Basement Organization Ideas – Follow the 5 Second Rule

As I stared at the layers of boxes, tubs and old furniture I realized I was going to need some kind of basement organization ideas or maybe win the lottery and have someone else simply deal with it!

We moved into this house over a year ago, and even though I had purged a lot of “junk” from the last house before moving here, I realized there was still quite a lot more than we needed to deal with. 

My hubby gets angry when he sees all of this “junk” but I can also remember the day I was creating a pile for charity at the other house and he was putting the things back and getting angry at me for trying to get rid of them!  It was a frustrating process.

I had been reading an article by this semi-retired couple who had simply had enough of dragging around “stuff” as he called it.  There were some things that grown kids had left behind as well as many things that simply accumulated over the years to the point that his car sat in the driveway since the basement and garage were full.  He had got to the point of actually considering paying for a storage locker and then finally thought:

Could we really and truly need all this “stuff”?

It was at that point that he came up with some great basement organization ideas that truly worked for him, and I must say they have totally worked for me this weekend!

Follow the 5 Second Rule

Take a box and get comfortable in front of it, and on one side of you have a garbage bag or area and on the other side of you have a charity bag or area and then a spot for keepers.

The idea is that you pull out an item and quickly look at it, and picture a couple of things.  Imagine yourself in a small apartment, would this fit into your life?  Do you really need it?  Would someone else get better use of it? When was the last time you used it?  Then toss it in the right area.

Don’t look back, once you have made your decision it is done.  Hubby and I decided to embark on this clean out as we toy with the idea of downsizing even more to a much smaller house, so things have to go.  We asked our grown kids if they wanted anything from the house, but they have their own houses full of “stuff”.

Imagine Yourself Living in a very Small Apartment

Which things would you keep?  This is the perfect way to look at it, because if you are at semi-retirement age like we are, there will come a time when all this junk has to be dealt with.

You can’t take it with you, and organizing what things you have left is much easier than dragging around that craft project you started decades ago.  My mother-in-law is a classic “junk hoarder”  I do not want to be around when it comes time to clean out her basement.  We tried to help her once, and she showed me a tub full of craft projects she started 50 years ago!  This tub crossed the Atlantic twice!

I don’t want this in my house.  So after reading the article I was excited to get at it.  I simply rose to my feet and announced “I am cleaning the basement out and I will throw a lot of things out, if you want to be involved, great if not, I am still throwing things out”

I have never felt better.  I have sourced the second hand bins and reuse centers, which makes it easier to get rid of things that still have use.

As soon as I filled a garbage bag, I tied it off right away and threw it in the back of our pickup truck ready for the dump, no going back into the bag.

Now the basement is a clean slate.  I purchased good clean and clear tubs for the things I want to keep such as Christmas supplies and seasonal clothing.  We then purchased good heavy duty shelves for these few tubs, and now the basement is organized and clean.

If something New Comes In Then Something Else Must Leave

I have told the kids that we don’t need any knick knacks for gifts that usable gifts are better for us at this stage such as restaurants, movies, theatre etc, and would rather spend time with them anyways.  But if something new does come in the house, then something else must leave, that is the new rule and it is working so far.

So if you are looking for more basement organization ideas then start with the junk, this is the perfect place to start.