Bruno Bornsztein

269 posts

Hi! My name is Bruno and I'm the founder of I started this site because I think our homes are one… read more

Comments - How to Clean Up Your Basement (or Die Trying)

Stephanie on Oct 09, 2016:

Mine is gross covered in at least a years worth of dust and cobwebs. Not to mention the carcasses of big spiders killed by bug bombs. I want to get a dumpster but my husband wants to keep everything. I don't want to cry, I actually do cry and threaten to live in a tent in the yard.

Rennyrij on Oct 21, 2015:

Grammatically - look up the differences between "jury-rigged" and "jerry-built", to get a better grasp of what we are talking about.

Melanie on Sep 03, 2015:

I found this post by googling "disgusting basement", because I'm trying to clean out mine.  This is giving me hope.  Everything in my basement is covered with a thick layer of renovation dust and cobwebs.  And the place smells like cat litter.  And my husband's idea of "cleaning" is to shove everything into the corner.  It makes me want to cry. I know this comment comes long after this post but I just wanted to say that this gives me hope.

And FYI, it's jerry-rigged, not jury-rigged. :)

Ewa @ SHM Cleaning on Jul 30, 2015:

nice.. great ideas..

Laverne on Apr 15, 2015:

omg, this is soooo funny...and sadly, hits close to home.  My house also had a make-shift shower/bathroom in my walls, just concrete blocks as a half wall !!  We had that torn out asap.  We have water, need to deal with that, now that we're getting house ready to sell.  Good to know others have / had an abyss in their basement too.  Thanks for the laughs :)

Anonymous on Jan 09, 2015:

I wish mine looked as good as yours....mine is so much worse.  I started cleaning up mine and hope to be done soon.

Diane on Mar 21, 2014:

Haven't seen a newer post since 2012. Did you give up and move? (That's what I am thinking of doing.)

Joanne on Sep 21, 2013:

Okay I typed in "how to tidy up a basement on a budget". Never did I expect to find a site that has given me hope. I am determined. I am going to be heartless and pitch 45 years of "stuff". Thanks for the inspiration. Keep up the great work.

Swede Sue on Aug 06, 2013:

Just started cleaning my basement and your blog made me laugh when I wanted to cry!  It's a daunting job...even without water damage.  I'm downsizing and I'm probably the only person who does NOT want a lot of storage space---I know I will just use as dumping ground.  Would you mind if I shared your graphic in an e-mail?

gordintoronto on Jul 30, 2013:

I've lived in my house for 40 years, so the build-up of junk is incredible. Flooding has never been an issue, but an incontinent elderly cat was. My objective is to deal with 1% of it every day, and eventually it will be presentable. I use the same four sorting categories as others: garbage, recycle, charity, keep.

drumdiva on Apr 21, 2013:

@Leslie: There is no way you'll be able to put a bedroom and bathroom in your basement if the ceilings are less than 6 ft high. If you're going to use your basement as habitable space, the ceilings have to be at least 7 feet high (usually 7'6" if it's going to be up to code). This means you'd have to excavate the floor and dig down to make the ceiling higher - this is very expensive to do. If you're going to put a bedroom down there, you'll also have to have an egress window (also required for safety reasons). You'd have to have one cut into the foundation. 

Leslie on Apr 20, 2013:

I have a shelf basement with low ceilings about 5'8".  I want to put a bathroom and bedroom down there.  Obviously there can't be a shower, but a bath could work - could it?

Katie on Feb 09, 2012:

Geez.  And here I've been missing having a basement.  :-)

Julie on Feb 09, 2012:

I feel like we share sibling homes. Mine is nearly identical in issues but the walls are aqua instead of yellow. Mine is still my dirty little secret but maybe I'll let it out as I follow your progress.

CapreeK on Feb 09, 2012:

I love the feature image! Haha. Nicely done so far, Bruno!

Pak on Feb 09, 2012:

Yes, it probably will kill me when the time finally comes. ;)

bruno on Feb 09, 2012:

@naoimi hah! No offense taken. If I can do it, anyone can. Keep in mind my basement's unfinished, so I don't really care about the finish (smoothness, etc.). If you want a really smooth, professional finish, it might be a lot more difficult. But for just patching up some nasty spots, it's easy (if tedious).

naomi d. plume on Feb 09, 2012:

Wow, the similarities between our basements are spooky...maybe even as spooky as whatever is lurking in the corners of mine. I am waiting for the weather to improve (way below zero right now) so I can pull everything out into the backyard and do a real tidy (this seems to be an annual event). What might be different this year is the concrete patching! I've always assumed that was out of my skill range and now (with all due respect to what I'm sure are your renovating, tool using, handy-person superpowers) it looks like I might give it a go. Wish me luck!

Maritza on Feb 09, 2012:

Good for you!  I did the same to my basement 2 years ago converting it into an apartment for my daughter.  Then the floods came and woe befell what was once cute and turned it mildewy.  The daughter moved to Brooklyn and I'm left with a basement that makes me want to cry sometimes but I can do it!  You've inspired me to tackle one corner at a time.  Thanks!

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