Have you ever known someone that uses a garage just for storage? Instead of parking the car inside for shelter, those people leave the car exposed to the weather’s elements in order to keep a roof over boxes, equipment, and assorted odds and ends.
Keeping your car in the garage will preserve its appearance, keep it running more effectively, and make for a comfortable start in the morning when you don’t have time to scrape ice from the windshield. Here are some tips for getting your garage cleaned up and ready for use:
- Remove everything from the garage. Get rid of the trash. Call the salvage store to pick up your donations of equipment and appliances. Install a pegboard for tools and supplies. Everything else, including pet supplies, should be taken outside to air out on a sunny day, weather permitting, so you can tackle the garage.
- Use a broom to sweep down the ceiling and walls. It is probably a good idea to cover your head and perhaps to wear an inexpensive respirator, the flimsy kind that fits loosely over your nose and mouth. This will help to prevent your inhalation of dust and germs. Make sweeping motions away from yourself as you brush away cobwebs, insect nests, and accumulated debris.
- Then sweep out the entire garage floor. If there are paper wads or large dust balls, collect these with a dustpan and place them in a box or bag for the trash. Dust, sand, and dirt, unless in massive amounts, can probably be swept into the flower bed or lawn. Be sure to get the corners and any nooks or crannies where dust likes to hide.
- Wash the garage windows if you have them. Use a window cleaner or make your own from a home recipe you can find in a cleaning book or the Internet. Wipe dry with a paper towel to avoid streaking. If there are curtains or blinds, wash these separately, but don’t rehang them until the floor is clean. Wipe shelves, cupboards, and other fixtures to remove any lingering dirt.
- Run a bucket of hot, soapy water and pour it over the garage floor, assuming you have a concrete base. If you have cats and keep kitty litter in the garage, be sure to wash that area thoroughly, but be careful not to use a soap with ingredients that could interact with the cats’ urine. (Read directions carefully.) Rinse the broom and use it to spread the water over the entire garage floor, scratching at stuck dirt until it loosens and is washed away. Sweep the water toward the drain or outdoors. Rinse with clean water.
Keep the garage door open. If there is a back entrance, open it and the windows as well for cross ventilation. This will help to air out the place and help it dry sooner. Then bring in the items that will remain in the garage, organizing them along the walls neatly, and only what is truly needed. Additional items should be stored elsewhere.
Now you are ready to pull your car into the garage and enjoy your new vehicle’s new home.