Homeowners and renters alike have a problem with clutter. Especially in the basement where forgotten trash, debris, and junk can be found stuffed into every corner.
Since heat rises, summer is the perfect time to clean out the basement! Junk360 has some tips, tricks, and recommendations for a successful summer cleanout of the basement.
Before you begin, decide what you want your basement to function as. A basement can be used for:
- A game room
- Office space
- Extra living space
- Utility space
- A laundry room
Deciding on what you want your basement to be used for should help guide your next steps. A finished basement used as a living space will have different decluttering priorities than a basement used for storage basement. It will also help you figure out:
- If you need to use the summer as an opportunity to winterize
- What to junk verses what to keep or store
Work in Small Chunks
Burnout is an issue when it comes to home maintenance. To avoid leaving your summer basement cleanout half finished, we recommend:
- Dividing the basement into sections: The trick to not making a giant mess while you declutter the basement is to work systematically. We recommend dividing your basement into multiple sections, ideally working from the entrance to the rear. Your first step should be to clear out a staging area. This will give you the space to sort your items one section at a time before moving on to the next one.
- Working in small increments everyday: Depending on the state of your basement, it might take up to several days for you to complete your cleaning and decluttering. Working in 1-2 hour bursts keeps you more motivated than spending entire long days in clean up mode. Work in small increments every day and don’t be afraid to walk away. Especially if your feeling sluggish or lingering over your emotional attachment to an object. This allows you to take breaks and return to your basement clean out with a fresh perspective.
Taking small steps can help the process go more smoothly and seem less intimidating. This will keep you from giving up on the basement all together.
Deal With Large Items First
Basements have a lot of little things. They have boxes, piles, and bags. Before you deal with these in your staging areas, start with the larger items. These could include:
- Old appliances
- Lawn equipment
- Broken gadgets
Decluttering these types of items will take some extra effort. But, if possible, get rid of or sort these first. The sooner you can, the more free space you’ll have. You’ll also see some immediate progress, which can help you stay motivated.
Create a Sorting System
In your staging area, set up the three following sorting sections:
Everything that comes into your staging area must be sorted into one of these sections before moving on to the next area in your basement. Don’t leave anything for later. Decide as you come to it, whether the item should be kept, donated, or if it’s junk.
If you’re feeling sentimental, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it work?
- Have you used it recently?
- Do you love it?
- Do you have room to keep or store it?