Even if you are planning to remodel your basement down the road, you can still take advantage of the available space now, or even better, layout the place in advance to make sure you only use the space you really need to properly store your belongings.  Follow these professional tips for how to organize your stuff.

Start from scratch. 

Go through everything you own.  Use a selective eye to evaluate what you actually need to store, and get rid of the rest. Always try to donate.

Safety first.

Sturdy shelving is a must for bin and box storage. “Ideally you would build a heavy framed shelving with 2-by-4 studs and plywood,” – “Measure the items you plan to store to ensure you have appropriate clearance and depth. Maria also emphasize that you “never place large or heavy storage items above 5 feet high; you risk injury when trying to get them down.”

Start with the end in mind.

If you plan to eventually remodel, test out the functionality of your future plans by segregating different spaces with tape on the floor. Place your storage items in your proposed area and stick to the design. Think about what size doorways will you need to move stored items in and out. Try different layouts until you find the most convenient and practical for you.

Plan the layout strategically.

Plan around the mechanicals to keep costs down.  Incorporate storage areas around the locations of the house mechanicals: electrical, HVAC, plumbing etc.

Get organized.

If you have multiple storage areas or a large set of shelving, designate specific spots for different items. “Using clear storage allows you to see your valuables,”-  “Large labels can also help you both find items and put them back in the same place” says Maria.


Basements tend to be cold and wet, so make sure you use appropriate storage options to protect your valuables. Maria suggests plastic bins or specialty plastic bags to help keep the moisture out, or a dehumidifier to ward off moisture damage.

Use the Cube System.

They’re probably one of the most popular storage solutions, and cubes offer great flexibility. Cubbies are easy to build and can be self-standing to rearrange as storage needs change.

Use the walls creatively.

Think beyond shelving units, as other options may prove more practical for your needs. Maria suggests wire racks, magnetic systems, or pegboard for tools or sewing items.

Under the stairs.

This space is always underutilized. Built-in shelves or cabinetry can make all the difference.

Baskets are great.

Baskets help to conceal clutter and small items in an organized and easily accessible way. “Mix and match different baskets or create a shelving system that allows for multiple baskets of the same size,” says Maria.

Lockers for the kids.

Lockers are a great way to organize personal items like winter wear, sporting gear and seasonal storage without seeing the clutter.  Give kids lockers with magnetic labels to store seasonal gear.