The cellar has a specific role in every home: it’s where we store things we don’t use every day. By the way, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a cellar, an attic, or a storage unit: each of these rooms has a similar function and, although they differ in size, they are often in creative chaos. The cellar, however, has another surprising property – the older it gets, the more treasures it hides. How can you tidy up this space and turn the creative mishmash into a neat harmony?
Get into the time machine
This is the first and hardest task when cleaning this room. It is nothing more than a review of all the things we have painstakingly collected over the years and sorting them into items:
- to be thrown away – if they are old and very worn out, there is no need for them to take up valuable space.
- to be sold – if we do not use them and are unlikely to need them anymore. By getting rid of them, not only will we gain a lot of free space, but we will also have extra cash to renovate or buy necessary tools.
- to be given away – if we know they can be useful to friends or an organisation. For example, clothes that are too small can be donated to children’s homes, while other items are most likely to be accepted by social services or foundations.
If you want to get rid of old furniture or larger items, the best solution is to order a bulky container. It is also worth remembering that old appliances such as fridges, televisions and microwaves need special handling – in this case contact an electrical waste disposal company. If your furniture or electronics are still usable, you can sell them on the popular OLX (Gumtree) site or list them for free on one of the “Attention – the rubbish truck is coming” or “buy and sell” Facebook groups in your area. You will find many people there who are happy to collect unwanted items from you and give them a second life.
Although these first days of cleaning are an arduous and difficult task, it is an important step in reorganising your cellar. Remember to approach it without undue sentimentality!
Make use of empty walls
Once you’ve got rid of the so-called “junk”, you can move on to arranging the room. Using the space that has emerged after the first stage of cleaning, think about how you can use blank walls, for example. Install shelves or racks to hold the containers: you can store old clothes, Christmas decorations or camping equipment in them. This is also a good time to think about a special bike hook and tool hangers. Put preserves and wines on a separate shelf: how best to take care of them is described below.
By organising vertical space, you will not only save floor space, but will also highlight the most important and useful items. This way you can spot the item you need quicker and get to it without having to dig through the whole cellar – no free-standing bike or lounging preserves will get in your way!
How to organise multiple containers
Containers are a definite ally of clear rooms: they hide unnecessary chaos and prevent dust from collecting. But how to find your way among the many boxes?
You will need three things to organise your containers efficiently – a good plan, labels and a waterproof marker. To begin with, sort out all the items and put them in the correct containers. Then stick a label on each one that corresponds to the contents of the container. For the purpose of this article, we have prepared a special set of labels which will help you to label all your containers well. You will also find space to write down what you care about. Templates to be downloaded here.
Once you’ve completed the sorting and labelling stage, stack your boxes on top of each other, starting with the least used items and ending with the ones you use most. This way you can quickly find what you’re looking for next time and easily access the items you need.
The safe way to store vegetables, fruit and preserves
When cleaning, you should also pay special attention to organic products. A dark and cool cellar is the ideal place to store them, although even here there are sometimes mishaps!
To protect your stomach from various incidents, check each jar of preserves. Are the lids of unopened products concave? Are the compotes transparent? Do the opened products smell good and are they free of mould? If you have any doubts about their freshness, it’s best to get rid of them right away and thus ensure the health of yourself and your family.
Fruit and vegetables also need special storage. To keep them fresh for as long as possible, keep them in a special container, preferably with a smooth surface that won’t damage the delicate skin of the fruit and lead to accelerated rotting. Make sure that the lid of the container is always ajar: this will ensure adequate air circulation and prevent moisture from accumulating. For root vegetables such as potatoes or carrots, sturdy and airy jute bags also work well.
One weekend and it’s done!
Many of us put off cleaning cluttered rooms for a long time: after all, the vision of going through old things and sorting through trinkets seems very time-consuming. Therefore, to make things easier, it is best to set aside a short time slot, such as a long weekend, and ask for help from household members. Together you will be able to clean the whole cellar in a flash!