While it’s not nearly as thrilling an observance as National Ice Cream Day or National Pie Day, the fifth annual National Clean Out Your Garage Day, will make you feel much more satisfied than a day spent with pie a la mode. Really, it will. Trust me.
Five years ago, the Lehigh Group, maker of Crawford garage and home workshop organization products, proclaimed Saturday, September 7, National Clean Out Your Garage Day.
“We established National Clean Out Your Garage Day to occur on the first weekend after Labor Day, a time when much of America moves from summer to fall, and items such as bikes, outdoor toys, sports and camping gear, lawnmowers and garden tools are put away for the season,” said Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for The Lehigh Group.
Here are six tips to get your garage from this:
1. Before you begin the dirty work:
*Have plenty of trash bags on hand.
*Purchase plastic containers with lids for items you want to store. Those cardboard boxes only last so long, and they don’t stack well. Plus, critters can get inside. And don’t forget a permanent marker for labeling.
*If there’s room in your garage, which there should be after a thorough cleaning, get a couple of shelving units that can hold those boxes.
2. Sort your stuff and categorize.
*Lawn and gardening tools in one area.
*Auto supplies — windshield wiper fluid, oil, wax and car cleaners — in another pile.
*Holiday ornaments and decorations in yet another area.
You get the idea. While you’re sorting, don’t forget to make a discard pile, donate pile, sell pile and a borrowed-and-never-returned pile.
3. Once you’ve removed everything from the floor (yes, you must), then sweep out the garage and, if needed, hose it out. But you’ll have to wait until it’s dry before putting things back inside.
4. Use vertical space. A couple of vehicles, a lawn mower and a washer and dryer, if you don’t have an indoor laundry room, can gobble up a lot of floor space. But if you look up, you’ll find plenty of room on walls and ceilings where you can use pegboards, hanging shelves, and hooks galore that will hold bikes, sports equipment, garden tools, and even your leaf blower.
5. Store hazardous items out of reach. If you’ve got pets or children around, and you store paint, turpentine, insecticide, rodent poison, fertilizer and other toxic materials in the garage, then consider putting these potentially dangerous items in a locked cabinet or on a sturdy, high shelf.
6. Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste. Don’t hang on to the donate and return piles. Get rid of them before the weekend is over. And place ads for all items in the sell pile on Craigslist or eBay immediately.
Now, go have some pie and ice cream. You’ve earned it.
Have you gone from a grungy, messy garage to one that you’ve organized and transformed? Show us, we’d love to see. Send your photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #AJCdiy.