11 Ways to Add More Storage Space to Your Basement

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Whether your basement is finished or not, your subterranean space can quickly become a catch-all for random items, from workout equipment to seasonal clothing. If this isn’t how you envisioned using your basement, there are a few ways to add more storage and keep the floor clear of debris.

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1. Section Off the Mechanical Area

Most basements have an area that houses the water heater, HVAC unit, breaker box and other mechanical elements. However, this space isn't always attractive, especially if you've already finished the rest of your basement. In this case, you might section it off with sliding barn doors. 

This project is relatively simple and should take three to four hours to complete. Once you’re finished, you can store stuff in the mechanical area and keep everything out of sight.

2. Turn Crannies Into Closets

Is your lower level full of awkward nooks and crannies? Turn those seemingly unusable spaces into basement storage. Build walls and add a door to turn them into small closets. If you want a less permanent solution, use a curtain rod and drapes to create a functional storage corner. Fill it with cabinets, shelves and other compartments to keep its contents organized

3. Mount Coat Racks

Sometimes, the biggest problems call for the simplest solutions — like mounting coat racks on your basement walls to save space. Create more storage by mounting them inside the door to keep outerwear and hats in reach. Pair it with a bench to further maximize space. You can also hang everything from artwork to plants on your wall-mounted racks to make your basement feel more welcoming and homey.

4.  Utilize the Spandrel 

A spandrel refers to the space beneath your staircase. This area is often unenclosed in unfinished basements. It’s also incredibly useless if you don’t know what to do with it. In some cases, homeowners will turn a spandrel into a home office or a play place for the kids. However, it also makes for a great storage location when you have little else to work with. 

Make sure the floor is level and repair it if necessary. If you need to pour a new concrete slab, make sure the contractor properly mixes the concrete. It might be a building code requirement in your area. Now that you have a blank slate, the possibilities are endless. Add some shelving for extra storage or turn the area into a mini wine cellar.

5. Create Built-Ins 

If you have a large enough wall, installing built-in shelving might be the most aesthetically pleasing way to add more storage space. Use the addition to store books, DVDs, records, toys, tools and anything else that might need temporary storage and easy access.

You can even use baskets or decorative boxes to hide everything away and create a more simplistic, contemporary design. Use pre-assembled stock cabinets or build yours from scratch, securing them firmly to the wall and each other to prevent any mishaps.

6. Install Shelving 

If you aren’t a huge fan of built-ins, you might opt to install some shelves instead. Use floating shelves to show off art, books, photos or knick-knacks and hang enclosed shelving to hide less aesthetically pleasing items like kids’ toys, craft supplies or tools.

Buy or build full shelving units or use corner-specific shelves to accommodate your basement’s more awkward spaces. Just remember to use anchors so the shelves don’t fall off the wall and take down your belongings, too.

7. Shop Storage Furniture 

If there’s room in the budget for a few larger purchases, invest in furniture that comes with built-in storage solutions. Think benches with hidden drawers, sofas with roomy compartments and pet crates that double as side tables. 

Yes, such things really do exist, and they deserve a spot in your basement. Search the web and your local furniture store for these space-saving pieces and others like them. You'd be surprised just how many affordable solutions are out there. 

8. Repurpose Shoe Organizers

The pockets in a classic over-door shoe organizer are just the right size for everything from art supplies to gardening tools. However, most people don’t use them for anything other than shoes. 

Make your organizer work double duty by storing other loose items in your basement there. The best part is you can hang the entire thing on the other side of a closet door so guests will never guess where you hid all your clutter.

9. Add a Pegboard 

Whether you enjoy crafting, woodworking, a clean space or all of the above, you’re going to love this pegboard storage idea. All you need is a few basic tools, a prefinished piece of pegboard and a few hours to complete this DIY project. 

You’ll be able to use hooks, hanging baskets, pegs and floating shelves to organize everything from bow saws to beads. Storing these items on your board will also keep them out of reach of curious children and reckless pets. 

10. Use the Ceiling

Most basements are more vulnerable to flooding because they’re partially or fully below ground. Therefore, it’s wise to store items off the ground to protect them from water damage. Create a flange system by mounting simple wood or metal tracks to the basement or staircase ceiling. Then, organize everything into large clear plastic bins so you can quickly locate and rearrange items. Label the bottom of each bin to make this storage solution even more functional.

11. Fall in Love With Lockers

Remember those old metal lockers you gathered around in elementary school? Well, they’d look awfully chic in your basement, especially if you gave them a fresh coat of paint. Hang personal items like winter clothing, sporting gear, and decorations from the hooks inside. Then, use the built-in shelves to organize everything from books to Barbie dolls. Add a combination lock to each locker to keep kids — or nosy relatives and guests — out.

Making Every Square Foot Count

When it comes to basement storage space, every square foot counts. Whether your lower level is finished or not, it’s important to find solutions that work for you and your unique situation. Assess the shape, size and layout of your basement to determine whether to build or buy more storage space. Then, set to work decluttering and reorganizing. All your hard work will be more than worth it when you finally see bare floors and clean shelves.

Author Bio: Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She is a journalist who covers the innovations impacting the construction and industrial sectors.

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