July 1, 2014

Kid-Friendly Garage Solutions

Our garage was a mess.

With three children, ages 2-7, we have three scooters, two bikes, and a tricycle in our garage.  Add those with the mound of outdoor work/sports shoes, grill, lawn tractor, push mower, snow blower, garbage cans, wheelbarrow, tool chest, car, and van...well, our garage overflows with STUFF.

Problem #1: The kids park their bikes in front of the doorway because there is no floor space available.

Basically, where you see the floor in this picture is where we park the van and car.  The red tricycle is in the direct pathway to the door because the van is parked to the right of it.  To the left of the steps is a giant pile of ball gloves, cleats, helmets, outdoor (mowing) sneakers, and boots.

My goal was to find a way to store the children's bikes so we could walk from the vehicles to the door without having to step over the bikes.  Most bike storage options on the internet are not kid-friendly.  Our children use their bikes and scooters just about daily.  Having them hang on the wall is not an option for them.  A trip to the Dollar General quickly solved this mess.

Solution #1: Four "milk crates" provide an inexpensive solution to remove the items from the floor and organize them.  The blue stacking bin was my initial toy storage for the garage from a year ago.  It continues to be helpful.  (See link to my post for details.)
Problem #2: The garage floor was so filthy, everyone tracked grass and dirt into the house.  

As you can see in the top photo, the grass covered the floor.  This was especially a problem with the children coming and going throughout the day.  They tracked in large amounts of dirt and grass directly on our kitchen floor.
Solution #2: Remove all the portable items and sweep.  
I drove the car and van out of the garage.  Then my 2 year old and 5 year old removed all the portable items from the garage.  Later this summer my husband will, I suspect, use the pressure washer to properly clean the garage floor again, but a decent sweeping goes a long way to keeping the dirt and grass from my kitchen floor.   (We do not have a mudroom.)

Please note...three good-sized piles of grass, dirt, and debris.

Problem #3: Filthy, neglected windows.
Being that the garage is not living space, I rarely consider cleaning it.  These grime-covered windows make the garage even less appealing and a bit darker.  

This is an example of dirty and clean...and the clean only had one layer of dirt removed.  
Solution #3: Washed windows.
I scrubbed the windows while the children removed items from the garage to the driveway area.   Cleaning the windows took a good deal of elbow grease.  I used a bucket and my favorite easy window cleaning method.  I scrubbed each window as clean as possible to remove the first layer of grime (and dead bugs).  Then I continued on as if cleaning any window by wetting the window and using my squeegee.

Window Cleaning Solution
2 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 teaspoon (or less) dish detergent

Truth be told, I didn't measure the dish detergent.  However, even a half teaspoon makes too much soap for my liking.
So there you have it.  In two hours' time, I cleaned the garage windows, swept the floor, and organized the bikes in the garage.  It's not fancy, but it is effective and was completed quickly.  It works for us.

Have you completed any big projects recently?  The garage was one I didn't want to tackle, but it felt great to complete it...even if my husband didn't notice the clean windows.

~ Annette
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7 comments:

  1. We have a blind over the window in our garage, so I really never think to even check it...probably should add that to the list.

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  2. I have to say that my husband keeps our garage clean all the time.. But, now that he is gone for a while I guess it will be my job. Pinning. this.

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  3. I love the milk crate idea! What a great way to keep items off the floor.

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  4. I remember cleaning the garage with my father on a number of occasions. A lot of the mess was generated by bark shavings from the large pile of wood that we used for the house's wood-burning fireplace. One summer it was decided to move the wood from one side to the back. Man, that was a chore!

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  5. It's a simple and easy way to stay organized. I love all the bright colored crates.

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  6. Good for you, we've never been able to park the cars in our garage!

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  7. White paint/primer does wonders to the walls if you have time. Nice job,

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