How to Organize Your Basement

How to Clean & Organize Your Basement in 7 Steps

  1. Take inventory of your stuff & evaluate
    If you haven’t cleaned out your basement in a while, who knows what you will find hiding within the various piles of clutter. As you come across items you haven’t seen in some time, place items into three separate categories: 1) keep, 2) donate and 3) trash.

If you come across several items that still hold some value, but you haven’t used in ages, consider donating them or listing them on a resale site. However, if any one of these items is in bad condition or beyond repair, it might be time to throw it out.

Admittedly, letting go of items, especially ones with high sentimental or monetary value, can be hard. This is where the “keep” pile comes into play. You can use this category to organize useful items and others you just can’t part ways with. Just remember, whatever you “keep,” you will also have to store!

  1. Make sure your basement can handle your storage ideas
    Basements, largely due to their subterranean locale, are often damp and prone to mildew and mold. This can make storing sensitive items such as antiques, collectibles and other items challenging. If after you have separated your inventory, you realize you will be storing sensitive items in your basement, it’s important to make sure the space is suitable for such storage.

If you are looking to eliminate excess humidity and dry up your basement, consider purchasing a humidifier, cleaning and painting, and waterproofing areas that are prone to flooding.

  1. Choose your shelving units & storage solutions
    After you sort your items and prep your basement for storage, next you will need to decide what type of shelving units you would like to utilize. Overall, metal shelving units are a great way to take advantage of vertical space and wall storage and maximize the carrying capacity and tidiness of a basement.
  2. Categorize your items & store accordingly
    Once you have your shelving units assembled, it’s time to categorize your “keep” items and store like items together and near each other. A great way to accomplish this task and effectively arrange your items is to store items by season or use. For example, you can store decorations and extra clothes by season and then store sporting equipment and camping equipment in the same vicinity.

Achieving this level of organization will not only help you store more, but will also make items easy to find and retrieve when needed. Consider purchasing plastic bins and storage containers to store like items together easily.

  1. Effectively store items using plastic bins
    Before purchasing plastic bins, storage containers or even cardboard boxes, make sure to measure your shelving units to see what size will fit. Once you have your storage containers on hand, place your organized items into categorized bins. Then, take a magic marker or label maker and label each container for easy item location.

If you are undecided on what type of storage container to purchase, we recommend clear, heavy-duty plastic bins. These see-through containers will allow you to locate items more easily. However, if organizing on a budget, cardboard boxes or any other container you have laying around the house can work, too.

  1. Free up other areas of your home
    Now that you have shelving units, storage containers and have organized all of the items in your basement, consider decluttering other areas of your home. Obviously, you won’t want to store too much in your basement if you don’t have the room, but if you still have space on your shelves, tackling your closets or pantry might be possible.
  1. Take a step back and look at your finished basement
    This is the easiest step, but also the most enjoyable. Take a moment to look at your hard work and appreciate where your basement started and how it looks now. Take an “after” pic to compare with the picture you took before starting to declutter your basement.

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