Tips for Sprucing Up Your Garage

Posted on: 21 November 2016

Many homeowners use their garages as dumping grounds for items that they don't use regularly and can't quite bring themselves to throw away. Oftentimes, garages end up so crammed full of old toys, seasonal decorations, exercise equipment, tools and books that they can't even be used for their original purpose of storing a vehicle. If your garage has been sorely neglected for quite a while and you'd like to clear it out and spruce it up a bit, read on for some tips on how to do this.

Declutter and reorganise

Decluttering a garage that's packed to the rafters with various bits and bobs can be an intimidating prospect. However, you can make this experience less daunting by asking a few relatives or friends to help you out. Additionally, if you have the time to spare, try to space out this project over the course of two or three days, rather than attempting to do it all in one afternoon. This will make the process less stressful and enable you to do a more thorough job of decluttering. Outside the garage (or perhaps in your garden), set up three piles: items you intend to give to charity, items you would like to keep and rubbish that needs to be thrown away. 

Whilst you will probably need to invest in some new storage to stow away goods that you will be keeping, don't make the mistake of purchasing these before you declutter. You may end up over or underestimating how many boxes you'll need. Wait until the space is empty and clean, so that you can properly assess where (and how) you want to store your possessions.

Clean and mend

A garage that has only ever been used as a makeshift refuse site for forgotten belongings is likely to have accumulated a lot of dirt, dust and grime. If like most garages, yours has concrete floors and walls, it may be worth hiring a pressure washer for a day or two (ideally one with a built-in detergent dispenser), to wash away this dirt. Concrete is quite a porous material; because of this, oil stains and soil can become deeply embedded in it. Without a pressure washer, you could easily end up spending an entire day trying to scrub the floors and walls clean by hand.

Cleaning the door requires a bit of elbow grease; you'll need to use a scrub brush, a bucket of soapy water and a hose to remove stains, dust and dirt. If the door is made from metal, you may also want to finish off your cleaning session by adding a layer of wax, as this will help to restore its shine.

In addition to cleaning, you may also need to do some mending. Most garage doors begin to wear out over time. Check the condition of yours; are there any loose screws or bolts on the mounting brackets? If so, tighten them using a screwdriver. Inspect the door itself for any indentations; these can usually be fixed by using a rubber mallet to gently tap them until they disappear. 

If you notice that the torsion spring (the long, pole-like component located above the inside of the door) is corroded or otherwise damaged, do not attempt to remove and replace it yourself, as the tension in this spring is very high, so much so that you could easily get hit by it during the removal process. Instead, look for a tradesperson in your local area that specialises in garage door torsion spring repairs.