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Written by: Greg Wiszniewski
Oftentimes, people move into a home, unpack, and get each room setup how they want it as time passes. Most of the time, the basement is treated as a catch all space, housing items that don’t belong anywhere else. Over the years, the basement begins to look like a storage unit, or worse, something off of that popular TV show about clutter nightmares. It doesn’t have to be this way. Recognizing that your basement can be functional and a storage space at the same time is the first step to creating a useful space.
A great way to start a basement organization project is to create a list and break the entire project up into achievable steps. Breaking your to do list into days, for example, is an effective way to be sure you get the project finished without being overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done. You can create a plan that fits your needs and your space, but a sample plan may help you get started with your own. On day one, you can focus on getting rid of things that are no longer useful. Anything outdated, broken, or not used should not have a home in your newly organized, fabulous basement. Be sure to recycle anything that you are able to and properly dispose of everything. If you have enough items, you could have a yard sale the following day. The next day, you need to put everything that you are keeping away in an organized fashion. Assorted sizes of storage bins, shelving, and drawers will help you do this. Be sure to clearly label the contents of each storage container so that when you need to find something it will be easy.
While you are organizing your basement, you should do your best to make the most of every bit of space you have. Most of the time, people do not utilize their wall space as a functioning storage space, but your walls have a lot of storage potential. You can use your wall space by installing peg boards, hooks, and racks to hold your items. Tools, sporting equipment, and other large items such as garden equipment are all items that you or your family needs to be able to access, but that can take up a lot of space if not stored properly. While cardboard boxes are an okay short term storage solution, everything should be stored in plastic containers to protect the items inside from bugs, rats, moisture, and water. Containers that are airtight and waterproof will add a bit of expense to the project, but you will be thankful for them later when that sump pump line bursts or you see a family of rats has moved in.
Cleaning up and organizing your basement doesn’t have to be a chore that you hate. By creating a simple plan of action, breaking the project into small, achievable parts, and choosing proper storage items, you can have an organized basement in one weekend or less. You can enjoy and get more use out of the space while helping others by selling or donating items that you don’t use. Your basement can be a functioning space that also doubles as extra storage space without looking like a storage unit gone wrong.
The following links provide more information on organizing and cleaning your basement, recycling properly, selling your items, and common problems that occur in a basement.
- Basement Organizing Checklist: A simple list to help make your project easier or to give you ideas to help you create your own organizing checklist that fits your needs.
- Clean Your Basement: Tips on cleaning and organizing your basement, asking for help, and planning the project.
- Declutter Your Basement: An easy to follow plan for doing your own basement organizing, cleanup project.
- Cleaning the Basement Floor: This page has information for removing stains such as oil, grease, and rust from your concrete basement floor
- Household hazardous waste: A common list of hazardous household products and information on disposing of them properly.
- Yard Sale Tips: Tips for having a successful yard or garage sale to get rid of unwanted items.
- Green Makeover for Your Basement: Tips on how to transform your basement organization project into a basement makeover project.
- How to Recycle Specific Items: Information on properly recycling items like furniture, electronics, and garden equipment.
- Clear the Clutter: Tips for recycling, donating, keeping, and selling your items.
Last modified: May 4, 2016