Your garage is full of space that could be an invaluable resource, but if you're like most of us, it's probably not being put to its best use. It's easy to see your garage as just an empty box and fill it with as much as possible. If you take some time to declutter and organize, however, you could make room for that workshop you've always wanted or at least have a more efficient storage space. The first step to reclaiming your garage from clutter, unpleasant as it may be, is to do a deep cleaning.

Everything must go
To make a serious attempt at renewing your garage, you'll have to start by taking everything out. This is the most daunting part of the whole process, but once you've got it out of the way you'll see just why cleaning your garage was necessary in the first place. You'll likely find a lot in your garage that you don't need any more or that should be stored elsewhere, making reorganizing the rest easier. If you're lucky, you may even come across an item or two that you've been looking for or thought was lost forever.

Clean slate
Next comes the deep cleaning. The garage tends to be ignored when the rest of the house is getting cleaned, so you may have quite the task ahead of you. Fortunately, starting with an empty garage will allow you to work quickly without having to sweep around the clutter.

If your garage is in decent condition, it might need no more than a sweep, scrub and vacuum. Unless you're storing chemicals or have a car that leaks oil, the floor can likely be taken care of with just a spray of water. Degreaser and laundry detergent can help if the situation is a little stickier. Just be sure to let everything dry completely before moving your things back in to prevent mold down the line.

Make a plan
Now that you have your garage looking like new, stop and make a plan before you fill it up again. Ask yourself exactly what you'll be using the garage for. If you want to set up a work space, be sure to portion out enough room for that before you move on to storage. There are plenty of ways to use your space more efficiently, like installing wall mount storage, so it's best to focus on making room for other uses first.

Also start thinking about how you're going to get everything into and out of storage. Leave a clear path to remove big items like bikes and keep things that you'll be using often easy to reach on garage shelves. Anything that doesn't need to be removed often can stay in garage cabinets, where it won't be in the way or exposed to any spills or damage.

Once you've got your garage's new look planned out, all that's left to do is move everything back in and start using the space you just created.