The Nuts and Bolts: Celebrate National Clean Out Your Garage Day

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Sixth Annual "National Clean Out Your Garage Day" Slated for Saturday, Sept. 6

From tools and stools to trunks and junk, it seems that the garage is home to just about everything these days – except the car. In fact, for the vast majority of Americans (nine out of 10), the garage is much more likely to be serving double-duty as a workshop, tool shed or recreational area, according to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. This multi-purpose situation often results in a hodgepodge of disorganized items ranging from gardening tools, old furniture and sports equipment to bikes, half-empty paint cans, and even moldy magazines. In sum, enough stuff to trip over, ding your auto, and fall from the rafters.

Making matters worse is that 70 percent of Americans use the garage to store potentially dangerous equipment such as saws and power tools, while nearly 60 percent store flammable liquids, such as oil, gasoline, propane and kerosene, as well as other dangerous chemicals, including pesticides and other lawn care products in their garage space.

To help educate Americans about the importance of garage safety and organization, The Lehigh Group, maker of Crawford®-branded garage and home workshop organization products, declared "National Clean Out Your Garage Day." This annual observance, now in its sixth year, will be recognized across the country on Saturday, Sept. 6.

"We established 'National Clean Out Your Garage Day' to occur on the first weekend after Labor Day, a time when much of America moves from summer to fall, and items such as bikes, outdoor toys, sports and camping gear, lawnmowers and garden tools are put away for the season," said Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for The Lehigh Group. "This is a great time to take stock of the safety of your garage, and to de-clutter and re-organize as needed to make this space safer and more functional."

The experts at Lehigh offer these basic guidelines:

Sort the Mess
Separate items into categories such as auto supplies, lawn and garden tools, holiday decorations, and sports equipment. Then, pitch, donate or sell items you don't use. Before organizing and storing, take a multipurpose push broom to sweep the garage floor, or wash down the floor with a water hose.

Zone It Out
After deciding what stays, separate the garage into zones for storing each category of items, and then identify the most appropriate storage method.

Go Vertical
One great storage strategy is to use the vertical plane to keep the floor free of clutter. Garages provide ample wall and ceiling space that can easily be used for vertical storage through use of hanging shelves, pegboards, storing rails and overhead systems.

Be an Organized Sport
Establish a solid game plan to organize the typical plethora of sports gear as well as the family's fleet of bikes. For bicycles, cost-effective screw-in hooks and flip-up bike hangers, along with pulleys, are ideal ways to keep bikes off the ground and out of the way while they're not in use.

Securely Store Hazardous Items
Place toxic materials such as paint, paint thinner, weed and bug killers, fertilizer and gasoline in high cabinets or lockable tool chests to keep out of the reach of children. Use well-supported shelves to store cleaning solutions and vehicle fluids. Be sure to secure tools and wrap up extension cords via tool hangers.

COIT Announces New Clean Living Scholarship

Learning to take care of your living space is an important part of the college experience. To apply for the $2,000 Clean Living Scholarship, COIT challenges students to explain what "clean living" means to them by making a short video telling a story about how they take care of themselves and their living space.

Video Submission Rules

Students create a quick video (3 min max) telling the story of what clean living means to them and how they take care of their living space. High production quality is not the goal: COIT is looking for honest stories.

Students may apply two different ways:

  1. Upload the video to Tumblr as a submission to
  2. Upload the video into the student's Google+ account and hashtag it #coitscholarship

Then, applicants should email their contact information: full name, Google+ or Tumblr user name, address, phone, school name, GPA, date of birth, and parent/guardian name (if under 18) and the URL of the video to COIT at

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Students must be enrolled in either an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited college or university in the USA or Canada. International students are welcome to apply.
  • Submission must be received by 11:59pm October 31st, 2014. One submission per person.
  • Email must include: full name, Google+ or Tumblr user name, address, phone, school name, GPA, date of birth, and parent/guardian name (if under 18).

The winning submission will be decided by COIT Services. COIT will announce the winner on November 17, 2014 on COIT's Tumblr, Google+, and other social media channels. For up to the minute information on the scholarship and other announcements by COIT, follow COIT on Tumblr and Google+.

Homework Stations to Rug Care: Hoover Vacuums Launches Blog with Help from Top Interior Designer

Hoover, the iconic floor care brand with a history of progressing the way Americans clean, has launched a new blog on aimed at giving renters and homeowners practical advice and information on floor care and design with plenty of fun mixed in.

Named 18 Degrees by Hoover, in reference to the angle of the line that bisects their well-known logo, the blog is set to become a clearing house of information that ranges from when and how to clean your floors to design ideas and even cleaning-music playlists.

To help launch the blog, Hoover has partnered with makeover maven Kim Myles. Myles, who appears regularly on OWN's Home Made Simple and is the creator of a line of candles and wall stencils available at, will be a regular monthly contributor to 18 Degrees by Hoover.

"I feel like flooring is one of the unsung heroes of the room," said Myles. "As a designer, I have a vested interest in flooring, in rugs, in all of that - I am obsessed with it. And Hoover makes it really easy to get it all clean, so it just felt like a perfect storm of happy times."

The collaboration begins with a blog post dedicated to creating an inspiring homework station for families with school-aged kids. Myles offers insights for problems that range from lack of space to the fact that homework can be boring.

Hoover intends to involve even more guest bloggers to address unique home solutions on 18 Degrees in the coming year.

18 Degrees by Hoover can be found at