Many homeowners use their basements as a storage site for excess items, seasonal stuff, garden tools, pool accessories, family keepsakes and other personal possessions. But the basement space can quickly become cluttered and unorganized because these items easily accumulate over time. Moreover without any organization, you are likely to misplace or damage your belongings.
With a few pro tips, you can easily organize your possessions smartly to make storage in basement more efficient. Here’s how to make the most of your storage space in the basement.
- Check The Basement Conditions
If your basement is too damp or cold, then it can cause damage to your belongings. You ideally should look to find the source of the moisture and take necessary steps to rectify it. You can use a dehumidifier to avoid damage to the walls from the high moisture level.
With basements there is always the risk of flooding, which makes it unfavorable for storing items, such as wood or leather furniture and metal appliances as they are prone to damage from water exposure or cold temperatures.
Make sure that you store your stuff in plastic bags or plastic bin containers to prevent the dampness from pervading your belongings and making them moldy.
- Clean Your Basement
You can start organizing once you clear the clutter. Go over and sort your basement’s contents into piles to bin, donate, sell or keep.
Clean any appliances you have stored in the basement like refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers, and also ensure that they’re completely dry. Leave the washer and dryer doors slightly open to allow air circulation and prevent mildew from growing. Child-proof it by removing all appliance handles so that can’t shut themselves inside accidentally.
Every few months do make sure to air all items in your basement to avoid any musty smell. A dehumidifier does help to control odors and prevent moisture from damaging your valuables.
- Optimize Your Space
You can use outside-of-the-box spaces in your basement to open up more storage space. Use ceiling hooks to suspend lightweight objects, such as totes or baskets from the ceiling. This will get things off the ground and free up floor space. Use the space under the staircases for boxes or large items like sports equipment, luggage etc. You can also use plastic totes under the basement stairs. Use overhead racks for large items like seasonal Christmas tree or bikes. Install plastic or wire shelving units in the basement but think beyond wall shelving to make your basement more organized. Homeowners can build and use vertical storage system and use cubbies to stay organized and also protect valuables from water damage. Vertical storage systems allow you to group similar items together (e.g., gardening tools, seasonal decorations or kitchenware). It increases floor space and creates more room for movement. You can store the more frequently used items in easy to access spaces and keep the heaviest items low so that it does not become a safety hazard. There are other solutions make your space more practical for storage. For instance, use a pegboard, or a magnetic organizer to hang your tools or mount cleaning supplies, sports equipment and other belongings.
- Get Organized And Protect Your Belongings
In order to identify the contents easily, use clear plastic totes to store your belongings. Group like items together (holiday decorations, toys, kitchenware, gym equipment) and label the outside of each tote. It is advisable to place the heaviest items on the bottom to prevent any injury.
Protect any furniture you decide to store in the basement. Drape drop cloths or blankets over any furniture pieces you decide to store in the basement and keep them at least three inches away from the wall to avoid moisture damage. Store furniture on a platform propped up on aluminum pallets or bricks, to prevent floor dampness from ruining your furniture.
Make sure that a light coat of machine oil protects your tools and other iron or steel items in the basement. Hang them up from hooks or place them on shelves to prevent rusting.
Do not put books, magazines, photographs, clothing or rugs in the basement. And if you must store them in the basement, they should be placed on shelving in plastic totes.
- Use Self Storage
There may some large items that you cannot keep in your home or belongings that you use infrequently. In such cases a self-storage unit serves as a great solution to store them. Homeowners can select a climate-controlled unit to preserve your belongings in a regulated environment kept at appropriate temperatures so that your belongings are not damaged. You can also select from a variety of storage size units to suit your needs.
If you pay attention to organizing your storage areas, then your basement will be neat and you can use the space for optimal storage. Moreover your valuables will be protected from damage. This will help keep the main areas in your home clutter-free.