Despite the snow that fell on the GTA today, it's almost spring!

I say: "TGIS: Thank God it's Spring!" It's also garage cleaning season. At my house, it means dragging all the hockey equipment out, sorting out the open house signs and throwing out various boxes that take root over the winter.

For me, cleaning out the garage takes a full day, but I love how it feels when all the thrift shop donations have been delivered, the floor has been swept, and the shelves are sorted.

If you are thinking of selling this year, here's what you need to do in your garage before much longer:

1. Sweep and wash the floors. Cleanliness is very important throughout the home when it's time to sell.

2. Recycle what is no longer being used, and drop off old paint cans and other hazardous materials. No buyer wants to get stuck with a few trips to the dump.

3. Clear a large space for your furniture that will be "pruned" from your inside living space. My trusted stagers will invariably coach my clients to pre-pack their collections and personal items. Storing them in the garage is no problem, and is certainly expected from buyers who are viewing your home.

4.  Stop smoking in the garage, and get outside. Non-smoking buyers can smell a smoker's garage. Although it's an admirable attempt to keep the smoky smell out of the home, smoking should now be moved outside all together due to the warmer weather.

In all my experience of showing countless homes, I have never seen a buyer change their mind about buying a home based on the boxes and extra furnishings in the garage. (We have chuckled at the amount of items squeezed in the space, but this has never been a determining factor for buyers.)

And one last thought...I'm a progressive, modern woman, but for goodness sake, take down the pin-ups and beer can poster girls. How can a husband tell his wife that he loves the garage, when she's seen the Sunshine girl, and is thinking that all his likes in the artwork!!! Very distracting!

Happy cleaning!