It’s definitely warming up here in Virginia. Depending on where you are reading this from, you may be experiencing warmer weather, too. This is the time we all start getting ready for the summer. This is a great time of year for spring cleaning the garage or shed. Garages and sheds can become the dumping ground for a mishmash of stuff such as yard tools, bags of grass seeds, sprays and fertilizers, outdoor toys, and recreational equipment. Here are some tips to help you with spring cleaning the garage or shed.
What is the purpose of your space this year?
It is important to define the purpose of your garage or shed. Don’t be surprised if the purpose of this area changes. If you have kids, then you know that with each new year brings with it new focuses as your kids age and grow. Last year may have been the year of the water toys with the sprinklers, while this year may be heavily focused on obstacle courses for bikes. You also may have changed since last year. If you are no longer doing the yard work then you do not need to keep all those items. Or maybe you are focused now on gardening and you have collected many more items to store. Spring cleaning the garage or shed will help you to utilize your space and prioritize the purpose of the space.
What is the weather forecast?
Check the weather and make sure you have a couple of hours to accommodate spring cleaning the garage or shed. You don’t want to empty out the area of all its contents and be met with a rain shower. If it’s going to be quite a warm day, start working on your spring cleaning project extra early in the morning to allow you more time before the hot afternoon sun.
Where do I begin to start spring cleaning the garage or shed?
Maybe you don’t have a lot to do in your space, or maybe it is so overwhelming that you just turned around as soon as you stepped into the space. We understand how overwhelming this project may feel. But here are five steps to follow so that you do not get lost:
1. Pull everything out…
To start off your spring cleaning project, pull every single item out of the garage/shed and sort all into piles. You will have probably forgotten about many items until you see them.Your categories may be different but here are some ideas for piles to make:
- Yard tools such as hand tools, shovels, and rakes.
- Garden-related items such as fencing, stakes, tomato cages, etc.
- Gas-powered tools.
- Large, heavy equipment like the lawn mower and power washer.
- Recreational items such as corn hole, golf clubs, softball, croquette, mountain bikes, etc.
- Kid toys which can be further sorted into categories such as balls, water toys, and so forth.
2. Let items go…
Once you have sorted through all the items, go through each pile and eliminate duplicates, old, and broken items. If you aren’t going to use multiples of one tool, let the duplicates go. Also, if you have broken yard tools or toys that you have been planning to fix, seriously consider the broken items. How much time and effort will it take to fix the item? If fixing it is a must, set aside time on your calendar now to fix it. If putting time on your calendar seems like a chore, perhaps fixing it will not likely happen and you should consider letting the item go.
3. Time to clean…
After sorting through all the piles, take time to clean the space. Wipe down any windows, walls, and doors. Sweep or vacuum the floor. It will make an amazing difference!
4. Put items away…
Put all the “keep” items away based upon their frequency of use. What you use the most often needs to be the most accessible. Here are our favorite products for organizing garages and sheds and for storing kids’ outdoor toys. Don’t rule anything out, you may find that a cart on wheels is the most helpful way to keep your pots and plant food organized, or you may decide that tool boxes need to go and it is time to install a pegboard for all your tools. Whatever you decide, make sure that you utilize the wall space. The Container Store has the best selection of products and you can utilize any vertical wall space by adding shelves and bins or tubs. Don’t forget labels so that you can find everything and to make sure that each item gets put back into its place.
5. Haul away the items you are letting go…
This last step is pretty important. You have done a lot of really hard work…keep going to finish the job! Take the items that you are letting go to where they need to go whether that is the trash can, recycle bin, or needs a haul to a charity, the dump, or a friend. If you are in the local Richmond area and want some help with this step, we highly recommend using Junk Shuttle! We cannot recommend them enough as they are reliable, hardworking, and ready to haul. Here are a couple other recycling, hauling, and shredding resources.
We would love to hear about you spring cleaning the garage or shed! Share photos and tips you have found helpful or ask any questions if you find yourself stumped with our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook.