1. Finished or Unfinished?
The first question to always ask when organizing your basement space is this. Do you have a finished basement, an unfinished basement, or a combination of both?
An unfinished basement tends to be more of a stockroom space.
A finished basement may have some cabinets, but it tends to be more of a showroom space. I talked about basement storage in my last video. So this time I am going to focus on the other uses of basement space.
2. De-cluttering basement space
If your basement is disorganized, the first question to ask is, what are your top priorities? If you are trying to get it to be everything, odds are good that it will be a mess. You have to prioritize to organize.
One priority I would like to make a case for first is storage. As I said in my last video, if you are feeling disorganized in your upstairs spaces, look down. First make sure you are taking full advantage of storage options in your downstairs space, your basement.
Beyond storage, you may want to consider converting unfinished basement space to finished space for your other priorities. Finishing your basement gives an excellent return on investment. It adds to the value of your home and the added insulation helps you save on energy costs.
3. Priorities dictate design
Each priority requires different considerations. For example, if health is you priority then maybe you would like a home gym in your basement. Floor space is more important than storage space here. Maybe you can skip the carpeting and just go for padded floor tiles to exercise on.
If you are working full time from your home now, then perhaps a home office is a priority. A carpet to buffer sound, good lighting, and maybe wall shelving will be important in this space. For further home office guidelines check out my home office video series.
If your priority is giving your kids more indoor space to play indoors then perhaps you have another priority: a playroom in you basement. A carpeted floor probably makes sense, but if there are a lot of messy crafts, think again. Then maybe a combination of a laminate floor with padded tiles, for crawling, would be better. I’ll be covering playrooms in more detail next month.
Other potential spaces include:
family room guest room
home theater recreation room
laundry room workshop
wine cellar man cave
4. Reasons to prioritize first
There are two good reasons to choose your priorities first. First, when your space can be anything, then it can be everything. That makes it harder to maintain dedicated zones and harder to stay organized.
Second, when you are in the process of organizing a cluttered basement, it is important to have a goal. When you are decluttering, you may hit a wall of doubts and regrets. Focus on you what you are working toward, then the process becomes less about what you are giving up. It becomes more about what you are gaining.
We’ll cover the de-cluttering and organizing process more in a future post.
Do you have a dedicated space for another priority in your basement, that isn’t on my list?