Picture this: Your family is expanding, and so are your belongings. You’ve already maxed out your closet space and there’s little room left for your kids’ toys or your own clothes, let alone the memorabilia you’ve been saving all these years.
Or maybe you’re downsizing to a smaller home but taking your belongings with you—and you have to find a way to make them all fit. If your house is outfitted with a basement, there are plenty of ways to get creative with DIY basement storage.
Custom-built shelves are the best way to truly maximize the empty areas of a room and, for a basement, will likely only require a drill, screws, heavy-duty brackets, a saw and lengths of board from the home improvement store or local lumber supplier.
1. Adding Corner Shelving
Working with a tight space? Corner shelving can help maximize an often-untapped part of an unfinished basement. There also are myriad pre-manufactured solutions that tie directly into the joists for heavy-item support, all the way up to the ceiling.
Once your DIY basement storage shelves have been installed, take the organization a step further. Adding bins or plastic boxes you can easily see through can help manage clutter; once you’ve grouped each storage container by item or theme, add labeling on the front to maintain organization. For kids’ toys, consider lidded, labeled, baskets or buckets as catch-alls for those LEGOs and other loose pieces that easily get lost.
2. Repurposing a Bookshelf
If you’re on a tight budget and don’t have the time to build your own basement storage shelves, repurposing a bookshelf or baker’s rack is another creative storage solution. Shopping at a local thrift store or perusing weekend garage sales for used furniture or old shelves and cabinets can help you save money on the materials needed for your basement storage.
3. Wall Storage
If you’re a home renovator of any kind, chances are you’ve collected your share of tools over the years. Building a wall system out of pegboards, magnets, and wire racks is one basement storage idea for those bulky or oddly shaped items such as drills, hand saws, and cords or rope of any kind.
Often, standing a large item on end radically reduces how much room it takes up. Mounting a system of straps to cinch a paddleboard or fishing poles onto the wall, for example, makes for a clean storage solution. Installing heavy-duty wall hooks for bicycles, gardening equipment, or anything long and narrow, such as extra piping and planks
Basement storage cabinets are one way to utilize vertical space, particularly in a basement with a small footprint where every square inch counts. Wall-mounted cabinets lift precious items off the floor to help prevent damage from possible water leaks, and cabinet doors keep contents dust-free.
4. Repurposing Kitchen Cabinets
In some instances, if you’re planning a kitchen remodel, you may be able to repurpose the cabinets you’re tearing out to use for basement storage. An added bonus of reusing a cabinet is that it doesn’t require assembly and often just needs to be screwed through the back into the wall studs.
5. Storage Under Basement Stairs
The empty space beneath the basement stairs offers yet another storage option. Purchasing a set of cube-shaped containers and stacking them to mirror the stairs is a quick way to gain multiple levels of storage; depending on the depth of the area, a wire rack mounted onto a sliding system on the floor can make it a breeze to access and store flat items like old picture frames and posters.