While Bradley worked on installing our water heater, I was busy doing a little basement.org — basement organization, that is. We were initially not going to store anything in our basement. It’s dark, it’s creepy, it’s smelly, and it floods occasionally. Unfortunately, our garage is currently being used
as a garbage pile for storage. Our other storage space was our attic, but since we insulated, it’s out of commission. We threw everything into our master bedroom, but thing got so out of hand that we could barely walk through the room without walking into / on / around / under something.
After a couple of weeks of living with a mess, we cried uncle. It was time to move our stuff into the basement. We pulled out our IKEA Broder shelving and got to work:
We looooove Broder. It’s easily the best IKEA purchase we’ve ever made. The shelving is super heavy duty — they sell it for use in garages and laundry rooms. We got it to make a closet in a Brooklyn apartment that had none. When we moved, we took down the shelves and planned on using them for the garage, but they’re perfect for the basement, too. Or almost perfect.
They were a little too tall so we lobbed off a few inches from each leg. I held the pole steady while Bradley cut it with a reciprocating saw:
After cutting down the lengths, Bradley went back to plumbing the hot water heater and I installed the shelves. Here’s how they looked by the time I finished:
We did 4 shelves on the right side and 3 on the left. We didn’t want to block out the window because there’s a limited amount of light downstairs. I threw everything on the shelves to make sure it would fit. And then I pulled out this puppy:
My DYMO LetraTag label maker. I got it at Target for $20, and I chortled about it all the way home. I’ve wanted a label maker since high school. Seriously. I’ve always been kind of an organization nerd. A closet Martha Stewart fan. And, after living in a construction zone for the past 6+ months, I’ve gone a little over the edge. We’re going to get this house organized from the ground-up. Literally, since we’re starting in the basement.
Here’s how the basement looked after a couple of hours of crazy-lady-time:
We picked up some big storage bins from Target, too. The green ones were about $10 each. And the smaller plastic ones were $6 a pop. The really small shoebox style ones are from the Container Store, and we’ve had those for years.
I made an emergency kit in a small blue container. It has candles, matches, a first-aid kit, hand warmers, cans of dog & cat food, flashlights and batteries. After going through a flood evacuation, we’re not taking any chances!
The shelves are meshy wire, so air can circulate in and around the plastic bins. This is awesome for us because our water heater helps circulate and dehumidify the air. We were a little worried about mold growing on our plastic bins, but we think they’ll be fine if they have air moving around them.
I stored like-with-like. The electrical stuff all went on one shelf. The painting stuff was grouped together across a few shelves. Big buckets of plaster and paint went together. Here’s the breakdown:
The empty bin on the top shelf was Bradley’s idea. We’re going to use it for carrying supplies upstairs. Instead of wrasslin’ with armfuls of random things, we can just throw a bunch of stuff we need into the bin and carry it all in one trip.
The right side is mostly paints and painting supplies. We used the top shelf as a catch-all area for miscellaneous things that don’t really belong anywhere else. Right now it’s got hardware for our other Broder shelving and a few bins of sandpaper. We also put our emergency kit there so it’s easy to grab-and-go if we need.
We also set up some hooks on the sides so we can hang stuff like our respirator masks and work aprons. That’s another thing we really dig about the Broder system — they have a ton of little attachments that help make it easy to get organized!
We weren’t stuck in the basement all weekend. We’ll be back with more updates from the renovation front. Things are starting to look nearly-finished upstairs. Stay tuned!
We weren’t paid or perk’d for anything we wrote in this post. We just really, really love the Broder system. (And I would marry my label maker if I could.)