steps, if you're able. This makes things easier to manage and less stressful, I believe. So in this post we are going to discuss how to clean out your garage, as well as how to clean off your garage floors of nasty things like oil stains and gas spills which are bound to happen in every garage at some point.

In the next phase of our post we will be discussing how to then properly organize and arrange your garage once you have sorted through the mess. Wouldn't it be nice if you were able to finally pull your vehicle into your garage? Wouldn't it be nice if you could actually find your holiday decorations? Wouldn't it be nice if you could actually locate those long lost tools for a small project around the house? I'm sure it would make your life a lot easier! Well let's get there, and let's get there together...

How to clean out your garage

Step 1:

"Where do I begin?"

lets begin cleaning your garage out

Okay so here is the most important step. Think about your goals. Think about your time. Think about your budget. Think about the process. You have to take a step back and decide things like, how big is this job actually going to be? Do I need a dumpster for all the junk? Am I going to be putting everything back just the way it was? Is this just a cleaning or am I going to be organizing as well? Do I have money to hire someone to help me clean? Do I have my whole weekend to dedicate to this project?

You see, cleaning out your garage can be one of the most satisfying things to do to make you feel more orderly in your home. However, it can also be grueling, long, and sometimes flat out frustrating. So you have to think about your goals, big picture here. Are you cleaning only, or are you cleaning and re-organizing? In this post we are going to assume you are going for the "deep clean" and then reorganizing everything! So...

Step 2:

"Phone a Friend"

Phone a friend

Is it so bad to ask for help sometimes? Absolutely not! We don't think so. Maybe  make this a fun project by asking for some help. Do you know someone that's handy, can they build you some storage, or are they a good organizer themselves? Make it easier on you. Ask a friend or family member if they can help you for a day or two. It never hurts to ask and it's always helpful to plan and not have this be a spur of the moment idea, because you may have just bite off more then you can chew.

Step 3:

"Roll up your Sleeves"

Grab a cup of coffee and let's go! First things first, we have to get everything out of the garage. Now obviously depending on your space, this will depend where you are going to place everything you're are pulling out. I find it most helpful to rent a dumpster for this process, and use your driveway to make piles of what's what. It's also helpful if you buy or stumble upon some boxes, that way as you pull loose things out of the garage they have a place to go, even if it is just temporary, this may help with organizing later on. Now as we are pulling your tools, equipment, trash, loose materials, workout gear, out of the garage the most important thing you can do during this process is SEPARATE! 

How to clean your garage floors

Step 4:

"Separate: The Three D's"

decide what to throw out

donate what you dont need

dump what you dont need

Decide. Dump. Donate: Next on the to do-list that also can be done simultaneously while emptying your space is all about decisions. When discussing any sort of organizational project this is probably the most crucial part, and it's no different when discussing how to clean out your garage. If you are anything like me, I have a hard time letting go of certain items, or have items that I believe may come in handy "down the line", the important part here is to be realistic.

Make the decision quickly, whether to keep an item, dump it or to donate it and feel strong about it. If you haven't used an item in years, it's probably fair to say it can go. The garage is one place I find however, that some equipment or materials may only get used every few years, so really understand your lifestyle and needs. 

Think about these questions when deciding how to clean out and organize your garage:

think about how and what is the next step in cleaning out your garage

1. Have I used this in the past year?
2. Does this need repairing? Can I re-paint it or re-purpose it?
3. Is the repair costly or something I can do myself?
4. Will this sell at a yard sale?
5. Should I donate it and if so, where?
6. Is it cheaper to just upgrade to a new one?
7. Can I live without this item at this point in my life?
8. Is this something I can pass down to my kids or possibly someone else I know who may need it?
9. Would this item be better somewhere else in the house?

Step 5:

"Now for the ACTUAL Clean"

So this is the time you clean the garage. You have pulled everything out, and it is all separated into piles, decisions have been made of how and where you want to store your items that are going back into the garage. I recommend doing the following prior to returning items into your garage:

  • Start high: Work on cleaning the walls, (repainting if need be), clean on-top of cabinets or shelves, appliances (if applicable), clean cobwebs out of the corners. A can of paint goes a long way just like inside your home.
  • Walls can be easily cleaned with a microfiber duster which is what I found works best.
  • Put some focus on garage windows or garage doors as well. Glass cleaner can be used to clean the windows.
  • Use a Shop vacuum with extension pieces as well to reach hard to get corners or other areas that have collected dust or debris.
  • Use a leaf blower: Either sweep the floors or use a leaf blower to blow all of the debris off the garage floors.
  • Decide on what to use for organizational purposes. So this may be the step in which you start to really look at the space and decide what you want to use to organize your things. Whether that be cabinetry, hooks, garage kits, etc.

Step 6:

"Them Floors"

Clean garage floors

How to Clean a Garage Floor Video Below!

How to Clean Grease from Garage Floors:

You can try using simple soap and water first. If the grease is really bad, try a little de-greaser (as always be careful once your clean you don't slip as de-greaser can leave your floors oily, and wear proper gear).

How to Clean Oil from Garage Floors:

So you can try to cover the oil or grease stains (talked about above), with saw dust or cat litter. You don't need to use a ton, just dust the top of the area and let it sit for a little bit of time, preferably 12-24 hours depending on how large the area is. Once the magic has happened and the oil or grease has been soaked up, try to sweep the area with a broom. I have found that purchasing a broom that had a strong brush works best. Many times after this is done, using dish soap and warm water can do the rest. You can use a deck brush now to scrub the spot once saturated. Another great idea is to rent or buy a pressure washer with an adapter floor scrubber, which almost looks like a buffer. Don't just use a pressure washer or you will be blowing debris all over your dry wall. You can then use a fan to speed up the process of drying. Decide from there if you want to prep, seal or paint you flooring.

Tip: There are a lot of concrete floor cleaners out there, many of which you can find at a local hardware store that work really well, probably better then just plain soap and water on heavy stains.

Oil spill on garage floor

Thanks so much for visiting us here at We hope this has helped you in some way to better clear out your garage and set yourself up for the organization process. We hope to have you again soon, feel free to share this post on social media along with any of our products!

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