If your garage has become a bit of a dumping ground for all of those miscellaneous items that you prefer not to store in your house, here are a few tips which should help you to transform it from its current, chaotic state into a well-organised, functional area of your property.
Think about your household's needs
Before you pick up a sweeping brush or buy new storage containers, think about what purpose you want the garage to serve. Do you want to use it solely as a storage space for your family's camping gear, gardening tools and sports equipment, as a secure parking area for your car, or as a room in which to carry out your favourite hobbies? Your answers to these questions will make the subsequent de-cluttering and reorganisation of the space far easier, as you'll know exactly what you want to keep and where you wish to keep it.
Deciding on the primary function of the garage may also help to clarify whether or not you'll need to make some minor renovations. For example, if you enjoy doing art as a hobby and have plans to start regularly using your garage as a makeshift studio, it may be worth investing in a garage door which is easier to open and close. Having to manually hoist up a heavy door each every day will quickly become tiresome; in such cases, it may be worth investing in either a new tilt garage door opener, which will allow for remote opening of any traditionally designed tilt door, or an entirely new garage door with side hinges, which would enable you to open it in much the same way that you would a normal, interior door.
De-cluttering your garage serves two purposes; firstly, it allows you to rid yourself of the possessions which are taking up valuable space on your property and thus preventing you from fully utilising it. Secondly, it gives you a chance to accurately access the amount of floor space that's available for use in the garage.
To begin this process, create four different sections on your lawn, and place all of the items that have been cluttering up your garage into these (if it's been raining recently, you may want to lay out a sheet of plastic so that your belongings don't get soaked by the wet grass). One section will be for items that you plan to recycle, whilst the others will be for refuse, donations and of course, items you are planning to keep. Don't be tempted to hold onto duplicates, things that you haven't used in several years or broken items 'just in case' you'll need any of them in the future. By being strict with yourself during the de-cluttering process, you'll end up with a perfectly organised garage that only contains the things that you truly love and need.
Deep-cleaning your garage before you return all of the things you have decided to keep back into it will not only help to improve its appearance, but also its functionality. For example, if you don't tackle the patch of mould growing in one corner, you might be tempted to simply avoid using that area, which in turn will mean that you'll have less available storage space.
Begin by giving the garage floor a thorough scrubbing with a bucket of warm, soapy water and an outdoor sweeping brush. For any mouldy areas or tough stains that you cannot remove with a traditional detergent and some elbow grease, use a mixture of bleach and water in a spray bottle; this should kill any mould spores and help to lighten stains so that they are no longer noticeable.
Soapy water can also be used for the garage door; however, it's best to use a soft nylon cleaning brush rather than one with hard bristles to prevent scratches. After scrubbing, hose down the door to remove any remaining soap suds and allow the door to air-dry fully, before applying a protective wax coating.