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Organizing Our Basement Shelves

We are so lucky to live in a beautiful, good-sized townhouse right outside of DC. While it has plenty of space for the two of us to live comfortably, the kitchen is very small and there is a limited amount of storage space. Because of this, our finished basement serves many functions, including the pantry, kitchen appliance storage, linen closet, game room, tool and hardware storage, exercise space, guest area, Cary's office, etc.

We invested in a number of basic metal shelves to house most of our storage along one wall of the basement. We have done our best to keep it tidy, but we never really came up with a great plan for organizing and containing it. It often stressed me out, and I also didn't like that our guests had to look at the untidy shelves when they came to visit. I would say that Cary and I are fairly tidy people, and we keep our possessions to a minimum as much as possible, but we needed some help.

Luckily, one of my best friends is a professional organizer, so I knew exactly who to ask for help. We hired Merritt with Simply Kept for a 1 hour virtual consultation, and she assessed the situation and helped us to come up with a detailed plan, including general organization advice and product recommendations. Once I got around to actually executing the plan, I quickly realized the investment was well worth it!

Our Plan

I used Keynote to visualize a plan for the shelves before purchasing products (Powerpoint would also work). I measured the shelves as well as wrote down categories of items to store to determine which products would work for the space. I then created a list of products I was interested in (wood crates and white plastic bins in various sizes) and their dimensions. I ended up shifting the plan a bit once I purchased the products and saw what actually fit where, but it was pretty close to the original plan.

Products We Used

Below are the shelves and storage containers we ended up buying. We needed to get slightly shorter metal shelves than I would have otherwise purchased due to the lower ceiling height in our basement, so if you have the space I recommend getting taller ones! But they work well for now. I also initially planned to get all of the bins from Ikea, but they were out of the wood crates in the color we wanted so I ended up getting these unfinished pine ones from Joann (large and small sizes). Someday I might sand down the edges a bit to make them more finished, but I love the color and they are sturdy enough for heavy cans and things. I love these white bins from Ikea - they stack really nicely and are very versatile. We also go this insert for the large one to keep smaller tools organized.

The End Result

Before After

Before After

We have one more shelf to complete (the far right one) - they were out of the storage bins we wanted for the linens at Ikea so are waiting until they come back in stock - but so far we are so happy with how it turned out, and can't thank Merritt at Simply Kept enough for her help!

Follow @simplykeptorganizing on Instagram for beautiful inspiration and advice:


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