For a lot of us, our basement is something of an afterthought.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. By making a few adjustments, you can turn your basement into everything from a place for your kids to play to a long-term bedroom for your aging parents.
Here are a few basement storage and organization ideas to help you get the most out of this space.
1. Practical concerns
Transforming your basement isn’t a project you should take lightly. To start with, every basement should be evaluated for radon, structural issues, moisture and flooding.
If you’re planning on installing a bathroom in the basement, keep in mind that wastewater lines exit the home above the basement level. Installing the equipment that you’d need to move wastewater from the basement into the main waste system can be expensive.
2. Get organized
There’s a good chance that, up until now, you’ve mostly used your basement for storage. If you’re planning on converting this part of your home, or just trying to cut down on clutter, remember these basement organization tips:
- Separate items into three piles: throw away, donate, sell.
- Clean and dry any old appliances. Leave washer and dryer doors open a bit to prevent mildew. If you have children, remove appliance handles so they can’t accidentally close themselves inside.
- Use a dehumidifier to prevent moisture and control odors.
And be careful: Basements can flood, so don’t put anything that can be damaged by water on the floor. Avoid using your basement to store books, magazines, photos, clothing or plush toys, unless they’re in plastic bins placed on a shelf.
3. Your new entertainment center
Whether you call it your rec room, your media room, or your man cave, your basement offers the perfect place to screen movies, play video games or invite friends over to watch sports.
Doing this will require storage space, somewhere to put games, electronics, etc. Basement storage cabinets can allow you to hide away the things you’re not using year-round.
4. Your new bedroom
Maybe you have a son or daughter who’s moved home after college. Or maybe you want another guestroom. Either way, your basement can become a bedroom with some work.
First, you’ll want to insulate. Basement living get can get cold, and you – or your guests – will appreciate the investment on chilly nights. Before you build, study your local building codes so you know what they require for basement escape routes.
Finally, lower level rooms tend to be darker, so make up for the lack of sunlight by putting in ceiling light or extra lamps. Also keep the room colors light and airy feeling - warm, bright colors like gold, orange and melon all exude warmth under any light.
5. Laundry/utility rooms
Not every basement is meant to become a living space. Some just don’t have enough room. If that’s the case in your home, consider converting it into a utility or laundry room. Any appliances you install will give you more space to work with upstairs, plus you’ll have an out-of-the-way area to do unpleasant tasks such as pet grooming.
No matter what you plan to do with your basement, Closets & Cabinetry can help. Our design experts can work with you to transform your space, whether you need basement storage, or are looking to create a fresh look for your lower level.