Don’t Get Caught Doing These Things in Your Basement

by Shari Smith
DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Don’t ignore potential savings and money-making opportunities in your basement! If you want to save money or make some extra money, avoid doing these 10 things.

Before visions of hidden video showing up on social media start playing in your mind, I’m talking about something quite different, namely blowing your budget by ignoring potential savings in your basement. So if you want to save money, or perhaps make a little money, avoid these 10 things you don’t want to get caught doing in your basement.

1. Ignore cracks in the cement walls or floor.

Cracks can mean problems with the foundation. Get it checked out to avoid very costly repairs later. The worst case scenario is you live on a sink hole. At the very least, fill the cracks with caulking or sealant, so they don’t get worse.

2. Throw everything in the freezer.

Actually, rotating items means you use the oldest items first, before they expire or get that gray, freezer-burnt shade that means you just wasted an $10 pack of hamburger. Adding a few wire baskets or sturdy boxes can help organize your freezer and make rotating a breeze.

3. Leave your collectibles boxed up.

There are two better options. If you don’t want them, sell them and make some serious dough. Or display them and enjoy the fruits of your collecting. Nice shelves keep everything neat but still provide a conversation starter.

4. Keep dusting your exercise equipment.

Either sell them online (see Writing a Craigslist Ad That Sells) or through social media or set them up in places you will actually use them, like in front of the TV in a spare room or in front of a nice window. You can watch the neighborhood while you work up a sweat.

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5. Overuse your clothes dryer.

When the weather outside is frightful you’ll be glad to have a clothes dryer. But when the weather is nice why not save some electricity or gas and let the sun and wind dry your clothes? Not only will you save energy, but your clothes will last longer and smell better too!

6. Neglect the old furniture sitting around.

Many pieces can be repurposed or upcycled. For instance, an old end table could be refinished or painted and brought up to the living room. Or you could sell it. You could also transform it into a cute ottoman by adding padding and fabric to the top.

7. Stumble around the boxes of stuff piled everywhere.

Instead, organize your storage with shelves and containers. Label the containers. Throw away the garbage and then donate or sell the stuff you don’t want. Everything else will be easy to find when you need it.

8. Ignore your dreams of the perfect man cave, mom cave, or a crafter’s dream room.

Take that fantasy and make it a reality. By creatively decorating and looking for furniture and accessories at thrift stores, you can turn an empty room into your fantasy, even on a limited budget.

Maybe you’ve always wanted a book-lined library. You already have boxes of books and stacks by the bed. All it would take would be some sturdy bookshelves, a couple of comfy chairs, and some good reading lamps. Paint the walls a favorite color or something bold like red.

9. Put off starting a small business.

It’s a lot of work and probably wouldn’t pay off anyways, right? Wrong! Turn your skills or hobbies into a business and you could be making some serious cash. Research the market first, plan your investment, and also plan out what to do if you don’t make any money right away. Get all the necessary permits and make sure your basement is up to code before you begin. Then start your very own home-based business.

10. Close off your unused basement because the kids have moved out and you don’t need the space.

Instead, put that space to work by renting it out. Carefully consider what you’ll need to do to make the basement rentable and get any permits or legal documents to begin renting. Also decide if you want to be a landlord. It may take just a minor remodel and some filing to turn an unused basement into steady income.

Not all of these suggestions will work for you, but by considering different things you do in your basement, you can save (or make!) a bundle by not getting caught doing these 10 things.

Reviewed July 2023

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