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Basement Storage Room Ideas

by - Wednesday, February 03, 2021

If there's one positive outcome from all this time locked down at home, it's that my home is as organized as it's ever been. One area that has benefitted from this extra attention is the basement storage room. 

I've rarely shared images of this storage space in our basement. That's mostly because this unfinished storage space was messy and disorganized. But that's not the case any longer so let me show you around and share some basement storage room ideas.

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Basement Storage

Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement, there's always a need for good basement storage. In our home, we have a cold storage room. It's an unfinished, long and narrow (19' x 5') space which sits beneath our front porch. You access it through this door in our craft room.


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It's great to have an enclosed storage space, but basement storage can be placed where ever you have room. All you need is a place to put some shelves. Let's take a peek behind that door, shall we?

basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas

basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas

Basement Shelving 


The key to efficient basement storage is undoubtedly the shelves. We were lucky that the previous owner already had these basement storage shelves in place and left them for us. They're IKEA Hejne shelves which are the exact same shelves we used in our old home. 

Side note: Did you see our hidden basement storage in our old basement? It's worth popping over to take a look!

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The great thing about these shelving units is that they can be attached to one another to fit your space. They're not too deep which makes them ideal for a narrow basement storage room like ours.

The shelves are simply constructed and if you wanted, you could create your own DIY basement storage by building shelves using 2x4 and plywood. Solid wood is ideal for basement shelving as it is strong and can hold the weight of heavy boxes and objects.

How To Organize A Basement Storage Room

A basement storage room can be efficient, orderly, and neat if organized properly. Here are 8 storage room ideas to help you get the most use out of your space:

1. Organize your belongings by category

There's nothing more frustrating than looking for an item you know you have, but you can't seem to find it. In this room, the basement storage room layout is clear and easy for everyone in the household to understand. We've organized our items into different zones:
  • Off-season coats and shoes
  • Cookware and appliances
  • Christmas decorations
  • Food items
  • Home decor
  • Seasonal accessories
  • Paperwork and books

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This rack stores our extra cookware such as the Le Creuset pots and pans we inherited from Sean's mom. Handy wire shelves keep the heavy lids from falling all over the place and make use of the overhead space.
 
basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas

Keeping similar items together allows you not only to find and access them quickly, but you can readily see what you have. As you can tell by this shelf, I don't need any more lamps in this house, lol!

Having zones also promotes tidiness. It's easy to know where to take AND put things back. Everything has a home and every person in the household (not just Mom!) can contribute by putting things back in their place.

2. Use storage bins sized to fit your shelving units

Many of the items we have in our basement storage are small and need to be put in boxes or containers. Picking just the right storage bins can be challenging. There are many options: plastic bins, see through bins, bins with lids, bankers boxes, cardboard boxes, baskets.

The type of storage bin you choose should depend on your shelving.You don't want your bins to over hang your shelving and be at risk of falling down. You also don't want to have wasted space; your storage bins should fit neatly and compactly together on the shelves.

basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas

basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas


I store our Christmas decorations in long bankers boxes. I prefer these boxes to more conventional plastic bins as they are narrower and fill up almost the entire shelf. They allow for great organization of my Christmas decor which I separate by colour (pastel ornaments vs blue ornaments), and by type (wreaths vs figurines). 

3. Make use of vertical space

When space is at a premium, think of how you can use your vertical space from floor to ceiling. Here we've tucked a narrow shoe rack at one end of the storage room. By placing the rack perpendicular to the wood shelves, we make use of otherwise "dead space". The shoe rack has a small footprint but the three shelves maximize storage in that area.

basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas
basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas

Above the shoe rack, we have a hanging rod attached to the floor joist above. Because this basement storage room is unfinished, we can make use of this structure. This rod provides the perfect spot to store extra coats and winter gear.

Not even the smallest of spots is put to waste. The tiny area below the coats stores rolled-up off-season rugs. Larger rugs sit in the opposite corner as well.

4. Size your shelving to fit the contents

Shelving units like the IKEA Hejne system are great because the shelves are repositionable. You can move them up or down to fit your contents. On this rack, we've removed the bottom shelf so we have space to store taller items like the box of leftover wallpaper rolls and the deer figurine.

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6. Store less frequently used items in less desirable spots

Where do you store your old taxes and paperwork? We all have items that we need to keep but don't need to access every day. Our paperwork is stored in boxes and bins in a far corner of the storage room. 

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Paperwork and mementoes can quickly get out of hand, so to keep them under control, I find it helpful to restrict our hoarding to one box per person. Chloe, Sean, and I each have one "personal memories" box to store any photos, schoolwork, art, or papers we want to keep. The one box rule forces you to decide what's important enough to store and keep, and let go of the rest.

7. Keep heavy items in the open and low to the ground

Where possible, keep heavy to lift objects close to the ground, at chest level. You don't want things to topple on your head as you bring them off a shelf.

The heavy Le Creuset pots and spare Kitchen Aid mixer sit on a shelf that is easy to access. We use the pots fairly often so they sit out in the open and are just given a wash before they're used.


basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas
basement storage room, basement storage ideas, basement shelving, unfinished basement ideas


Our extra tiles and tile samples are stored in a box sitting on the floor. If you are just looking for one or two pieces, you can easily move out the box and sift through the contents without having to lift everything.

It's important to decide what sits on the floor and what sits on shelves in a storage room. Hard goods and items in plastic containers are fine, but you might want to put paperwork and more fragile decor items on shelving where they won't be damaged if you have flooding or condensation on your basement floor.


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8. Have a constant donation pile

Despite these basement storage room tips, my ideal scenario is actually to have less stuff that needs storing. Perhaps I'm becoming a minimalist, but I find there's always an opportunity to edit the items I'm storing. No doubt there are items I've kept that really should be given away or donated.

My solution is to keep an IKEA bag handy to store such items and when the bag is full, make a run to the thrift store and donate the items. Everyone knows where the Goodwill bag is and can just place items there as needed.

These particular bags are full of Chloe's American girl toys which she has sadly outgrown. I won't be donating these but I do need to find the time to itemize them, take photos, and sell them on Facebook. Yet another project to do!


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While this basement storage room might not be pretty, it is organized. I hope you've found these tips useful!

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