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Home organization & decluttering

5 Steps for a SUCCESSFUL Basement Cleanout

 (modified Nov 10, 2022)

Basement Cleanout Video

Do you dread going to the basement because it’s just piles of clutter and junk? It might be time for a basement cleanout! To be honest, like a garage cleanout, a basement cleanout may look like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. A successful basement cleanout is simply emptying your basement by moving junk you don’t need to free up some space.

Here are 5 tips that will help you turn your cluttered, junk room basement into an organized, usable space you’ll absolutely love.

1. Set a day

A basement cleanout won’t happen in one day. Schedule a weekend to give yourself enough time to go through everything. Basements are filled with random items, seasonal items, items that hold memory so you don’t want to rush the process or you might be left with a bigger mess than you started with.

2. Think of ideas

Think of ideas for your empty basement? Is it to have a craft room? Playroom for the kids? At-home gym? While you’re purging and organizing items it’s important to keep your goal outcome in mind as it may affect what you keep and how it’s stored. We'll provide you some more ideas on what you can do with your empty basement in a later section of this article.

Renovated Basement After Cleanout

3. Plan of Action

Creating a plan of action will help you stay on a clear path towards your basement cleanout end goal. Start with the following

Decide what organization methods you want to use. Plastic bins are great for storage.

Some homeowners prefer to have clear bins where they can easily see what is being stored in each bin. Other homeowners prefer to have opaque plastic bins with labels as it fits their basement aesthetic more.

Does your end goal include different spaces within your basement? Maybe a kid’s playroom and a home gym? Shelving can help with storage as well as separate those areas.

Renting a dumpster will take some hassle out of the cleaning experience. A large pile of trash in your basement during your purge will make you feel like you’re not getting anywhere although watching the junk in your dumpster rental pile up will not only give you satisfaction but further motivate you during your project.

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4. Basement Cleanout Time

While your motivation is high, tackle the area you are dreading the most. Ensure that you have designated areas or containers as keep, sell/donate and toss. If you know there are items especially the larger ones that you want to get rid of, get the junk out right away and into the dumpster rental. For a basement cleanout, we recommend using the 2-year rule. If you forgot you had it or have not used it in 2 years, it’s time to toss it or donate it.

5. The Aftermath

Once the junk is removed and your dumpster rental has left your driveway, don’t think that your basement cleanout is over. Stay motivated in your dream basement and put together all the items you want to sell/donate. Remember that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Host a garage sale, post on social media buy/sell groups or look for curbside pickup in your neighborhood. Now that your basement is left with only the items you want to keep it will be so much easier to sort through and properly organize your items in the storage method of your choice.

After this process, you’ll notice how much you’ll love going down to the basement and it will no longer be a dreadful walk down the stairs.

Garage or Yard Sale

Basement Cleanout Services

If you find the clutter is stressing you out and you're constantly pushing this task further down your agenda while it remains at the top of your priority list, it might be wise to higher professionals to help. You’ll find a number of professionals in your area that provide basement cleaning services. This means the job will finally get done with less of a headache for you! Let the professionals take the reins and reclaim your space.

7 Empty Basement Ideas For Your Home

Take a minute and soak in your new view: a clear, organized basement with space to spare. So, how to use this new-found living space? There are so many options:

Yoga and Fitness Room

Imagine tuning out the chaos of the day and retreating to a nice quiet home for your workout or Yoga session. The space you have will help determine what you can accommodate. According to the American Council on Exercise, free weights require 20 to 50 square feet of space to use properly, treadmills need about 30 square feet, and a multi-station gym needs 50 to 200 square feet. Install hardwood floors and calm lighting along with some mats and weight racks.

Wine Cellar

A true wine cellar requires more than installing shelves in your basement and stacking bottles of wine. There are light, temperature and humidity requirements. But if you're a wine connoisseur and up for the challenge, that empty basement could be a great spot for your favorite cabernet or pinot noir.

Home Theater

Your basement can be a great place for a home theater. Turn out the lights and you have a pitch black room, any time of day. Big screen TV, plush couches and chairs, nice sound system. Pass the popcorn.

Home Theatre in basement

Game Room

Ping pong, anyone? Pool? Air hockey? Show the kids your mad foosball skills. Challenge the neighbors to a tournament. Your basement, once filled with boxes of junk, could be the hottest spot in the neighborhood. Let the games begin.

Guest Quarters

If you often entertain overnight guests, create a welcoming, comfortable guest suite downstairs that offers everyone a bit of privacy. Or go one step further and register it as a rental with AirBnB. Suddenly, your once-cluttered basement is generating income.

Play Room

Kids? Grandkids? Create a giant playroom. Blackboard paint on the walls, Patterned rugs that encourage play with toy trucks or hopscotch. A big table for crafts. A puppet theater. Easels for art. Shelves full of books. Heck, you might hang out here yourself.

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