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garage cleaning with kids

At least once a year, set aside a Saturday for garage cleaning with kids.

Garage cleaning day is the ideal time to ooh and ahh over all your old treasures and reevaluate whether to keep them.

Is the patio umbrella dirty? Clean it.  Is the artificial Christmas tree bent? Repair it or toss it. (You rarely need a backup Christmas tree.)

Try to send the little ones away for this occasion. Ages 8 and up will be of help. Anyone younger will be of hindrance.

Have big plastic bags everywhere: for charity, for trash, for sale, and for resituating. At the end of the day, cart away the bags for trash and charity. Set aside stuff for a garage sale. Let the children benefit from their hard work.

tips for removing garage floor stains.

Start the garage cleaning with kids with an empty garage to work on. Sweep it out, get rid of oil stains, brush away cobwebs - you get the picture.

If you have oil stains on the floor, here's how to get rid of them: 

  • Scrape up any accumulation. Absorb oil with a noncombustible material such as automatic dishwasher detergent or cat litter.
  • Grind it into the oil a bit. Leave it on for several minutes, and then pour boiling water on the stained areas.
  • Scrub the floor with a stiff brush or push broom, and then rinse it with water.
  • Sprinkle baking soda over the cleaned area to neutralize the solution that you've used. Never clean with gasoline. And get that leaky car fixed!

Treat other garage floor stains with Spray 'n Wash, let them rest, and then scrub them away with automatic dishwasher detergent.

It's a good idea to wet all dusty areas before sweeping or wiping. This keeps the dust from swirling around and giving you an allergy or asthma attack. Or use a sweeping compound. This mixture of oil, sand, and sawdust catches and holds dirt instead of throwing it up in the air when you sweep. You'll find it at hardware stores.

garage cleaning with kids by age.

Once a child reaches a certain skill or age level, he can generally do the chores for his age group and those for the age group below. Of course, some of these chores need to be done each day, others once a week, and still others less frequently. Use your best judgment for what gets done when.

ages 2 and under:

  • Put toys in bins or drawers
  • Pick up wrappers and small trash.

ages 3 to 5:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Put toys and games (and all their pieces) in the proper boxes or bins
  • Help prepare papers for recycling
  • Sweep the garage floor with a push broom.

ages 6 to 9:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Wipe up spills
  • Sweep floor
  • Empty and wipe wastebaskets clean, using disinfecting wipes
  • Prepare recyclables for pickup
  • Vacuum out car
  • Help wash car
  • Clean all doormats.

ages 10 to 13:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Disinfect light switches and doorknobs
  • Take trash and recycling containers to curb
  • Wipe clean the car's dashboard and upholstery
  • Help clean the garage
  • Wash screens and mgniblinds
  • Wash windows and wipe light fixtures.

ages 14 to 17:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Wash the car
  • Wash the car's undercarriage (each spring)
  • Spring clean the garage

A well-organized, clean garage makes coming and going so much more pleasant. Now relax and celebrate a successful garage cleaning with kids!

Check out the Clean Organized Home Store for the garage cleaning products and tools you and the kids will need to get started!



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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.