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How to Pack a Basement - MovingLocal
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items on a shelf in a basement

Packing up a basement can be the bane of any prospective movers life. In fact, if your basement looks anything like ours’, with shelves of stuff and boxes accumulated throughout the years then you are probably not really looking forward to the task at hand. Adding to the difficult with packing and moving a basement is the fact that you will have to take all of these items up a flight of stairs in order to remove them from your house. Not to mention that due to the varied nature of things that we keep in the basement organizing and packing can really be difficult.

However, after talking to a professional mover about our how to pack basement guide we have learned a few tips of the trade for making this whole process a lot easier. While it still can be a difficult and arduous task, it does not have cause you nightmares or unneeded anxieties.

So with that said, let’s dive into our how to pack basement guide, in which we will discuss the best way to organize the items in your basement and our thoughts on the best way to actually move all of these items.

How to Pack Basement

When you are attempting to figure out the best way to pack up your basement the first thing that you will want to do is to ascertain what you really have down there. You really want to take a look at your basement and begin with a mental inventory before you ever put pen to paper. You will want to take note of if you have a finished basement, an unfinished basement, or half and half. You will want to take a look in those crawl spaces that you may have not looked in since you moved in and you will want to begin to process what is down in your basement and the importance of these items.

Similar to an attic, an unfinished basement often times becomes a sort of no man’s land in the house where we put all sorts of objects that we know we’ll never use again but just can’t seem to get rid of. There will be empty boxes to items that you don’t even own anymore, or if you’re us, you will have slide projectors and tools that may or may not work. When going about figuring out how to pack basement the first thing that you want to do is get in the mindset that you will probably be throwing out or donating a decent amount of stuff.  If you are in an area where it makes sense, you may even want to hold a garage sale in order to get some extra cash and offset the cost of your move.

Once you have decided that you will not be keeping everything that is down in your basement you are then ready to begin the inventorying and sorting process. If you go about this process correctly it can actually be fun. In fact, it can even turn into a little walk down memory lane as you look through everything down there and remember years gone by.

How to Sort and Inventory Your Basement

If you have a totally finished basement and it is not particularly cluttered then sorting and inventorying your basement will not be difficult. You will simply have to go through the finished room and sort it into piles of like items and put aside items that you are going to be getting rid of. However, if you have an unfinished basement and you have been storing random items down there for years and years then the task at hand will be a little more complex.

For starters, if you have a basement that has a tremendous amount of stuff in it, do not attempt to sort through it in one sitting. Since you don’t really use the basement that often and it is out of the way, it is okay that it is in disarray for a few days or weeks as you sort through everything. This is one of the positives of packing up a basement because you can take your time with it and there is really no rush.

What the professional mover told us when we asked about our how to pack basement guide, was that you should move methodically through your basement and try your best not to jump around. If you have shelves with a bunch of stuff on it down there then you should maybe start by packing and sorting these items, before moving to the boxes that you have on the ground.

If you decide that you would like to have a garage sale then you should have three piles for sorting purposes. The first pile is going to be items that you are going to pack and take with you. The second pile is stuff that you are going to try to sell, and the third pile will be items that you are going to throw away.

Creating a pile for items that you are going to throw away is where most people have trouble, as often times we will fool ourselves about the worth of something. When it comes to how to pack basement you cannot do this and you need to be objective with whether or not you truly need or should bring an item with you to your new house. For instance, if you have a crockpot that has been sitting unused in your basement for 10 years, you may want to get rid of that. Even if it is a working crockpot, if it hasn’t been used in 10 years then the chances that you will use it in your new home are slim to none.

The Best Way to Move the Items in a Basement

Considering how difficult it can be bringing boxes up the stairs of the basement and then out to a truck we highly recommend that you hire professional movers to help you with your move. In fact if you have a home that is big enough that you have a basement then attempting to do that move on your own will be an incredibly large task.

Granted not everyone has the money to be able to hire a professional moving company, but when it comes to handling a move of this size it is almost always best to defer to professionals. They will be able to ensure that the items get to their destination safely and you also won’t have to break your back moving things in and out of trucks and up and downstairs.

Even though it may not be terribly enjoyable to pack a basement, having a moving company handle the physical move will make the entire experience so much better. We have experienced moves where we hired a moving company and ones where we didn’t and that is why we can categorically say that when it is possible, you should always hire a mover.

If you are not in a position to do this, then you want to make sure that you get a number of friends and family members together to help you with your move. Having all of those hands-on deck will make things go quicker, and the physical labor of it will not be so bad.