3 ways to clear out and organize your basement

Almost every home has its junk. What you do with it can affect your budget and the environment. These are just a few ways you can clean up and reclaim your basement.

3 ways to clear out and organize your basement

1. Shelves, shelves and more shelves

A basement can be turned into a useful storage space with freestanding plastic or metal shelves, temporary wardrobes and stackable storage boxes.

  • Save the driest part of the basement for books, papers and photographs.
  • Organize the shelves by seasonal needs and label all the boxes clearly to help you find things quickly.
  • Store everything off the floor, especially if the basement is unfinished, to avoid exposure to flooding.

2. Storage underfoot

One frequently neglected storage space in the basement is underneath the stairway.

  • Built-in shelves can hold pantry and paper goods, sports equipment or toys.
  • You could also build shelving units on casters to fit under the steps. It allows the shelves and their contents to be hidden away when not in use and easily rolled out when needed.

3. Recycle your junk

Before you start cleaning out clutter, find out about your area's recycling program and where the closest drop-off facility might be.

  • Most curbside programs recycle only smaller items, such as aluminum cans.
  • Drop-off facilities will accept larger items, like carpeting, furniture, appliances and tires.
  • Many communities also provide services for safely disposing of household hazardous waste, including used motor oil or old paint.
  • Recycling opportunities are popping up in unusual places. One computer company, for example, encourages customers to mail in old printer toner cartridges so that they can be refurbished.

The three basic tenants of basement organizing is reuse, recycle and re-organize. By taking advantage of the space, and your community's recycling programs, you can get rid of your junk and get your basement more organized.

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