Early Spring Basement Cleaning Ideas

When the birds start chirping and the sun starts shining to indicate that spring is on its way after a long Philly winter, you may find yourself inspired to finally start some spring cleaning. The basement is one place that often needs a major cleanup.

When the birds start chirping and the sun starts shining to indicate that spring is on its way after a long Philly winter, you may find yourself inspired to finally start some spring cleaning. The basement is one place that often needs a major cleanup, but it can be difficult to know exactly where and how to start. Here are some ideas to get you motivated for a thorough basement cleaning this spring.

Start by Routing Everything Upstairs

Whether you’ve just moved into your Philly home or you’ve been living there for years, you probably have managed to accumulate some items and dusty boxes down in your basement. Before you can do any type of serious cleanup, you have to remove those things from downstairs. Place a large sheet of tarp on the floor in an upstairs room to protect your flooring and route everything upstairs. Convince a friend to help you, and set aside a few hours to sort the items into garbage versus stuff to keep. Put the items you have to keep in secure, dry, stackable containers.

Cleanup

The next step that you take depends on the condition of your basement. If it just has a light covering of dust, you’ll need a mop, stiff brush, and a sanitizing solution (bleach and water) to clean the basement walls and floors. If it’s very dirty with many years of dirt and dust, as is often the case in old Philly row homes, you’ll probably need a wet-dry vac and a small pressure washer or water hose to really be effective. Some basements also have a drainage system to get rid of the dirty water that comes off of the walls and floors. It’s important to use pressure washers with care and only if you’re very familiar with them. Hire a professional if necessary. Also, take special care to avoid mixing incompatible cleaning solutions — all you need is about two or three ounces of bleach to every quart of water.

Floor Sealing

There is a product available at your local home improvement store that is used to seal garage floors called epoxy coating. You have to mix the epoxy solution thoroughly and then coat the floor using a proper application tool. Use this product to give your basement a simple “makeover.” In some cases it might also work on the basement walls. Follow the instructions closely before embarking on this project and again, if you’re unfamiliar with the process, hire a professional.

Organization

Open all windows during the days that you’re cleaning your basement, and give your sanitized, freshly sealed basement a day or two to dry before moving to each next phase of the cleanup. The next step after floor sealing is the fun and easy part: organizing the basement for utility. Just buy an attractive shelving unit from the Ikea on Columbus Boulevard in Philly or your favorite furniture store. You may be surprised by how much a new set of shelves can make your basement look more livable and inviting. Next, add your stackable containers and other items. To help keep the basement smelling fresh, use odor-absorbing air fresheners and dryer sheets.

Start your basement cleaning project off right this spring. It may take a few days to complete this cleanup project, but when it’s done you can finally feel more comfortable using this part of your Philly home throughout the year.

Image Source: Flickr/Ken Mayer

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