12 Tips For a Proper Garage Clean Out

Is 'clean garage' always on your to-do list? You can check it off in just one weekend with these DIY tips and projects. You'll learn how to clean the garage floor and create storage space for all of your stuff. Skeptical? Keep reading!

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Where to begin?

Cleaning out Garage: Where to Start?

Whether it happened gradually or all at once, after a move or the return of a kid from college, if your garage is a mess, you can fix it. Establish a goal of cleaning it up, establishing useful storage solutions for maximizing space, and separating everything you absolutely need to keep from items you can donate, sell, or throw away.

This process can take a lot of time, if you let it. Don’t. Give yourself no more than one weekend and take items to the donation center before close of business that day. Later, photograph the items you want to sell and get them up on Craigslist, pronto.

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How to clean the garage floor

Clean Your Garage Floor

A clean garage floor is hard to find. However, we’ll show you how to get out three of the toughest stains—oil, paint and rust. The secret is to draw the stain out of the concrete. You can easily do this in a weekend with simple tools and special products.

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Garage ceiling track storage

Add Track Storage to Your Garage Ceiling

You can elevate those large plastic storage bins from the garage floor to the ceiling with a simple overhead garage storage system. Screw 2x2s to the ceiling framing with 3-1/2-inch screws spaced every two feet. Use the bins as a guide for spacing the 2x2s. The lips on the bins should just brush against the 2x2s when you’re sliding the bins into place. Then center and screw 1x4s to the 2x2s with two-inch screws. The garage ceiling is a perfect place to store light and medium weight seasonal items like holiday decorations and camping gear.

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Corral sports gear

Corral Sports Gear

Organize your garage with this sturdy ball corral holds a herd of balls and lets kids easily grab the balls at the bottom without unloading all the ones on top. It’s built from 3/4-inch plywood and 2x2s. We made our ball corral 24 inches wide x 33 inches high x 12 inches deep. The hooks on Bungee cords can be a safety hazard for kids and adults alike. So cut the hooks off the cords (or use elastic cord available at camping, sporting goods and hardware stores).

Thread the cord through predrilled holes and secure with knots. Drill the holes slightly larger than the cords to make threading them easier. We added plumbing hooks and short gutter troughs on the outside of the corral to make it easy for kids to stash smaller balls, helmets and mitts.

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Flexible Garage Wall Storage

Flexible Garage Wall Storage

Create more storage space in your garage for tools, garden equipment, toys and everything else, by building a garage storage wall.

This system solves two challenges: first, how to design storage space for the narrow spaces between the garage side wall and the family car; and second, how to create a solid mounting surface to hold shelves and hooks that are capable of carrying hundreds of pounds of stuff.

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Store more in a small space

Store More in a Small Space

There never seems to be enough storage space in garages, but adding sliding shelves and sliding bypass units can make more efficient use of the sidewalls of your garage. The rollout shelves provide better access and make small stuff easier to find. They’re versatile, too. You can set the divider wherever you want to create different-depth shelves.

The bypass unit adds 50 percent more storage for long-handled tools and all sorts of items that take up too much wall space. You simply slide it to either side to access the stuff behind.

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Recycling bin rack

Recycling Bin Rack

Recycling bins tend to take up way too much floor space. Build recycling bin hangers to get them up off the floor and out of the way. This simple DIY garage storage project is easily accomplished with scrap lumber laying around, making it both useful and extremely inexpensive.

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Back entry clutter buster

Back Entry Clutter Buster

The space around entry doors from attached garages gets cluttered with shoes, boots, sports gear, boxes of beverages and more. These storage units are designed to solve that problem, with special shelves, cabinets and drawers for all that stuff that piles up by a heavily used entryway.

The best part is you can build the ones you need in whatever quantity and configuration that works for your garage.

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Throw and go

Throw and Go

Shelves and cabinets are great, but when you’re in a hurry (and kids always are), it’s nice to just throw and go.

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Wire shelving in the garage

Wire Shelving in the Garage

Maximize your garage storage space quickly and easily with simple and inexpensive shelves, baskets and hooks. And these garage storage racks will only take you one morning to achieve garage happiness.

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Car care products cabinet

Car Care Products Cabinet

Organize car care products including your auto lubricants, fluids and other items in this simple shelf/work table cabinet. Build it in a few hours and keep all your auto needs close at hand.

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Simple long-handle tool holder

Simple Long-Handle Tool Holder

You can buy a garden tool organizer for your garage or make a simple version in an hour or two. This compact rack is strong and simple to build. You can store shovels, rakes, a sledgehammer—any long-handled tools—conveniently up and out of the way.