When organized properly, basements are a great place to store seasonal items like holiday decorations and your stockpile of canned goods. But if you're not careful, your basement can quickly turn into a cluttered dumping ground for a smorgasbord of items that have no proper home.
If you're sick of the mess and are ready to transform your space into an organized oasis, all it takes is a little bit of planning and some creative tips from the pros. To help you get started, Shop TODAY recently spoke with two organizing experts to get their picks for basement organizing products that will help you maximize the space you have and kick clutter to the curb.
Organizer bins and boxes for your basement
How many times have you put a bunch of odds and ends into storage boxes then ended up going through every bin trying to find what you were looking for later on? To avoid this game of hide and seek, CEO and founder of The Organized Mama Jessica Litman suggests using labeling bins and creating an inventory sheet so you know exactly what's inside.
"I tape the inventory list to the front of the bin. That way if I decide to add some decor from a different holiday, I can easily find what I need," she said. "Do this when you are decluttering and packing up after the holiday is over. This way, you are already sick of looking at the items so you can make better decisions about what should stay and what can go."
We all tend to accumulate a lot of photos over time, so it's only natural that you'd want to neatly tuck them away in the basement until you feel like breaking them out again. But Litman said it's important to store your treasured memories safely in a box like this one that's constructed from acid- and lignin-free materials.
"To prevent yellowing of photos, make sure they are stored in proper containers. This can go with old newspapers, memory books and other special items. Keep them preserved with photo storage that can support keeping them organized and protected," she said.
Before you create a leaning tower of storage containers, consider investing in some stackable ones like this nifty version that features a deeply ridged lid to make vertical storage easy. The roomy 50-gallon boxes are great for storing large, bulky items, and the durable material helps keep your treasured items safe inside.
Shelving units and wall storage for your basement
Live with someone handy? Enlist their help installing a wall track system. The organization technique is one of Done & Done Home co-founder Kate Pawlowski's go-to methods for maximizing the space you have in your basement. "These can be transfigured in multiple ways with a variety of storage containers and hooks. They're excellent for getting things off the ground and for organizing items that don't fit into a bin or box," she explained.
This affordable set from Husky is made of durable steel and supports up to 100 pounds per linear foot. You can use it to hang ladders, brooms and other cleaning tools, or attach heavy-duty storage containers right on the wall.
Ever wonder why there are so many skyscrapers in packed cities? Ingenious designers were taking advantage of the vertical space at their disposal, and Pawlowski recommends doing the same in your basement with this five-tier shelving unit that holds up to 110 pounds per shelf.
"As with so many areas in the home, taking advantage of vertical space can transform the way a room functions," she told us. "For this reason, we advise our clients to use sturdy shelves whenever possible. Shelf units work to not only double or triple the amount of usable storage space; they also get bins and boxes off the ground, which can prevent water and insect damage."
Have you ever walked into someone's garage and noticed that it's beautifully organized with a neat pegboard? You can do the same thing in your basement!
"When a family uses their basement to store tools and utility items, we recommend a pegboard system and pegboard accessories. They keep a multitude of small tools visible and accessible, which is crucial for organization in a large space," Pawlowski said.
If you're trying your hand at a pegboard system, Pawlowski suggests picking up this 43-piece kit that comes with a range of peg hooks, holders, storage bins and peg locks. The accessories work with both 1/4 in. and 1/8 in. pegboards and can hold up to 2 pounds of weight, making them perfect for small odds and ends.
Litman called this the "perfect" system for storing all your basement essentials, and we're beginning to see why. The easy-to-install kit takes advantage of wall space and can be used to store a bunch of items, ranging from bikes and luggage to tools and chairs. It's also ideal for storing bins, and Litman offered up some helpful bin organization advice.
"I suggest creating shelving that fit the bins you are looking to store. To plan this out, start with the bins and divide all your items into designated bins. I like to have one bin per holiday (unless we go all out, then we have a few for one holiday). And each family member has a bin for their sentimental items," she said. "Once you know how many bins you have, you can decide how much shelving you need based on what you are looking to store."
Clothing racks and bags for your basement
A lot of folks like to store winter coats in the basement so they don't take up precious real estate in their closet. If you're inclined to do so, Litman recommends using a dress bag to protect your outerwear. "There is nothing worse than clothing getting ruined because of damage that happened in the basement or dust collecting," she said.
This handy expandable bag fits a bunch of garments and fits over a closet rod and clothes. It's also made of a heavy-duty clear material that will last for quite some time.
Moth balls are a standard closet protection product, and they're even more important in the basement where critters can hide, according to Litman. The organizing pro suggests hanging one of these handy moth bars on your basement clothing rack to repel moths and beetles. The best part? It has a lovely lavender smell instead of the typical musky moth ball scent we're all used to.
"If a home has a finished, climate controlled basement, we often set up room for our clients to store non-seasonal clothing," Pawlowski said. The organizing guru swears by rolling garment racks like this one for storing winter coats and other bulky cold weather items that take up a huge amount of space in the closet.
This one from Target is also great for maximizing space, since it has two racks that can fit twice the amount of clothes a single rack can.
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