Cleaning Spring Cleaning Series

How To Plan A Garage Cleaning Day

We’re almost at the end of this 8 Day Spring Cleaning Series, and so far we’ve tackled all the main areas of the house. If you need a refresher, or you just landed here and want to start from the beginning, you can see all the previous posts of the series here. But if you’ve been here all week and you’re ready for the big-girl project, go pop on your yoga pants and throw your hair up, because today we’re going out into the garage.

Spring Cleaning Binge Series: Day 7- Garage

Turn Cleaning The Garage Into A Family Event

If you’ve ever cleaned a garage before, you know it’s not an in and out task that takes an hour and a half. If you did it yourself, it probably took you a whole weekend, at least. So today I want to teach you how to plan a Family Garage Cleaning Day. One where your husband, your kids, your kids’ best friends, and maybe your sister who owes you a favor all get together to knock out the whole cleaning and organizing project in one single day. Seem impossible? It’s not. Here’s your game plan.

Prep Work:

1. Plan your cleaning day on a nice day with no rain in the forecast. Not too hot, not too cold, no crazy wind days, just a warm early Spring day.

2. Try to do it close to trash pickup day. Nothing is worse than having tons of trash sitting around for five days because you started the day after your trash truck came.

3. Stock up on the necessities. Here’s your mini-arsenal of garage cleaning weapons:

4. Stock the fridge with cold drinks and pre-make sandwiches for lunch so your “crew” can grab some fuel whenever they’re ready.

5. Make sure the whole family will be home. All hands on deck. No soccer practices, no “on call” work days, no “I can work til 5, but then I have to go to an appointment.” This is a full day of no plans except *finally* getting your garage in order.

garage organization tips from Lela Burris

The Game Plan


1. Down your coffee and have a really good breakfast.

2. Move the cars out of the garage and driveway. Park them in the yard, side of the road, or trade homemade cookies for driveway rental of a sweet neighbor.

3. Create zones in your driveway and let kids use chalk to label each area with the following categories:

  • Goes Back In Garage
  • Belongs Somewhere Else
  • Donate/Sell

4. Empty *EVERYTHING* from the garage and into one of the three zones.


1. Clean emptied garage floors, walls, ceiling, doors, lighting, storage shelves and cabinets, stairs, and any other structural pieces left inside.

2. Designate zones for storage. (Tools, lawn care, outdoor toys, auto supplies, etc)

3. Put each family member in charge of setting up a zone. They have 100% responsibility for that zone, how it’s organized, and future upkeep of that area. Spend the afternoon filling your zones with only the items that belong there.


1. Photograph and post items for sale online.

2. Load up the car with donations or arrange for the donation center to pick up.

3. Put items that went somewhere else away to their respectful homes.

4. Note any repairs needed. You probably found a few along the way, so take action on these asap before you forget.

Maintenance Tips

  • Keep a donation bin by the door that opens into the house. Any time something needs to be donated, just open the door and drop it in the bin. Once a month (or when full, if sooner) take the bin to the donation center.
  • Designated zones in the garage help all members of the family find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, plus they’re more likely to put things away after use.
  • Make sure to add a sturdy trash can with a lid and heavy-duty trash bag in the garage. Think back to how much trash you found during your Cleaning Day, and how that could’ve been avoided if you had a trash can.
  • Use a washable landing pad for lawn mowers to avoid oil drips and grass/mud buildup.
  • Use a peg board for tools instead of a tool box so tools are easier to find and put away.
  • Utilize the space above your garage door. A contractor can build a loft above it for your holiday and out of season storage, and if you’re semi-handy and own some good power tools, you can build a sliding storage system yourself with this tutorial from The Family Handyman.

Show Off Your Progress!

Cleaning a garage is such a huge task, but it feels SO rewarding when you finish. Want to feel even better about your big project? Snap a before and after photo and share it on Instagram with #lelaimorganizedish. I’ll shout out your accomplishments and show everyone what an organizing badass you are! That fresh new garage of yours deserves some praise, right?

printable spring cleaning planner

Need A Full Step By Step Spring Cleaning Planner?

Grab my 20+ page Spring Cleaning Planner inside the Organized-ish Binder Kit Collection for room-by-room checklists of anything and everything you could possibly clean in your house. These checklists will keep you on track and help you breeze through your cleaning sessions without forgetting a thing. I even created a cleaning supply shopping list and timeline for you to follow so you don’t have to do any planning at all.

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