Basements tend to be the one spot where storage and clutter accumulate the most. Unless you're using your basement as an extra space to relax and hang out, basements are basically our own little storage rooms- and they tend to store everything. Without further ado, let's get into how to organize your basement for the spring!
- PURGE. In order to start organizing, you first, as always, need to purge. This might be a little overwhelming at first, depending on the initial condition and size of your basement- but trust me, the end result will be worth it! Take it slow, go at your own pace, and invite friends or an organizer over to help you through this process. Coming across things like memories and items with sentimental value may be difficult at first, but once you get into the groove of deciding what to keep and what to chuck, you'll feel more motivated seeing that pile of stuff slowly reduce. I have firsthand witnessed very apprehensive people begin organizing their basements and have seen their energy levels rise rather than drop as we got deeper and deeper into their pile of stuff! It's an exhilarating experience, but if you feel yourself starting to get too overwhelmed, take it slower and give yourself a break. It doesn't all need to get done at once. The end result for this first bulletpoint is this: purge anything you don't need or use, create a donate and trash pile, and put what you do plan to keep into like-piles so that the organizing process following this will be easier for you.
- KEEP. When it comes to what you're deciding to keep, try to make sure you keep things that are susceptible to mold out of the basement- storing items in cardboard boxes, for example, isn't a great idea as basements become humid and are also susceptible to leaks and floods. If your basement has a leak or a flood, the boxes will become soaked and your items will become ruined. Aim to store things in airtight, plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes!
- ZONES. Once you've purged everything, start to create zones for each area. Zones might include a zone for holiday decorations, for example. If you don't have shelves for these items, try to install tall shelving to maximize floor space. Store decorations into labeled, specific plastic bins- this applies to all zoned areas, as plastic bins are sturdy and won't acquire mold. Another zone might be for items like tools. For this, you can get a tool bench with drawers and a pegboard- the pegboard is perfect for hanging tools, and the drawers are very useful for extra tools and supplies! Continue creating zones for things like paperwork, cleaning supplies, etc...but make sure that these items are OFF of ground level to reduce the risk of damage in case of a flood or leak! If you can't keep them all off the ground, at least make sure that the bins you're using are sealed tight and plastic so that the items inside will remain safe.
- WATER VALVE. As far as reducing the risk of harm, try to keep the area where your off switch for your water valve is, completely clear.
- TALL STORAGE. Try to store tall, long items such as fishing poles and skiis on the rafters in your ceiling! This is a really cool idea because it keeps everything off of the floor and creates more room. Extra storage hacks include using the space above your stairs for storage- you can install a small shelf in that area and place unused items there with a label.
- ACCESSIBILITY. Items that you use most often fare best being closer to the stairs that lead to your basement- things like pantry items (if you have a pantry in your basement), cleaning items, etc.
- DESIGN. Lastly, we recommend really cleaning and maybe even re-painting the basement in general- try to make it a space that looks neat and clean so that you'll be more motivated to keep up your newly organized space!
And that's it! Basement organizing can be an overwhelming process, but once it's complete, the relief you feel will make it all worth it. ;)
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