Six years ago, The Lehigh Group — makers of the Crawford brand garage and home workshop organization products — began National Clean Out Your Garage Day, in an effort to get more people to organize their garages.
Today, the tradition continues, still on the first weekend after Labor Day — and some Tulsa, Okla.,-area residents illustrated why.
Tulsa World, which is the region’s local newspaper, held a contest on Facebook to find out who had the messiest garage.
Submissions for the contest included some pretty horrifying — and hazardous — confessions, such as:
- “Forget seeing the floor, we can barely see the ceiling.”
- “I found a dead rat in a bag … and it fit right in with the rest of the decor.”
- “You can’t even get in my garage. If you open the overhead door, that’s about all you can do.”
- And perhaps the scariest: “My garage is horrible. I went to clean it out last year and was greeted by a snake which I killed with a shovel over and over. I closed the door and have not returned to cleaning it out.”
The “winner” of the contest, Brandi Reed, was photographed for the paper in her garage. In the photos, she stands in possibly one of the only spots with space for her feet, among stacks of plastic tubs and racks of clothing.
Reed admitted that her garage hasn’t seen a car since last January, when she and her husband began storing excess items in the space.
According to a survey by The Lehigh Group, 40% of the 1,007 adult respondents said that they have never cleaned their garage, which they admit is the most cluttered area of the home.
Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for The Lehigh Group, said that the holiday weekend, which traditionally wraps up summer activities, is a great time to de-clutter, reorganize and make the space safer overall.
For some homeowners, like those in Tulsa, who have trouble opening their overhead doors, getting a new garage door installation may be in order if the clutter has caused permanent damage — or if the newly cleaned space needs sprucing up.
“While cleaning out your garage, it is recommended to have your garage inspected by a professional to ensure proper functionality,” says Jim Null of Durbin Garage Doors. “This will help to avoid any sort of garage door failure that could prove to be inconvenient, or even potentially harm garage contents.”
And for those who missed National Clean Out Your Garage Day, it’s not too late to give the space a makeover. There’s always spring cleaning, which is when Reed plans to tackle her garage’s mess.
If you want to take part in your own “clean out your garage day” here are a few tips for organizing your garage.
1. Start your cleaning process by clearing a single area of your garage that you can use to clean the rest. This will not only make you feel a sense of accomplishment but will you space to work on sorting through your garage’s treasures. Cleaning out your garage can seem a little overwhelming so take it section by section and don’t try to get it all done in one day if it’s especially bad.
2. Once you have gone through everything, try to consolidate your items into as few storage containers as possible. If you don’t any containers, buy some! Clear storage bins work best since you can see what’s inside, making it easier to find things. A great tip for cleaning and organizing your garage is making sure you can easily see and access everything you keep inside, this way you buy items you already own or have to spend hours searching for something.
3. After cleaning out your garage, sweep, mop, and seal your garage floors and walls before putting anything back inside. Cleaning your garage floor is an extremely important step because once clean you can tell if there areas that need repair and sealing to keep your garage and your home, items, and vehicles safe from rodents, insects, and water damage. If your garage’s floor is cracked or broken you may need to get it filled or redone to prevent structural issues, water leaks, and other problems. It may also be a sign of a creaked or failing foundation so be sure to get it to checked out by a professional.
4. Check your garage doors for rust, breakages, and other issues. It’s important you know how to maintain a garage door and opener you own. If not properly taken care of automatic garage door openers and garage doors themselves can become damaged, cause injuries, and could end up needing replacement which can be a major cost. You may also want to think about repainting or refinishing your garage doors. It may also be time to get a garage door repair if they are broken or not working correctly.
Good luck and happy clean out your garage day!