12 Clever Basement Storage Ideas

store big furniture as part of basement storage ideas

Basements tend to be an underappreciated part of the home. But when you think about it, they are more accessible than attics, offer extra storage space, and can be as comfortably furnished as any other room. Unfortunately, most basements end up merely being a black hole for extra storage. At ShelfGenie, we are all about custom solutions. If you are looking for clever ways to clear the clutter and make the most of your basement, this list of basement storage ideas is for you!

1.   Treat Your Shelving Right

Depending on where you live, moisture can be a problem for basement storage. Fight rust and mold by giving your shelves a little love. Metal shelving is simple to clean, does not degrade over time, and can become resistant to rust with the simple application of rust-proofing spray.

As for wood shelving, waterproofing sealant is all you need. Or use an oriented strand board (OSB). It’s a great alternative to plywood because it is already waterproof – just check for the “waterproofed” stamp.

2.   Protect Your Possessions

Plastic tubs or bins with lids are your best bet for safely storing items in an unfinished basement. They keep moisture out and deter pests from chewing their way into your belongings.

For finished basements, wicker or canvas baskets are ideal for storing toys, craft supplies, or other out-of-season items. You can even use cardboard boxes if there is enough ventilation and no risk of moisture.

3.   Mix and Match Cubbies

Cubbies are one of the most popular basement storage solutions as they offer a lot of flexibility. You can arrange groups of self-standing cubbies however you like.

Try using color-coded plastic bins to sort your home decorations by holiday. Alternatively, clear plastic bins are perfect for finding things when you are in a rush.

4.   Claim Empty Wall Space

If you have drawers and boxes full of DIY tools or crafting supplies, it may be time to hang them up. Pegboards are a tool user’s best friend. Customize yours with hooks to create a perfect layout for your tools.

Have a finished basement that serves double duty as a play or entertainment room? Wall systems with pull-out shelves and baskets make tidying up a breeze.

5.   Use the Ceiling

Know you won’t be using something for a very long time? Get it off the floor! Store those extra odds and ends in an airtight container and hang them on a basement ceiling rack.

Ceiling-mounted racks and shelving use a surface that would otherwise be empty. Now you have plenty of space for the things you need regular access to.

6.   Repurpose Lockers

Think lockers are just for schools and gyms? Think again! Lockers are a great way to organize your belongings. Keep sporting gear, bulky clothing, and seasonal storage without seeing the clutter. Lockers are a unique way to store items safely, and can also make for a great conversation piece.

7.   Look Under the Stairs

If your basement is on the smaller side, look under the stairs. Some staircases have enough square footage to install built-in basement storage units or a set of cubbies.

Sweep away the cobwebs and carve out some valuable space for stashing craft supplies or kids’ playthings. If you are feeling extra creative, this space can also double as a fort or play space for the little ones!

8.   Create a Fold-Down Workspace

A fold-down desk provides the sturdy surface you need without taking up permanent space in your basement. It unfolds when needed and quickly tucks away when not in use.

If the basement is where you do laundry, consider adding a fold-down ironing board. You can even DIY a removable iron-safe pad to complement your new workspace.

9.   Turn it Into a Wine Cellar

If your passion for wine has exceeded the limited storage space available in your kitchen, it may be time to turn that basement into a wine cellar. Basements tend to already have perfect conditions for storing wine – they are dark and the temperature is fairly stable.

Just install a few wine racks and you are one step closer to becoming a home sommelier!

10.   Add an Island

If it works for the kitchen, an island will work for the basement, too. Islands offer extra storage space and a larger area to work with if you use your basement for DIY projects.

Top off the new space with comfortable stools for you and your guests. And when the work is done, you have enough room to serve snacks and drinks.

11.  Ideas to Customize Your Basement Storage System

If you are going for an aesthetically pleasing basement storage system, try using built-in shelving and cabinetry. They instantly elevate the look of any basement without sacrificing utility.

Forget wasting money on one-size-fits-all solutions. Add custom built-ins personalized to your storage needs and your space.

12.   Create a Room Within a Room

Unusual architecture and asymmetrical layouts are very common for most basements. Take advantage of those awkward spaces with hinged or sliding doors.

Instead of a dusty nook, you could have another closet or a tiny reading room. Your new ‘secret’ room can be as whimsical or practical as you want.

Test Out New Ideas

We are fans of the adage “measure twice, cut once.” If you are planning a DIY remodel or professional renovation, test out your new ideas before you commit. Measure out your plans with painter’s tape on the floor.

Do all your items fit in their designated storage areas? Is anything blocking the stairs? Keep in mind the size of your doorway, too. The last thing you need is to haul that new shelving unit all the way down the stairs just to get stuck at the door.

Test out different basement storage ideas until you find one that works. And of course, if you need additional help, we are always here to help.

Let ShelfGenie Do the Heavy Lifting

Do you have basement storage ideas not listed here? Our friendly team of design experts will come to your home and evaluate your existing cabinetry. Your personal design specialist will render a 3D plan of your current basement layout enhanced with ShelfGenie Glide-Out shelving. Once you pick a design, it’s time to put your feet up and relax.

ShelfGenie does all the work for you, from measurement to construction and one-day installation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation design consultation and start imagining your optimized basement storage. You can call (888) 903-8839 or start the process online.

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