Baby, it’s cold outside. Which means you can either embrace winter, brave the elements and get out there in the snow. Or you could stay inside and … organize the basement or garage storage.
Dunpar Homes have garages on the ground level and an entryway to the upper floors of the townhome. The garages are spacious, but it’s tempting to store so much stuff you have no room for the car. That’s not necessary using some of our tips for creating storage in the basement or garage.
This is our favourite Do and Don’t list:
- Shelving, and keep it a little off the floor. Store the heaviest items on the bottom shelves. Use clear storage so you can see what you have; otherwise use baskets for a decorative touch. Lockers are a good way to contain items like sporting goods behind closed doors, especially if you assign one to each of your children. Pegboard nailed to the wall (or on all four sides of a pillar) uses hooks to keep tools up and off the ground.
- Use the space under the stairs for storage – plastic bins stacked on each other, or on shelves, allows you to eyeball what’s where.
- Clear the clutter: go through everything you own from the top of the house down. Put everything you’re not sure of in the basement, then start sorting. Figure out what needs to be stored for future and what should be eliminated altogether and get it out that back door to the second-hand shop.
- Store some things, like holiday decorations, extra kitchen supplies, suitcases, patio furniture. Christmas ornaments can be organized into tall plastic cups, or within the sections of a liquor store box, and then inserted in plastic tubs. Also save bubble wrap for delicate items.
- Consider hoists or racks in the garage. These are great for storing bikes, skis, poles, boots, snowshoes, skateboards. Hang helmets, balls and bats, gloves on hooks or a specially designed rack.
- Turn an old filing cabinet into storage for yard tools, especially good for containing chemicals like fertilizers, repellents, and lubricants because they can be stored standing up.
- Run a dehumidifier in summer, and a humidifier in winter, unless you have a climate control option on your HVAC system that removes – or replaces – moisture automatically.
- Store upholstered or wood furniture unless your basement is insulated and temperature and humidity controlled. Basement moisture breaks down fabrics and wood. The garage, though, is a good place to keep patio furniture – it may not be temperature controlled but at least it’s out of the elements which really beat up outdoor furniture.
- Same goes for area rugs, mattresses, or plush toys which need dry, moderate temperatures for proper storage.
- Keep valuable papers in the basement, unless they are in a fire and moisture proof container – things like birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, and school and medical records.
- Ditto for photos, books, and artwork, which can be ruined by moisture and very high heat. If not properly stored, these items can become discoloured and even moldy. Likewise, electronics can be damaged in the extremes of heat or cold that occur in a garage, and in some basements.
- Put anything flammable near the furnace: Paints, turpentine, cleaning products, gasoline, propane, kerosene, or other hazardous chemicals should never be located near anything gas-related (the furnace, water heater, dryer, fireplace, or a stove or oven) or in an attic that tends to get very warm.