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Underground organization
A BASEMENT OF BEAUTY: Organization systems allow you to make the most of what you have.

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Underground organization
De-cluttering starts from (below) the ground up

Certain spaces attract clutter like nothing else. Basements and garages top many homeowners’ must-tidy lists, although getting started can be daunting. Fortunately, a bit of planning, merciless purging, and great storage solutions can get the job done, once and for all. Here’s our five-step action plan:

#1 Identify the problem
We often decide to keep things we no longer need – and store them in the basement or garage. As boxes and bags pile up, we spend less time living in these spaces and just continue to add more and more stuff until we find it hard to even remember – let alone access – the contents.

#2 Formulate the solution
We need to get rid of what’s not used and then store items we may need down the line in a more organized and accessible fashion. This will open up space and make these areas more functional and attractive.

#3 Develop and stick to a plan
Start going through those piles. Put aside anything that’s broken and that you haven’t felt the need to fix or use anytime in the last two years. If items are in good working order or have the potential to be repaired, donate them to a local charity organization. Otherwise, recycle what you can at a scrap depot and throw everything else in the trash.

Next, go through your “must-keeps,” with the aim of editing out even more items. Most people have the tendency to try to hold onto more than they truly have use for.

Finally, purchase and install storage solutions and organize your possessions accordingly.

#4 Use these storage solutions

  • FastTrack can easily be installed and offers the ultimate in comprehensive storage solutions.
  • FastTrack shelving should be your main solution, as it keeps items visible and readily accessible.
  • Containers like Rubbermaid’s 21- or 36-gallon totes are a great way to hold loose items. The straight sides maximize capacity, while recessed lids that shut securely allow you to easily stack one bin on top of another.
  • Hooks can be installed to hang items, keeping them off the floor.

#5 Enjoy the space
Once you’ve opened up and organized a basement or a garage that isn’t used to store a car, you may be amazed at your newfound space. It might even be possible to create an area for something you’ve always wanted to do, such as adding a small potting shed to your garage, or a crafting studio to your basement.