Oh, the basement. How is it that all of the unused items seem to end up here? If your basement is like most it is filled with items long since unused but you still can’t quite let go of the boxes stacked on boxes. If going down into your basement to find what you are looking for is a chore keep reading to learn how to create a more organized storage space that makes finding things a snap.
Start by doing a major clean out of everything in your basement. Sell or donate anything you no longer have a use for but have put off getting rid of. By doing so you will give your stuff a second life and clear up extra room for a more effective storage system. Organize what you do decide to keep in “like” piles to make putting them in their future assigned places a cinch. Have labels prepared for each of these piles and come up with category names for each one.
Next, you will want to invest in shelving units and plastic bins if you don’t already have some to protect items you will be storing from any potential flooding. Consider shelves made of metal as wood shelves are prone to absorbing moisture and warping. You may also want to add a dehumidifier to control the levels of moisture in the air, which can lead to damage to the items you are storing. If possible plan for storage around the utility area while keeping all paths to switches and appliances free of clutter. If your basement is unfinished and you have a plan to remodel in the future this will keep costs lower as you only need to section off one area instead of two.
When you start placing your bins on the shelves keep the priority levels of their contents in mind. High use items should be more easily accessible than the lower priority ones. Ensure that when labeling boxes they are in a spot that is visible from just a quick glance. You could also add a list of the contents of each box on the label for when a category requires more than one box.
Extra steps for the dedicated: Maximize available space in your basement by utilizing the space under the stairs. Adding shelves here will give you extra storage space that is easy to access. Label switches, breakers, and shut off valves and hang up a flashlight in an easily accessible space for power outage preparedness. You may also want to buy plastic bins in various colors to color code your items categories and make finding them easy with just a glance.
You might think re-organizing your basement is the last thing you want to spend your weekend doing. However, with a proper plan and the right supplies you can create an organization system in your basement that makes finding stored items a snap and an enjoyable process!