How to Organize A Basement
Most basements tend to become a catch-all for a family’s stuff. If your basement needs a little organization, check out these tips to help you get started and get that underground room in order.
What do you want to use your basement for?
What purpose do you want your basement to serve after you get it in order? You may have your furnace and laundry area in the basement, but depending upon the size of your basement you may wish to use some of the space for a living room, a bedroom, a craft workshop, or an art studio. Then again, you may want to just use your basement for storage. Regardless of your choice for its use, your basement will provide you with the greatest benefit if it is clean and organized.
Start With Lighting
One of the difficulties of getting a basement cleaned and organized is lighting. You will need plenty of light downstairs to see what you are working with and get everything in order. Run extra overhead lights or bring in a few tall lamps to help you see.
Grab Your Cleaning Equipment and Supplies
Basements tend to get dusty and dirty, so you will need some equipment to help you get it clean. Grab your brooms, dustpans, wet/dry vacs, and plenty of trash bags and a trash can or two. You will also need soap or some type of cleaner to wash down walls and wash the floor. When you organize a basement, you really do need to clean as well.
Clean Things Up First
Start at the bottom of the stairs and work in a counterclockwise manner around your basement. Sweep the floors and get up as much dirt, dust, and grime as possible. Use a wet/dry vac to suck up dirt in corners. As you work, pick up and throw away any garbage items. Separate items that you want to keep and put them aside.
Move Things Toward the Center
Move everything toward the center of the room and away from the walls since you will need to wash those down. Once you get everything away from the walls and the walls are clean, you can set up shelving to better organize your stuff.
Use Plastic Storage Boxes
Use plastic storage boxes to organize your stuff — cardboard attracts insects and can easily be chewed up by mice. Clear plastic boxes will also allow you to see contents that are stored inside.
Sort and Toss
As you begin sorting items that you have moved to the center of the basement, begin sorting everything into three categories: Keep, throw away, or give away. When you finish sorting the large pile, stop and take a break. Carry the give away box up and out of the basement. Place it in your garage or in your vehicle so you can drop it at a thrift store the next time you are near one.
After you have eliminated the items that should be thrown away and given away, you will next need to sort the items you wish to keep. Use storage boxes to create categories for those items such as dishes, tools, clothing, keepsakes, toys, seasonal decorations, and the like, then start sorting. After everything is sorted into boxes, mark each box and place it on one of the shelves.
Make a final sweep of the floor with your broom then mop your basement floor. Take a look around at your newly organized basement and enjoy the orderly space you now have!
If you are in need of better organization skills in general, then we have some things here that will be sure yo help you out! Check out our guide to Getting Organized! If you find that you are still having organization problems, then you might want to try this book on organizing inside and out!