Cleaning Out the Basement: How to Clear Out Items for a Loved One

Person unloading a stack of DVDs out of a moving box.

The basement is often a messy and cluttered area used to store odds and ends of furniture, electronics, holiday decorations, and other items. While clearing out your own basement can seem like a daunting task, clearing out someone else’s may be even more intimidating.
If an aging family member or friend is planning to downsize homes, move into an assisted living facility, or has recently passed away, you may be needed to either help sort through old items or to you may be tasked with helping to clear out a particular room. If you are in this situation, you may be wondering where to start. We have compiled a list of some of the best tips for helping someone clear out the basement.

5 Tips for Cleaning Out the Basement

  1. Set a Timeline: Don’t let the task drag out. Set a timeline for when you want it to be completed and stick to it. This will help you to keep on track.
  2. Start with a Corner: Pick a corner to start in, and from there, move right to left. This will keep you organized and prevent you from accidentally sorting through the same items twice.
  3. Don’t Leave Boxes or Items for Later: Periodically in your cleaning process, you may reach a box or item that you just don’t know what to do with. Instead of putting it off until later, deal with it at that time. Make decisions as quickly as you can.
  4. Keep, Donate, Throw Out, Give Away: Create piles labeled keep, donate, throw out, and give away. Any items that are no longer wanted but are still usable can be donated. Trash, broken, and unusable items should be thrown out. After clearing out the basement, let any friends or family sort through and take items in which they are interested.
  5. Take Time to Remember: You may be surprised by the items you find when helping to sort through a friend or family member’s basement. Maybe you find some old photographs you have never seen before, an antique furniture piece you’d like in your home, or sentimental items you want to keep. No matter the reason for the change, taking the time to reminisce on old items can help you process the end of a life chapter.

Keep Important Items Close with a Storage Unit Rental

There may be some items you know you can’t keep in your house, but you or your loved one can’t part with just yet. If this is the case, consider renting a storage unit. Renting a storage unit allows you to hold onto items you care about while still clearing out the basement. National Storage have storage facilities all throughout Michigan and in Dayton, Ohio. Reserve your storage unit today!

More From National Storage

Find a Unit Right for You Today!

Rent or Reserve Now