It is difficult to find motivation to clean and organize a basement, isn’t it? It has to be on the list of worst household tasks! I enlisted a friend who is a professional organizer and she came to help me with an area in my basement, and in the process I learned practical tips that I can translate to future projects.
Don’t try to tackle the whole basement in one day. For example, begin with the toy closet, a group of cupboards, or the workshop. By accomplishing one task, you will feel good about your success – not frustrated by an unfinished job. After your first project is complete, map out a strategy to get the whole area done. (Closet this Saturday, workshop next Saturday, spare bedroom ½ day next week.)
Remove everything first!
Taking everything out and then putting it back in is much more efficient than cleaning as you go. This allows you to sort all at once, as opposed to by individual shelf or bin. You can also clean once, instead of bit by bit.
Set up “work tables” for organizing.
Break out the card tables and get ready to sort! Tables create a new work surface apart from the floor or area you’re trying to clean out. When you remove those items from the closet, use post it notes to indicate sorting areas. Some simple ways to sort are by item (legos or playmobil), by location (upstairs or garage), or by intention (keep or donate).
Don’t purchase any containers in advance.
Plan and measure as you go. Determine what kinds of containers best suit your purpose, after seeing what you really have and how best to store it. Then make your list and shop for the containers you really need. In the end you will save time and money.
Just think, starting small can yield BIG results!