Clutter keeps piling up and before you know you have a basement full of it. Therefore,don’t wait until spring to clean out your basement. Use the time when the temperature drops to freezing and you’re no longer able to get outside to putter around in your garden to get rid of the hastily made stacks of usable and unusable items. How to start? First of all you arm yourself with a sheet of paper, a pencil and a determination not to come up out of that basement until you have a clear idea of what you are keeping. what you’re giving away and what you’re throwing in the dumpster.
If there is space in the middle of the floor you start piling up there. One will be for keeps and the other will be for giveaways. If you’re a reasonable tidy person and the collectibles are manageable, since you clean out your basement at least twice a year, this job will take only a few hours; if on the other hand you haven’t cleaned out your basement in years and panic is threatening, go upstairs and think through the process; More on your problem later.
Now, on with the job for the neat housekeeper: Into the keep pile you place what you are keeping; into the give away pile you put what you are giving away. What about the junk that you or no one else will use? You open up the door and toss it outside until the basement – or garage – is cleaned or until there is nothing else to go into the keep or give away pile.
The first task you do is to cart the trash you have thrown out the door to the dumpster or to the alley or wherever you usually dump your trash. Some of these items still may be usable and it is not unusual to see people driving through alleys looking for discards. As long as you have an alley and the items are along the side and are not blocking traffic it is permissible to leave them there for a day or so. If after a day or so you may have to make other arrangements to get rid of them, Either put in a local dumpster or take them to a landfill.
The next task is put the give away items in your pickup right away and takes them to some charitable group that can use them. You may need to ask around among your family friends first to see if they need any of the stuff you are giving away. Then you dispose of these items as soon as possible.
The third phase of this job may need be taken care on another day. You will want to carefully arrange your garage or basement and place the usable items in out of the way places. You may need to realign shelves and storage boxes after you have thoroughly cleaned the area. You will, of course, have all your outside gardening tools in a handy spot where you will know exactly where to find them.
You will be proud of yourself for being such a good housekeeper. Had you not checked out your basement you would have gone out and bought items you already owned. Having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place is the best reason for cleaning out basements and garages at least twice a year.
On the other hand, if you are a procastinator and one who never, or selfom ever, cleans out your basement and it is even dangerous to go down there, then you are the problem rather than the trash in the basement. First, you must tell yourself some basic facts about yourself and come to some conclusions: You are lazy and don’t really care about what’s in there you just want it out but you are not the one to do it; You have a psychological need to hang onto to ‘things’ but you are a bad organizer and have no order about where you put what; You have some valuable items, or so you think, and are waiting for the proce to go up so you can make a lot of money on them.
Of course you could allow someone to clean out the basement for the items you no longer want; but it’s best if you persist and do the job yourself. Only you will know when, why and how long ago you bought such and such an item. If this chore completely paralyzes you, then go on and hire one of those no-non-sense organizers to help you assort through your things. You may need a little professional help in the meantime. You also may need help in determining the value of items you’re waiting to go up in value. If you want to keep them and they are valuable, an attic would probalby be a better place to store them. However, go through each item one by one and get what ever the day’s market price is. The price of freedom from having to be bothered with things you don’t need will offset what potential gain you’ll make by holding on to them.
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