Is It A Treasure Hoard; Or Just A Hoard
The average home is designed and divided into several different rooms. There are bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. But what about our basements? Many times our basements are left unfinished and used most often as a storage area. Even when people finish their basements, there is usually an unfinished area that is left that way so that the things we want to keep, but we don’t use every day, may be stored until we need them again. It becomes all to easy to fill our basements to the point that the basement becomes a mound of “stuff”, so full that we are unable to find the things that we think we value and that we think we want.
Step 1: Getting Rid of The Clutter
Depending on the size of your basement this can be easy… or it can be a monumental task. “Out of sight, out of mind” may have been your motto for too long. If you don’t see it every day it doesn’t bother you that it is there. Whether you’ve got a little or a lot, the de-cluttering process is the same. Some of us are just going to have to put in a few more hours of time than others.
- Gather Supplies – trash bags, small boxes, small plastic bins, and labels – small makes it easier to carry.
- Set a Timer - work only for an hour, tackle the job with small chunks of time.
- Set up a Donation Station – place items to be donated in a single area, put a lid on each box so you won’t be tempted to change your mind.
- Label Boxes/Bins – donate, sell, store, etc.
Step 2: Trash or Treasure
- Bag Up Trash – broken boxes, empty laundry supply bottles, etc.
- Throw Out Damaged Items – If it is broken, missing parts, or stained, odds you won’t use it again in the future. Get rid of it!
- Duplicates – Is it really a collectible or do you just have more than one? If you just need one, select the best one and remove the rest.
- Non-Practical Items - If you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need to keep it. Donate it!
- Clothing – If it doesn’t fit or it is out of style, donate it or sell it. There are usually several second-hand shops in the area that will help you sell things. After all, it’s taking up your valuable space.
Step 3: Storing the Keepers
Invest in shelving, in particular shelving that has its first shelf 3” - 4” up off the floor. If there is a bottom shelf that low, you won’t be tempted to slide any items under the shelving. If the shelving has casters, all the better because if you do experience a flood, the shelves can be easily moved and cleaned under if needed. If you don’t want the expense of shelving, use wooden palettes or simply short pieces of 2x4’s. These will keep items up away from damaging water if the unforeseen happens.