During 2014, many of our blog topics will be devoted to helping you reorganize and declutter. The first reorganization project to tackle this year is the basement, which is usually the last place that gets cleaned and organized. The basement is one of the largest storage spaces in the home, but it also is usually a “catch all” for all of your stuff. If you get the basement reorganized first and make room for storage, then it can be a great place to store items from other reorganization projects in your home. Below are a few basement organization ideas that will make the project easier to handle.
How to Organize Your Basement in 3 Easy Steps
1. As with any decluttering project, the first thing to do is to assess your basement clutter. After the assessment, it's time to clear things out and sort the items into boxes: keep, place in a storage unit, sell, donate or throw away. This is the hardest part of any reorganization project. We are emotionally attached to our belongings and we keep a lot of “stuff”, even if the items aren’t working and are gathering dust. We just can’t seem to part with these items. This step is the chance to remove broken, old and outdated toys, sports equipment, tool, games, etc. If you are still attached to the certain items and they do not fit into your new basement organization plan, think about renting a self storage unit to store the items. ezStorage has a variety of self storage unit sizes to fit any of your storage needs.
2. Next, purchase new storage containers, shelving units, pegboards for the walls and hooks. These items can help add organized storage to the room. Clear plastic bins are a great solution for storing items in the basement to protect the stored items from moisture build-up as well as allowing you to see what is in the box. There are many basement storage solutions on the market that you can find at any local home decoration or remodeling store.
3. Before you start moving items back into the room, create zones in the basement. Frist, split the zones into storage, utility and living space. Then, once you've created these zones, then create even smaller zones within the bigger areas. As you go through the items that you are going to store in the basement, sort the items into categories and put like items together. Christmas decorations should be stored together in one place. Create a craft corner or table with all of the crafting items. Keep bulk food and paper supplies together on your shelving units. Utilize all the spaces, including the area under the stairways and walls. Hang tools on the pegboards and place the clear plastic storage boxes on your new shelving units.
Basement Storage Ideas and Tips
1. A big challenge for basement storage is trying to keep the area dry. If you are in a flood plain or have water issues in your basement, it might be a good idea not to use your basement for storage. But, if you do need to use the basement for storage, put the items that you are storing on concrete blocks or up on tables and higher shelves to be above the flood level. Store chemicals and paint off of the floor on shelves. But keep in mind, moisture and high humidity prevalent in many basements will take its toll on many items over time.
2. Keep diligent about cleaning the appliances that are stored in the basement and make sure that they are completely dry before you use them. Remove the handles on these items, especially refrigerators and freezers to prevent children from opening and falling in.
3. Keep a path cleared around the utility equipment such as the furnace, water heater, circuit breaker, water shut-off valves, and drains.
4. Due to possible moisture or water damage do not store the following in the basement: important documents, books, magazines, photographs, fabrics, curtains, and linens.
5. Label each stored container with the contents, so you will know the items in the boxes. Place labels on the top of the box as well as on all 4 sides.
6. After you have stored your like categorized items in one place, make sure to place items that you are accessing more often towards the front of the shelving unit. Christmas decorations are only needed for a few months a year, so they can go towards the back of your storage area.
Real Simple created a great check list for the basement organization project. As you check off the list, celebrate and allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment! Reorganizing the basement is a big task that you completed. Now you can be ready for the next decluttering or reorganizing project in your room.