Oh the basement – that often dreaded space in everyone’s home that frequently becomes “the black hole”. You know what I mean by that term, don’t you? That one place in our homes where we stash things that we don’t want to deal with at the time or where we quickly toss clutter when company is about to come. For some it’s a closet, others a spare room, but much too often it’s the basement and because it isn’t an area of the home that visitors tend to see it is also the area that gets neglected the most.
So how do you get started when dealing with a large and overwhelming area such as this? One little step at a time!
I like to divide the storage area of the basement into zones when working with my clients. So to start you will need to assess what the different zones may for your family – do you have a tool/work area? Will you need to create a laundry area? Usually you will have a basic storage area, which also should be sectioned into categories for items such as memorabilia, things you won’t need to retrieve very often – and items that you will need to access on a semi regular basis such as seasonal items and decor.
Once you have planned out the zones you will need to start the de-cluttering process. Ask yourself these questions: Why am I holding onto this item? Do I really need it, do I love it – will I honestly ever use it again? Am I holding on to this for item out of guilt or for sentimental reasons? – Learn to let go of the guilt and keep only what is truly important to you. Be ruthless when de-cluttering, especially if space is limited and sort everything by like items.
Now it’s time for you to choose the proper storage. Heavy duty shelving are ideal to keep items off the ground should you ever encounter water problems. Don’t forget to measure the space between shelves (length and height) then decide on your storage. Lidded totes are usually a great way to store items in the basement to insure that they will stay clean and protected. Be sure to label each tote clearly for easy retrieval of items.
Since moisture can be a real problem in some basements you will need to be careful when deciding what should go where. Some items like photos and textiles that are keepsakes will do better in appropriate storage units under a bed or inside of a spare closet.
Once you have finished your work, make sure to keep the basement neat and organized by scheduling time to maintain the space as soon as you notice that things look out-of-place.