During springtime, I definitely feel the most energized and in the mood for doing those things. How about you? It’s May, and up next on my Deep Cleaning Schedule for Your Whole Home, it’s time to organize your garage and pressure wash your house! If you haven’t yet, download my cleaning schedule and jump on in! You can either start with January’s jobs and catch up, or just jump right in with me in doing May’s deep cleaning jobs!
The garage is one area in my home that can get super messy and out of control if I let it. I clean the house weekly and keep up with the laundry and dishes and all that good stuff. But the garage is harder to keep up with because I’m not in it as much. Our boys keep bikes and toys in the garage and can have a little trouble putting them back where they go (says every mom ever). Plus we live in the Sandhills of North Carolina, so our “soil” is basically sand. So that means lots of sand coming into the garage. My husband does a much better job with keeping the garage in order; but, he’s busy! AT LEAST once a year, we do a major deep cleaning and organization of our garage. Read on for some tips and ideas as you clean and organize your garage.
May’s Deep Cleaning & Organizing Jobs:
- Organize the attic.
- Organize the garage.
- Pressure wash the house.
You can read Part 1 for May’s jobs where we tackle organizing the attic. When you’re ready, join me in completing the rest of May’s deep cleaning jobs. In this post, I’ll share with you how we organize our garage and pressure wash our house and tips for you to do the same. I’ve listed these jobs for May because I like to work in the non-air conditioned areas BEFORE it gets too terribly hot in the summer months. But, of course, you can do these anytime you want.
How to Organize Your Garage:
This is a job in which I definitely enlist my husband’s help!! This is more his domain. Like I said, I don’t spend a whole lot of time in the garage. And, out of sight out of mind! I take care of the inside much better, and my husband takes care of the outside more. As you can see here, it’s gotten pretty messy!
1. Take out the Trash
When we take the trash our from our house, we usually set the trash bags by the door from the garage into the house, with all intentions of taking them out to our big trash bins outside the garage the next time we walk outside. But that doesn’t always happen right away. So, sometimes they do sit there a day or two until we take them out.
I know! Gross! I’ll take the blame on this one. My husband is much better at taking the trash to the bins. I’m usually the one that sets it at the door and then goes about my business cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, etc. AND I don’t always have shoes on or feel like putting shoes on to take the trash to the outside bins. Ok, enough excuses for me! I gotta get better at that!
So, the first thing to do to organize your garage is to take out the trash if you also have any trash piled up. There will probably be more as you declutter and purge things, But getting the trash out that is there right now is a good idea to clear some space and see what you have to work with
2. Organize Shelving Units
Do your kids ever have trouble remembering to put their toys away when they’re done playing outside? Haha! That’s a silly question. As you can see, our’s do – especially with their outside toys! So this was an area that definitely needed some tidying up.
I love this shelving unit we got from Lowe’s. It’s very sturdy and holds a lot! It just needed a little cleaning off and straightening up.
So, I went shelf-by-shelf taking everything off. I swept each shelf well to get all the dirt and sand off.
Then I wiped the shelves down with a wet cloth to clean them off even better. This isn’t something I do all the time for sure, but once a year it’s a good thing to do.
And finally, I put the items back on the shelves neatly.
I have this label maker (It was a gift from my mother-in-law, and I love it! I’d love to have a Cricut to make prettier labels, but until that fits the budget better and I feel like it’s worth spending the money on, this one is perfect!). I made labels for each shelf when I organized the garage last year.
This is how we have it set up:
- On the top shelf, we have some camping and beach things (a boogie board, camping chairs, and the cooler usually go there).
- The next shelf has biking things (helmets, a bike cart for my youngest son, a bike pump, and training wheels).
- The third shelf contains some of my husband’s carpet cleaning supplies and sports things (Bocchi ball, his tackle box, and baseball bats). I’m sure we’ll need to get another organizer for sports equipment as the boys get older and start playing team sports. I love this container for sports equipment. Adding it to my wish list now!
4. The fourth shelf from the top contains gardening supplies (grass seed, planters, gloves, watering can, etc).
5. And at the bottom are the boys’ outside toys. There’s a bin for their tractors and trucks, a basket for their bubbles and chalk, a basket for beach toys, and then their baseball tee, fishing net, shovels, and roller skates.
When you organize your garage shelves:
- Declutter – get rid of anything you no longer use or need. Throw it away if it’s not in good condition, or else put it in a pile to sell or give away.
- Organize – put like items together. Sports equipment on one shelf, kids’ toys all one shelf, etc.
- Contain – put smaller items in containers with other like items to keep them neat!
- Label – label containers and/or shelves with what’s in/on them. Then (hopefully) family members will be more likely to put things back where they go!
Watch to see how I updated my garage organization in 2021!
3. Hang Up Yard Tools
I also love this Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage Storage Rail System from Lowe’s we got a few years ago. It keeps all of our long tools (rakes, weedeater, and brooms) organized and out of the way.
Try hanging up as many things as you can, to avoid having a lot of stuff lying on the floor.
4. Organize Storage Cabinets
Besides our shelving unit, we also have this wooden cabinet we use to store smaller things. I like it for storing smaller things, because it is not as deep as the shelving unit, and it is easier to get to what we need. I also labeled each shelf in this cabinet to assure that each thing is being put back where it goes when we’re done with it.
On the top shelf, we store vehicle maintenance supplies.
On the second shelf, we have painting supplies. We recently painted all the rooms in the house. I’ve also done several DIY furniture projects. So we definitely get our use out of these things.
The third shelf contains paint, finishing wax, spray paint, caulk, etc.
And the bottom shelf, which is the tallest, contains vehicle washing supplies.
5. Organize Workbench
My husband made this workbench a few years ago to be able to store things in the bottom and do projects on the top. He went through this section and tidied up a little. He did have a lot more on the top previously. So I’m proud of him for getting it this cleaned off.
It’s still too cluttered at the bottom for my taste. I’m thinking that we will probably get another shelving unit to store some of this stuff, and have the workbench be just for storing tools and doing projects.
6. Straighten Up Bikes/Ride-on Toys
Right now, our bikes and scooters are standing up in a line against the wall. However, this Bicycle Storage Rack looks awesome for hanging bikes up on the wall. It can hold five bikes and clears up floor space. Yes, please! These are definitely on my list to buy soon.
The rest of the boys’ ride-on toys are in a line behind the bikes. Some of them, like the Little Tikes firetruck, will be going up for sale on Facebook Marketplace soon.
7. Set Up Donations/Returns Area
Against the wall between the two garage doors, we have a bin for donations to take to Goodwill or another drop off location. We also have a basket for returns we need to make. Right now I have a stack of paper grocery bags I need to recycle.
8. Dust Cobwebs
After you’ve organized the garage and have put everything in it’s place, the next thing you’ll need to do is clean it up.
The garage can get pretty dirty and full of cobwebs and spider webs. Of course, it’s the garage. You’re probably not going to clean it as much and as well as the other rooms in your house. But every once in a while, you should go through and clear it of cobwebs, because who wants to see those everywhere? Yuck!
So, take a broom and sweep over the ceilings and walls, focusing on the corners of the garage. Wipe away all the cobwebs, spiderwebs, and dust that you see. I also swept over the garage doors and the baseboards. Then I took a wet cloth and wiped the baseboards down.
9. Sweep the Floor
The last thing to do to organize your garage and getting it looking it’s best (and the thing that I think really makes the biggest difference) is to sweep the floor really well. As I said, we have a lot of sand where we live and we live in the country off a sand/dirt road. So each time I drive my car into the garage it brings a little bit of sand into it. So we take the big outdoor broom and sweep it really well.
All done with the garage organization for now! Everything is in it’s place, its free of gross spider webs and sand, and all trash is thrown away.
Pressure Washing the House:
On to the final May deep cleaning job – pressure washing the house, as well as the porch and patio furniture. This is one my husband is in charge of.
The corners of the house can attract a lot of spider webs and bugs. It’s the end of spring and the pollen SHOULD be done falling. So this is a great time to wash all that pollen, dust, dirt, and bugs off the house and outdoor furniture.
1. Make Up Cleaning Solution
The first thing we do is fill up a battery-operated sprayer with water and about half a cup of Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds. I love Sal Suds because it’s made of clean, toxic-free ingredients, it’s concentrated (you only need to use a little bit mixed with water), it can be used for SO many things (washing laundry, dishes, walls, baseboards, etc.), and it works! The sprayer my husband uses is one he bought for his carpet cleaning business. You can find a similar one here. Or you can use your pressure washer to spray the cleaning solution on the house. Then just switch it off to spraying the solution when you’re ready to just use water to pressure wash the house.
Spray one section of the house with cleaning concentrate and then water. Wash it off completely before moving on to another section. You don’t want to do such a big area that the soap dries onto the house.
My husband, Brandon, starts with the front porch. He sprays the water/Sal Suds solution over the entire surface of the area he’s cleaning. So, on the front porch, he sprays the walls, ceiling, floor, windows, shutters, front door, rocking chairs, and columns. Might as well get it all clean while he’s at it – not just the siding on the house!
2. Pressure Wash the House
Then he goes through with the pressure washer and sprays it side to side over the entire surface of the area he’s working on.
Repeat with each side of the house. Make sure you spray up on the gables and get as high up on the house as you can.
That’s it for May’s deep cleaning jobs. Let me know how it goes for you! What organization systems do you have in your garage?