How To Clean Your Garage Out – Ultimate Guide

Cleaning out your garage can transform a cluttered, chaotic space into an organized, functional area. How do you clean your garage? Is there a step-by-step process to simplify the task?

To clean your garage out:

  1. Prepare for the Garage Cleanout
  2. Empty the Garage
  3. Clean the Garage Floor
  4. Inspect and Repair
  5. Declutter and Sort Items
  6. Use Storage Solutions
  7. Deep Cleaning
  8. Organize Your Garage
  9. Maintain the Clean Garage
  10. Address Spills and Stains Immediately
  11. Utilize Professional Services
  12. Celebrate Your Clean and Organized Garage

This ultimate guide will walk you through every step, from gathering supplies and emptying the garage to deep cleaning and organizing. 

How To Clean Your Garage Out

Step 1: Prepare for the Garage CleanoutGather supplies. Rent a dumpster if needed. Use protective gear.
Step 2: Empty the GarageRemove everything from the garage. Group items into categories.
Step 3: Clean the Garage FloorSweep and mop the floor. Use a pressure washer for tough stains. Clean baseboards and corners.
Step 4: Inspect and RepairPatch cracks and holes. Lubricate the garage door. Check for pests and electrical issues.
Step 5: Declutter and Sort ItemsCreate piles for keeping, donating, and throwing away. Donate or sell unwanted items.
Step 6: Use Storage SolutionsInstall shelves and hooks. Use labeled bins and overhead storage. Utilize wall space.
Step 7: Deep CleaningClean walls, windows, and surfaces. Vacuum cobwebs. Thoroughly clean before returning items.
Step 8: Organize Your GarageStore items by category. Create zones for different activities.
Step 9: Maintain the Clean GarageClean twice a year. Regularly sweep and mop. Keep items organized.
Step 10: Address Spills and Stains ImmediatelyClean spills right away. Keep a spill kit handy.
Step 11: Utilize Professional ServicesHire professionals for junk removal and deep cleaning if needed.

How to Get Motivated to Clean Out Your Garage

The first step to clean your garage is to, well, start. However starting the huge task of cleaning out the garage is no mean feat, and it takes a lot of drive and motivation. 

Here are a few ways to get you started:

Invite Friends or Neighbors

One of the best ways to tackle a big project like a garage cleanout is to invite friends, relatives, or neighbors to help. You could turn it into a social event where everyone benefits.

For example, you might propose a garage cleaning day swap. Tell your friends if they help you clean your garage for a few hours, you’ll return the favor.

This not only makes the task less overwhelming but also more enjoyable. With a team, you can clean out your garage in a fraction of the time it would take you alone.

Imagine how much quicker you could:

  • sweep the floor to get rid of dust, 
  • vacuum corners, or
  • even move large pieces of furniture with extra hands.

Plus, the company makes it fun and less tedious. You can share stories, catch up on life, and make the most of the time together.

This collaborative approach to cleaning out the garage ensures you’re not just working but also enjoying the process.

Plan for a Summer Get-Together

Having a clean and organized garage can be a point of pride, especially if you plan to host gatherings. Planning a summer get-together is a fantastic way to motivate yourself to clean the garage.

Knowing that guests will see the space can drive you to get rid of clutter and organize your garage more effectively.

Visualize a barbecue party where you can easily grab garden tools or sporting equipment without wading through piles of junk. This image can be a powerful motivator.

Use the impending event as a deadline for your garage cleanup. Start by decluttering and organizing systems for different items such as:

  • tools,
  • sporting equipment, and
  • patio furniture.

This approach makes it easier to put things away and keep clutter at bay. Imagine your friends and family complimenting you on how tidy and functional your garage looks.

Use Visual Reminders

Sometimes, visual reminders can be the key to staying motivated. Print out a picture of a clean and organized garage and place it somewhere visible. This could be:

  • on your fridge,
  • by your workstation, or even
  • inside the garage.

Seeing this image regularly reminds you of your goal and the benefits of a clean and organized garage.

You might also want to create a vision board with images of storage solutions, clean garage floors, and organized tools. This daily visual can boost your motivation to keep working towards your goal.

Each time you’re tempted to delay, the visual reminder will keep you on track. The satisfaction of seeing a clean and organized space where you can park your car, work on projects, or store items neatly will be worth the effort.

Make a Bet

A little friendly competition can go a long way. Make a bet with a friend or family member that you’ll have your garage cleaned out by a specific date.

To up the stakes, agree to forfeit a certain amount of money if you don’t meet the deadline. This kind of challenge can provide the push you need to get started and stay committed.

Hand over the money to a trusted person who will only return it once you’ve met your goal. This bet doesn’t just involve financial stakes but also your pride.

You’ll work hard to avoid losing the bet and will find yourself tackling tasks like organizing tools, decluttering garden tools, and sweeping the floor with renewed vigor.

Plus, the satisfaction of winning the bet and having a clean garage will make the effort worthwhile.

Consider Winter Benefits

Winter is a great motivator for cleaning out the garage. Imagine the convenience of parking your car inside during the cold months.

No more scraping ice off the windshield or braving the elements just to get to your car. A clean garage makes this possible.

Think about the space in your garage. With less clutter, you can easily store winter items like snow blowers and salt. Decluttering now also means you won’t have to dig through heaps of junk to find your winter gear.

By organizing shelves and hooks for tools and garden equipment, you’re keeping the space functional and ready for any season.

Clean and organized garages not only protect your vehicle from harsh weather but also provide a useful space for winter projects.

How to Remove Clutter & Clean Your Garage

One thing about cleaning up garage is staring a a huge pile of mess, and not knowing where to start. If this is your situation, here’s a detailed plan to help you tackle this project efficiently.

Step 1: Prepare for the Garage Cleanout

Start by gathering all the supplies you’ll need. This includes a:

If you anticipate a lot of junk removal, consider renting a dumpster. Dumpster rental services can make it easy to dispose of large amounts of trash, and having a dumpster on site can streamline the entire cleanout process.

Make sure you have gloves, masks, and protective eyewear to handle dust and debris safely. Having a plan and the right tools will make the task more manageable and less daunting.

Step 2: Empty the Garage

Begin by pulling everything out of the garage. This might seem like a big task, but it’s the best way to see the space you have to work with.

Spread items out in your yard or driveway. This is a great time to group items into categories: tools, garden tools, sporting equipment, patio furniture, and miscellaneous items.

Seeing everything laid out will help you make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. Plus, an empty garage allows you to clean every nook and cranny without obstacles.

This step is crucial for a thorough cleanout and will give you a clear vision of the task ahead.

Step 3: Clean the Garage Floor

With the garage empty, it’s time to clean your garage floor. Start by sweeping the floor to get rid of dust and debris. For a deeper clean, mop the floor using a solution of mild household detergent and water.

If you have stubborn stains or spills, a pressure washer (paid link) can be very effective. Pressure washing is especially useful for removing oil stains and built-up grime.

Remember, a clean garage floor sets the stage for a clean and organized garage. Don’t forget to clean the baseboards and corners, which can accumulate dust and dirt over time.

Step 4: Inspect and Repair

Check for any damage, such as cracks in the floor or holes in the walls. Patch up any holes and seal cracks to prevent future issues.

Inspect the garage door, ensuring it opens and closes smoothly. Lubricate the tracks and hinges if necessary. This is also a good time to check the baseboard for any damage and repair it.

If you find signs of pests, such as droppings or nests, take appropriate measures to address the issue. Ensure that all electrical outlets and wiring are in good condition.

This is an ideal time to install additional lighting or outlets if needed, making your garage more functional.

Step 5: Declutter and Sort Items

As you begin to organize your garage, it’s essential to declutter. Create three piles:

  • keep,
  • donate, and
  • throw away.

Be honest about what you’re keeping. If you haven’t used something in the past year, it’s probably time to get rid of it. Consider donating unwanted items to organizations like Habitat for Humanity or holding a yard sale.

Decluttering is a significant part of cleaning a garage, as it frees up space and makes it easier to organize.

Remember, the goal is to reduce clutter and only keep items that are useful or hold sentimental value. This step might take time, so be patient and thorough.

Step 6: Use Storage Solutions

Invest in storage solutions to keep clutter at bay. Shelves and hooks are perfect for organizing tools and garden equipment.

Storage bins can hold smaller items and keep them out of sight. Label everything to make it easy to find and put away. Overhead storage can be useful for items you don’t need to access frequently.

Utilize wall space efficiently with pegboards for tools and hooks for larger items. Installing a workbench can provide a dedicated space for projects and further keep the garage organized.

Custom storage solutions tailored to your needs can maximize the space and functionality of your garage.

Step 7: Deep Cleaning

Before putting items back in the garage, give it a thorough cleaning. Wipe down walls and windows, and clean any built-up grime on surfaces. Use a vacuum with attachments to clean cobwebs from corners and ceilings.

A deep cleaning ensures your garage starts fresh and stays clean longer. This step is crucial for maintaining a clean and organized garage over time.

Pay attention to any areas that might have been neglected, such as behind large items or under shelving units. A spotless garage not only looks better but is also more pleasant to work in and visit.

Step 8: Organize Your Garage

Now that your garage is clean and empty, it’s time to put items back where they belong. Use the storage solutions you’ve installed to keep everything organized. Group items by category and store them in designated areas.

For example, keep all garden tools together on one wall, and store sporting equipment in a specific section. This makes it easy to find what you need and keeps the space organized.

Creating zones for different activities, such as a gardening area, a tool station, and a storage section for seasonal items, can enhance functionality.

Clearly labeled bins and shelves help maintain order and make it easy to put things away.

Step 9: Maintain the Clean Garage

To keep your garage clean and organized, regular maintenance is key. Plan to clean the garage twice a year, in the spring and fall.

During these cleanouts, declutter and reorganize as needed. Regularly sweep and mop the floor to get rid of dirt and debris. Keeping a clean garage doesn’t have to be a massive task if you stay on top of it.

Establish a routine for putting items back where they belong after use, and address spills and messes immediately. Encourage family members to follow the organization system to prevent clutter from building up again.

Step 10: Address Spills and Stains Immediately

Don’t let spills and stains sit. Clean them up as soon as they happen to prevent permanent damage. Use appropriate cleaners for different types of spills, such as oil or paint.

For oil spills, products like sawdust or cat litter can help absorb the liquid before you clean it with detergent and water.

Promptly addressing spills ensures your garage floor stays in good condition and makes future cleaning easier.

Keep a spill kit handy in the garage, including absorbent materials and cleaning agents, so you’re always prepared to tackle messes quickly.

Step 11: Utilize Professional Services

If the task seems too overwhelming, consider hiring professional garage cleanout services. They can handle:

  • junk removal,
  • deep cleaning, and even
  • help organize your garage.

This can be a worthwhile investment if you’re short on time or need expert assistance. Professional services can also provide specialized equipment and techniques to tackle particularly challenging cleaning tasks.

Research local services to find a reputable company, and don’t hesitate to ask for references or read reviews to ensure you’re getting quality service.

Step 12: Celebrate Your Clean and Organized Garage

Once you’ve cleaned out your garage and put everything back in its place, take a moment to enjoy the clean and organized space. You’ve created a useful space that’s easy to navigate and free of clutter.

Whether you use your garage to park your car, store items, or work on projects, maintaining this clean space will make it a more enjoyable and functional part of your home.

Share your success with friends and family, and consider hosting a garage-warming party to show off your hard work. A well-organized garage can enhance your home’s value and provide a sense of accomplishment.

How To Inspect & Repair Damages On Your Empty Garage?

Now that your garage is cleaned out, you have the perfect opportunity to address any damages that have accumulated over time.

Here’s a detailed guide to help you inspect and repair your garage efficiently.

Patch Holes and Cracks

Start by thoroughly inspecting the walls and floor of your garage. Look for any holes, cracks, or other damage. Patching these imperfections is essential to prevent further deterioration and keep your garage in top shape.

Use a high-quality concrete patch for the garage floor and a suitable wall patch for the walls.

For small holes and cracks, you can use a pre-mixed filler. Apply it with a putty knife, smooth it out, and let it dry. For larger cracks or holes, you might need a more robust solution like a concrete repair mix.

Mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions, fill the cracks, and smooth the surface with a trowel. Allow ample drying time before moving on to the next steps.

Pay attention to the baseboards as well. These can often get overlooked but can accumulate dirt and suffer from damage over time. Patch any gaps or damage to ensure a clean, finished look.

If you would like to go the distance, there’s also an option to restore your garage flooring – epoxy garage flooring may be a good idea to consider.

Check Wiring and Replace if Necessary

Next, inspect the wiring in your garage. This step is crucial for safety and functionality. Look for any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed wires or exposed connections. These can be fire hazards and should be addressed immediately.

If you’re not comfortable working with electrical wiring, call a professional electrician to handle the repairs. They can replace any damaged wiring and ensure that your garage is safe.

If you feel confident, make sure to turn off the power at the breaker box before starting any electrical work. Replace damaged wires with new ones, and use electrical tape to secure connections. Check all outlets and light fixtures for functionality.

Consider adding more outlets or better lighting if needed to improve the usability of your garage.

Clean Gutters and Drains

Cleaning the gutters and drains around your garage is essential to prevent water damage. Clogged gutters can lead to water overflow, which can damage your garage’s foundation and walls.

Use a sturdy ladder to access the gutters and wear gloves to protect your hands. Remove any debris, such as leaves and twigs, that have accumulated in the gutters. Use a garden hose to flush out any remaining dirt and ensure the downspouts are clear.

If you notice any damage to the gutters, such as cracks or loose sections, repair them promptly. Properly maintained gutters will direct water away from your garage, protecting it from potential water damage.

Check the drains inside the garage as well. If your garage has a floor drain, ensure it is not clogged. Pour water into it to make sure it flows freely.

Keeping drains clear will prevent water from pooling on your garage floor during cleaning or wet weather.

Inspect and Maintain Garage Door and Tracks

The garage door is one of the most used parts of your garage, so it’s essential to keep it in good working order. Inspect the garage door and tracks for any signs of damage or wear. Look for:

  • bent tracks,
  • loose bolts, and
  • worn rollers.

Lubricate the moving parts of the garage door, such as the rollers, hinges, and tracks, using a silicone-based lubricant. This will ensure smooth operation and reduce wear over time.

Check the weather stripping around the garage door. If it’s cracked or worn, replace it to keep drafts and pests out.

Test the garage door opener to ensure it’s functioning correctly. If the door doesn’t open or close smoothly, it might be time to adjust the tension or call a professional for a more thorough inspection.

Organizing Storage Solutions

With your garage nicely cleaned and repaired, you can start putting things back together again. Before you do that, however, it may make sense to organize and plan your storage. With the right storage solutions, you can transform a cluttered mess into a functional space.

Here are some effective ways to organize storage solutions in your garage, with specific examples and insider tips.

Use Wall-Mounted Shelves and Hooks

Maximize vertical space by installing wall-mounted shelves and hooks. This method keeps items off the garage floor, making cleaning and navigating the space easier. Use heavy-duty shelves for storing larger items like:

  • paint cans,
  • car cleaning supplies, and
  • gardening tools.

Hooks are perfect for hanging bikes, ladders, and sporting equipment.

For example, a pegboard with hooks can keep frequently used tools like hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches easily accessible. Group items by function and store them in designated areas on the shelves.

This system helps you find what you need quickly and controls your garage’s clutter. Investing in adjustable shelving allows you to customize the space as your storage needs change.

Invest in Overhead Storage Racks

Overhead storage racks are ideal for items you don’t use frequently, like holiday decorations, camping gear, and large pieces of furniture. These racks use the often-unused ceiling space, keeping the floor area clear.

When installing overhead racks, ensure they are securely anchored to the ceiling joists to handle the weight.

Consider using clear plastic bins to store items on these racks. Label each bin so you can easily identify the contents without opening them. This method organizes your garage and protects your items from dust and moisture.

It’s a practical solution for freeing up valuable floor space and keeping the garage clean and organized.

Create a Dedicated Workbench Area

If you use your garage as a workshop, setting up a dedicated workbench area can help you organize your tools and projects.

Choose a sturdy workbench with built-in storage drawers or cabinets. Use magnetic strips to hold metal tools and small containers to organize screws, nails, and other small parts.

A specific area for your projects helps tidy the rest of the garage. Install additional lighting above the workbench to create a well-lit workspace. This setup keeps your tools organized and provides a safe and efficient area for your projects.

A clean and organized garage workbench can inspire creativity and productivity.

Utilize Modular Storage Systems

Modular storage systems offer flexibility and customization, making them an excellent choice for organizing your garage. These systems often include:

  • cabinets,
  • drawers, and
  • adjustable shelves that can be configured to fit your specific needs.

Use cabinets to store chemicals, paints, and other hazardous materials out of reach of children.

Drawers are perfect for smaller items that can easily get lost, like gardening gloves, tape measures, and cleaning supplies. Group items by category and label each drawer to keep everything organized.

The beauty of modular systems is that you can add or rearrange components as your storage needs evolve. This adaptability helps maintain a clean and organized garage over time.

Designate Zones for Different Activities

Organizing your garage by zones can streamline storage and make it easier to find items. Designate specific areas for different activities or types of items, such as:

  • a gardening zone,
  • a sports equipment zone, and
  • a car care zone.

Use shelves and hooks to keep each zone organized and clutter-free.

For example, in the gardening zone, you can install a pegboard to hang tools like rakes, shovels, and pruners. Use a small wall space for hanging a hose and storing garden chemicals on a high shelf.

In the sports equipment zone, there are a couple of bins. Allocate each bin to store:

  • balls, 
  • helmets, or
  • pads

You can also have hooks to hang bikes and tennis rackets.

Creating dedicated zones helps you keep items grouped and makes putting things away after use easy.

Organizing your garage doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By implementing these storage solutions, you can transform your garage from a cluttered mess into a clean and organized space.

Whether you’re dealing with a garage full of junk or just looking to optimize your storage, these tips will help you organize and maintain your garage.

A well-organized garage not only enhances the functionality of the space but also makes it a more enjoyable part of your home.

Having the right products can make all the difference when cleaning out your garage. From tackling tough oil spills to maintaining a clean and organized garage, here are some recommended cleaning products and a few to avoid.

Best Type of Garage Cleaning Products


Using a good soap is fundamental for cleaning a garage. Olive oil-based soaps or lye-based soaps are particularly effective for cleaning concrete floors.

They break down grease and grime, making it easier to clean your garage floor. However, for epoxy floors, avoid soap-based cleaners, as they can leave a slippery residue.

Instead, warm water is usually sufficient for keeping these surfaces clean.

Deep Cleaners

Deep cleaners are essential for removing stubborn stains and built-up dirt. These heavy-duty products penetrate deep into porous surfaces like concrete.

Look for non-corrosive and non-abrasive options to protect your garage floor while ensuring a thorough cleaning.

Industrial Cleaner (paid link) is highly recommended for its strong cleaning power and safety on multiple surfaces.


Oil spills are common in garages, and having a good degreaser is crucial. Degreasers (paid link) are excellent for breaking down oil stains.

They can be applied directly to the spill, left to soak, and scrubbed off. This process helps restore your garage floor to its original state.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile and natural cleaning agent. Mix a gallon of water with a cup of baking soda to create an effective solution for various cleaning tasks.

It’s particularly good for removing light stains and odors. Baking soda (paid link) is also a safe option if you prefer to avoid harsh chemicals.

Scrubbing Towels and Wipes

Having a supply of scrubbing towels and wipes (paid link) on hand makes cleaning easier. These are perfect for quickly tackling spills and wiping down surfaces.

Heavy-duty wipes are great for cleaning tools and surfaces in the garage. They’re convenient and efficient for minor cleanups and regular maintenance.

Washing Solutions

Washing solutions with 70% alcohol content effectively clean garage floors without rinsing.

These solutions evaporate slowly, giving you more time to work on stains. They’re particularly useful for winter cleanups when you want to avoid using excessive water.

Deck Broom

A sturdy deck broom (paid link) with nylon bristles is indispensable for sweeping large debris and scrubbing the floor. For regular cleaning, use it with a mild household detergent.

Combine it with a degreaser or deep cleaner for tougher jobs to scrub away grime from the concrete.

TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)

TSP is a powerful cleaner (paid link) for tough stains. It’s especially useful for preparing surfaces before painting or sealing:

  1. Mix TSP with water according to the instructions,
  2. apply to the stains, and
  3. scrub thoroughly.

Always wear gloves and safety glasses when handling TSP, as it’s a strong chemical.

Oil Spill Solutions

Absorbent materials like sawdust, cornmeal, or cat litter work well for fresh oil spills. Let them sit on the spill for 24 hours before sweeping up.

For stubborn stains, WD-40 can be sprayed on the area, left to soak, and then wiped off with a rag. Finish with dish soap and water to remove any remaining residue.

Rust Removal Products

Rust stains on concrete can be challenging to remove. White vinegar or lemon juice can be applied directly to the stain and scrubbed with a nylon brush.

For tougher stains, consider using oxalic acid, (paid link) which can be found in specialized rust removal products. Apply, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

What Cleaning Products To Avoid When Cleaning The Garage? 

Ammonia and Bleach

Avoid using ammonia and bleach on concrete floors. They can break down sealants and produce harmful fumes.

Mixing these with other substances, especially vinegar, can create dangerous chemical reactions. These include toxic gasses and fumes that can be harmful when breathed in.

High Acidic Substances

While substances like citrus or vinegar can be effective cleaners, they should not be left on surfaces too long.

If not rinsed off promptly, they can damage concrete and other materials. It’s generally safer to avoid using these on your garage floor. If you need very aggressive cleaners, it may help to dilute them slightly before using them.

Dangerous Mixtures

Some cleaning product combinations are hazardous. Mixing bleach with vinegar produces toxic chlorine gas while combining bleach with ammonia creates chloramine.

Both are extremely dangerous. Avoid mixing baking soda with vinegar, as it’s ineffective and creates a mess—similarly, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar form peracetic acid, which is harmful.

When in doubt, search and ensure the cleaning mixture you intend to create is not dangerous and hazardous.

Get Your Garage Organized

Cleaning your garage doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Following this ultimate guide can transform a cluttered, chaotic space into a clean, organized, and functional area. 

From gathering the right supplies and emptying the garage to deep cleaning and implementing smart storage solutions, each step brings you closer to a garage you can be proud of. 

Regular maintenance and immediate addressing of spills will keep your garage tidy and ensure it remains a valuable part of your home.

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