The basement is that amazing bit of floor space that you can use for pretty much anything.
Unfortunately for most people, what they use it for is to store old tools, furniture they don’t want and toys that the kids don’t play with anymore.
Your basement can become one of the ugliest rooms in your house pretty quickly.
And who has the cash to transform their basement into something that the whole family can use? Well, you can make it workable with just a few nice touches.
So how can you make your basement livable again? Easy, by employing one or more of our 10 budget hacks that you can use to spruce up what otherwise might be a dirty old basement.
So grab your power tools and a cup of tea and get reading!
10 Budget Hacks For An Unfinished Basement
1. Keep Your Mechanicals Out Of Sight
One of the biggest pieces of clutter that you can have in your basement is large machinery and power tools.
Very often you’ll want to keep the upstairs spaces – living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining room – free from the debris that people trip over. Therefore, they end up tossed in the basement.
There’ll also be some large pieces of furniture that might be lying around your basement. How the heck can you hide a chaise lounge?
Where do you put a large storage bin? What’s the best way of secluding an old car engine?
Well, one of the best ways to keep these unsightly objects out of the way and free up more space in your basement is by building another room entirely.
That’s right, with only one piece of plywood, you can create a utility room in which you can put anything that you want.
You can build a door in this new room so that you still have access to all these things, but you can also close the door and keep them out of sight of other people.
This is a great method of hiding away exposed pipes and grates that are uglifying your basement.
The other great thing about having more walls is that you can actually hang decorative things off them.
Whether it is paintings or ornaments that are precious to you, there is now a whole new surface for you to experiment with. You can even paint the walls your favorite color.
2. Put Electricals Sockets In Your Basement
There is one thing that can make your basement seem very untidy and that’s wires trailing all over the place.
If you have no electrical outlets in the basement, then you can guarantee that you’ll be trailing wires from upstairs to your basement to power the treadmill or your digital exercise bike.
So if you install more outlets, then you won’t need long chords that are trailing all over the place. This means fewer trip hazards and generally more places to store your items.
3. Give Your Basement A Complete Clean
This one should go without saying, but getting rid of all the junk, dust, cobwebs and old rolls of carpet is the ideal method of creating a lot more space underneath your home.
You’ll be surprised at how much room sweeping your floor and moving some objects around will create.
The best thing about this method is that it costs hardly anything at all.
If you have a sweeping brush, a dustpan, some industrial-strength cleaner and a little bit of elbow grease, then you can get rid of all the dirt and grime in your basement.
Give it a try, the effects are miraculous.
4. Install Lights In Your Basement Ceiling
The basement is often the only room in your house without any windows. The result? A dank and gloomy room that seems claustrophobic and really lacking in space.
So, brightening things up will certainly create that luminous atmosphere that pushes the shadows away and fabricates a lot more space.
Lights in the ceiling are very cheap and can be installed quite easily (although you still might want to hire the help of a skilled electrician).
Overhead lights will also illuminate all your basement if you have enough of them, so you can say goodbye to creepy shadows in the corner of your room.
If you are cleaning, overhead lights will also help you to illuminate spots in your basement that might be less than spotless.
5. Painting The Exposed Walls
If your basement is lacking in tiles or proper roofing, then it can make the whole thing look messy and, well, unfinished.
However, if you paint your exposed ceiling a dark color, such as black or deep blue, then it will transform the place, practically hiding those exposed beams from the world.
Add a few ceiling lights to that and the look will be complete. No ugly ceilings and plenty of light, which will allow you to truly organize your basement space once and for all.
You can paint your exposed ceiling a lighter color, which might not conceal the ceiling, but it will certainly create a sense of lightness and space.
6. Give Those Walls A Lick Of Paint
In much the same way as you can totally transform your ceiling with paint, you can do the same with your basement walls.
You’ll be surprised with what a little bit of even white paint can do to your basement, creating that sense of space, lightness and cleanliness.
It also won’t cost you that much. A couple of tins of paint can be bought for next to nothing from your local hardware store.
We would certainly recommend that you buy duck egg blue, pea green or yellow to lift the mood of your dark and cluttered basement.
You might even have some tins of paint already lying around in your basement, so using them up will not only save you a lot of money, but it will also declutter your lower house area, you’re killing two birds with one stone!
7. Cover Up Those Concrete Floors
There are plenty of methods that you can use to cover up your concrete floors. You can give them a lick of paint, with white paint really lending some life and cleanliness to your flooring.
If you have just removed all the clutter from your floor, then adding some white paint will create that extra degree of newness to the whole space.
But there are other more inventive and cut-price methods of covering up those unsightly floor stains.
You can take some existing carpet – or you can buy it new if you fancy – give it a thorough clean with some carpet cleaners, and use it to decorate your floor.
8. Carpets! Carpets! Carpets!
This is a great way of not only decorating your basement, but it will also help to make it more family friendly.
If you have installed heaters and painted your carpet, then you can use rugs to mark out play areas and make sure that your kids aren’t playing on cold, hard concrete flooring.
You can get so many styles of carpet, so no doubt you’ll be able to find something that will fit in with your existing décor.
We would recommend having a rug and sofa placement, even installing a widescreen TV if you have the space. Then you have a great gaming and movie area that any member of your family can retreat to.
You might also have a basement that is very echoey, especially if you have a large amount of space down there.
Well, the great thing about rugs is that they have the effect of dampening a lot of the sound, so effectively you are soundproofing your room, which is ideal if you are going to be using this space for music practice.
9. Creating Entertainment Zones
We touched on this in the point above.
But by trying to create certain zones where you have your furniture, TV, or exercise equipment, then you can have a much better idea of where you are going to tidy and how you are going to do it.
This gives you a defined goal, so you aren’t just shifting junk from one corner to another.
To do this, we would recommend that you sketch out the floor plan of your basement, so you can pinpoint where you are going to put everything before you start shuttling it around.
This will save you a lot of effort and sweating when you are moving your sofa and other items later on.
If you have enough space, then you can have one corner of your basement for working out and another one for just relaxing and watching the TV.
You can even decorate these zones differently. Why not let the children decide on the colors and layout of their play area?
If you are going to create a play area for the kids, then you should invest in storage bins so that you have somewhere to place the toys when they are not in use.
Remember that you want to make your basement habitable, so make sure that you have measures in place to keep it clean at all times!
10. Keep Things Organized!
This brings up onto our final measure for keeping your basement spotless. You should make sure that there are plenty of bins to put items in and that everything has its place.
If you have stray power tools, then you can hammer heavy duty hooks into the wall on which to hang them.
Don’t have the TV on the floor where it will just take up space and become a trip hazard. Mount it on the wall instead!
You can also have a table in the corner, as this serves all sorts of functions. You can eat dinner off it and use it as a surface to keep pens, crayons, and other arts and crafts.
Remember that vertical storage takes up a lots less room than horizontal storage, so just bear in mind that you need to stack things.
You can get shelves that contain storage bins, which allows you to mark off where you keep certain objects, so you immediately know where they all are.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I Keep My Basement Clean?
The simple fact is that of all the rooms in the house, the basement is the first place that is likely to get cluttered, simply because it is out of the way.
But this could serve as another room entirely, somewhere where you can relax away from a busy house or somewhere the kids can go to run around and play games with impunity.
How Much Will It Cost For Me To Transform My Unfinished Basement?
This will all depend on what you have planned for it. If you want to install new furniture and buy a HD TV, then this might set you back a few hundred dollars.
However, if you just want to spruce it up with a lick of paint and a floor sweep, then you might only spend a few bucks.
What Other Items Can I Have In My Basement?
Well, the great thing about a basement is that you can essentially customize it into whatever room that you like. You can mix elements of your kitchen with some aspects of a bedroom.
You can have a vanity mirror on the wall next to your weights bench, which is great for tracking your form.
You can also install something large like a ping-pong or air hockey table, a retro arcade machine or even a miniature basketball court.
This is great for the kids, allowing them their own space where they can burn off all that excess energy without messing up the house.
We hope that our ideas for sprucing up your basement have helped you to decide which is the best option for you to go for.
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