Today we’re talking about basement storage. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for better ways to store your stuff. If you’re lucky enough to have a basement, many of your possessions probably end up there. Though I don’t have a basement personally, I do have family members that have one. Today, I’m offering tips and solutions for using your basement as a storage option. Hopefully these basement storage ideas will help you get your home a little more organized.
Basement Storage – How to Store Things in Your Basement Successfully
People often use their basements as a storage area. However, it’s important to remember that storing things here may not be as safe as you think. Even a climate-controlled basement can be affected by moisture, water leaks, and mold. If you have an unfinished basement, you’ll want to be very particular about the items you store in your basement. Here are some tips to explain how to store things in your basement successfully.
Declutter Then Store
Make sure you store only things that you will use within the next year. If you can’t name the precise month or occasion when it will be used, give it away.
Ideally, the items you store in the basement should be waterproof, animal proof, as well as mold and rust resistant. The chances of that happening are slim to none. However, if you’re willing to take the risk, you can double the container. For example, in order to store clothing or fabric properly, the material should be in an airtight, waterproof, bag. Then, place the bag inside a container that animals can’t get into. Avoid storing items like photographs, paper items, and electronics in the basement.
Because basements tend to flood, you want to make sure that your shelving system is 4-5 feet above the floor. Even if you have things in airtight tubs, you want to keep them off the floor. You can use a pallet system, but ideally, wall shelves or hanging shelves will be the best way to store things. The more valuable an item is to you, the closer it should be to the ceiling.
Plastic Storage Bins
Make use of airtight plastic storage bins. It will look neater this way and make things easier to find as well. If you’re storing holiday items this is a good place to keep them. Don’t store things in corrugated boxes. Even if you’re making use of shelves, you can store items in plastic storage bins and place them on the shelves for added protection against not only water, but any critters that might be in your basement as well.
Cover at least 1 entire wall with a pegboard. This is a great way to get things off the basement floor. It will also allow you to place small items between larger items and save space. A few things you may want to consider storing on pegboard hooks are tools, seasonal toys, like pool noodles and hula-hoops or sporting equipment.
If you want to know how to store things successfully in your basement, be careful about what you store and how you store it. Think about what happens in your basement. If you know a certain area tends to flood faster, don’t store anything in that area. Protect your belongings as best you can. If something has sentimental value and you would be devastated if it was destroyed, don’t store it in the basement.
Related: Tips for Garage Organization and Storage
Basement Storage – What to Consider when Using the Basement for Storage
The basement can be the first place that comes to your mind when you need to store something. But, before you start hauling containers and boxes down to the basement, you need to make sure the basement is a safe place to store your items. Here are a few things you’ll want to check out and take into consideration before using the basement for storage.
Basements, by nature, tend to be humid and have an earthy scent. However, the things you consider “normal” may actually be signs of problems. Cracks could be due to leaks, but they could also be due to a rising water table. The pipes in the home could leak into the basement, or you could find there’s condensation in your basement due to changing temperatures. You will want to figure out exactly what’s causing moisture in your basement and address these issues before you begin storing things in the basement.
If the issue is condensation, this can be remedied with a dehumidifier. If you discover you have leaky pipes, then replacing those pipes might be what you have to do. If it is a leak in the walls, then you’ll need to patch up any cracks or holes. You’ll want to address any dampness no matter how small in your basement before you consider storing anything in there because even the smallest amount of dampness can lead to damage to your belongings when stored in the basement.
Getting into your basement could be something you need to address. Some basements have very steep stairs perhaps without a bannister. Or they have a low ceiling down into the basement. Getting things into the basement to store them having to walk down stairs like this can be very difficult. You might need to get a contractor to reconstruct the stairs to your basement making them easier to carry things down. Perhaps you find that just adding a banister will make the basement better and safer way to get down the stairs.
Adding lighting to your basement to make it easier to see your stored items will be a good thing. If you want to use your basement as a living space then you’ll want some ambient lighting and task lighting added to certain areas of your basement to make it easier to complete tasks. If you have low ceilings you might need to use wall mounted fixtures or recessed lighting.
The temperature in your basement can be an issue when storing things. It often doesn’t have any heating and cooling or vents in the basement. You can add these things to keep the temperature the same at all times making it a better environment for storing things.
When you store things in your basement, it’s going to be important to store them in airtight containers and up off the floor as best as possible. Even if you have addressed all the water concerns, you still want to take precautions when storing things in your basement.