Garages are often neglected areas of the home. They tend to get dirty over time, especially with kids who play outside frequently. Despite your best efforts, your garage may end up cluttered with random tools, sports equipment, and extra stuff. Restoring order and functionality in your garage takes careful planning. Luckily, you can involve your kids in the garage clean-out process! Read on if you want some tips on keeping the garage clean with children!
How to do a Thorough Clean of Your Garage
Restoring order to your garage starts with a thorough cleaning of the floors, shelves, stairs, and even your cars! Kids ages eight and up can be great helpers when it comes to cleaning the garage, so get them involved. Here are four steps to cleaning the garage with children.
Get Everything Out
You won’t be able to clean anything with paint cans, tools, and sports equipment lying everywhere. Start by taking everything out of the garage and putting it in your driveway or front lawn. Have an older kid make a list of everything that comes out of the garage. Taking everything out of the garage helps you see all the storage space you have.
Useful, Trash, and Donate
After getting everything out of the garage, involve the whole family in the sorting process. You will want to sort the items into three categories: useful, trash, and donate. Be sure to keep the items that your family frequently uses and are in good condition. Donate those items that your children have outgrown or are no longer interested in. Trash anything that is broken. Try having your kids designate areas on your driveway with chalk for each of these categories.
You may come across some items that are useful but are bulky and awkward, like Christmas decorations. Keep these items in a separate pile so you can plan for their storage. This sorting process is an essential part of keeping the garage clean with kids around.
Take Care of the Floors
Now that everything is sorted, it’s time to start cleaning up. Garage floors take a beating over time, so it is important to take care of them. Start by sweeping the floors, and then you can move on to removing any car oil stains. You can get rid of oil spots with cat litter or automatic dishwasher detergent and a scrubber. Since most garage floors are concrete, you should use a concrete sealant after thoroughly cleaning the floor.
Clean Up the Other Surfaces
Have the kids wipe down any shelving units already in your garage, and get rid of cobwebs in the corners. Be sure to give the items in your “useful” pile a good wipe-down as well!
How to Keep Your Garage Clean With Children
After a thorough cleaning, it’s time to plan for storage. The storage system you design should be easy to use for everyone in the household. If it is easy to use, it is easier to keep the garage clean!
Get Creative with Your Space
You have more storage space in your garage than you think; you just need to be creative. The ceiling of your garage is the perfect place to store tubs with seasonal items. You can also use a pulley system to hang your family’s bikes from the ceiling. Try using vertical baskets on the walls to store tools, cleaning supplies, or sports equipment. Be smart about how you use your space to get the most out of your garage storage.
Create a Home for Every Item
If everything has a place, there is no reason for things to get misplaced. Be sure to group similar items together, like baseballs with soccer balls, to make it easier for kids to remember. On top of storing by category of item, store things that are used in the same season together. For example, pool noodles and sleds don’t need to be together.
Using colored labels is a great way to help your kids remember where things should go. Bright colors or even pictures can make a huge difference in keeping the garage clean with children. Be sure to keep a consistent look and use a label maker!
Store Kid Stuff at Kid-Friendly Heights
Keeping the garage clean will be easier for your kids if their things are accessible to them. Try designating a cabinet for each kid. This can create a deep sense of ownership for your kids and help them to take pride in keeping their things in good condition.
Use a Versatile Storage System
As your family grows and grows up, their storage needs will change. Your storage system should be able to change with your family. Using shelves, cabinetry, and baskets will allow you to change the way things are stored as your family’s needs change.
Keeping the garage clean with children can be difficult, but with a little time and effort, your garage can stay spotless and decluttered!
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