Imagine a world where you could actually park inside your garage. What if we told you that dream could be a reality with just a weekend’s worth of work?
We rounded up expert garage cleaning tips and turned them into a five-step plan you can use to get your garage organized quickly and painlessly.
- Take Everything Out
The first step to decluttering your garage is to find out what’s in it. Pick a section of your garage to start with and pull everything out onto the driveway to sort through. Besides making it easier to work, this garage cleaning tip will also allow you to see what space you have to work with and what types of storage might work best when it’s time to organize the items you’re keeping.
- Decide on Your ‘Keep’ Criteria
Once you’ve pulled everything out, it’s time to set some ground rules for deciding what to keep. This garage cleaning tip will speed up the process by preventing you from agonizing over each individual item. When deciding what to keep and what to throw away, ask yourself: “Is this item in the garage for a reason, or because I didn’t know what to do with it?” If it’s the latter, either find a use for it or get rid of it.
- Decide What to Do with the Garage Clutter
Whatever doesn’t make your “keep” list is, by default, clutter. Don’t let it hang around your garage any longer.
With your “keep” items set aside, start going through the rest of the stuff you pulled out of the garage. Identify items you’d like to sell or donate first. Have plastic bins, cardboard boxes or bags on hand so that you can pack up donation items as you work and stash them somewhere out of the way.
Bag up or box up junk that doesn’t make the “keep,” “sell” or “donate” piles. If you’ve rented a dumpster for your weekend cleanout, toss the garbage bags into the container as you go.
- Deep Clean the Space
While you’ve got your garage entirely cleaned out, it might be a good idea to scrub it down before putting things back. In general, the best way to clean up a garage is from top to bottom. Start by dusting off and wiping down the tops of your cabinets, shelves and refrigerator if you have one. Then, wipe down your garage walls and the doors of your fridge and cabinets with a warm, damp cloth and a mild household detergent. Next, sweep the floor to get rid of the dust you’ve shaken loose. Finish up by mopping and hosing off the floor. Allow the floors two to four hours to dry before putting things away. As your insurance agent, we want you to stay safe. A clean garage is a safe garage!
- Get Organized
Now that you’ve whittled your inventory down and finished your garage cleanup, seize the opportunity to keep clutter from building back up. So, what’s the best way to organize a garage? It depends on what exactly you need to store.
Cleaning out your garage not only provides the benefit of a clean space but it also works in your favor when it comes to your insurance! Here are reasons why to clean out your garage space:
- Safe from the elements- rain, snow, wind
This is probably one of the most obvious, but rain, snow, wind and other weather elements are enemies of a car’s exterior. They can leave dirt and acid on a vehicle that can cause significant damages to the exterior, like rust and a weakened top clear coat. UV rays from the sun can damage a vehicle in ways most car owners don’t consider. Extreme hot and extreme cold can both lead to deterioration of the inside and outside.
- Protects from dings and scratches from elements or other vehicles
Hail and falling tree branches are just a couple examples of ways a car can get damaged from simply being outside. Dents, scratches, and broken windows are all possible exterior problems that can occur when a vehicle is left outdoors.
- Less likely to have theft or vandalism
Cars are a huge investment, and for most they are one of the most valuable things they own. Parking outside leaves a vehicle exposed to vandalism and theft. A garage helps eliminate the temptation for those that want to harm a vehicle in any way.
- Lower insurance costs
That’s right, some insurance companies offer lower policies for people who store their vehicle in a garage. Saving money is always an advantage.
- Keeps vehicles exterior looking great
Believe it or not, mechanics can tell if a car is stored in a garage or outside. Vehicle exteriors are kept in much better condition when stored in a garage which can lead to greater resale values.
- Engine stays lubricated / Coolant stays warmer, heat/AC comes on faster
Because a garage keeps a vehicle warm, the fluid and oil are kept in a stable condition which leads to an engine that runs better than one that is kept outside. Also, with a warmer car comes faster AC and heat. On cold days, the heat will warm up faster than being out in the elements. Same is true for extremely hot days.
- Visibility is ready to go
Forget the ice scraper or dewy windshield. Parking in a garage helps keep windows clear of weather and condensation so there is no need to ride with one head out the window.
Parking a car in the garage seems to be a thing of the past. Garages are used for a lot of other things like storing junk or home workshops, but parking in the garage is one of the best things for a vehicle.
American Insurance Center is an independent insurance agent located in Cumberland and Oakland, MD, and Romney, WV. We can provide coverage from many insurance carriers, so you receive the home insurance for your budget and needs! You can reach us at (301) 729-1201 or online at www.american-insurance-center.com/.