Ah, the basement… Along with the garage, it has to be one of the most neglected areas of the household when it comes to cleaning. The number of basements that end up as glorified storage closets is staggering! This makes sense considering you probably don’t spend a lot of time down there. All that being said, you might want to clean your basement because you dream of the things you can do with that space; we’re here to help.
Tip 1: Marie Kondo It
The first step is to find out which items in your basement you want to keep and which ones you want to discard. Marie Kondo, the much beloved cleaning star (who would have thought you could get famous for being neat?!), recommends you sort things by category. That might not be practical in a basement, so go area by area. Sort your things into piles, hold up items one by one and see if they “spark joy”. Things that have already outlived their usefulness and sentiment should be donated or thrown away.
Tip 2: Start Getting Rid of Stuff
Once you’ve created your piles, don’t wait another day to get rid of the stuff you no longer want. Have garbage bags ready, sort things into “keep”, “donate”, and “trash” piles and operate accordingly. There are plenty of charities who will pick up your items from you, so get in contact with them if you don’t feel like driving around.
Tip 3: Get Cleaning
Once all the clutter is taken care of, it’s time to start cleaning. There may be shelves that haven’t been dusted in years, floors that need sweeping and mopping, and stains that need removing. You can tackle all of this yourself, but after all the clutter cleaning, you might find yourself a bit low on energy. That’s where a tip-within-a-tip comes in – you can hire a qualified cleaning company for less than you might think to tackle the tidying for you.
Tip 4: Reorganize
Now that everything is clean and tidy and you’ve cleared out the clutter, you should take the opportunity to reorganize your basement. Get some plastic bins and label all of them with masking tape and a marker; that’ll help your Marie Kondo-ing if you have to clean out your basement again in a few years.
Tip 5: Reassess
Take a look at all of the work you’ve done. Are there any areas you’ve missed? Are there things you held onto that you could stand to get rid of? Ask for a second opinion; get a friend to take a look at the basement and give you their honest assessment of the situation.
Tip 6: Change Your Habits
How did your basement get so cluttered and messy in the first place? The answer for most of us is that we keep things of questionable use out of a desire to be thrifty. More often than not, we end up never looking at the things we store again until it’s time for a massive purge of the basement. Before you put anything down there again, ask yourself, “Am I really going to find a use for this in the future?”. The answer will often be no – so save yourself time and energy and get rid of it now.