The goal with any basement is to maximize storage space while protecting belongings against moisture damage. My No. 1 rule for maintaining basement organization is to not use this space as a dumping ground for items you can’t decide what to do with. If you take the time and energy to store something in your basement, you should be 90 percent sure you are going to use it again. When trying to organize any large storage area like the basement, it is helpful to split the area up into zones. A zone is a designated section of the space to be a home for “like” things. See “8 Steps to Organize Any Storage Space” in the original article How to Organize Your Storage Spaces.
Basement Organization Tips
• Store items by family member and make each person responsible for her own stuff (great for when grown children move out).
• Store moisture-resistant items in the basement. Fabrics, papers and even wood can be ruined by the high humidity and mildew in basements.
• If you must store fabrics in the basement, use vacuum-seal bags to reduce risk of mildew. Make sure items are freshly washed.
• If you use your basement frequently or store many things there, invest in a good dehumidifier.
Keep the Basement Organized
Once a Month
• Check surfaces for mildew and wipe down the outsides of storage containers with vinegar to prevent mildew.
Every 3 to 6 Months
• Open containers and check items inside for mildew.
Once a Year
• Evaluate your stored items. Consider recycling, donating or selling anything not used in the past year.
Excerpted from Organize Now! A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Ford Berry.