Converting a Basement into a Bedroom

My husband, two kids 11 and 6 and I are moving in with my mom. We are very excited! My husband and I are going to have our bedroom in the basement. The basement is a mess. I was wondering, instead of feeling overwhelmed, how do we start? It is a huge basement and we are excited to do this. Where do I start? Please help.

By Mary from Danby, VT

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February 21, 20110 found this helpful

Is the basement a finished basement or is it just the bare walls and ceiling. If it is unfinished you will have to pick the area that you want your bedroom and then frame it in with 2x4s then either use dry wall or paneling of some kind. If there are some plain cement block or poured cement walls, some people leave them as is and just paint them----if I were doing it I would want to dry wall or panel the cement walls too. For the ceiling some people put in what is called a drop ceiling and some dry wall it. Myself I would prefer the drywall. If you want the bedroom to be legal you will have to have an egress window or a door to the outside. For more detailed advice I would suggest talking to a contractor or your home improvement store or lumber yard. Go into this with an idea of what you want to spend.

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February 21, 20110 found this helpful

I was thinking about the egress situation (you have to have a way to escape in case of fire) like the other poster, but I'm guessing you're talking about getting the basement cleaned out first, right?

My suggestion is to go to FlyLady - she's great at giving you motivation and ideas about decluttering and tackling those big jobs. http://www.flylady.net/index.asp

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February 21, 20110 found this helpful

The first thing you need to do is "claim" your area. From the way you described it there is alot of stuff in the basement. Choose what section you want to make into your bedroom area. Then start at the door outside or the stairs and begin sorting, stacking and throwing out everything from the exit to the bedroom area. You might want to make specific piles: yard sale, holiday, trash, give away, garage/shed, etc. Once you make it to the bedroom area begin removing the clutter from that area with the same process you used for the clutter to get there. Once you have your area claimed you can start with the previous recommendations.

You also need to consider the humidity of the basement. Some basements need a humidifier to reduce mold and mildew (helps if you have allergies too). If there is a wood stove in the basement you may not want your sleeping area close to it ang getting very hot. Of course if there is a bathroom in the basement you may want your sleeping area close or next to it. If it has a cold floor you may want to consider getting a remnant from a carpet store to cover the floor from the steps to your area and maybe even your area.

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Anonymous Flag
February 22, 20110 found this helpful

Good ideas here already but I'd like to add that you should make sure you also have a working smoke detector in the basement and, especially if the furnace, etc. are in the basement and are run on anything other than electric, to also install a carbon monoxide detector. Have fun with your new adventure. :-)

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

As a professional cleaner, I would recommend pick one spot to start then work in a circle around the room, picking an area to put storage bins, and start working, this works great for me.

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

I either work from the center out, meaning you don't have to crawl or lean over things on the floor to get to "like things".

Or, I take the garbage out first, then set up a chair with three boxes close...store, sell, donate. Keep putting things in all three, then keep going. You will be amazed at how easy it is to get into a rythmn!

Good luck!

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

It's like eating an elephant; one bite at a time! I've been in your shoes, and my advice is to put on some upbeat music, and start with just one shelf, or one spot then go for it! Good luck!

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

Check out www.flylady.com as she has lots of ideas for how to get rid of clutter without feeling overwhelmed. One idea central to her philosophy is to use a timer and work 15 min. at a time. Good luck and have fun!

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February 26, 20110 found this helpful

My suggestion is to clean out the garage if need be to make room for garage sale items. This way you can organize anything worth anything into a garage sale. This will help pay for some renovations and help out in the process of making the space yours. Since the space is so large I would suggest putting in an area for family time with possibly a kitchenette area so you and your kids can get away and have your own family space. This set up worked for us when my Mom moved in with us. Good luck, it can be an exciting time, enjoy!

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