how to do basement cleanout right

Your basement might have great potential to be a space to get away, or, serve as a guest suite, but, it's full. Really full. Wherever you look, there are piles of boxes, loose ends, furniture, and plain old junk that gets thrown there as a matter of convenience. In fact, that gets to the heart of the problem -- whenever you don't want to deal with something but think there might a future use for it, the basement is where it goes. The problem is it doesn't get any smaller or magically become organized.

How to Do Basement Cleanout Right

So, when it comes to basement cleanout, the challenge starts with overcoming procrastination. Because there's so much to deal with, you simply can't find the motivation to get it cleared out and organized. The way to get over this sense of hopelessness is to have a goal to transform it into a functional space. You might want a game room, a guest room, a media room, or a multipurpose space for relaxing, storage, and laundry.

The first step to a de-cluttered basement: Stop using it as a way to avoid making decisions! Next time you head down the stairs, ask yourself why you’re holding onto the thing you’re carrying—read: old vacuum cleaner, shoe box, or never-played with toys. Once you ask, you’ll often find there really no reason to keep the item at all. That’s when it’s time to find a better home for it—donate it, give it to a friend, or trash it. But keep it out of your basement.

The key to a successful basement clean out is not only having an end-game, but also, an actionable plan to get from start to finish. Sure, you might want to put down or replace the carpet, install some built-ins, and then make it into a workout space or put in a small kitchen and home theater, but, you'll need something to follow. Here's how to do basement cleanout right so you can fully transform that cramped, ugly space:

  • Create a clear pathway. One problem you might have or will run into when you start your basement clean out is having to negotiate all kinds of obstacles just to get to the stairs. So, make an easy path to the stairs or the walkout door to avoid tripping and falling.
  • Organize everything into three sections. Cluttered basements are overwhelming because there's usually no rhyme or reason for where things are placed. More often than not, things are just thrown wherever there is room to accommodate. Tackle this by organizing everything into three sections: stuff to throw out, things to give away and donate, and items to keep.
  • Remove all the unnecessary junk. When your stuff is organized, then, it's time to get rid of the junk and donate and give away whatever is designated. If you have a lot of stuff to throw out, just call a local junk hauling and removal service to pick it up.
  • Arrange what's left over. With the junk and donation items gone out of the basement, you can now begin to arrange what's left. Do yourself a favor and put like things together and put what you need in the easiest accessible places.

Now, you can build it out to finish with whatever improvements you'd like to have in the space. To get the best results, don't rush it and do it incrementally so it looks great when finished.

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