When was the last time you took your guests to check your basement? That has never happened before, of course (unless you use your basement as living space), which is why most people just throw anything they don’t use or need in the basement without giving much thought to how organized the area is. It’s basically the dreaded land of the lost of every house.
Here’s the thing; a properly-organized basement can add much-needed storage space to your house. Instead of tossing everything in the basement where nothing can be found again, you should organize it adequately and use suitable storage solutions to get the most out of such a vast space.
Unlike other areas in your house, the basement consists of two things; the walls, and the floor. Most basements don’t contain sinks and such, which makes organizing them easier than what most people believe.
When talking about wall storage, there are two items that come to mind: shelves and closets.
Shelving the walls of your basement is the first step towards proper organization. While you can get ready-made metal or wooden shelves from online retailers or local stores, many people prefer making their own shelves to match their style and preferences. If you really care about aesthetics, you can opt for built-in shelving to make your storage blend into the wall.
To get the most out of the available space, designate specific spots for different items and categories. To avoid messing things up later on, use a large label for every box and bin. That way, you’ll be able to find any item and get it back to its place effortlessly. Alternatively, you can use colored boxed, bins, and baskets and make the whole searching process a helluva lot easier.
Cubbies are also a viable option to consider when shelving the basement for the great flexibility they offer. You can use them for small items, such as holiday decorations, or clothes (as long as you leave enough room for air circulation).
When shelving your basement, remember to take common-sense safety measure for a smooth storage experience. Here are some tips that you can follow:
- Never place heavy storage items on the shelves.
- Make sure the wood you’re using is sturdy enough to handle your bins and boxes.
- Avoid storing items that are over 5 feet high as you risk injury when getting them down.
- Remember to measure anything you plan to store to ensure that you have proper depth and clearance.
Closets come in different kinds and shapes, but the main two types that you can use in your basement are built-in and free-standing closets.
Built-in closets are convenient for two reasons: first, they’re pretty darn stylish when the right colors are used, and second, they save on floor space big time.
Wooden closets are the most commonly used in basements, mainly because of their affordable price and great looks. They usually have a floor-to-ceiling design, which allows you to hide all of your items and keep your basement neatly organized all the time. They also double as a finished wall. If you use your basement as living space, that can come in handy pretty much all the time.
Freestanding closets, on the other hand, are more suitable for those who cannot settle with one décor. We all know someone who changes their house’s décor every other day, and if you are that person, you might want to opt for freestanding closets as you can move them around as you please.
Lockers are another unique storage option that you can use. They’re great for organizing personal items such as sportswear while hiding the clutter behind closed doors.
Those are just a few suggestions of course. The possibilities are endless when it comes to wall storage in the basement. You can even use wall-mounted magnetic systems for tools, a pegboard for sewing essentials and cleaning supplies, etc. Remember, the sky is the limit!
Floor storage tends to be the easiest storage to add to your bathroom and often the handiest to actually use. There are two main types of bathroom floor storage: cabinets and racks.
Most people use cabinets as they’re an easy way to hide clutter with minimal effort. Anything can go inside of them, and you don’t need to worry about the outside looks. Instead of getting new cabinets for your basement, you can always use your old kitchen cabinets and get new ones for upstairs to hit two birds with one stone.
Cabinets can also be installed under the stairs to make use of such space. Such cabinets can either be built-in or freestanding. Either way, they can be both practical and visually appealing, thus giving you the best of both worlds.
Here’s an extra tip regarding the stairs: don’t limit yourself to the space that’s beneath them, as the stairs themselves can be turned into fully-functional drawers that you can use for extra blankets or spare linens. Your college buddies will undoubtedly be impressed!
Shoe cabinets can also come in handy if you have a collection of shoes that are too old to wear yet too precious to throw away. Just get a closed storage cabinet, stash your shoes inside of it, and they’ll be protected from any damp or dust. Easy peasy.
Racks are more often than not overlooked when organizing the basement, which is a wrong practice since their versatility is second to none. Not only can you use racks to hang any clothes, hats, or any hangable object for that matter, but they can also be used to store your bikes and sports equipment that wouldn’t fit anywhere else.
Bikes can be some of the bulkiest items in the basement, which is why it’s always a good idea to mount them on hanging racks instead of letting them take too much floor space. Bike hanging racks exist in both single- and multi- bicycle models, allowing you to store as many as you have.
Heavy duty hooks aren’t only suitable for bikes though, as they can also be used to hang to tools and folding chairs when organizing your basement. Racks aren’t as limited as you thought, are they?
Should you organize your basement properly with suitable storage solutions, you’ll be able to turn it from the house’s damp into a fully-functional workplace or arts and crafts room. You can even turn it into your man (or woman) cave if that’s your thing. Just imagine how cool that would be next time your in-laws pay you a visit.