Basements often serve as a storage location for seasonal items, family keepsakes and various other personal belongings.
While many homeowners use their basements to store excess items, these can accumulate over time and quickly turn into clutter. Without proper organization, your possessions are more likely to get misplaced or damaged amid the mess.
Here are five ways to organize your basement, reduce clutter and optimize the space for storage and recreational activities.
1. Evaluate Basement Conditions
Before moving your valuables downstairs, consider the layout of your basement and identify any problems that could potentially damage your belongings. Basements tend to be cooler and prone to flooding, creating unfavorable environments for items, such as wood or leather furniture and metal appliances, that are unable to withstand water exposure or cold temperatures.
Once you have identified potential problem areas, such as near windows or on a damp floor, position your items where they are away from harmful or hazardous conditions. If you already store items in your basement, take this opportunity to remove them from unfavorable conditions into a more suitable storage location, such as your attic, closets, or a self-storage unit.
Based on basement conditions, homeowners should consider building vertically and install shelves or cubbies to stay organized, optimize space and protect valuables from water damage. Vertical storage systems provide several benefits, including:
- Better organization. Group similar items together in a designated space (e.g., gardening tools, seasonal decorations or kitchenware).
- Increased floor space. Create more room for recreational use or to move around when browsing through storage.
- Limited exposure to water. Keep belongings off the ground to protect against water exposure in case of flooding.
- Strategically placed items. Position the most frequently used items in easy-to-access locations and the heaviest items low to avoid potential injury.
2. Sort Your Belongings
Start with a clean slate by categorizing items based on what you would like to donate, keep, sell, store or throw away. Sort through your belongings to determine what to get rid of versus what will require proper storage.
Before placing items in the basement, sift through your possessions, and consider taking the following actions:
- Donate. Give away gently used clothing, furniture and books that you no longer use, but could still be valuable to others.
- Sell valuable possessions that are in good shape, but serve no purpose to you.
- Throw away any possession that holds no value to you and would not be valuable to others.
- Keep or store. Select items that you’ll need or want in the future, such as furniture or seasonal clothing. For these possessions, determine whether or not the basement is an ideal storage place and consider your alternatives.
3. Think Outside of the Box
Look for opportunities to use outside-of-the-box space in your basement. Some examples of unsuspecting places in your basement for additional storage space, include:
- Ceilings. Suspend lightweight objects, such as totes or baskets from ceiling hooks.
- Under staircases. Use this space for boxes or larger items, such as luggage, cubbies or exercise equipment.
- Walls. Use pegboards or wall storage systems to mount cleaning supplies, tools, sports equipment and other belongings.
4. Use and Label Clear Plastic Bins
Homeowners can further safeguard their items in clear plastic bins rather than wood or cardboard containers. Whereas wood and cardboard can easily deteriorate when exposed to moisture, plastic bins provide a variety of benefits, including:
- Eliminate the need to open each bin to see its contents.
- Prevent insects or rodents from damaging belongings.
- Protects belongings from water damage.
Save time and increase convenience by labeling bins with short, one to two word descriptions. Labels help homeowners identify the contents of bins quickly without having to sift through each one every time they are looking for specific belongings. You can also group like items closer together by labeling items for specific seasons or occasions.
5. Utilize a Self-Storage Unit
For items that are too large to keep in your home, a self-storage unit serves as an excellent solution to store infrequently used items. Homeowners have diverse individual needs to properly safeguard their belongings. A few amenities to consider before selecting a storage provider include:
- A climate-controlled unit to preserve the integrity of your belongings in a dry environment kept at appropriate temperatures.
- A variety of self-storage unit sizes to accommodate your individual needs.
- Moving valet services to ensure items will be safely transported into storage, allowing them to focus on reorganizing.
- Premium security at a facility that offers 24/7 video surveillance, gated access and individual door alarms to ward off intruders.
For many homeowners, basements provide space that can be used for recreational purposes or to store excess belongings. When organized properly, they can keep your main living areas clutter-free and valuable items protected from damage.
How do you organize your belongings in your basement? Share in the comment section below!
Image Source: Emily May