It’s that time of year to go through the things in your life that you may or may not need and consider donating or getting rid of them. One place we find that often gets put off is the garage, but in reality this is where the majority of our belongings go to be forgotten about. We’ve put together a checklist to help you clean out your garage without it feeling so daunting.

Why should I clean out my garage?

Coming from the garage experts, we want you to treat your garage the way we would treat it. Getting rid of junk and organizing what you decide to keep allows you to actually have the space to clean the areas that have been neglected for months.

Once you can reach the shelves and see the floor, you can keep dust and dirt from building up. This will actually help keep your home cleaner as well because you won’t be tracking in all of the debris from your garage whenever you come inside. 


Organizing your garage gives you the opportunity to know what you have. You won’t waste money buying new Christmas lights if you already know that they are there in your garage.

Let’s Start Cleaning

To save yourself time and energy along the way, go ahead and make sure that you have everything you need to clean out your garage.

  • Tubs with lids
  • Broom and dustpan
  • 50 gallon trash bags
  • Step stool and / or ladder
  • 409 or preferred cleaning products
  • Microfiber cloths or paper towels
  • Power washer

Now that you have what you need, let’s get started.

Step One – Purge

This part is going to be the most difficult but most important of all. We want you to open up your garage and pull absolutely everything out onto the driveway This includes shelves, tubs, junk, cars, all of it.

Create different piles labeled:

  • Trash
  • Donate
  • Sell
  • Keep

This should help organize your belongings and give you an idea of where everything will go.

Some things you should never keep in your garage are 

  • Paint cans – these go bad very quickly in humid or cold weather. Unfortunately we have either/or at all times of the year it seems like. Move this to a craft room or storage instead. 
  • Refrigerators – I know this one is odd. Most people have a fridge in their garage, however if your garage is not air conditioned, the fridge can cause your energy bill to skyrocket.
  • Dog or cat food – this is just asking for raccoons, opossums, mice, etc. to come lurking in your garage.
  • Propane and gas – the garage may seem like the ideal place but the truth is, these should be kept outdoors in case a spark happens and catches fire.

Step Two – Clean

Now that you have nothing in your garage, it is time to clean every nook and cranny of your space. Start by wiping down shelves, and countertops if you have them. Use your step ladder to dust out any cobwebs or dirt dobber nests. Use your 409 or whatever cleaning product you prefer to spray and wipe down all surfaces. 

Use your broom or shop vac to really clean out the floors and corners of your garage. If you have a power washer, you can use this to clean the floors of your garage – remember to spray out toward the driveway, and only if your belongings are not where they can get wet.

If your garage has any windows, on the door or inside the actual garage, now is the time to wipe away the dirt and clean them. This will allow natural light to brighten up your space. 

Step 3 – Get Organized

Now that you have a clean work space, and you know what you want to go back into your garage, it is time to get it all organized.

We recommend using shelving or overhead storage to store your bins that you want to keep. Make sure you label each bin so that you know what you have. If you have bikes or scooters, try utilizing a wall system to keep them from collecting dust on the ground.

Step 4 – Donate / Trash

Everything you want to trash, load up into your 50 gallon trash bags and get to tossing! IF you have items you want to donate, you can bring them to your local Habitat for Humanity, or even have them come pick it up for you.

Now you should just be left with your “sell” items and this can be done with a yard sale or by using Facebook marketplace

Now that you have a clean garage, it is easier to do your yearly inspections and make sure everything is working properly. We suggest doing maintenance while you are already out there cleaning. Check all hinges and make sure the door is opening and closing properly. VCheck security features too. For a list of garage maintenance, click here.

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