People like to store things and keep them out of the way. There is nothing wrong with that. Yet, when items are all mixed up and left to rot, finding something can turn into a nightmare.
It is also quite possible that you have too much stuff. You might not need five sets of antique plates, and it is much better to donate them to a local charity.
All I need
Some of them could be expendable however, and others in such a state that even a donation is not an option. And what's the point of keeping things if you have to search for them for hours?
After you decide what to throw away, you need to do a thorough cleanup. If you haven't visited your basement in years don't cancel just the Saturday gathering, you might need the whole weekend. You can also split the work into smaller bits, whatever suits you the best.
Think outside the box
Next, you need to make sure you have the means to fight the clutter. Wall shelves are a no brainer, off course. You can install them pretty much everywhere and you will always have an easy access to items you need.
Use boxes, crates and bags, but also be creative. A vintage ladder can be a stylish way to organize blankets, and those empty jars are just waiting to find a new purpose. If you never use your fireplace, how about you clean it and store some books there.
Sort items by category or frequency of use, and label them. It is easy to lose track, so creating a list of them will always come in handy. Most often it's a bunch of little things that drives us crazy. Remember that the divide and conquer strategy works best here.
You can create compartments in boxes, and a simple hanger can be used for necklaces if you don't have a proper jewelry box. It may seem like a small gain, but toss even the smallest items you don't need. That mystery key sure doesn't open a treasure chest.
A basement is a great holding place for stuff we don't need every day. It can be also used for hobby and exercise, but mess is not going to motivate you for anything. So, if your basement is looking like a dungeon with all that dust and cobweb around, it is time to get busy.
Keep a flashlight around, for when the power fails, you don't want to stumble in the dark. Water is your enemy, and I don't mean by that just the moisture and mildew. When it's raining cats and dogs outside, your basement can into a clutter-filled swamp. Thus, store the essentials on the shelves above flood level, and secure other things.
Plastic crates are a sound choice if you are looking for a place to put things like kitchen and holiday items. If you are running out of space you can also use hooks to hang smaller objects. Just keep in mind that it's never a good idea to use every inch you have at your disposal, since you won't be able to move around.
Note that disorganization can make your life complicated, but it can also be dangerous. Use sturdy shelving for tools and heavier objects. Be cautious when storing heat sensitive and flammable items. Chemicals also require special attention, as they must be sealed.
Make the best use of the available space, toss or donate things you don't need. Your life won't change for the worse if you get rid of a battered luggage or bunch of high school papers. Keep your basement and other rooms clutter-free and by grouping similar items together, containing and labeling them.
Water and fire are unwanted guest in your storage spaces, so make sure you take precautions. And remember, metal housecleaning and organizing your storage spaces are linked. You back might hurt a bit, but you will feel better at the end of the day.
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