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10 Garage Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle This Spring

lego-568039_960_720We feel like we are pretty safe in saying that spring has finally arrived in Greater Vancouver, even though it has been pretty wet so far. At least the snow is finished, and with cherry blossoms exploding everywhere and warmer weather even on cloudy days, it’s hard to be too bothered by the rain.

Of course, spring also means “spring cleaning.” It’s a tradition the origin of which is difficult to pinpoint. Nevertheless, it’s a smart thing to do when you own a home (no matter how big or small). Since we are experts in all things garage, and since this part of the house probably gets the least amount of attention, we thought it would be timely to draw attention to some spring cleaning maintenance tasks for the garage. By spending a little extra time at this time of year, you can save yourself hassle, grief and even more time the rest of the year.

1) Tidy up. Why do people spring clean the living areas of their home but neglect the garage? Spring is a great time to tackle the garage, too. Purge the space of items you don’t use or need anymore and take the time to organize everything else. Check out these spring garage cleaning tips from one of our previous posts: https://tailoredlivingvancouver.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/spring-cleaning-and-organizing-in-the-garage-is-easier-this-year/

2) Sweep and clean your entire garage floor. This is super important, because you probably dragged in all kinds of dirt, gravel and muck over the winter which isn’t good for your floors or for your vehicle’s tires.

3) Inspect your garage door. Are all of its parts in good working order or does anything need to be replaced? Give its moving parts (tracks, springs, hinges, rollers, etc.) a garagecleaning if needed by gently brushing away dirt and grease clumps with a soft-bristled brush and then lubricate them with a garage door lubricant.

4) Remove winter window coverings, if you have any.

5) Remove and replace worn weather stripping.

Optional and Periodic Garage Maintenance Tasks:

1) Patch holes and cracks in your garage floor.

2) Re-coat/re-seal your garage floor. The frequency with which you’ll need to do this depends on what your floor is made of and what kind of sealant (if any) is already on it. If it’s time for a new sealant, check out our exclusive PremierOne® Garage Floor Coatings. Depending on what type you choose, our coatings are guaranteed to last for a specific length of time, meaning you don’t have to reseal year after year.

painting-black-paint-roller3) Repair dents and nicks in drywall and repaint.

4) Have your garage door professionally inspected and make any repairs or parts replacements that are needed.

5) Conduct a full-out purging and re-organize your garage. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve tackled the clutter in your garage. Or, maybe you’ve been doing regular tidying up, but the accumulation of stuff has outpaced your ability to keep on top of being organized. Whatever your reasons, sometimes a garage interior reorganization is necessary in order to maintain your own sanity and keep clutter and accumulation under control.

If clutter is an ongoing problem in your garage, maybe it’s time for a complete garage storage overhaul. Tailored Living has hundreds of solutions and a plan that’s made just for you and the space that you have to work with. It doesn’t matter if your garage is small… Tailored Living can design solutions that perfectly fit the space you do have.


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Spring Cleaning: Great Places to Donate Unused Items in Greater Vancouver

Spring officially starts on March 20, and many people have already begun, or are at least thinking about beginning, spring cleaning. While it’s not exactly the most fun part of spring, it does feel good to shed clutter and get organized.


Go from cluttered to organized

Tailored Living is all about helping people get organized and STAY organized with personalized systems that are tailored to the individual, family or home. We’ve done a lot of blogging about getting organized. What we haven’t talked much about is what to do with all of that STUFF that you don’t need anymore once you’ve taken the time to re-organize. We thought it would be helpful to provide our readers with a list of places and resources in Vancouver, Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley that accept recyclable household items. We know that once you spring clean, you’ll have things to get rid of. Making the effort to properly dispose of these things benefits the planet and sometimes it even benefits local charities and organizations in the way of cash donations.

Where to Donate or Recycle Clothing & Textiles

Value Village – multiple locations throughout Greater Vancouver. Accepts clothing, linens, housewares, home décor, books and furniture in usable condition.

Salvation Army Thrift Store – multiple locations throughout Greater Vancouver. Accepts clothing, linens, housewares, home décor and furniture in usable condition.

There are hundreds of other thrift stores throughout the lower mainland which are typically operated by community-based charities. Chances are good that there is at least one in your area, and many of them accept all of the things already mentioned.

Trans-Continental Textile Recycling Ltd. : Located in Surrey, this innovative company collects donated clothing, both wearable and unwearable. Nothing goes to waste, and a wide variety of charities benefit. All clothing is sorted into different categories. Wearable clothing in good condition is shipped to developing countries and distributed to people who need it. Clothing that is not in wearable condition is processed, usually according to the type of material it’s made of, and is sold to manufacturers who make it into new goods. The business employs 90-100 people and profits benefit numerous local charities, including Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society, the BC Centre for Ability and the Deaf Children’s Society of BC. Donate your old clothing and textiles by dropping it into one of Trans-Continental’s donation boxes (various locations throughout Greater Vancouver) or by contacting Trans-Continental directly.

canuck place bank

One of Trans-Continental’s many donation banks


Where to Recycle Used Motor Oil & Automotive Fluids

The BC Used Oil Management Association is a non-profit society that facilitates and encourages the recycling of used motor oil. It partners with businesses throughout Greater Vancouver who establish drop-off points for used motor oil in their shops. For a list of places to recycle motor oil near your own home, visit http://bcusedoil.com/.

Where to Recycle Batteries

Call 2 Recycle is BC’s official battery stewardship program. Visit www.call2recycle.ca/british-columbia/ to find out where in your area you can drop off any kind of household battery (no automotive batteries). Many automotive battery retailers and automotive shops accept used automotive batteries for recycling. You can also visit http://www.rcbc.ca/ and use the generator to find out where you can recycle automotive batteries in your area.

Where to Recycle Almost Anything

Regional Recycling Vancouver – Billed as your “one stop recycling shop.” Located in Vancouver, it accepts beverage containers, paper products & packaging, appliances, tools, equipment, scrap metal, paint, pesticides, fuel and most types of light bulbs (an official Light Recycle BC partner). For a comprehensive and detailed list of acceptable goods, visit the Regional Recycling Vancouver website.


Regional Recycling offers household pick-up services

For a comprehensive list of recyclers of all types of products close to your home, visit http://www.regeneration.ca/ or http://www.rcbc.ca/.  You’ll find a handy little generator on the right of each of these sites’ home pages. Simply choose the kind of item you want to recycle from the drop-down menu and the city in which you live. You will be given a list of places near your home that accept the particular item you need to recycle. This includes all of the items already mentioned as well as items like appliances, old computers and electronics, paint, tires, building materials, thermostats, hazardous items, furniture and even vehicles.

What NOT to Recycle

Waste facilities in Greater Vancouver will not accept any items that are able to be recycled. This list grows and changes regularly as new recycling facilities are opened. If you have items that you’re not sure whether you can legally dispose of, visit http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/solid-waste/bylaws-regulations/banned-materials/Pages/default.aspx for a list of materials that are banned from local landfills. This list is updated whenever there are changes to regulations. If something is on this list, then there is a facility (or facilities) where it can be recycled.

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Spring Cleaning and Organizing in the Garage is Easier This Year

TraditionalGarCabinets2You know how you’re always feeling like there just isn’t enough time to get things done around the house? If only there were more hours in the day…. good news!  We’ve all been banking extra hours over the last four years, and this year we get to cash them in. It’s Leap Year, and there’s a whole extra day to tackle those jobs that keep getting pushed down lower and lower on the “To Do” list, like cleaning and organizing the garage.

We’ve blogged before about getting organized, but in case you missed those previous blogs, we’re going to cover some garage organization tips here. Even if you have read those blogs, it never hurts to read them again. Maybe you’ll be inspired anew to finally tackle problem clutter, dirt and other things that have been gathering in your garage over the months or years. Here’s how to re-create your garage space in four easy steps:

1) Discard: If you’re like a lot of home owners, all of the stuff from inside the house that you’ve tagged as destined for the dump or the Salvation Army gets placed in the garage. Often times that’s where it ends up staying, for weeks or months or even years. Now is the

Versatile gridwall from Premier Garage by Tailored Livingtime to get rid of all that stuff properly so you can free up that space for what it’s really needed for, whatever that happens to be for you and your family. It’s also a perfect opportunity to take a short visual inventory of what’s being stored in the garage and get rid of things you no longer want or use.

2) Clean: For a lot of people, this will be the most unpleasant part, especially if it’s been a while since your garage has been touched by a broom. Chances are that you’ll encounter a lot of dirt, leaves, cobwebs and maybe a critter or two (or what critters have left behind). It’s a good idea to wear a dust mask if it’s been a long time since you’ve cleaned and moved stuff around in the garage. Don’t forget the windows, if there are any.

3) Sort: This step can also be done while you’re working on steps 1 and 2. Group “like” items together (cleaning products in one place, gardening tools in another, etc.) so that they can be stored together and subsequently found easily and quickly next time you need them.

4) Restore order: You know what they say: you can’t clean up a mess without first making a bigger mess. Don’t let that deter you. Just keep the end goal (a clean, healthy, organized and functional garage) in sight. Your efforts will be worth it in the end.

These steps and ideas come straight from the Tailored Living corporate blog on spring cleaning in the garage. It’s worth a read, as it contains even more ideas and suggestions on this topic. You can also check out A Five-Room Spring Cleaning Checklist which we first published last year. If you’d like to improve on storage capability in your garage, PremierGarage.com or the Tailored Living garage storage page.

By the way, just because February 29 falls on a Monday, a work day for many people, it doesn’t give you an excuse not to take advantage of the extra day. Take your Leap Day on Saturday or Sunday instead. You’ll ultimately be glad you did.

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A Five-Room Spring Cleaning Checklist

The experts at Tailored Living corporate recently published a helpful spring cleaning checklist for some of our favorite rooms in the house. Now that spring has truly descended upon the lower mainland, we thought our followers might be able to make use of these insightful tips. They cover some areas that people don’t always think of when they do day-to-day cleaning. We’ll share a brief summary here, but you can get more in-depth info by visiting http://lms.dbmgroup.com/Email/TailoredLivingCorporate/J117857/J117857.asp?EmailAddr=rhelferty@tailoredliving.com&LogID=6921&ID=73712304&EID=NzM3MTIzMDQ=

The Closet (Bedrooms, Hallways, Coat Closets, etc.)

A woman organizes clothing by type in her Tailored Living closet

1) Sort through clothing.

2) Pack away seasonal clothing if space is an issue to make room for spring/summer wardrobe.

3) Remove items that you no longer wear and donate them to a local charity.

4) If you store non-clothing items in your closet, this is a good time to go through those items too. Decide whether they’re worth the space they take up. If not, re-home them or give them to charity.

The Pantry

Baskets like the ones pictured here by Tailored Living store smaller pantry items.

1) Empty cabinets and remove items from shelves.

2) Dust or wash down surfaces.

3) Check expiry dates on food products and throw out any outdated food.

4) If you have food items you aren’t likely to use, donate them to a local food bank.

The Laundry Room

Laundry room with custom cabinets, shelving and work table

1) Sort through laundry and cleaning supplies.

2) Get rid of anything you don’t or won’t use.

3) Give your lint trap a good cleaning, either with water or with a strong blast of air to loosen trapped particles.

The Home Office


Desk in Office in Candlelight finish with crown molding in Recessed Panel Premier profile

1) Clean computer screens.

2) Dust surfaces like your hard drive, printer and any shelving. This is a good time to check your computer or hard-drive’s exhaust screen which is prone to collecting dust and clogging, which can lead to overheating.

3) Polish mirrors.

The Garage

 "Traditional" Garage Cabinets by Tailored Living

1) Remove black tire marks from the garage floor with a gentle cleaner diluted with water or a citrus degreaser.

2) Sweep garage floor.

3) Take time to put away loose tools and other items.

On another note, thanks to everyone who stopped by the Tailored Living booth at the Ridge Meadows Home Show a couple of weekends ago. Mike & Laura Pachal enjoyed chatting with many people from all over the lower mainland and are looking forward to some upcoming renos in the Coquitlam/Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows area. Be sure to visit http://www.tailoredliving.com to book your free, no-obligation consultation.