Whether it’s time for spring cleaning or you want to make more room for winter storage, cleaning out your basement offers a fresh perspective and the chance to reevaluate what you really need to keep.
Here are some great tips for cleaning out your basement quickly and efficiently.
Make a Detailed Plan
As with any multi-step task, you’ll want to make a detailed plan before you get started. Not only will doing so help keep you on task, but it will also encourage a brighter outlook as you check off tasks on the to-do list. Sectioning off the project into multiple steps allows you to see the bigger picture while organizing the project into manageable tasks.
Out with the Old (Literally)
Do you ever wish you could just take your whole house, dump it upside down and shake out the contents so that you can get a fresh start? While you can’t literally shake out your basement, you can remove its contents with a few hours of labor. Lay out tarps on your lawn and keep filling them up with the contents of your basement until everything’s removed. If you keep appliances like a washer or dryer in the basement, then obviously you can leave them there.
Clearing out the space will help you clean the floors thoroughly and rearrange the space more efficiently when you’re ready. Just be sure to check the forecast when you do this step. You don’t want to ruin all your belongings just to get a clean basement floor.
Grab the Cleaning Supplies
Now that everything’s out of the way, you can grab the chemicals or natural cleaning supplies of your choice and start working on the floors and walls. Many basement floors consist of concrete.
Creating a simple solution of dish detergent and ammonia or bleach and scrub vigorously. Just be careful when you mix chemicals to avoid hazardous reactions. You can also treat the basement floor with a water-resistant stain for continued protection.
If you have carpeting, you can rent a carpet cleaning machine at many grocery or hardware stores.
Allow time for the carpet to dry completely, according to the machine’s instructions, before placing anything back inside. Wet carpet yields mold and other harmful side effects. For the walls, dust the corners near the ceiling and floors and wipe down with a clean cloth.
Get Rid of any Toxic Mold
Mold gets a bad rap for a good reason. While most people aren’t actually allergic to the toxins released by mold, it’s still a harmful substance that can cause a lot of damage to your home and your family. If you find mold while you’re cleaning your basement, stop what you’re doing and nip it in the bud. In fact, before you begin any kind of basement cleanup, it’s important to thoroughly check the space for mold. Once discovered, you can treat it yourself, even if it’s black.
Start by identifying the source of the problem. Most likely, it’s a leak of some kind that will need to be fixed to prevent future mold. Next, get a proper mold removing solution. Many mold removers exist on the market and can be purchased at local grocery or hardware stores. Cover up completely, grab a bottle of hardcore remover, and follow the package instructions for treatment. While you can eliminate most common mold problems on your own, you may want to give an expert a call if the mold continues to grow or seems unaffected by the DIY treatment.
Remember, begin by deciding how thorough you want to get rid of the mold in the basement. Are you readying it for a remodel, or do you just need to clear up some more storage space? Once you decide how thorough this project will be, you can divide and conquer by assigning smaller tasks to your family or tackling it by yourself one step at a time.
Sort, Pack & Label
Once you have the space thoroughly cleaned and mold-free, you can move your items back into the basement. Before you do, sort them into piles. Decide what can stay and what needs to leave.
Obviously you’ll want to keep mementos and important items, but old items, unusable objects and other items can be donated or thrown out. Store your keepsakes and other items into clearly labeled tubs or boxes. Pack everything you want to donate into boxes and head to the thrift store or call a local pickup service. Dump the rest as appropriate.
License: Creative Commons
Robert Murphy is the home improvement expert mostly known as a content writer for a various home improvement blogs.In this article, Robert continues his mission to help readers upgrade their homes and improve their lives with advice based on his experience. His articles offers a full range of fresh content, inspirational ideas, and practical tips.