Summer is here! With the longer days and — if you’re lucky — more time off, many people set aside this time for finishing projects around the house. One of the top projects on everyone’s list: getting more organized. Your basement in particular probably needs work, if you’re anything like the rest of us.
It’s also a time for vacations, however, and who wants to have to stay home to work on their to-do list instead of traveling, sightseeing, and relaxing? Luckily you can do both if you power through organizing your basement using these five tips.
1: Make a checklist
The best way to get something quickly is to make a checklist. This helps you to stay on track. You will always know what still needs to be done, so that you don’t waste time spinning your wheels when you could be completing the next task instead.
2: Start with a clean slate
Before you can organize, you need to go through what you have. Make three categories — keep, donate, and throw away — and separate everything into piles. Be sure you take immediate action on what you’re getting rid of — drop off everything worth donating at your local thrift store right away, and toss the rest — or it’ll work its way back into your basement storage, cluttering it up again and making more work for you later on down the road. Plus, by getting rid of things you leave yourself with less to organize. Take a hard look at the items you are considering keeping. If they are not super important or essential to having around, consider renting a self storage unit to put aside those items for later use.
3: Invest in a good organization system
Consider investing in things like metal shelving and clear plastic storage bins. A good organizational system can make your job much easier for a number of reasons.
- Everything fits more easily. Instead of wasting your time playing Tetris with many different sized boxes to try to make everything fit, all you’ll have to do is pack each bin and put it on the shelf. Easy peasy.
- Your storage system will hold up better. Cardboard boxes stacked on one another don’t tend to last very long, requiring you to do the same job all over again in a few years.
- Your belongings will be better protected. Plastic bins protect your things from moisture and pests, an added bonus since basements are often damp, and you’re more likely to find unpleasant creatures in them.
4: Utilize unused space
Basements have lots of space that is under-utilized. Get creative when planning your basement storage, and you can make use of this space much better. For instance, wall space can easily be turned into tool or craft supply storage by affixing pegboard to the wall. Presto! Instant custom hook setup.
You can also make your own custom shelving to help you access and use the space under the stairs more easily, and hang shelving from the ceiling in order to take advantage of that oft-overlooked space (and keep your things off the ground and dry in the case your basement floods).
Now that you have a well-organized basement, could you find what you needed quickly and easily? No? To help fix this problem, pack each bin with things of the same general category, and label your bins as you go along. This will make it easier to quickly locate which bin you need when you’re looking for something in particular, or add something to a bin without having to open up each one and find the one you’re looking for.
Organizing your basement can be much quicker and easier than you might think. Just set aside a little bit of time and follow these five steps. You’ll be done with your “big” summer project and ready for vacation before you know it!
Author Author: Jennifer Caughey is a freelance content writer. She has most recently contributed to numerous articles helping homeowners and renters across the globe. Jennifer has the personality of a Gypsy and has had her fair share of long distance moves, de-cluttering and making the most of her space. She is all too familiar with obstacles that may arise and loves to share useful tips to help others avoid these issues.