Next to the garage, the basement is the other room in the house that ends up with all the extras. If you don’t know where to put leftover party decorations – stow them in the basement. Can’t decide what to do with toys your kids don’t play with anymore? Those probably end up in the corners of the basement, too.
To begin clearing out the clutter from your basement Debra Johnson, a home cleaning expert with Merry Maids, a national cleaning service, who has 17, or so, years of professional cleaning experience, has this advice: “Organize, organize, organize.”
You might start to organize your basement by going through the various stacks of items and putting them into piles. One pile can be “to toss,” one can be “find a place for this,” and the other can be “undecided.” Clear out the items to toss, put away the items you have a place for, then go through the third undecided pile.
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Sound like a plan? This basement cleaning checklist will help get you started:
- Work in sections to remove all of the items in that area of the basement.
- For each section, create three piles: items to toss, items to remain in that area, and items that need to be stored elsewhere.
- Toss any items your family no longer needs and/or any items they haven’t used in the past year (you may also want to donate these items).
- Reorganize the items they’re keeping in that section; space organizers and bins may be helpful for storing items neatly.
- Take down light fixtures and wash (you may be able to do this in the dishwasher).
- Replace any burnt-out light bulbs.
- Wash the baseboards, door ceilings, windowsills, doors and walls.
- Wipe down any cupboard or cabinet surfaces.
- Vacuum and wash vents.
- Wash windows on the inside and out (if you have any in the basement).
- Dust any additional light fixtures and lampshades.
- Launder any window treatments you may have.
- Wipe down any picture frames and mirrors using glass cleaner.
- Dust any decorative items.
- Vacuum the entire basement.
- Remove any cobwebs in the ceilings or in corners.
- Head upstairs knowing your basement is clean!
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for 2017