How to Organize a Basement

A basement provides convenient storage space. But if not protected or stored correctly, property may be damaged. There are many ways in which you can organize a basement and take advantage of its additional space. Consider the following list for suggestions.


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    Begin by distinguishing between what you want to keep and what you can eliminate. You have to be honest with yourself during this process. Many people opt to keep things with the intention of using them, even though they have not used them in years. If you really want to keep something, make a solid plan as to when you will use it. If you cannot come up with one, let it go.
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    Determine what to do with the items you choose to eliminate.
    • Decide what can be thrown away from the pile of items you don't want to keep. These include trash and items that are broken, without any chance of being repaired. These are the worn out and destroyed items. Get rid of them immediately so that you can evaluate what you have left.
    • Determine what can be sold when organizing the basement. If you have the time and the desire, then consider selling some of your items to make some cash. If you only have a few things, register on eBay and sell them online. If you have a lot, then have a yard sale. Whichever option you decide, act on it immediately. Set a date to have your yard sale or sign up on eBay. If you make the decision to sell with the promise to do it someday, then you are risking building upon the items and never getting rid of them. Make a plan, and act upon it immediately.
    • Donate the remaining items to a local charity or your church. Make sure the items are applicable to the cause. The library, Goodwill and the Salvation Army are popular options.
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    Organize the remaining items in your basement. These are the items that you cannot live without, but have no room for in the main house. If they belong in the basement, then make a place for them so that they are protected. If you want to use them regularly, then make them accessible.
    • Remove items from cardboard boxes, and organize them into plastic totes. This will give you an opportunity to view what's actually in the boxes and decide if you really want them. Additionally, totes will keep your items dry and protected in an organized basement. If there is a flood, cardboard boxes will get wet and damage the items inside. Opt for clear stackable bins so you can conserve space and see though them when searching for specific items.
    • Set up strong, durable shelving for easy access. You can store your totes on shelving. If you store food, place them on shelving in date order so you can rotate them. Include off-season shoes, winter boots and whatever else you think can be appropriately stored on shelves. Label and categorize everything.
    • Purchase plastic drawers for organizing small knickknacks or tools. Place these on the shelves too if they fit.
    • Utilize hanging racks for clothing and coats as part of your basement organization. If you rotate your coats according to the season, then hang the off season coats on convenient racks.
    • Recycle old kitchen cabinets for convenient storage space. If you have left over paint in cans, painting equipment or other DIY tools, store them in cabinets. You can buy these inexpensively. Search online or in local papers.


  • Use wood pieces or skids as protection. You can pile totes on top of skids in case of flooding.

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Categories: Moving House and Packing | Home and Garden