Take on the Challenge and Organize your Basement Storage Area

The basement storage area is where extra household items pile up.  You may feel overwhelmed each time you enter the space.  If you have too much stuff it is difficult to find the items you need.  The important thing is to get a plan.

Anything is easier to organize if you first make a plan.  Keep in mind a large area like this will take some time to straighten, so you will need to be patient and diligent until the task is complete.  You need a permanent solution for this area instead of a temporary solution so you do have to face this dilemma again in the future.

First, make a rough sketch of the area by drawing the doorways and walls.  This does not have to be a professional architectural draft, just a basic drawing of the storage space.  Next scope the room to see the type of items you have in the space.  You will probably have items such as clothes, memorabilia, holiday décor, toys, baby gear, furniture, house décor, books, craft kits, and kitchen cookware.  Label areas on your paper draft, according to the items you have in your storage
area.  Label one area clothing, another holiday décor, and so on.

Begin to organize your storage area the same way you would organize the rest of your house by putting like things together.  In your linen closet you put the sheets together and the towels together.  In the kitchen drawer you put all the
silverware together dividing knifes, spoons, and forks in separate ompartments.  Likewise place each item in a designated area but do not organize individual areas at this time.  Right now you are just in a sorting stage.

After you have put like things together, it is time to tackle each individual area.  Spend time in each area and purge items you do not want or need.  You will need several boxes for give-away items.   You will also need containers for the items you intend on keeping.  You can use clear plastic containers, colored totes, or cardboard boxes. Clear plastic containers are durable and they allow you to see the inside contents.  Put like items in the containers.  The items you use regularly should be in the most accessible place such as in front and on top.

Label each container with a number.  Make a master computer sheet listing the contents of each box and assign a number to the master sheet coordinating with the number on the box.  Whenever you change the contents in the box you just need to make the adjustment in your computer.  Hang your master sheet on a hook in your storage area so you can find things quickly and easily.

Follow the 80% rule.  Do not fill your storage area past 80% so you have room for growth.  Currently you are probably over 100% capacity in your storage area.  It is difficult to muddle through the piles and maneuver through the limited space.  

Make sure that each time you take something to the storage area in the future, you immediately put the item where it belongs.

“A workable system will solve the problem of too much stuff and too little space!”

About Diana Koenig