Keeping your home clean and organized can seem like a never-ending task. While we try to maintain the chaos, it’s easy to let things get out of hand. This is especially true if you have a basement. All too often, basements become a dumping ground for clutter, junk, or under-utilized décor. While there are plenty of ways to create an efficient organizational system, it’s often the last thing on our minds. Basements are the perfect place to enjoy the out of sight, out of mind mentality, but they’re also ideal areas to maximize your living space. Luckily, you don’t have to be someone with natural organization skills to utilize your basement efficiently. To get the most out of your home, here’s how to take basement organization to the next level.
1. Declutter and Donate
Since basements are often the area in a home with the most clutter, the first step in optimizing your basement organization is to purge. The amount of time this step will take depends on the size of your basement and the number of things that you have stored there. However, to really take your basement organization to the next level, you’ll want to carefully consider each item.
If you’re not sure whether to keep something or toss it, consider a few things. When was the last time you used it? Is there any sentimental value attached? Do you need the entire set of something, or can you get by with a few pieces? Is it broken or in working condition? Is it outdated? Are you saving it for something special? Work through answering these questions and take your time. If you find yourself unsure of whether to keep or toss, create a separate pile to revisit at the end of the process. You may find that getting rid of things tends to be quite freeing, especially if you’ve held on to items for so long without any reason. To get the most out of your decluttering, consider using the three box method.
Crawlspaces should be tackled in the same manner, preferably during the original purge. This gives you a more comprehensive overview of everything you have that you don’t need. You may even find that you have doubles of certain things. Put any doubles that you find in your donation box.
2. Keep Things Clean
Next, it’s important that you go through your basement and do a deep clean. While some basements always seem to feel damp and a little dingy, properly cleaning things ahead of storing will help reduce the likelihood of damages. By doing a deep cleaning before implementing your new basement organization ideas, you’ll make it easier for ongoing maintenance.
Start by scrubbing the walls and floor. If you have a finished basement, wipe down the walls and make sure that you focus on hard-to-reach areas or areas that may have been neglected over the years. If you have an unfinished basement, use a diluted bleach solution for the best results. Once dry, consider adding a primer or mold-retardant to the walls. Epoxy floors in unfinished basements can do wonders for fighting against moisture and can help increase aesthetics. Once you set up your new organizational system, include cleaning and dusting in your regular schedule. Storing items in a dirty area can increase the risk for damage and decay. To avoid any unflattering smells, consider adding some deodorizers and keep things that easily absorb odors in airtight containers.
3. Consider Finishing or Waterproofing
One thing to note is that if you have an unfinished basement or one that experiences high levels of humidity, you should avoid storing certain things down there. If your basement is damp, it creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. This can be damaging to things such as mattresses, pillows, fabric, instruments, wooden items or antiques, paper items, and more. If you want to reduce the likelihood of your things being damaged while increasing the livability of your basement space, consider finishing it or at the very least, waterproofing it. This will create more optimal storage conditions and allow you to spend time in your basement without being uncomfortable. If you don’t want to undergo a remodel, consider utilizing the climate controlled self storage units at The Lock Up Self Storage to make sure your things are kept in good condition.
4. Create Organizational Zones
Now that you’ve done all of the preparation work, it’s time to think of how you’re going to take advantage of your basement’s space. One of the best ways to do this is to create zones in your basement. If you have usable space where you enjoy spending time, keep the storage zone separate. This allows you to compartmentalize and creates two beneficial areas. From there, separate the storage area into zones. You want to keep like things with like to improve overall accessibility and general organization. This way, you won’t have to look through multiple boxes to find what you need. To take this organization to the next level, take some time to create labels for your storage bins or boxes. Since things that are stored in the basement aren’t used as often, this will allow you to find what you need quickly and effortlessly.
Some zones to create include an area for tools and hardware, holiday décor or gifts, kid’s stuff, sports equipment, exercise accessories, pantry overstock, and room specific storage bins.
5. Capitalize on Shelving
There are plenty of different options for shelving solutions to help improve your basement organization. The key is finding something that works for you and is easy to integrate into your space. We recommend utilizing a vertical storage solution that helps you maximize your organizational efforts and reduce the chances of things getting damaged from floods or leaks. Make sure that you measure the space you’re going to integrate shelving into first so that you avoid getting something either too small or too big. Avoid wooden shelves if your basement isn’t climate controlled, as they can warp or break down over time.
You can use whatever you’d like to keep things organized on your shelves. If you’re aiming to create a more aesthetic environment, use wire baskets or wooden crates. If you want to be more economical, utilize plastic tubs or clear drawers.
6. Keep Things Accessible
While plastic containers and an efficient shelving system can do wonders, improving accessibility to items you may use more often is important. Consider creating a workshop and installing a pegboard if you usually store your tools in the basement. This not only makes it easier to find what you’re looking for, but it gives you a space to do the work. Creating a hanging space for these types of items, or crafting material, allows for great use of your basement’s organizational space. The same concept should be applied to your laundry room if it’s located in the basement.
7. Update Your Inventory
Finally, when finalizing your new organizational system, take the extra time to create an inventory. Write down what’s in each box and keep it somewhere upstairs. This will allow you to refer to what you have without having to open every single box and check. It also makes it easier when you need to get something. All you have to do is refer to your inventory list, see which box it’s in, and go downstairs. As time passes, make sure that you update your inventory at least once a year. During this time, you can review what you have and get rid of anything you don’t need. You’ll be more cognizant of what you already own and less likely to buy things you don’t need.
While taking your basement’s organization to the next level is possible, sometimes the things you own begin to overpower your space. If you’d rather utilize your basement for livable space or entertainment, rent a climate controlled self storage unit from The Lock Up Self Storage. All of our units are temperature controlled for the ideal storage environment to improve the longevity of your items. With 24/7 security features, you’ll get the peace of mind you want and need at a self storage facility. To learn more about our self storage units at The Lock Up, give us a call today at 1-866-327-LOCK or stop by one of our locations for a tour of the facility.