Moving In: How To Clean & Prep The Garage


You learned in May that I think garages are very important. When you move, the garage becomes an important area to stage and store things as you put your home inside together. The garage is the first and the last place I suggest worrying about when you are moving.

This is how I suggest approaching the garage when moving: 

First – Clean & Prep

Before you move any boxes or furniture in, take the time to clean and prep your garage. (More on this – I’m going to explain the process and then show you pictures from my recent garage clean out. Keep reading!)

During the Move – Utilize the Garage

  • As you unpack, use your garage to sort picture frames. Make stacks that go to certain rooms or areas of the house. It may not transfer straight from your previous house, and you may change around what rooms things go in.
  • Use your garage to sort decorations like the frames above. After you divide it up, decorate room by room, or as you find places for big things. Anything left in the garage after your house is FULL gets immediately donated! Just think – if you never bring this stuff in, you won’t be as tempted to keep it “just because.”
  • Use the garage to stash your donate pile or your “it didn’t work in this room, I’m going to set it aside to see if it will work in another room before I donate it” pile. As soon as you have a donate pile ready, take it right away!
  • If you are working on projects as you move, like painting or whatever it may be, keep the supplies organized in the garage while you’re working on things.

Last – Unpack & Organize

After the inside of your house gets unpacked, unpack and declutter the garage. Now miscellaneous items can DEFINITELY be donated and you only have things in here that are meant to stay. Going in this order and focusing on organizing your garage last, you’ll be able to create the garage you want! But not only that, you’ll also be able to get the inside more organized too without all the extra “moving clutter” in your way of really unpacking and settling in.

(When you are ready to organize your garage, read this first!)

How To Clean & Prep The Garage:

While you’re utilizing your garage like I suggest above, it is a lot better if your garage is CLEAN! And I mean actually cleaned, not just a rough sweep.

Think about it, when is your garage ever going to be completely empty ever again besides when you move in?! Make the most of it!

Also, I kept picturing the movers walking in and out of my house through my garage. If the garage floor was especially dirty, the grossness would be carried around my entire house and end up on every floor in every room. 

The Steps:

1. Dust and Spot Clean Walls:

Work on dusting light fixtures, walls, built-in cabinets and windows first.

This was my duster of choice to wipe all of these high places, because it has a long handle for reaching and it bends to dust at specific angles. (Amazon Affiliate Links Below.)

Casabella Duster


Use whatever duster you prefer, but start with this step, because dusting pulls things into the air and that debris will land on the floor.

After the walls are dusted, go back and spot clean. I use Basic H to clean walls. Easy to do with a rag and the spray!


2. Sweep and then Vacuum:

Bulky things that could hurt your vacuum may be hiding on your garage floor (like nails!), so I suggest sweeping your garage and then following up with a vacuuming. The vacuuming will get all the dust and debris that the broom just pushes around. Even if you think you are sweeping really well, if you skip the vacuuming, you will be surprised at how much dust and debris your mop finds!

My vacuum broke on the last day I left Arkansas. Seriously! I can’t even make up that kind of thing! This is my new vacuum and I love it so much. Electric (it charges), lightweight, HEPA filter, and it is so powerful! The battery doesn’t last forever, so I just vacuum in spurts here and there, which oddly is making me vacuum more frequently than when I used to build it up to do all at once.

Dyson Absolute Cordless Vacuum 


3. Mop:

Yes, I just said mop the garage floor. You may be thinking I am INSANE right now! But if you do mop the floor, you will be so happy with how much better it feels to be in there while you are sorting your picture frames and decorations. You may even want to place some frames or decor on the floor while you’re sorting… and you can, because your floor is clean!

I decided to try a Magic Eraser mop by Mr. Clean for this extra dirty job, and it ended up being super useful, because as the magic eraser mopping end disintegrates, you know when you need to change it out and clean out the water. Plus, my hands never had to get in the water to wring the sponge. This is definitely going to be my new go-to for garage floors!

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Mop


So, those are the steps! Easier said than done, I know.

Cleaning My Garage

Here was my recent experience getting my garage ready to move in! My husband had a business trip the week we could move into the house, so that gave me all the week days to get the house ready before he arrived with our furniture on the weekend. I went to work cleaning the garage!










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I love how my minivan pulls up to the door in this garage! It is so convenient for loading that toddler!

I hope this post helps inspire you to get your garage ready for your move! Good luck with all that!


Happy Moving!


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6 thoughts on “Moving In: How To Clean & Prep The Garage

  1. Mary, do you have any thoughts or recommendations on garage floors? I see that both your old house and your new house look to have some kind of garage floor covering that’s not just concrete. :)

        1. The builder’s painter that painted our house did it, so I’m really not sure. I’m sure any good painter would know how … or ask in Sherwin Williams. They usually know the local painters.

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