It’s that time of year again. Over the next couple of months, the walls will start to close in as kids and grownups alike get restless indoors. This is the perfect time to take a realistic look at your basement. It’s one of those projects that we say we want to get to, but … (insert excuse here).

But YOU can do this!

Make a realistic basement finishing plan and make it happen. Designate one weekend to your basement, and you’ll emerge on Monday with the weight of chaos and clutter off your shoulders!

To motivate you – think about what you’d like to do in your new basement. Do you want a man cave? Kids play room? Guest bedroom? There are so many ways you can use this extra space. (Find great basement finishing ideas on Pinterest, for example – Total Basement Finishing‘s Pinterest page.)

basement with fireplace

via YourHomeOnlyBetter.com


You have great ideas, but you also likely still have a mess in the basement. Below-grade spaces tend to attract more “stuff” than main floor rooms. Perhaps, it’s a gravity thing.

Tips for Clearing the Clutter, You Know – So You Can Actually See What You Are Working On. & Setting Up Solutions for Storing Stuff.

basement storage needsChances are not every single thing in your basement is of critical value to you. Make those difficult decisions decisively –  like removing a band aid quickly.

Start by making four piles – one in each corner of your basement.

1)    Sell
2)    Donate
3)    Pitch
4)    Keep

Now here’s the tough part – actually REMOVE piles 1, 2 and 3 from your basement. Even if you only get them as far as the garage, you’ve still taken a gigantic step in the right direction.

Once you have a clean space to work with, make a storage plan to accommodate your “Keep” pile. This is where big closets in finished basement really rock!

Storage Closet in Finished Basement

via TotalBasementFinishing.com

If you don’t have closets, the storage solution for a finished basement may be as simple as adding some large shelving units along the wall to accommodate clear storage bins. For your main living area in the basement, find some attractive shelves and use smaller bins to support everyday use.

basement finishing plan :: basement storage

via YourHomeOnlyBetter.com

Basement Finishing

If your basement is not yet finished, now might be a good time to consider adding another finished living space to your home. After all, you’ve already done the hard part of cleaning it out!

If you decide to finish your basement, find a good local contractor who specializes in finishing below-grade spaces. The basement environment is unique and should not be finished the same way as an upstairs space.

Make sure your solution is waterproof. There is nothing worse than having to refinish a finished basement again after water damage. (And yes, I know this from personal experience from Hurricane Irene.)

Note: For more on Waterproofing and the Causes of a Wet Basement, please see our category – Waterproofing.

flooded basement

via YourHomeOnlyBetter.com


What do you use your basement for? Or better yet, what is your excuse for NOT using it?


Susan Jensen Smith is editor of YourHomeOnlyBetter.com, interior re-designer at RoomsThatWork.com and contributes content to TotalBasementFinishing.com and MyHomeScience.com. She lives in Newtown, CT and has renovated 42 room in three homes over the past seven years. She just remodeled her kitchen and therefore she is never going to move again.

This article was written on behalf of TotalBasementFinishing.com. More on Finishing a Basement via the DIY Network, here.