A Clean Start for Your Garage

One of the hardest battles that everyone has to fight in their lifetime is the one against the procrastination. Needless to say, this is the most ironical problem you will ever have to deal with, seeing as how the amount of work that needs to be done prolongs the procrastination period, while it also increases the urgency to get started.

Once upon a time, I used my garage as a backup storage space, however, one day things got out of hands. You see, at first, the free space was ample so I didn’t have to worry about issues like organization or space utilization, which was a major mistake. Furthermore, this made storing things in my garage much easier than in the basement (which coincidentally ran out of space a while back). Needless to say, this further facilitated the problem.

Not only did this made parking my car more difficult but it also made walking to and from my car feel like stepping through a mine-field. Once I stumbled my foot upon an old…something… for the millionth time, I’ve decided that I’ve had enough and made a resolution to start cleaning my garage first thing in the morning. While my resolve did hold, I found that the job I’ve put myself in front of wasn’t nearly as simple as I expected it to be at first. With this in mind and without further ado, here are a couple of tips I found useful, during my garage makeover, you might just find useful in a similar situation.

1. Start applying the three years’ rule

In the introduction, I might have overplayed the role of the lack of organization in the mess that was my garage. Sometimes, you simply overcrowd the room so much that even the best organizational skills can’t help you. When this happens, you need to start prioritizing, which, sadly, means saying goodbye to some items you believed you could hold on for, for an eternity.

The best way to handle this situation is to start applying the three years’ rule. Take an item and ask yourself a simple question: “Did I use it in the previous three years?”. If the answer is no, it has to go (no rhyme intended).

For the majority of items, the most cost-effective way is to try and sell them, however, organizing a garage sale is an arduous job. This is why I decided to offer some of these items on eBay. You would be surprised at just how many people are willing to pay for empty boxes, old cables and old Nintendo cartridges. The profit I’ve made here alone was more than enough to cover all the cleaning supplies and new containers I later used in order to reorganize my garage.

On the other hand, I simply couldn’t part with grandpa’s old rocking chair, as well as a couple of other family heirlooms or vacation mementos. This situation, I handled by looking for nearby storage facilities and renting out a unit to store these items in, until I figure out what to do with them (I still haven’t).

2. Clean the floor

Next comes the cleaning of the place and while dusting and wiping are hard, nothing compares to cleaning the garage floor. Drawing stains out of the concrete doesn’t take a lot of work, however, it does require a lot of finesse I didn’t have beforehand. It turns out, all I’ve needed were some absorbents like diatomaceous earth, some trisodium phosphate and some water in order to get the right mixture.

On the other hand, removing rust stains turned out to be a bit more hazardous, seeing as how it required me to dilute the muriatic acid and then rinse. Seeing as how the exposure to vapors poses a real hazard, I had to wear the protective gear during this entire process. Luckily, I already had a pair of goggles, rubber boots, gloves and a respirator (the last item is absolutely mandatory).

3. Reinvent the storage

Finally, while self-restraint can get you some results, you still need to postpone your next garage reorganization for as much as you can. Now, the most responsible way to do so is to reinvent your storage. My personal idea for doing this was to install a garage ceiling track storage, seeing as how it allowed me to utilize that unused space on the ceiling. Just make sure to check and double-check if the bins are fastened securely enough, in order to avoid a falling hazard.

Apart from this, I also invested in shelves as much as I could, seeing as how I had a lot of small items, chemicals and tools I wanted to keep off the floor. In order to make things a bit more interesting and due to the fact that I finished way ahead of schedule, I decided to make this into a fun DIY project. As for the inspiration, Pinterest is probably the first place you should visit.

In conclusion

Finally, I had a fully functional garage but this wasn’t all that I’ve gained from this project. You see, the very idea that I would have to deal with my garage, eventually, was looming over my head for so long that, upon completion, I felt liberated. Needless to say, this gave me a boost of energy I needed in order to fix my basement, as well, however, this is a story for another time.

About the Author:

Bio: David Koller is a freelance blogger passionately interested in minor house fixes and home décor.

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