Many people find the prospect of organizing basements quite a daunting task. More often than not, the reason behind this kind of thinking is not necessarily pulled from thin air. It is not unusual to find clutter that has been accumulated over the years. It is true that one look at the jumble of things found in basements can unnerve even the toughest neat freak.
However, there is no need to be overwhelmed or frustrated with the task. There is much potential waiting to be discovered in the basements of homes. To take the first step, here are some tips that will allow you to organize this particular portion of the home in order to maximize the space.
Basements are generally used as storage areas so it should be organized accordingly. It has an advantage over attics and garages because of its location. It is often heated and thus not as susceptible to damaging items by exposure to moisture. It is also conveniently located so it is easy to drop things off in the location.
When organizing the basement, do not overestimate the convenience it proffers. Most property owners make the mistake of just tossing items into the basement without thought. The truth is that people rarely return later on to clean them up. One of the best ways to organize the basement is to have the discipline of having proper places for the items that are found in the location. After all, organization is a continuous process that does not just exist when the need arises.
The Rules in Keeping and Discarding
Before taking any steps in organizing the clutter that already found in the area, take the time to sort through the items that are found in the basement. If the items are no longer useful, then you choose to either discard them or give them to charity. The result that property owners should aim for is to actually lessen the number of things found in the basement. The practice of having regular spring cleaning can be beneficial for every property owner. Make a schedule as to when you and the rest of the family can go through the items and make decisions to discard certain things.
Although sentimentality may be a difficult adversary when it comes to deciding which items should go and which ones should stay, be objective when sorting through the things. A good objective standard to have is that if something has not been used for more than six months, it should be let go. Once the number of items is reduced, you would be surprised to see how much space you have at your disposal.
Proper Use of Storage Space
It is easier to organize the basement if there are proper storage units in place. Install shelves or cabinets that can house the items that you normally use. Even clear plastic containers can be quite useful. What is important is that there is enough space for storage. On the other hand, do not go crazy with storage spaces that you cover every inch of the basement with shelves and boxes. Having too much will only encourage you to hoard items. You may end up keeping things that are not necessary just because you have space for them.
There are some people who make the mistake of thinking that there is not enough space in their basements for additional shelving. In cases where the basements are small, consider building vertically rather than horizontally. Purchase tall shelves and increase the storage spaces in your home. The good news is that these shelves are often available at home improvement stores for your convenience.
Keeping Things Visible
Keep the things that you use most often at eye-level or easy to reach places when organizing them within the storage units. You may find that doing this is quite convenient because it makes it easy for things to find and allows convenient access. Things that rarely used or are for seasonal use can be placed in top shelves or bottom drawers. It is recommended that you use boxes that you can see through so that you do not have to open each one when you are looking for something.
When organizing the items found in the basement, make sure that you leave enough space around the fuse box, furnace and water heater so they can be easily accessed in the event that maintenance or repair is needed. There should be enough room for an adult to move comfortably around it. This would cut down the time needed to make repairs because it makes it more convenient for professionals to do their jobs.
Your Health and Safety
Organizing your basements also mean that you do so with the protection of your items in mind. Shelves and cabinets are fine for sealed containers such as paint and chemicals. For porous materials or those that are easily damaged, it is better if you store them in airtight containers. Keeping them locked in means that pests, dust, and other factors that can contribute to damage are kept at a minimum.
Another important tip when it comes to organizing the basement is to keep toxic items and pollutants in high places. This acts as a safety precaution in case a flood occurs. Water can easily knock down these items and spill its contents. This can be a very dangerous situation when people come in contact with the water.
If this situation does happen, wait for the water to recede and wear protective clothing before entering the premises. Clean the walls and floors completely with soap and water. In severe cases, call a professional in to take care of the spills in order to keep yourself away from harm.
Appliances and electrical items should be kept at least a foot above the floors of the basement. Floods can happen very quickly so you may not have enough time to bring these items to safety. The safer route is a preemptive strike of keeping these items away from harm in the first place. Children are repeatedly taught that water and electricity make for a dangerous combination. Make sure that you stay away from this situation by making outlets and appliances out of reach as much as possible.
Broken Pipes and Water Damage
Avoid hanging various items from the pipes, even though they may look quite convenient and sturdy. Placing additional weight on them can result in their sagging or cracking. Broken pipes is a leading cause of water damage so it is best not to take the necessary steps in order to keep them in good condition. If you need to hang something, then it is recommended that you install hooks in the walls or the ceiling.
Keeping the basement organized means that you have to pay attention to the presence of moisture in the property. The reason for this is that basements are especially prone to water damage. When there is an excess of moisture, molds and mildew can quickly breed and spread across the house. When this happens, even the most organized basements are rendered useless.
One of the ways that this situation can be remedied is by installing sump pumps for the basement. These devices can help keep the waters away and keep the items found in the property safe. Other important devices that can be installed in the basement are smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide alarms. These can be quite effective in increasing the safety of the property.
Benefits of an Organized Basement
Organizing the basement involves a decision on the part of the homeowner. You have to make the choice to keep it clean and free of clutter. What makes the organization of basements particularly difficult is that it is not as frequently visited as other places in the home. Unlike kitchens or bedrooms, you do not always see the condition of the area. However, just because it is not as used as other places in the home does not meant that it should be neglected.
There is much to gain from an organized basement. First, keeping every portion of the property clean is necessary in order to discourage the presence of pests such as roaches and rats. Basements are already enticing for these unwanted houseguests so it is best to minimize the risk by keeping it as clean as possible. Take note that the less hiding places they have, the less likely they are to breed and stay on.
Finally, a clean basement can have a good effect in the property value of the home. If you organize it well enough, you may free up enough space to be able to convert it into something more useful for you and the family. There are plenty of homes across the country that has gyms and dens in the basement. Even if you want to make use of the area in more traditional methods, maintaining every part of the property still does wonders to its value.
If you are someone who is looking to organize your basement but is quite daunted at the task, then break down the job into manageable chunks. There is no rule that states that you have to finish everything in one day. Commit yourself to arranging one part of the room at a time. You may be surprised at how much the appearance of your basement will improve after a week of dedication.