Start Tackling Basement Clutter Without Freaking Out

 

Homeowners in the Midwest are fortunate to have additional living and storage space in our basements. Basements can also be the most cluttered space in our homes because they are a super convenient area to squirrel away things we are undecided about.

But basements have limits, and even though the clutter is hidden, it still bothers us. What’s the best way to declutter this enormous area? Here are my recommendations to help you start.

1. Gather containers to hold trash, recycling and the items you decide to donate. 

2. Start with a very small area. Narrow your focus to one box or one shelf to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed.

3. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Work as fast as you can. Once your time is up, you will feel better because you’ve started. Check in with yourself. Are you doing what you set out to do or have you become distracted? Reset the timer if you’re able to continue, or return to the area as soon as possible. 

4. Sort and make decisions. Be ruthless. Decide whether each item you find is something to keep, donate, sell, toss, or recycle. Don’t overthink the process.

5. Categorize the things you keep in labeled containers. Store each category in its own section of your storage area so it’s effortless to find when needed. For example, you will want to store all of your holiday decorations in one section and your sporting equipment in another section.

6. Sturdy shelving is crucial if your basement floods or you want the containers within reach, not buried.  Purchase shelving with plenty of space between shelves to fit your containers.  

Large areas like a basement take time, but you’ll be happy with the results. It will also feel incredible!