I am not a fan of basements. Yes, they are nice to have in case of a tornado or even nicer if they are finished so that you have an entire extra floor to your home. But mostly, I don’t like basements for a few reasons:
1- bugs love basements
2- messy kids love basements
3- messy adults love basements
I admit our basement is a catch-all for everything that doesn’t have a place in the upper two levels of our home. It is so easy to dump things I don’t have a place for upstairs into my basement, and then every two months, I get down and dirty and try to organize it all. Then I feel so good about it and show it off to anyone who comes to visit. But two days later it becomes a mess again.
I do, however, have some basement storage tips I think could be helpful to you, especially if you do not have a finished basement. Because face it, if it isn’t finished, there is even MORE reason to just dump everything down there.
First, if you have space, I would recommend setting up some kind of hanging bar or getting a rolling rack to hang items that you only use certain times a year (see above picture). I have all our winter coats hanging here now, but soon they will be replaced with fall and spring coats. I also hang dresses that I only wear for special occasions and Mike’s suits here too. That way you have space in your foyer closet for your coats and guests’ coats when they come to visit. I don’t know about you, but I get grossed out by people putting coats on our beds for a party.
This is another tip when organizing the basement: keeping clothing accessible for all seasons. The above photo shows Annie’s fall and winter clothes in the Rubbermaid container, but the laundry basket in front of it has summer clothes that are waiting to be worn next summer. I use this basket to “transport” fall clothes from the basement to her closet and vice versa. It has become so much easier this way AND it saves me money because I can see everything she has for her wardrobe and don’t need to unnecessarily run out for a pair of black leggings as I can see them clearly in the bin!
I would also like to take this time to thank my dear friend Rebecca for ALL THE hand-me-downs from her daughter over the years since my oldest was a baby. She is not ashamed to wear them, but excited to get “new to her” clothing. If you or your kids have a hang-up about hand-me-downs, tell them to chill. Save that money and put it in the bank for next year’s summer vacation. I will laugh my way to the beach next summer because I didn’t buy a $40.00 pair of Justice jeans for my daughter. (yes, they cost THAT much)
One last tip involves storing decor during the holidays. The holidays that I decorate the most for are Halloween and Christmas. So I have bins in the basement for both holidays, but when I bring them up to decorate, I have lots of decor that I have up the rest of the year that suddenly has no home or looks out of place. (I find this especially with Christmas since the tree may also take up so much room that you need to move furniture to the basement as well.)
So this is what I do: place anything you are taking down temporarily into the bin that the holiday decor came out of. Basically, you are just swapping places or as they say in retail- you are “even exchanging” one item for the other. Then when you go to take down the holiday stuff, you get the bin from the basement and replace it! I truly think there are many people who don’t put up decorations for holidays because of the “hassle” but let me tell you, (especially if you have children) it is worth it.