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12 Tips For a Proper Garage Clean Out

Is 'clean up the 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?

Where to Start Organizing Your Garage

Whether it happened gradually or all of a sudden, after a move or the return of a kid from college, if your garage is a mess, you can fix it. Set a goal of clearing out and separating everything you absolutely need to keep from the things you can, want or should 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

How to Clean the 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

Get those big plastic storage bins up off the garage floor and onto the ceiling! Screw 2x2s to the ceiling framing with 3-1/2-in. screws spaced every 2 ft. 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 2-in. 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

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-in. plywood and 2x2s. We made our ball corral 24 in. wide x 33 in. high x 12 in. 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, even in the narrow alley between the wall and car door, with this adjustable shelving system.

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 rollout 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 these recycling bin hangers to get them up off the floor and out of the way, and it costs almost nothing.

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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. Find complete instructions, including diagrams for cutting the wood, here.

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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 your auto lubricants, fluids and other items in this simple shelf/work table cabinet.

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Simple long-handle tool holder

Simple Long-Handle Tool Holder

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. Learn how to make this rack yourself with these complete how-to instructions, including photos.