Let's cut the pretense and just call the basement by its real name: dumping ground.
Every piece of junk and clutter we think we might need someday but we're not quite sure what to do with ends up in the basement.
Cast-off kitchen appliances you keep in case of emergency. Those curtains that might be perfect for some window, someday. Old comic books. The dog sweater from Aunt Edna.
Clean. It. Out.
We know. We can sense your shudder from here. But it has to be done. Next up: The fun part. Once you have that nice open space, the possibilities are endless.
Here are 10 tips for clearing out that basement and 10 ideas for great ways to use your happy new space.
Take a deep breath and dive in.
Take a minute and soak in your new view: a clear, organized basement with space to spare. So, how to use this new-found living space?
There are so many options...
Yoga is hotter than ever, and you know you've been wanting to try it. Install hardwood floors and calm lighting, invest in a good mat and get ready for inner peace.
If you're a musician, your basement can be a great practice space. Soundproof the walls so you can rock out or create a concerto without bugging the rest of the family or causing the dog to howl.
If you often entertain overnight guests, create a welcoming, comfortable guest suite downstairs that offers everyone a bit of privacy.
Or go one step further and register it as a rental with AirBnB. Suddenly, your once-cluttered basement is generating income.
Your basement can be a great place for a home theater. Turn out the lights and you have a pitch black room, any time of day.
Big screen TV, plush couches and chairs, nice sound system. Pass the popcorn.
Create a giant playroom. Blackboard paint on the walls, Patterned rugs that encourage play with toy trucks or hopscotch. A big table for crafts. A puppet theater. Easels for art. Shelves full of books.
Heck, you might hang out here yourself.
You love to entertain, but the last time you had a party in your smallish living room, you may have violated a fire code.
That empty basement could be a great party room. Imagine a long bar festooned with twinkling lights. High-top tables for sipping and snacking.
Upstairs? Who needs an upstairs?
Ping pong, anyone? Pool? Air hockey?
Show the kids your mad foosball skills. Challenge the neighbors to a tournament.
Your basement, once filled with boxes of junk, could be the hottest spot in the neighborhood.
Let the games begin.
A true wine cellar requires more than installing shelves in your basement and stacking bottles of wine. There are light, temperature and humidity requirements.
But if you're a wine connoisseur and up for the challenge, that empty basement could be a great spot for your favorite cabernet or pinot noir.
Imagine tuning out the chaos of the day and retreating to a nice quiet home gym for your workout.
The space you have will help determine what you can accommodate.
According to the American Council on Exercise, free weights require 20 to 50 square feet of space to use properly, treadmills need about 30 square feet, and a multi-station gym needs 50 to 200 square feet.
Or, toss down a mat, do 20 sit-ups and call it good.
Better get to work. Don't forget to reserve a Bin There Dump That dumpster.
We specialize in residential friendly dumpsters that tuck right into your driveway. We offer 4-yard, 10-yard, 14-yard and 20-yard dumpster sizes, so there's a size for every job.
If you have a really huge job — we haven't seen your basement, but we can imagine — we can pair larger dumpsters together to accommodate 30 or 40 yards of material.
Not sure what size you need? Our friendly operators are happy to help you figure it out.
Find a dumpster operator near you, and let your basement dreams begin.