At least once a year, set aside a Saturday for garage cleaning with kids. Try to send the little ones away for this occasion. Ages 8 and up will be of help. Anyone younger will be of hindrance.
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.)
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.
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:
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.
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.
A well-organized, clean garage makes coming and going so much more pleasant.
Now relax and celebrate a successful garage cleaning with kids!