Basement Purge: 5 Things To Toss
Tuesday Sep 27th, 2022
Do you have the urge to purge but have no idea where to start? We asked local organizing & downsizing expert Justine McVeigh of Just Downsize to share some tips, tricks & techniques on how to reclaim your basement.
The basement may be the area in your home that you avoid the most. Even the most organized among us can be guilty of thinking, "I'll just put that there for now," when unsure of what to do with a new or unfamiliar item; only to forget about it later. Before you know it, your basement has become a place of mystery. Fortunately, it's never too late to start organizing that neglected space! Keep reading to find out what items are safe to toss: five things you can pitch, no questions asked.
1. OLD ELECTRONICS
You know those old iPods or the original iPhone charger cables from 2007? Unfortunately, they're doing nothing but collecting dust on your shelf. Don't even try to sell them; it's been too long. Instead, you can recycle them with Toronto Waste, simply put them beside your garbage container for pick up on your next garbage day. You can also recycle them at Computation Ltd., a Toronto store that provides environmentally sensitive computer and e-waste recycling along with secure electronic data destruction. Getting rid of old electronics is an easy first step to basement organization.
2. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Basements tend to be a repository for hazardous materials like empty or half-filled cans of house paint, insecticides, weed killer or dead batteries. Like old electronics, these are items that you do not need to store. But expired or not, they should be disposed of properly. You can't just toss them in the trash. Most cities offer a hazardous waste disposal option. In Toronto, you can call 311 and arrange for the Toxic Taxi to pick up old paint cans, with some restrictions on the amounts to be discarded.
3. ANYTHING THAT IS DAMAGED OR BROKEN
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you've noticed holes or tears in a piece of clothing, or another item in your basement, toss it. This includes tents, folding chairs, and patio cushions. (It's no fun camping in a tent with a broken zipper - trust me, I know!) Broken furniture and lamps are often not worth the time and cost to fix and take up precious space in your basement. If it's broken and damaged, toss it!
4. RARELY USED KITCHEN APPLIANCES
These appliances can really accumulate over time. Maybe it's a waffle iron or a bread machine you received as a wedding gift and never unboxed. Countertop appliances that never see the light of day also need to go. Trust me, you'll never miss them. Most local donation stores will accept working appliances, or you can offer them on the Facebook Group “Buy Nothing Canada” to be given away for free!
5. SPORTS AND EXERCISE EQUIPMENT
If you're using your treadmill as a drying rack, it's time to toss it along with any other exercise equipment you're not using. Outdated skis, old running shoes, broken tennis racquets, or hockey sticks need to go!! You can sell valuable equipment at Play It Again Sports, Facebook MarketPlace, or Kijiji if you think the skates are worth something. The good news is that dragging things up out of the basement counts as exercise!
Removing these five types of things will get you started and free up plenty of space in your basement. I've helped turn basements into dream spaces for craft rooms, playrooms, offices, and so much more!!
So, the bottom line is: if you haven't used it in years and don't need it anymore, it's time to toss or donate. Then you can sit back and imagine what to do with all that new space!
You can reach Justine McVeigh of Just Downsize at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her at @justdownsize on Instagram & Facebook.