Lean Mean Cleaning Machine

Ah, 4th of July weekend. Time for beaches, bbq's, boating, fireworks, friends, fiestas, and garage cleaning.

That's right - garage cleaning.

For quite a while now the garage mess has been annoying me to no end. We can't find stuff when we need it, we think we don't have something so we buy it and then we find out we already had one, carpentry tools are mixed in with mechanical tools and plumbing tools are mixed in with building materials, and so on and so forth. Plus junk and trash and dirt - EVERYWHERE.

It was so bad, you couldn't even walk through. You couldn't even look at it, it was terrible. I said to Mike, I don't know how you can work in here if I'M this annoyed. I just couldn't imagine how he could accomplish anything.

So with the guys on vay-cay from porch work, I told Mike that Sunday was the opportune time to get this mess straightened out. He did not want to spend a day cleaning - but agreed that it was long overdue and we needed to do it.

We employed the HGTV method I learned from watching countless hours of Mission Organization. It's basically a five step process.

1. Remove EVERYTHING from the garage.
2. Separate into organized piles of like items - plumbing tools, building materials, trash, liquids, straps 'n chains, garden tools, stuff-that-should-be-in-the-house, etc.
3. Double check each pile - get rid of anything you don't want or need and consolidate. (For example liquids like oil if you have a million half empty containers like we did.)
4. Clean the now emptied garage and decide where everything is going to go.
5. Put it all back neatly.

Additionally, we had some other challenges. You may remember that our homeowners insurance company had a problem with that wood stove in the garage - so we had to remove that using our skid steer and get it down in the basement. (Using some straps and a plywood stove-surfboard mind you.) Also, our two car garage has just one door. No, not one big door. One small door on the left side. Well, eventually we'd like to put in another door, so we decided to make ready for this by moving Mike's tool box and bench to the opposite side of the garage where the stove once was.

We decided too that to help keep the garage clean, we would store all non-mechanical, non-garden tools and materials in the basement. This includes all carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and paint (non-automotive) supplies, tools, and materials. Unfortunately, we only have one shelf in the basement currently. Not enough storage space by far. And in the interest of time, we decided to leave new-shelf-building for another day. (By the by, we have so much scrap wood, we should be able to build more shelving without purchasing anything but storage boxes 'n stuff.)

So the basement is currently a mess of organized piles. I guess you could call that halfway there. When we get the shelves built, all we'll have to do is put stuff away neatly.

Luckily, we had time to make one dump run - and boy did we get rid of some junk! Phew, what a relief! Next weekend, we'll have to make one more dump run to finish the job. (Dump closes at 3pm, so we weren't able to get everything.)

Now at this point I'm sure you're all wondering, "Where are the before and after photos?"
Well, would you believe I didn't take any before? I was just too horrified by the mess. But I'm so proud of the after that I just want to hang out in the garage all day! Isn't that crazy! Although the basement's mess is going to start cheezing me off soon if we don't get those shelves built....

A little hard to tell the clean with all the bikes in there - but trust me, you should have seen the before!
Here's where the 2nd garage door will eventually go. Now we're ready for it with the bench moved!
I've never seen these shelves so clean since we bought the house. OMG it's amazing!

And finally, the bench area. There's a place for the bench, and the red tool box fits next to the compressor, and the welding cart has a place... so amazing!

I can't wait for the guys to see it next weekend!


Sylvia* said...

jaja Gracias a Dios que lo has limpiado ya! bueno, no lo he entendido 100% pero mas o menos, ... un beso!

Rebecca said...

I watched those HGTV shows and always got a little upset when they 'sold' stuff that the family was attached to. Grandma's pearls? You don't need those! Sell them for $1. OMG.

As for organizing all that stuff: Bravo!

Jake said...

you have a 69 Camaro and a 1979-81 Transam in your garage....i envy you...nice job on cleaning tho=]

kitrainia said...

Yes - '69 camaro, '78 trans am, 4wheeler, motorcycle, dirt bike... and of course we have to park our daily drivers out in the driveway. LOL Someone once said to me before seeing the garage inside, "Your garage must be really empty." Boy did they ever have it wrong!!

kitrainia said...

sylvia - gracias! hablo espanol un poco... espanol malo. LOL =)
Se me olvido mucho de la esquela. Pero gracias!