Real estate is quite costly, by almost any measure. Taxes are just the beginning. There can be many layers of compounded interest, maintenance, insurance, utilities, the list seems endless.
If your basement is an unfinished pile of brightly-colored toddler toys, dot-matrix printers and used toasters, you are spending lots of money on the storage of things you may not want or need.
On moving day, it's wonderful and flexible to have a defined storage space. As years go by, however, insidious things happen. Our consumerist culture encourages a steady and escalating rate of acquisition.
Over time, the basement becomes the area for junk that we don't have the courage to throw away.
Here are some tips to help organize basement space and keep it organized all the time!
But there is a problem - there are two types of people, a hoarder and a cleaner. What if your house has these two types of people?
You'll need to come to an agreement. Have a family meeting to discuss what items go into the yard sale.
Also, discuss more productive uses of the basement space: workshop, game room, sewing nook or finished area.
Get lots of input, and decide how most of the family would want the space to be used.
For a yard sale, advertise on the local classified boards at least 3 days ahead of time, bring cash, and barter with anyone that looks interested. Put up signs at major intersections, with directions pointing customers the way.
Done correctly, all that unwanted stuff will ride away for some spare cash.
Make it a rule that nothing comes back in the house. So if your unwanted items aren't sold, toss or donate it to a local charity.
You can't get rid of everything.
Even after the most productive yard sale, you still can't toss your valuable bone china.
When your storage is distilled down to basics, define an area dedicated to storage, and make the most of every square inch.
This starts with flexible shelving. Avoid mounting shelves to the wall. Instead, buy some of those large molded plastic shelving units and line the walls with it. Put a few shelving units right in the middle of the storage space, and stack them up carefully.
Make sure you can approach the shelves from both sides, just like a pallet rack in a warehouse. Heavy items go on the bottom, cumbersome items on the top.
Your basement can emerge from the depths of its clutter.
With a bit of creativity and consensus, you can reclaim those spaces, and build the workshops and sewing nooks that you had in mind when you moved into the house.