If de-cluttering your garage is on your spring cleaning list, you're not alone. For many people, the garage becomes a catch-all: the place where suitcases that don't fit in the closet get stashed; the tennis racquets you'll use this summer; toys your kids have outgrown; and who knows what else.
If you're ready to tackle this territory, here are a few tips to help you get started:
• Empty everything out.
Some organizers say the best way to get started is to empty out the garage and sort items in designated areas. You might want to put junk in the driveway for later removal, things to be donated in the back yard, and tools inside. A recent AskMen.com story also recommended making mental notes of what kinds of supplies you'll need to store the items you plan to keep, like plastic bins or tubs..
• Be careful of what you trash.
The organizing experts at the DIY Network pointed out that it is a good idea to check with your city's sanitation department or trash collection company to find out how to dispose of motor oil, solvents and garden chemicals. You should also take special care with any unused paint: Partially used cans of paint that haven't been used in a year should be disposed of according local toxic waste restrictions, reported Good Housekeeping .
• Rub and scrub.
When the space is clear of clutter, clean your garage's cement floor with an old mop or scrub it with a broom. If there are oil spots on the floor, look to your laundry room to remove them. DIY Network suggested putting a laundry pre-spotter on the stain and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes before mopping.
• Get organized.
If you plan on parking your car in the garage, consider using vertical storage solutions to get things off the floor to maximize the space. Heavy-duty hooks can be found at most hardware stores and can be used to hang anything with a handle. If you're using drawers or storage bins, label them. It might be tedious, but it's one way to keep a hodgepodge of items tidy.