top of page
  • Budget Bins

How to Clean Out a Garage

how to clean out your garage

Wouldn't it be great if you could actually park your car inside your garage. What would you do if you knew you could accomplish this within a weekend? With our five step plan you can get your garage organized swiftly and effortlessly.

A 5 Step Guide to Clearing Out Your Garage

cleaning out a garage

1. Remove Everything From the Garage

The first step to cleaning out your garage is to figure out what’s in it. Choose a section closest to the door of your garage to start with and pull everything out onto the front yard or driveway. Make sure to leave enough space in your yard/driveway for the rest of the items in your garage. While making it easier to sort through everything, this garage cleaning tip will also enable you to see the full space you have and what sorts of storage will work best for you when it’s time to organize.

2. Determine Your ‘Keep’ Standards

Once everything is out of your garage and in your yard or driveway, it’s time to decide what criteria you're using for the items you want to keep. This will expedite the process by preventing you from debating over each particular item. When determining what things to keep and what to throw away, ask yourself: “Is this item in the garage for a purpose, because I forgot about it, or because I wasn't sure what to do with it?” If your answer is the latter two, find a use for it or get rid of it.

Belongings to Keep When Cleaning Out Your Garage

  • Things you’ve used at least once in the past 12 months.

  • Items that still work. Toss all of those old gadgets you’ve been intending to fix.

  • Specific or expensive tools that aren't easy to come by.

3. Establish What to Do With the Garage Clutter

Any items that don’t make your “keep” list are therefore clutter. Don’t keep these things in your garage for any longer than they need to be.

Keep your “keep” items in a separate area and start going through everything else that you took out of your garage. Establish which items you want to donate or sell first. Having bins, boxes or bags handy allows you to pack up items easily as you determine what you're donating and what you're selling.

Gather the junk that doesn’t fit in the “keep,” “sell” or “donate” piles and place them in their own bag or bin. If you rented a dumpster for your weekend cleanout, toss the bags into the container as you go.

Choices for Getting Rid of Garage Clutter:


If you're interested in taking advantage of your garage cleanout, make some cash by having a garage or yard sale (or sell it online). Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great places to post your items or advertise your garage sale. Do a little research online to help you decide how to price your items. Don't forget how much physical signs inside and outside of your neighborhood can help!


When you’re cleaning out your garage, it’s smart to consider where you can take the items you want to donate. Your local thrift store, Salvation Army, and Goodwill are a great place to start. Be sure to call them before heading there to make sure they will accept your things. If they don't take some of your items, don’t give up; people in your local community may want them. For example, posting on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace that you're giving away sporting goods you no longer have a need for may result in them going to a child in need that may otherwise not be able to participate.


For the remaining stuff that can’t be sold or donated, it’s time to dispose of it. The best garbage removal answer for you will depend on how much you have to get rid of, and the types of items you’re tossing out. Your garage cleanout might leave you with a heap of things that is too large for the curb—particularly if you’re throwing out lots of big items such as lawn care equipment or outdoor furniture. If you expect that you will have more than a couple car loads, it will probably be easiest to rent a dumpster, if you haven’t done so already.

What size dumpster do I need for cleaning out a garage? Most garage cleanouts can be finished by using a 10 yard dumpster rental, but this can differ depending on how much you’re getting rid of. To find the right size container for your garage cleanup, call 800-820-8154 for a recommendation from a trash removal expert.

dumpster for garage cleanout

4. Deep Clean the Space

While you’re garage is completely empty, it's likely a good idea to actually clean it before putting everything back in. Generally, the best way to clean your garage is from top to bottom. Start off by dusting and wiping the tops of your shelves, cabinets and refrigerator if you them. Next, wipe down the garage walls and the doors of your cabinets, fridge, etc. with a warm, damp cloth. If that's not strong enough, trying adding a mild household cleaner to the cloth. Then, sweep your floor to take care of the dust you’ve knocked loose. Finish by mopping then hosing off the floor. Give the floors 2 - 4 hours to dry before you start putting things back.

Garage Cleaning Tips

  • Eliminate oil stains by using dish soap, cat litter, and a wire scrub brush.

  • Remove any mold using either vinegar or bleach diluted with warm water.

  • Use a sponge mop to easily wipe garage walls from top to bottom.

  • Then use a flat mop with a cloth to dry the walls.

  • Use a fan to speed up the drying process for your walls and floors.

5. Organize

Now that you’ve reduced the amount of things you have and finished your garage cleanout, take this opportunity to keep stuff from building back up. Surely you're now wondering, what is the best way to organize a garage? This depends on what specifically you need stored.

Best Ways to Organize a Garage

  • Arrange items by type so that you always know where to find everything—and can easily return them when you’re finished using them.

  • Use shelves to store frequently used items within easy reach.

  • Use cabinets or closets for things you use less often.

  • Use a pegboard to store smaller tools.

  • Use ceiling and wall hooks to hold bulkier tools such as shovels and rakes, or add a tall bin specifically made for this purpose.

tips for cleaning out a garage

When Cleaning Out Your Garage, Don't Rush

Cleaning out your garage doesn’t have to be stressful. When using these tips, you can work one step at a time and recover that additional parking space within one weekend. Have some advice to add? Comment below!


bottom of page