Are you lucky enough to have a basement in your home? In some areas of the U.S., like the Midwest, basements are ubiquitous.
You might be tempted to use it for storage, but that can be a mistake for a couple of reasons. First, it can be easy to simply put things in the basement that you don’t need right now. The problem with that is that you'll end up with loads of things you simply don’t need.
You will fill your garage with things you’ve lost interest in, or even broken items with no use whatsoever that you’d rather shuffle away than throw away. In short order, your basement can become a repository of junk when it has the potential to be a room that transforms your life for the better.
Let’s look at how to clear out that basement and transform it into something special.
If you’ve just moved into a new place and your basement is already empty, congratulations! You can modify these directions and quickly get to the creation of the basement of your dreams.
If you need to clear out your basement, start by decluttering it.
We recently covered how to declutter your storage unit, and these tips work for your basement, too. We’ll sum up here. Go through your basement a section or a box at a time. Get rid of what you don’t need. When you find something valuable enough that you think it’ll sell, put it up on Craigslist or OfferUp.
If you think it would be hard to sell but it’s still in gently used condition, instead, set it aside. Then, donate it, and other items that fall into this category, to a charity, like a local thrift store. Get a receipt from the store that states the value, because you can deduct that from your taxes.
For things in poor condition, recycle what you can and throw out the rest.
Rent a Storage Unit
For the things that you don’t immediately need in your basement, like art, off-season clothes, sports equipment, and business inventory, we highly recommend you rent a self storage unit.
While you’ll have a monthly storage rent, keep in mind that storage space rents for less per square foot than residential space, including your basement. If you store that stuff in your basement you’re unable to use that space for better uses, so you’re essentially paying for that space at a higher rate. To keep your things in the best shape, consider renting a unit with climate control.
Prepare Your Basement
With all that stuff out of the basement, clean it well, add a carpet or hardwood floor, and also set up air conditioning and a humidifier or dehumidifier, depending on what it needs. Once the room is comfortable, you can give it a purpose.
Here are some excellent uses for your basement.
Enjoy various types of games? Then a game room may be the best choice. This can be a space for everyone in your family to escape to. Indulge in video games, set up a pool table, or put in a big table where you can play cards and tabletop games. In fact, you can probably fit all of that in a basement game room. Dungeons & Dragons and other role playing games have become popular in recent years. Keep books, maps, dice, dice towers, and gaming miniatures down here and run a weekly campaign with your family and best friends. You can even set up a fridge and snack cupboard.
Media Room and Theater
Speaking of snacks, popcorn, soda, and chips go great with movies. If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own home theater, this is your chance. Set up a large television against one wall, or use a projector and a big screen. Get matching reclining chairs, a good sound system, a popcorn machine, a fringe, and dimming lights, and you have the makings of an entertainment suite for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
Some of us love books so much we don’t want to get rid of any of them. If that describes you, then maybe you should turn your basement into a library. Install bookcases along the walls, set up a table where people can read or study, put in a few relaxing chairs and good lighting, and put in a desk with a computer for Internet access and research. Your kids can do their homework here, and everyone can sit back and enjoy a good novel.
Do you want to get in shape, or stay in shape? Consider turning your basement into a home gym. Add free weights, a couple of versatile exercise machines, exercise chart posters for the walls, and you’re ready to go. To take it a step further, add a television so you can work out to aerobics videos or catch up on the news while you run on the treadmill.
Bars have been closed during COVID, and for good reason! So, you may miss your favorite sports bar. If you and your pals have been vaccinated, you can safely gather in your own home bar, have some beers, and watch some basketball or football on your wide-screen television. Or, you can relax with your partner or a friend and have a glass of wine and a plate of cheese and crackers while you binge-watch Netflix in your personal home bar.
Do you have an older teen, or a young adult living at home? The basement can make a great bedroom for them. It can give them a feeling of independence before going off to college and experiencing the wider world. Or, if you often have visitors, your basement can make a perfect guest room.
It’s taken a few decades since the internet came into wide use, but working from home is now becoming a viable, and popular, option for many. The COVID pandemic accelerated this trend, but even before 2020, many companies understood that certain jobs can be done just as well remotely.
If you’re a teleworker, or you run your own business, a dedicated room for your home office is a boon. Your basement can make an excellent work space. In it, you can keep your desk and computer, some art that inspires you, a couple of bookcases for materials related to your job, and whatever else you need to get the job done.
Workshop or Arts & Crafts Room
This category is full of possibilities. Whether you’re into sewing, quilting, 3D printing, woodworking, scrapbooking, painting, or another artistic craft, the basement can make a fantastic space to explore your creativity. You may even run a home business selling your goods. The basement should have plenty of space to set aside your sales items.
However if your business grows, you can always rent a small self storage space for your overstock. In any case, the basement can be a quiet getaway where you can relax, make gifts for friends, and enjoy your hobby.
Whatever you choose to do with your basement, we know you can get a lot of enjoyment out of it. If you need that storage unit to keep those important things you need, but don’t need all the time, check out our listings.