The Best Items to Organise an Unfinished Basement

The Best Items to Organise an Unfinished Basement

Although unfinished basements don’t provide additional living space, they do provide a convenient place to store items you don’t use every day—like seasonal decor, tools, and maintenance equipment. Unfortunately, they can also be damp, and prone to flooding and temperature fluctuations. The good news is that there are plenty of helpful products that can help keep your belongings safe, organized, and dry.

Products to help you deal with your basement’s temperature and moisture conditions

Indoor thermometer with humidity reading

Use a small indoor thermometer/hydrometer to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity level in your basement. There are plenty available for under $US10; for a few dollars more, you can get one with Bluetooth ($US12.99) that allows you to monitor the conditions remotely via an app on your phone. That way you’ll know whether you need to adjust the temperature, get a dehumidifier, etc.

Ceiling storage shelves

If flooding is a concern—or you’re simply running out of room—you may want to look into installing storage shelves that attach to your ceiling, like this 45″ x 45″ adjustable storage rack ($US74.99). These are more commonly used in garages and sheds, but they also come in handy in basements.

Floor mats

Installing some type of water-tolerant floor covering—like indoor/outdoor carpeting ($US80.99) or those interlocking foam puzzle pieces ($US119.99)—can make your basement storage area feel less damp, and more comfortable to stand on than concrete. If moisture tends to be a problem, periodically check underneath the carpet or foam tiles to ensure the floor is dry.

Products to help you organize and store the stuff in your basement

Plastic bins/totes

Instead of keeping your belongings in cardboard boxes, invest in some durable totes with lids. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles, but in my experience, the lids—more specifically, how securely they attach to the tote—is the make-or-break feature. Some lids firmly snap in place, or have a locking mechanism on the handle, but others never manage to feel secure.

I’ve tried totes from multiple brands, but keep coming back to the ones in Rubbermaid’s Roughneck line—like the ones in this starter pack of 10 totes of varying sizes ($US139.49).

Heavy-duty shelving units

Instead of stacking them on the floor, place the totes on shelving to get them up off the ground and make them easier to access. Better yet, get a unit on lockable casters, like this rust-proof and water-resistant one with six adjustable shelves and the capacity to hold up to 2,100 pounds ($US99.99).

Enclosed shelf cabinets

Not everything kept in a basement is seasonal—especially in older homes, or others lacking above-ground storage. In situations like those, items typically housed in a pantry, closet, or cabinet—like small kitchen appliances, extra rolls of toilet paper, or cleaning supplies—may end up in the basement. If you don’t want to dig through a giant tote every time they need a roll of paper towels, consider a fully enclosed shelf cabinet ($US121.97) instead. They provide the protection of plastic storage bins with the accessibility of a cabinet.

Plastic drawers

Lacking linen closets? You may want to invest in a set of plastic drawers ($US44.98) to keep your sheets, towels, and tablecloths dry, organized, and easily accessible.


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