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Tips on Beating Basement Clutter
Basements tend to be places where things that are seldom used get put when people don’t know where else to put them. That can lead to a cluttered and disorganized mess. If it’s been years since you cleaned and organized your basement, here are some tips to help you tackle the project.

Figure Out What’s Down There and What to Do With It
When you start looking through your basement, you may find lots of things that you forgot you owned. It will take time to sift through it all. Divide the basement into sections and bring in someone to help you so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. 

As you go through items in the basement, figure out what to keep, what to sell or donate and what to discard. Designate areas for each category so you can keep things organized and move items out of the basement as needed. 

When you come across belongings that have sentimental value, ask yourself if it makes sense to hold on to them. Things like family photos are obviously worth keeping, but toys that your adult children played with when they were toddlers can probably be discarded, plus other families will appreciate clothes that your kids have outgrown. 

Develop an Organizational System That Works for You
Take stock of what you need to store in the basement, as well as the size and layout of the space, to figure out how best to arrange things. Group similar items together so they’ll be easy to find, such as seasonal items. You may want to install shelves, cabinets and pegboards to keep things sorted.

Basements are often damp, which can lead to mold that can damage or destroy your belongings. Store things in plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes to protect them from moisture. Putting items on shelves or in cabinets off the ground can protect them from harm if the basement floods.

Store things that you use often in places where they will be easy to take out and put back. If it’s not possible to see what’s inside a container or a cabinet, use labels to save time.

If you have a finished basement that you use as a family room, gym, home theater or guest room, invest in furniture with built-in storage. You may want to devote one section of the basement to storage and keep that area separated from the living area by a door or another type of divider.

Get Started Now
People often want to organize their basement, but they feel overwhelmed or think they don’t have enough time, so they keep putting it off. Just get started, even if you only have 15 minutes. Chipping away at the mess, a little here and there, can lead to significant progress. 

If you’re planning to list your home soon, you’ll be happy you took this step towards making this space as appealing as possible to potential buyers.

Adapted from an article published by RISMedia

This material is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to its accuracy. This material is not intended to be construed as legal, tax or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult your legal, tax or investment professional for specific advice. 

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