6 Uses for Your Unfinished Basement

Reader Contribution by Megan Wild
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Although many homes in the U.S. are equipped with a basement, very few homeowners actually utilize that space in an effective manner. While some of us simply view the basement as a place to store old boxes of junk, others have no idea what to do with the unfinished, unused space beneath their house. However, there are a number of things you can do in order to spruce up that unfinished basement and make your life a little bit easier at the same time.

1. Laundry Room

If you’re an active farmer or homesteader, chances are high that you also have a lot of laundry to wash and dry. Those who also have kids, or numerous families living under the same roof, will have even more laundry to deal with.

With that in mind, you might consider turning your unfinished basement into a full-scale laundry center. Most basements provide ample space for a washer and dryer, and some even feature a sink for presoaking and deep cleaning. You’ll also have plenty of room for sorting whites from colors, organizing seasonal garments and setting up a drying rack.

Moreover, since all of your laundry needs can be taken care of in the basement and away from visitors’ eyes, you won’t have to worry about guests seeing your dirty laundry around the house.  

2. Home Workshop

Farmers and homesteaders often use a workshop, usually located within a garage, shed, barn or even a remote location, to craft homemade products, repair tools and store excess equipment or materials until they’re needed. However, renovating your unfinished basement into a new home workshop has many advantages for the average farmer or homesteader.

One of the biggest drawbacks of hosting a workshop within an exterior barn or shed is the lack of any real protection from the elements. Insulation may be possible in some cases, but older or antiquated buildings might not even accommodate modern forms of insulation.

As such, it might be cheaper and easier to insulate your basement. This is especially helpful if you or your family are going to be spending a lot of time down there. R-21.3 or R-12.5 insulation minimizes heat transfer, which can be especially helpful during the colder seasons.  

3. Storage and Survival Planning

With many homesteaders and farmers showing interest in long-term food storage and survival planning, an unfinished basement makes the ideal space for safeguarding your goods. The cooler air and temperature of the basement can actually help preserve certain foods for longer periods of time, which effectively adds an extension to your current survival plan.

In order to avoid the expiration of food and other goods, make sure to rotate your survival stock on a regular basis. Implementing this method of inventory control ensures your stock remains fresh for as long as possible while also avoiding unnecessary waste.

4. Exercise Room or Home Gym

Due to the highly active nature of farming and homesteading in general, most of those who are involved in the lifestyle tend to receive plenty of exercise. However, renovating your unfinished basement into a home gym can help you improve your exercise habits through consistency, scheduling and sheer accessibility. Furthermore, an inside workout room can be great when it comes to remaining active during the winter.

5. Museum or Memorial

Some basements can even be turned into a museum or memorial. The subject of such a shrine can be nearly anything: a family member or loved one, the past owner of the property or even a historic site on your land. The internet can be an incredibly valuable resource when it comes to researching a house’s history, while old artifacts and memorabilia from years past can often be found in old sheds, barns and even basements.

For those who have an interest in sports, either professionally or as a hobby, you might even consider turning that unfinished basement into a sports-oriented museum. Whether you choose to display memorabilia from your own sports career or that of historic players of days gone by, such a basement is sure to draw the attention of your friends.

6. Library

If you’re new to the world of homesteading, you’ve probably sought advice and assistance from any number of books. Indeed, as the idea of personal farming and homesteading becomes more popular across the country, more resources are coming out to assist newcomers through the process.

Depending on how long you’ve been living the self-sustainable lifestyle, you may find your home is now cluttered with books and magazines on the topic. As such, you might consider transforming your unfinished basement into your own personal library. Not only does this ensure your resources are accessible when needed, but it can also safeguard them for years to come.

Making the Most of Your Basement

As you can see, there are plenty of options for farmers and homesteaders when it comes to utilizing that unfinished basement in an effective and efficient manner. In fact, those with larger basements might even be able to use several of these ideas in order to make full use of the available space.

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