4 Steps to Take the Scare out of the Scariest Room in the House

It's time to face your fears and dig in to that clutter so you can finally organize your basement. These tips and tricks will help you bring your basement organization into the light and stop the fear. Soon, your family will want to be spending their time in this once scary room.

1. Set a Goal
The first step in your basement organization project is to set a goal. 

  • Will your basement simply be used for storage or do you hope to make it a family room where the kids can hang out? 
  • Will the space be used for multiple purposes requiring zones to be created?
  • Are you willing to make structural changes to create storage or do you need to stick to unattached shelving and cabinets?

2. Declutter
Odds are, one of the reasons your basement organization hasn't gone so well in the past and continues to be scary is all the STUFF that has taken up residence in the basement. Decluttering your basement can seem like a monumental task if you've been avoiding the space for a significant amount of time. Dig in one box at a time and you'll be done before you know it. Here's what to consider as you go through the boxes.

  • Trash - Is this item in poor condition and no longer useable? Then trash it.
  • Donate - Is this item in OK to good condition but something no longer needed or used? Then donate it.
  • Take Action - Does this item need a quick repair or to be returned to it's owner? Plan a time to address the items in this pile or they'll continue to be in need.
  • Store - These are items, such as holiday decorations or keepsakes that are accessed infrequently. Put them together with a plan to create storage for them within the basement.
  • Access - These are items, like sporting goods and games, that are used regularly and need to be easily accessible. The storage you create for them should be front and center and simple to maintain.

3. Determine the Ideal Storage
Not all storage is created equal. Some storage ideas are better suited for long term needs, such as holiday decorations. Other storage solutions may not be ideal for basements that have a lot of water or humidity challenges. When determining what storage solutions you will be using for your basement organization, keep these things in mind.

  • Who will be accessing these items? If you use the basement as a play room, games and toys should be stored in easy access cabinets or bins.
  • What will be stored inside? Old family photos may be damaged with certain storage containers such as cardboard and even some plastic. 
  • Avoid cardboard. While cardboard boxes are inexpensive and often easy to come by, they do not hold up to humidity, rodents or bugs. You can avoid a scary basement by using plastic containers that these creepy crawlies can't access.

4. Create Labels
To eliminate future confusion, create a labeling system for your containers. 

  • Each container should be labeled on at least 2 sides (4 sides preferred).
  • Each label should contain the general contents of the container.
  • Protect labels from falling off by using labels specific for long term storage.

Using these tips to declutter and organize your basement will help you to reduce the fear and take the "scary" out of the basement!

What is the scariest place in your home?