Tackling a garage clean out can be daunting, but VTP Services is here to help! We’ve compiled some great tips and resources to make your DIY clean out, clean up, and organizing a breeze. Of course, if you’d like a professional to do the job, we can help with that, too!
WHY DO I NEED A GARAGE CLEAN OUT?
- REDUCE PEST RISK
If you have seen live bugs or animals in the garage then you know you have a pest problem, but even if you haven’t seen them, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Spider webs, animal droppings, wasp nests, dead spiders, and chew marks are signs that pests have been, and could possibly still be, in your garage.
Corners or piles of shredded paper, clothing, or insulation are likely mice nests. Mice chew into cardboard boxes, paper, and linens for shelter and food. Rodents can spread many diseases, so removing the mice or rats from your home and cleaning properly is essential. The CDC reports 11 different diseases that can be spread directly from rodents and even more that can be spread indirectly. In short, you don’t want mice in your home or around your family, so don’t make the garage a welcoming ground for them.
Bugs can also be a problem in the garage. The Spruce explains why roaches may live in your garage.
Roaches need three things to survive: warmth, moisture, and food. Different species have specific needs, but in general, if you want to find where the roaches are hiding in your garage, check out areas where it’s dark and humid. Garbage cans and recyclables that aren’t rinsed before storing provide ample food sources for cockroaches, who may nest nearby. If your old mattress is still in good shape, you or someone you know might be able to reuse it. Check out our post, Mattress Disposal in Northwest Arkansas, to learn more about if you can reuse your old mattress.
Nobody wants a garage that’s been overtaken by bugs and rodents. If you already have these problems, a complete garage clean out is essential. If you want to prevent these problems, maintaining a clean and uncluttered garage is important.
- PARK YOUR VEHICLE IN THE GARAGE
Garage Living reports that “a new vehicle is likely the second biggest financial investment you’ll make after a home purchase. Protecting your significant investment in your car or truck is just one of many reasons garage parking should be considered essential. You’ll extend the life of your car or truck and get the maximum return on your investment.”
You can’t park in your garage if it’s filled with junk. Not only will you be protecting your investment when you park your vehicle in the garage, but your daily routine will be easier. Every parent of young children will agree that loading and unloading the kids is an easier task under the cover of the garage.
TACKLING A GARAGE CLEAN OUT
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same goes for a garage clean out. You have to start somewhere. These basic steps provide a great blueprint for the job.
- REMOVE EVERYTHING. This sounds ridiculous, right? It’s not. You can’t see what you’re dealing with when it’s piled up in the garage.
- SORT. You’ll need trash bags and boxes. As you sort, organize your junk into three categories: trash, donate, or keep.
- CLEAN. Sweep or Shop Vac the garage. Use the broom to brush down spider webs and dust from the walls, ceilings, and corners. Wipe down dusty surfaces. Old t-shirts make great rags for this dirty job, but paper towels work well, too. If you’ve had a pest problem in your garage, you should take proper precautions during cleaning. The Center for Disease Control recommends that, once infestations have been controlled, you air out the area, wear latex gloves, clean with a 1 part bleach/10 parts water solution, and disinfect any items that may have come into contact with the rodents, urine, or droppings. Once your garage has been disinfected, you can proceed with any repairs or improvements.
- ORGANIZE. The items you’ve chosen to keep can now be put in their place. Choose the organizational system that works best for your family and your space. Remember that keeping boxes off the floor helps prevent pests.
- TRASH. Items that need to be disposed of can range from typical household trash to bulky waste. If your bagged trash will fit into your normal trash pick up bins, then make sure you have them on the curb on your typical trash pick up day. If you are left with bulky waste, check with your local trash provider. They may offer periodic bulky waste pick up or you may be able to take advantage of community clean up events in which you can deliver your bulky items for disposal for free or a minimal fee. In Fayetteville, AR, you’ll find details on bulky waste clean up on their website.
- DONATE. All items that can be donated should be loaded up and delivered to the charity of your choice. DO NOT PUT THESE BOXES BACK IN THE GARAGE! Don’t give yourself time to think about it and don’t tell yourself you’ll do it later. You won’t. That donate pile will be the beginning of the next garage mess. Load up your boxes and items and make your donation now. If you have electronics to donate, keep in mind the importance of wiping these items clean to protect your identity and keep any information secure. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Samaritan Center, and Habitat ReStore are great options for household item donations in Northwest Arkansas.
MAKING GARAGE REPAIRS AND UPGRADES
Once your garage is empty, you may choose to do a deep clean and make necessary repairs.
Floors. Lowe’s offers these four tips for removing oil and grease stains from your garage floors.
- Cover grease stains with a layer of sawdust or cat litter. These materials absorb excess oil remarkably well. Leave the sawdust or cat litter on the floor for at least one day.
- Use a push broom with rigid bristles to sweep up the sawdust, cat litter and dirt.
- Pour dry dishwasher detergent or a concrete cleaning agent on the stain. Let the detergent sit for 45 minutes, then pour boiling water on the area and vigorously scrub the stained section with the broom.
- For stubborn stains, use muriatic acid in combination with your pressure washer set to at least 1200 PSI. Apply the acid according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow it to soak for a few seconds and rinse. Use baking soda on the cleaned area to neutralize the acid, and rinse.
Once floors are clean, you can choose to leave them as is or proceed to repairing cracks, sealing concrete, and painting the floor. DIY Network has a great tutorial for taking on this job that includes checking for moisture, considering weather forecasts, gathering the proper supplies, cleaning, pretreating, patching, and the specific steps for applying epoxy to a concrete floor.
Insulation. If you are hoping to make your garage space more energy efficient for other recreational use or simply to increase the energy efficiency of your home, this is the point in the garage clean out to make these improvements.
According to Family Handyman, “Studies done by garage door manufacturers prove that an energy-efficient R-18 insulated garage door can keep your garage about 12 degrees warmer in winter months and about 25 degrees cooler in summer.” That alone is a great incentive to insulate! They feature a great step by step tutorial on how to complete this job on your own. From shopping for materials to installation to testing the garage door for proper balance and seal, their guide is a great resource for the Do It Yourself homeowner.
TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR GARAGE CLEAN
Doing a garage clean out is one thing, but keeping the garage clean is another! Once you’ve cleaned your garage, you’ll want to be sure your items are safely stored. Once you get used to parking your vehicle in your garage everyday, we know you’ll want to maintain that! These tips will help you keep your garage clean and tidy so you can avoid the need for another big garage clean out in the future.
- Have a place for everything. When you put your keep items back in the garage, don’t just pile them up. For the items you want to keep, but won’t be using regularly, consider using plastic tubs with lids. This will reduce the risk of pests and keep your items clean and safe for future use. Don’t forget to label these tubs clearly so you can find what you need down the road.
- Garage hooks. Bike hooks are great for hanging bicycles, tricycles, skateboards, and ride on toys. Assorted garage hooks are perfect for utilizing wall space to safely store ladders and outdoor equipment.
- Overhead storage. If floor space is at a minimum, you may find that overhead storage options are a good fit for your space. Boxes, tubs, and large items that are rarely used can be safely stored in overhead racks, leaving precious floor space available for foot traffic and vehicle parking.
- Sports storage. Racks designed especially for storing balls and sports equipment can keep these items from being scattered across the garage. You can properly care for your items, prevent unnecessary damage or loss, and keep everything at hand with the right storage rack.
- Temporary storage. If your family tends to strew random items between the vehicle and the house, it will help to designate a place for these temporarily homeless items. Place a tub or basket by the door for those loose items that you can’t put away immediately. You’ll be surprised at the things that accumulate here. Backpacks, school papers, receipts, jackets, toys, and junk mail is often difficult to tend to immediately, but if it gathers in a central location then you can clear out the basket periodically, keeping the garage from filling up with random junk and trash.
- Trash and recycle bins. Decide on the best place for these bins. You’ll need to consider any POA restrictions on where bins can be stored, as well as outside temperatures, neighborhood critters, and personal preferences. No matter where you choose to store the bins between collection days, be sure to tie up bags securely to prevent leaks and odor. Rinse out and break down recyclables as you add them to the bin to prevent overflow and mess.
CALLING IN A PROFESSIONAL
If taking on a complete garage clean out is necessary but overwhelming, you may be ready to call in a professional. A professional junk removal company like Valet Trash Professionals can help you get the job done. Our services are completely customizable. If you’d like to do the cleaning and sorting yourself, then just leave your junk piled at the curb and we’ll come pick it up. If you’re looking for more help, you can leave all that junk right where it is and we’ll clean it out and haul it away. Just show us what needs to go and we’ll do the rest!
VTP will bag miscellaneous trash and debris and haul away large items like furniture, old boxes, broken toys, appliances, and more. Whether your junk will fill a single truck bed or multiple dumpsters, our team can handle your garage clean out.
When you CONTACT KYLE at Valet Trash Professionals, you can expect top notch customer service. We’ll provide you with the information you need to make the decision that’s best for you. We’ll assess the job at hand and provide a no obligation quote for our services. If you choose VTP to help with your garage clean out, you can rest assured that our team will arrive on time, work efficiently, behave professionally, and complete the job to your satisfaction. We will clean out your garage, donate items as appropriate, recycle whenever possible, and dispose of the rest responsibly. VTP will leave your garage junk free and ready for whatever you choose to do next. Whether you choose to pursue a DIY project or find a handyman to make repairs or improvements, you’ll be glad you trusted Kyle and his team to get the dirty work done. You’ll reclaim the space in your garage and enjoy parking your vehicle inside in no time!
Call or text Kyle at (479)236-4981. Follow us on Facebook for up to date information on our services and fun photos of jobs we’ve completed in Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Rogers, and the surrounding Northwest Arkansas cities. Don’t delay! Call VTP today!