One of the most often overlooked part of the house when it comes to organization and de-cluttering is the basement. For many homeowners, it serves nothing but to hold excess or unused items, furniture, appliance, tools and household materials. But just like the other or rooms of the house, basement needs to be kept organized and clutter-free all the time. Below are some tips and advice that can make the basement a safer and more organized area.
Assess the clutter.
Sort all items and materials kept at your basement into three types or categories: keep, donate or sell and throwaway. Label each and every item in the basement with their proper categories and act accordingly. For example, all items labeled with throwaway must be removed immediately before you start working around your basement.
Clean all appliances, tools and materials you decided to keep.
Clean all the items you decided to keep. Dust them off and inspect them regularly. Refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers must be kept dry when not in use to prevent molds or mildew from accumulating. For safety reasons, it’s highly recommended that you remove appliance handles so kids can’t shut themselves inside accidentally.
Use a dehumidifier in your basement, whenever possible, to prevent moisture from damaging your valuables. Dehumidifiers can also help eliminate any kind of foul odors.
Use non-wood shelving units.
Use shelving units that are either made from plastic or wire with rubber bottoms. Unlike wooden shelving, plastic/wire made shelve units can prevent the moisture in the floor to work its way upward that can potentially damage the shelving unit itself and its contents.
Store items inside clear plastic totes or containers.
All items that serve the same purpose must be kept in group inside a clear container. The clear containers can help easily identify its contents. Labels can also be used outside each and every container for easier identification. In storing these containers, place the heaviest ones at the bottom for safety reasons.
Use drop cloths for furniture protection.
All stored furniture in your basement must be protected with drop cloths or blankets. This can keep dust and dirt from accumulating all over them. Keep the furniture at least three inches away from the wall to prevent moisture damage. Use a platform, like aluminum pallets or elevated bricks, to prevent moisture coming from the floor.
Use machine oil.
All iron tools and steel items must be protected with light coat of machine oil to prevent rusting. Hang them from hooks or place them in a shelf for better organization.
Use reflective tapes or markers at your switches.
Mark your shut off valves, fuse or breaker box and switches with reflective tapes or stickers. You can also hang a flashlight right at your basement door in case the light switch doesn’t work. Don’t let your basement become a complete room of darkness by placing glow in the dark items around it.
Keeping the basement (and the items stored in it) organized all the time seems impossible. But with the help of the above given tips and advice, it’s pretty much attainable.