Garage Cleaning: Ultimate Mid-Year Decluttering Guide

Most homeowners with garages often don’t have room to park their cars inside them—and you probably already know why. Instead of using this beast of space for its purpose, they are being used as a place to dump everything, both the necessary and unnecessary things. 

Visit any garage and you will probably find similar items in different homes: car tools, appliances, old sports equipment, boxes of old clothes and shoes, etc. Ask any homeowner and they will likely find an item that they have forgotten that it exists. 

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The basic idea of cleaning your warehouse-looking garage is to get rid of all the junk that you have been holding onto for years to make room for all your essentials and improve the overall look of your space. 

How to Clean Your Garage in 3 Easy Steps 

One reason why garage cleaning can seem pretty overwhelming is that we imagine doing it all at once: discard items, get new boxes for storage, re-organize the remaining items, and everything in between. However, the key here is to do one thing at a time. Declutter first, then group your items into different categories and think about how you would store them. Would you consider some garage shelves DIY or purchase stackable storage boxes? We suggest both. 

1. Declutter First 

As decluttering guru Marie Kondi suggests, start by discarding, all at once. Focus completely on clearing up your garage by getting rid of the junk—items that are old, broken, or those you haven’t used for a year or more. Set aside the things that you would keep and reorganize, but don’t do anything else with it yet. 

For speedier decluttering, think of separating your garage items into five categories. Sort them into boxes for items to: 

• Sell

• Dispose 

• Recycle 

• Donate 

• Keep 

If you have several clothing items to discard, you may also want to have a separate box for them. It would make it easier for you to bring them to places that accept clothes, shoes, and linens like thrift stores.

2. Get These Items Out of Your Garage 

With your garage items sorted, how do you plan to take them out of your property? This is something you would want to plan for from the start. Here, you have plenty of options such as: 

• Selling in online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Facebook. 

• Putting items for disposal in the trash. 

• Donating valuable but usable items to family, friends, or thrift stores

By following these steps, you would eventually see significant results that will motivate you to keep going. You’ll soon realize that garage decluttering isn’t that overwhelming after all! 

3. Re-Organize Your Garage 

The reason you should re-organize your garage last is that you don’t want to purchase garage storage solutions and discover later that they are not enough or you can’t use them for what’s left in your space. The first step to re-organizing is to group similar items together into categories such as: 

• Car & bike maintenance 

• Gardening 

• Home cleaning 

• Sports equipment 

• Clothes, linens, and blankets 

• Books and magazines 

• Seasonal decorations 

• Electronics 

Think of investing in storage solutions that will help you keep these items together. Some examples are as follows. 

• Hanging shelves to save some floor space.

• Pegboards to keep your small tools easily accessible. 

• Toolshed for your gardening equipment—rake, shovel, etc. 

• Wall-mount bike hangers to keep your bike off the ground. 

• Overhead shelves for the same reason as maximizing your vertical space. 

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These items will help you regain control of your space and make the cleaning process easier as well. The key to maintaining organization in your garage is to tidy up as often as you have to, whether that is weekly, monthly, or seasonally. However, see to it that you clean and declutter your garage at least twice a year. 


Garages are high-traffic areas that are prone to clutter. Therefore, the more you organize this area, the less time it will take. True, it’s not a 15-minute type of activity, so you will have to block at least a weekend in your calendar to get the cleaning done. Unless you have a two-car garage filled to the brim with boxes and containers, you can declutter and organize this area in one weekend. 

As a final tip, if you want to do things faster, there’s nothing wrong with engaging the help of your family. Make sure to inform them of your organizing plan, so they know what to do and exactly what you need from them. When done right, it should cut the cleaning time in half.

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