Basements add a wealth of extra storage space to our homes. In some cases, they can even serve as a bonus living area. However, these spaces come with some headaches – from darkness, excessive moisture, to hard-to-reach areas that can turn valuable space into a less accessible area. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to remain like that forever. With a bit of creativity, you can easily turn your basement into the extra storage space you have been looking for and make the most of it.
So, how do I maximize my basement storage? Some of the things you can do to maximize your basement storage space include shelving, labeling everything before storage, getting rid of junk you don’t need, creating built-in options, storing your items in airtight containers, designating a specific area for laundry and stashing your shoes. You can also categorize your items accordingly to avoid confusion, choose matching containers, and invest in good lighting.
This blog post discusses simple tips and tricks that can help you maximize your basement storage space. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
1. Evaluate Your Stuff
The first thing you need to do if you are looking to maximize your basement storage is to evaluate your stuff. Remember that you don’t want to turn your basement into a trove of junk and items you no longer use. Instead, you want to hold some of your essential stuff to clear up more storage space from your house for items you use frequently.
So, as you clean your basement, put all the items into three categories; keep, donate, and throw away. If you don’t use an item often, you may consider donating it; if it is in bad condition, it may be time to throw it away.
If you are having a hard time letting go of some of your items, take time to accept it, then thank the item for its good service over the years and let it go. The primary goal is to ensure that you only have the right items stored in your basement.
2. Get Rid of Junk You Don’t Need
The primary purpose of the evaluation is to help you identify the items you no longer use to get rid of them. Decluttering and purging can be a time-consuming and tedious exercise, but you have to do it if you want to maximize your basement storage.
All items that you put under the “throw away” category from the first step above must be thrown away. In most cases, you will discover that you have a lot of useless stuff taking up valuable storage space in your basement without you knowing it.
If you don’t want to throw them away, look for an alternative place to store them while you organize your basement.
For the items, you intend to keep, use clearly-labelled and transparent plastic bins sorted by category or season. Transparent containers and sorting make it relatively easy to track what you need and retrieve it successfully.
3. Choose Appropriate Shelving Solutions
Setting up shelves in your basement can help you maximize your vertical storage space while protecting your gear from flooding and other types of unforeseen damage.
Measure your space to establish what size shelving it can accommodate while considering the amount of gear the shelves have to accommodate. There is nothing worse than assembling a good shelving system that ends up being too large for your basement.
If your basement is not climate controlled, go for metal or sturdy shelving systems and avoid the wood options. Wood can easily break down over time, but plastic and metal can withstand uncontrolled humidity, heat, and even water damage if you live in a flood-prone area.
If you have gear that needs to be hung up, like your winter coats or other out-of-season clothes, ensure you install a simple clothing rack to your shelving system.
A simple clothes rack may save you a lot of shelf space, keep your clothes neat and help you maximize vertical storage. Other items that need to be hung, such as tools, fire extinguishers, aprons, or gloves, can be stored on simple pegs or hooks.
4. Label Everything
In addition to categorizing and storing your items in transparent containers, you should also consider labeling everything stored in your basement.
Like every space in your home, it is critical to keep the visual clutter in your basement to a minimum with neatly labeled storage containers and baskets.
A neat and well-organized space is a functional and friendly space that adds value to your home. Because of high moisture levels in some areas, you should consider buying non-paper-based labels.
5. Go Modular
While going vertical with a good shelving system is an incredible way to maximize your basement storage space, don’t forget to go modular as well. A good modular design allows you to do more with less.
A typical modular system consists of rails and hooks for hanging your items, pegboard space to hold an arrangement of your individual items, bins for storage and organization, a simple shelving system for relatively larger items and a wide range of other storage solutions.
A good modular system combines a multitude of different basement storage ideas into one. If you don’t want to continue avoiding your basement but don’t have time to focus on different storage solutions, consider installing a modular system, and you are good to go.
6. Store Items in Transparent Plastic Storage Containers
Don’t store items in cardboards, even if your basement is climate controlled. This is because they are susceptible to warping, bending, and can break down over time. Instead, go for plastic storage containers that are 100% clear.
These containers are suitable for protecting your items from humidity, heat, pests, and moisture. They also make it easy to locate and identify items for easy retrieval. Additionally, most of them last longer than cardboard.
Be sure to put a clear label on the outside of each storage container so you can easily know the contents of each container.
Hang your out-of-season clothes on sturdy clothing organizers with shelves. Feel free to set aside a small section of your basement for delicate clothing that needs special care. It is relatively easy to find plastic, zippered cloth bags online or at your local home goods retailer store.
7. Use Basement Ceiling Space for Storage
If you have already exhausted your basement floor and wall space but still have some items you need to store, look up to the ceiling.
You can use heavy-duty hooks and overhead racks to make use of your basement ceiling and create extra storage space.
However, you must keep in mind that ceiling storage is only suited for relatively lighter items. It is the perfect place to store some of those awkwardly shaped or relatively longer items that may block the pathway.
Some of the things you can store on the ceiling include Christmas trees, surfboards, ladders, spare piping, skis, and planks of wood. Hanging these items from your ceiling helps create more floor space to accommodate your relatively heavier items.
8. Designate a Specific Space for Laundry
If your washer and dryer are located in your basement, you need to designate a specific area for your laundry purposes. If possible, find another spot in your home, away from the basement and convert it into your laundry area.
Doing your laundry in the basement while using it as storage space for some of your stuff can lead to serious moisture issues. Some items don’t like being exposed to moisture and high humidity.
If you don’t have any other place you can turn into a laundry area, then limit your laundry time in the basement and try to keep it as dry as possible.
Store your soap and other cleaning supplies in a designated cabinet away from your other stuff. Alternatively, install a small wall shelving in your laundry area where you will be storing all your laundry stuff.
You also want to set aside a small area for folding your clothes and a rack for the clothing that needs to be air-dried frequently. Keep everything in its rightful spot, and everything will be fine.
9. Invest in Good Lighting
Lastly, you need to invest in good lighting for your basement to keep everything organized. It doesn’t matter how neatly you stack your plastic storage containers: if your basement isn’t properly lit, there will always be a risk of damage happening.
Replace all burnt light bulbs and add new lighting sources in strategic places to ensure everything is fully visible at all times.
If your basement is foreboding, a fresh coat of white paint on the walls and the floor can play a critical role in brightening the area up.
This will make your basement attractive and friendly. You don’t have to feel stressed whenever you want to go down there to retrieve something.
Most importantly, you won’t be afraid to spend time there to organize things and ensure every item is in its rightful place.
Organizing your basement can create a massive of extra storage space in your home, saving you a lot of money in the long run. Using smart storage solutions with clearly labeled storage containers is essential for staying organized.
If you have a basement and haven’t turned it into a storage area for some of your items, it is time to relook at the space and use it for something useful.
Try out the tricks we have highlighted above and see what you can create out of your basement.