Maintaining a clean and organized home is already a tough task, and when you have an additional detached garage on your property, keeping it tidy can seem like an overwhelming challenge. But, fret not! With some deliberate planning and consistent effort, you can effectively clean and declutter both the interior living spaces and the exterior garage. Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you deep clean your houses with garages on the side.
Getting Started on the Indoor Spaces
Before heading outside to the garage, begin by thoroughly cleaning the interior rooms of the house first. This allows you to start fresh and establish an orderly environment before tackling the potentially more involved garage space.
Clear Out Clutter
The first step is performing a sweep of all rooms in houses with garages on the side to remove clutter. Donate, sell or recycle any unneeded items. Having less clutter makes vacuuming, dusting and cleaning much simpler. Go through cabinets, drawers, shelves, closets and underbeds to remove anything that is not regularly used or needed.
Wash Bedding and Launder Fabrics
Strip all beds and wash all bed linens, blankets and pillows. Wash all curtains, throw blankets, seat cushions or other fabric items around the home. This eliminates deeply embedded dust, pollen or other particles within the fabrics.
Dust All Surfaces
Use microfiber cloths and cleaning solutions specifically designed for wood, glass, metal or other surfaces. Wipe down ceiling fans, light fixtures, baseboards, window sills and the tops of door frames which often attract dust. Don’t forget sometimes overlooked areas like vents, radiators and the tops of appliances.
Scrub Floors Thoroughly
Sweep and mop all hard surface floors. Use a grout brush and cleaning solution to lift dirt from the grout lines for tile. Steam clean carpets and rugs to extract the grime that vacuuming misses.
Clean Walls and Painted Surfaces
Spot clean walls around light switches, door knobs and other high traffic areas. Use warm water with a small amount of mild detergent and a soft sponge, gently scrubbing away any dirty spots. For scuffs that won’t lift, lightly sand the area before repainting. Wipe down baseboards too.
Disinfect Counters and Clean Appliances
Sanitize countertops, cabinets, and drawers in kitchens and bathrooms. Clean the interior and exterior of appliances like refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers. Don’t forget about washing machine interiors and running cleaning cycles, too.
Deep Clean the Bathrooms
Scrub bathroom tile, grout, showers, tubs and sinks until they sparkle. Remember to disinfect toilet bowls thoroughly. Wipe down counters, cabinets, mirrors, and other surfaces, too, leaving everything fresh and smelling.
Heading Outside to the Garage
Once fully detailed the interior living spaces, shift your cleaning focus to the external garage structure. This area often becomes disorganized and filled with dust and debris over time. Set aside plenty of time and energy to transform this space.
Remove Everything from the Garage
The most efficient way to clean the garage is to empty it out first fully. This allows you to sweep and mop the floors properly, wipe down the walls and fully organize the interior space once everything is cleaned. Rent a temporary dumpster to simplify this process if needed.
Sort and Toss Items
Go through everything that was removed from the garage. Create separate piles for keeping, donating/selling, recycling and trash. Be ruthless about only keeping items actively utilized. Proper organization is key for maintaining a clean garage long-term.
Sweep and Mop the Concrete Floors
Use a stiff broom to sweep away built-up dirt, leaves, pet hair and other debris. Then, scrub the concrete floors using a mop, hot water and a strong degreasing solution. Let it sit for 10 minutes before thoroughly mopping and rinsing it again. Allow the floor several days to dry fully.
Clean the Walls and Ceiling
Use an extendable duster to remove cobwebs from the ceiling and upper walls. Then wipe down the walls as low as can be reached. For oil stains or dirty spots, use degreasing cleaners specifically designed for garages and workshops. Be sure to wear rubber gloves.
Wash Garage Doors
To clean your garage doors effectively, first, you need to prepare a cleaning solution by mixing hot water, liquid dish detergent, and white vinegar in a bucket. Once the solution is ready, take a soft brush and rag to thoroughly scrub the doors, making sure to get into all the crevices and hardware. After scrubbing, rinse the doors thoroughly with clean water and let them dry completely. If the weatherproofing sealants on the doors have worn out, you can apply new sealants after the doors are completely dry. This process will not only clean your garage doors but also help maintain their appearance and functionality for a longer time.
Organize and Disinfect Racks, Shelves and Cabinets
After fully drying the space, bring organized items back and optimize storage. Install additional racks, wall mounts, shelving systems or cabinets if more space is needed. Disinfect surfaces before placing clean items. Create designated zones to keep everything orderly moving forward.
Power Wash Exterior Siding and Concrete
To clean the exterior walls of your garage, you can make use of a power washer which is an effective tool to get rid of dust, grime, mud, and mold. While using the power washer, it is important to be careful and follow some precautions. Begin by aiming the spray from top to bottom, keeping in mind to avoid spraying water into door joints or windows. This will help prevent water damage and leaks. Once you’re done with the walls, move on to the concrete areas surrounding the garage, such as driveways and walkways. Power washing these areas will help remove dirt, grime, and other buildup that may have accumulated over time. By taking these steps, your garage exterior will look clean and well-maintained.
Post-Cleaning Garage & House Maintenance
Get your garage and home sparkling clean inside and out with some hard work. But don’t stop there! Implement these cleaning habits to stay on top of maintenance moving forward:
- Stick to a routine cleaning schedule for both house and garage, like washing bed linens weekly or sweeping garage floors monthly, for example.
- Keep cleaning tools and products organized in easily accessible areas. Store a basic cleaning caddy in the garage too.
- Maintain proper ventilation and airflow in the garage to inhibit moisture and mildew.
- Frequently monitor organization systems and storage in the garage. Donate or sell anything not utilized before clutter takes over.
How often should you clean the garage?
At a minimum, plan to sweep garage floors thoroughly every month or two. Also check for dust and spiderwebs accumulating in corners monthly. Perform deep cleaning garage projects one to two times per year.
What basic cleaning supplies should you store in the garage?
Keep a small cleaning caddy in the garage with a broom, dustpan, microfiber cloths, all-purpose cleaner, stiff scrub brush, protective gloves and more. Having these items easily accessible encourages regular upkeep.
How can you make cleaning and organizing the garage easier?
Install sturdy shelving units, cabinets with doors, racks, and slat wall systems with hooks and bins. Also, purchase storage totes and bins to categorize and contain items neatly. Well-built storage promotes easier cleaning and long-term organization.
What safety precautions should you take when cleaning the garage?
Wear gloves when using harsh garage/driveway cleaners and power washing solutions. Read all warning labels and never mix chemical cleaning products. Ensure good ventilation and wear respiratory masks if needed. Keep cleaning tools in good repair with no loose screws or splintered handles.
Should you power wash other exterior areas in addition to the garage?
While power washing a garage exterior is a great deep cleaning step, consider cleaning other areas too. Power washing wooden decks, patios, sidewalks and driveways can restore their appearance and prevent long-term damage in climates with regular snow and ice.
Keeping a property clean and organized requires effort and dedication, especially when you have both an indoor living space and an external garage to maintain. But don’t let this daunting task discourage you! By establishing a regular cleaning routine for both areas, you can significantly reduce the workload and enjoy the benefits of a tidy and functional home. Embark on the journey to a cleaner and more inviting home by following these five cleaning tips. Start by tackling clutter and dirt before they accumulate, and you’ll soon see the difference that consistent maintenance makes. With a little commitment and perseverance, you can transform your houses with garages on the side into peaceful, inviting sanctuaries that you’ll love coming home to.