Visitors to your home often ring your front doorbell, but your real friends usually come in by the garage door. Your garage can be a mess or a welcoming first impression. Fortunately, you can change it all with a weekend or two.

Weekend One: Clean It Out and Clean It Up

Back your car (assuming you’ve been able to get it in the garage) out far enough so that you can sort items just outside the garage because you’re going to move everything out.
  • Discard – You’ll be amazed at how many items just need to go to the trash or recycling. Shred papers before throwing them away.
  • Donate – Some of your items may have some value to others, like outgrown clothing that’s still usable, extra housewares, and toys your kids are too old for. But if it doesn’t work or it’s worn out, just get rid of it. You’re not likely to ever get around to repairing that broken chair or finding those missing chess pieces.
  • Organize – Put aside the items you really need. Clean them up and put them in plastic totes where possible. If you can, store everything somewhere else for now, because you’ve still got to spruce up the garage itself.
While you’ve got everything out of your garage, thoroughly sweep, mop, and wash down your floor and walls. If you’ve got motor oil on your garage floor from your cars, use a degreasing solution, brush, and a pressure washer if possible (but use low pressure and keep the pressure washer pump unit outside the garage to avoid carbon monoxide buildup). Don’t let too much water get on your walls.

Weekend Two: Paint the Walls and Have the Floors Epoxy Coated

Painting the walls is an easy do-it-yourself project, once you’ve gotten everything out of the way. But while the floors are empty, schedule a contractor to come in and epoxy guard your bare concrete floors. This will give your garage floor a “like-new” appearance that will last for years. Epoxy coating your floors provides a moisture barrier and makes future cleanup of chemicals, grease, and oil much easier. You can even pick colors and textures to make your garage space more inviting.

Once that’s done and it’s all dry and cured, bring your items back in and put them on shelves where possible. You can buy inexpensive industrial style shelves from hardware stores. Proper storage solutions get your things out of sight, protect them from water if it comes in, and make better use of your wall space.

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