Vol.2, No.6

Cleaning the garage and driveway

Keep your garage and driveway clean to enhance your home's appearance and to prevent wear and tear from making it look run down.

Garage clutter cleanup
Photo Credit: John Archer
When planting spring flowers or raking fall leaves, give some attention to your garage and driveway to help them look their best. A neatly kept entryway to your property will improve the overall appearance and create an inviting impression. There are several things you can do without calling for professional assistance.

1. Get rid of all the broken or discarded junk that has accumulated in the drive or garage. This could include boxes of trash from cleaning out the car, rusty equipment or tools, and unwanted household or pet items that no one uses anymore. You will want to sort through all the cartons, boxes, or chests that are sitting in your garage and remove everything that no longer functions as it should unless you plan to repair it. Pick up any nails or screws that are laying around on the floor or ground. Sweep up sawdust or wood shavings from woodworking projects.

2. Hang up important things that you want to keep, such as usable tools, supplies, and yard or gardening equipment. Get a pegboard or a shelf to help you organize things of this nature. Have a yard sale to get rid of the items that you no longer need, such as a birdcage, pet carrier, or baby bassinet that other people might be able to use. Or drop them off at the thrift store deposit box to ensure that someone gets the remaining use out of these items. Keep enough walking area open in your garage between vehicles and a possible workbench or projects so that no one will trip and get hurt.

3. When the trashcans are empty after a pickup, fill with warm, soapy water and let them soak in the sun. Then empty and rinse to keep them clean and odor-free. Do the same with the kitty litter pan and gardening tools that may have dried manure or mud on them. Clean sports equipment to remove dried weeds or grass. Use an old broom to sweep away cobwebs from the garage ceiling and walls. Wash windows and any curtains or blinds for an overall fresh feeling. Rinse off the hose and wind it up so that it does not rot or break while lying underfoot.

4. Treat any oil or rust stains on your driveway. You can get concrete cleaner at the hardware store, along with sealer to prevent cracks from widening or chipping. Trim grass and weeds along the perimeter of the driveway. Consider planting a few bulbs or some ivy around the head or foot of the drive to make that area more attractive. You may want to install small footer lights for nighttime vision if you expect guests or family members to arrive after dark.

5. Keep the driveway swept after mowing the lawn. Make sure that the kids pick up toys after each use and put them where they belong. If you have a basketball pole, treat it at least once a year with an anti-rust application. Keep adjoining flowerbeds weeded and trimmed to help them look great during the summer. Remove ice and snow in the winter to prevent accidents or a vehicle's getting stuck.

Keeping these areas neat and clean will reduce the likelihood of accidents and injury. It also will eliminate odors or eyesores that can bother guests or homeowners.