Are you ready for spring yet? March 20 will be here before you know it!
With spring comes the innate instinct to get out of the house and spend as much time outside as possible. Soaking in fresh air and sunshine becomes a priority. The spring also often leads to the cleaning itch: the need to purge and disinfect closets, storage buildings, homes, and more. Don't fight the urge. Get on the cleaning band wagon! Create a spring cleaning plan now so that when March 20 rolls around, you're ready to go!
We've listed a few helpful tips to get you started. Mind you; this job may be harder to tackle for some than others. How long has your storage building been neglected? How much junk has been accumulating over the past year? Depending on the size of your garage or shed and the amount of clutter inside, choose a full day or an entire weekend to declutter, clean, and organize.
Here are 4 tips to help you prep your garage or shed this spring for summer-long enjoyment.
Take everything out and clean
To start, take everything out of your garage or shed. Seriously. In order to take a full inventory of everything you have, plus clean the floor thoroughly, this needs to be step one.
Once everything's out, you can:
- Get rid of the cobwebs above doors and windows and in corners. Use a duster, a microfiber cloth, or a damp paper towel to spruce up the place by removing loose dirt, dust, and cobwebs.
- Clean up spills. If you discover spills as you're emptying out your shed or garage, take the time to clean it up. When spills happen throughout the year, and they're hard to access and aren't damaging floorboards, it's easy to push off cleaning to a later time. But... now is that time.
- Sweep the floor. With everything out of your storage building, you can easily clean your floor. Be thorough. While in the process, look out for loose floorboards, nicks, or anything else that may need repair and make the repairs immediately.
- Clean the windows. If your building has windows, wipe down the inside and outside. As a note of caution, do not wash windows with a pressure washer. Instead, use a garden hose. If you use a spray nozzle on your hose, use the light shower setting, not the strong direct jet.
- Organize your things into four piles: keep, donate, sell, toss. You've got a lot of stuff, and the chances are good that you don't NEED all of it. First, figure out what you can throw away - then do it! Next, decide which items you don't need but are in good-enough shape to sell. You can list those items on Craigslist or any other social selling network. Then choose which items you'd like to donate to a charity or nonprofit of your choice. Finally, go through everything that remains (things that you're keeping), making sure it's all in working order and clean enough to put away.
Organize the clutter
Now that your storage building is clean and you know which items your keeping, it's time to organize.
Separate your items into categories such as auto care, gardening, sports equipment, etc. so that similar items can be stored together. Once you see how much you have, you can decide if storage bins or shelving should be purchased in order to properly and neatly store the items. From there create "zones" or designated areas where each grouping will be kept.
Here are some organization ideas.
- Get back some square footage by mounting your bicycles. It gets them out of the way, giving you more useable space and eliminating obstacles which can be easily tripped over. Here are some creative, space-saving ways to store bicycles.
- Don't let balls, bats, sticks, or any other sporting equipment lay around. Try using heavy duty shelving and bins or repurposing laundry baskets or hampers. If those don't work for you, here more storage solutions for sports gear.
- Hammer, nails, and other tools are easy to find when everything is kept in its place. Create that place on your wall or above your workbench. Magnetic knife holders or magnetic tool organization sticks are excellent for keeping hand tools, paint brushes, and other lightweight metal objects in sight, organized, and easily accessible. Pegboards can provide additional storage space that will not take up valuable real-estate. Using pegs or hooks, you can hang almost anything. Here's one example of how a pegboard wall can be utilized.
- For more ideas, explore our Shed & Garage Organization Pinterest board.
Freshen up landscaping
Unless you're a landscaping genius with more ideas and time than the average person, you may find the below suggestions helpful. All three ideas are simple but require different levels of effort. For even more ideas, visit our Shed Landscaping Ideas Pinterest board.
- Little effort: lay mulch
Laying mulching will add instant visual appeal. In addition to adding a manicured look to your yard, mulch helps to suppress weeds. You can find bags of mulch at home centers, but for the best selection, check your local nursery or landscape supplier. Once the mulch is laid (by either you or a hired hand), it will require little to no maintenance throughout the year. Click here for mulching tips.
- Some effort: plant annuals
If you want to add a pop of color to your yard but don't want delicate plants that need daily attention, consider a hardy plant like annuals. Select the colors you like, plant them either in front of your shed or around the perimeter, then enjoy their beauty all season long. Click here for more information about annuals.
- Most effort: create a pathway
If you've added mulch and annuals, but you're looking for something more, creating a stone, gravel, wood chip, or brick pathway from your house to your shed could be the perfect finishing touch. This process can be simple or complex depending on the amount of money and labor you're willing to invest. Check out these simple pathway ideas.
Prep for pests
Do pesky spiders, ants, pine beetles, wasps, and rodents like hanging around your shed? Perhaps they’ve made your shed their own personal home. Not only can this be a nuisance to you, but it can also contribute to the deterioration of your shed and the items stored inside. If you want to fight off these pests, below are some ideas. It’s time to show them who’s boss!
- Remove sources of food, water, and shelter.
> Eliminate water sources. Check for roof and siding leaks. Also makes sure there isn’t any leaking plumbing. If water accumulates from these sources, it can become a breeding ground for insects or a hydration supply for rodents.
> Eliminate options for shelter. Piles of wood, newspapers, cardboard, and other clutter are ideal places for pests such as mice to breed and hide. If these piles get wet, they can also serve as an ideal habitat for countless insect species.
> Eliminate access to food. Do not to store food of any kind in your shed and keep trash cans far away if possible. If you have a spider infestation, try to get rid of the other insects first (their food source) and your spider problem may resolve itself.
> Eliminate entrances. Close off places where pests can enter. Take a moment to inspect your shed. When you find a visible opening, take time to seal it. You may need to caulk cracks and crevices around window and doors.
- Use a pesticide.
> Choose the right product. Be sure to read the label entirely so that you are selecting the right product to solve your problem and always follow the instructions and safety warnings. For safety purposes, buy ready-to-use products, not those that require mixing.
TIP: In addition to spraying around the door frames and windows, also apply to the areas where you’ve spotted insect activity. It may also help to remove vegetation from within 12–24 inches of your shed.
> Choose to handle pesticide containers properly. After use, remember to store or dispose of the pesticide and its container properly. If you don’t know the proper way, read the instructions on the bottle. Improper storage or disposal may lead to health or safety issues.
TIP: In addition to reading and following the label directions, consider these important tips when using pesticides.
> Choose a pest-control company wisely. If DIY is not your thing, hiring a pest-control company is another option. Research companies and choose the one that’s best for you. Regardless of the company you choose, ask them to find and correct the source of the problem before applying pesticides.
Need a new shed or garage?
If you need a shed or garage, check out our Ranch, Low-Barn, and High-Barn style storage buildings. All of our buildings are handcrafted using only the highest-quality materials and sold factory direct to you.
If a fully built shed cannot be delivered to your home due to space restrictions, no problem! On-site building options are available.
Click the button below to learn more about our buildings by searching them based their use scenarios.
It’s our mission at Dakota Storage Buildings to make high-quality buildings that exceed your expectations. Explore our storage buildings in person at our St. Cloud, Minnesota location, our Alexandria, Minnesota location, or any of our other South Dakota or Minnesota display locations.