When was the last time you actually got up from the couch to arrange things properly in your bedroom? You might be familiar with ‘The Chair’ – the place where we dump almost everything, usually our worn clothes that we think are too dirty to be in the cupboard but too clean to wash! Let’s talk about basements for a bit as these are the proverbial ‘chair’ for all the random stuff residing in your home.
It is safe to say that our basements are literally the dumping ground for all the useless items and clutter we “think” we might need someday. Or let’s just say that every item you don’t want to make a decision at the moment lands in the basement! To add to this, this space is perhaps one of the largest storage areas available in your home which we fail to use smartly for our benefit.
So, if you’ve finally decided to do the deed and organise your basement and utilise the available space for the greater good (whatever that might be), here are some tips to point you in the right direction!
- Getting rid of the clutter
The first thing to do is to get rid of all the clutter. Depending upon how big or small your basement is, this task might sound daunting given the pile of things waiting to be sorted. You might be a firm believer of ‘out of sight is out of mind’ but one fine day you will have to take the trip downstairs and face the mess.
When you do start sorting things, it might take half a day or more depending on the clutter that you need to sift through. You will come across keepsakes and relics while clearing out your basement and these might be a bit difficult to deal with. Items that have greater sentimental value like childhood memorabilia will obviously be tougher to get rid of. But you need to come to terms with the fact that you can’t hold on to everything and you also have to think of the extra space you will get.
You will have to make the final call on the stuff that’s going to stay and stuff that you need to throw away. The process will get easier with your decisions, so make the hard choices that work in your favour.
- Dividing your basement into zones
The second step in organising your basement is to plan how you want to use your basement – be it for utility, storage or as a workshop. We all may not be blessed with a big sized basement; chances are that some people don’t even have one. So, the ideas you have will vary, which is why having a proper plan in place is essential.
If you think about using your basement as a utility area, it is likely to have a furnace, central boiler system, circuit breaker box, water shut off valves etc. A utility area should be made in a manner that makes it easy to clean and has free space to move around. So, ensure that the space is clear of boxes, random items and clutter. You don’t want to get hurt when you are running for it in case of an emergency.
It is best to put other items stored in the basement on shelves so that they are not too close to your furnace or central boiler heating system for safety reasons.
- Storing stuff
You might be more concerned if you are not using your basement for its actual purpose. Divide the space into zones which will help you organise household items properly. Once you decide about how you will separate one zone from the other, you can break it down into sub-zones for different items.
You can divide them into:
- Basic household repair tools
- Sports gear
- Old furniture
- Holiday decorations
- Organising items
Now that you have a plan regarding how you can utilise the different zones of your basement, it is time for the third step. To organise items you should keep two things in mind. If you are considering accessibility the first thing you should do is to not pile up stuff or do not stow them away under mountain of other things. We suggest you to keep your stuff in a tote box and arrange those boxes properly. This will help you stack up the boxes without having to move them all. Think about how frequently you will be using these freshly stacked items. The less you use these items, the less accessible they should be.
- Labelling everything
At last after you’re done organising the basement space, label everything. Labelling your tote boxes will help you to identify the items you’ve stored within and also avoid the hassle of going through every box when you need something. You can use colourful labels to help classify items more easily.
We hope that this article helps you with ideas to organise your basement in the best possible way. Now that you know what’s to be done, stop being a couch potato and get going!