Organizing our tiny storage room

January 05, 2015

I'm kicking off the year with a little purging and organizing. 

I introduced you to my favorite room in the house a couple years ago. It’s not what you would expect as a favorite, since half of it has cement walls:

basement storage room

That’s how it looked years back before everything was drywalled in. Considering I used to have all of this down there:

Getting down to this little 60-square-foot room was pretty fantastic.

It’s actually stayed fairly organized for the past couple of years. I think it was around when we started construction on taking down the wall in the family room that it became a complete and utter disaster area:

I show you this because I love you. Be kind.

This room serves a couple functions for us now – one is storage and one is the “cat” room. A couple of the litter boxes are in here. One is upstairs as well and that’s the only one they like to use but that’s a longer story.

I actually got all this done before Christmas. I was fed up with the space and a woman on a mission. The first thing I did was to take every single thing that was on the floor or stacked up on something out of the room:

basement storage

We keep our dehumidifier down hooked up to the sump pump but we turned it off some time ago because the sound of it was terrifying one of the cats. He’s heard it for literally years and all of the sudden…terrifying. So.

Also, we don’t use it in the winter anyway and we’ve been told a couple times it’s really not that necessary in our dry basement. So it went to the under the stairs storage for now and that opened up quite a bit of room.

The biggest problem has been the paint. I haven’t gone through it in years and I didn’t have a great system set up. All of this was sitting on the floor in the room:

organizing paint cans

Most of those were on the floor because I had already decided to get rid of them. I just was too lazy to take them all upstairs? I guess? Who knows.

Even when it was fairly organized I would get frustrated finding a color I needed. So I grabbed some mailing labels we had:

And used them to label those that weren’t:

labeling paint cans

I put the room I used them in and how I used them too – ceiling paint, trim paint, whatever. What was funny is that for some of the colors I had to search my own blog to figure out how I used it. ;)

The paint area was a mess mostly because I just didn’t have enough room for everything. I had all the little sample and quart cans stacked with the bigger ones and it was a mess.

I had a few more of the metal brackets (super cheap) and grabbed the best piece of scrap wood I had from the basement. It was only a one by six (all the other shelves are at least one by ten) but it was just big enough to hold all the small cans:

DIY storage shelves

And obviously I got rid of a ton of stuff. I saw this years ago and try to keep it in mind when clearing out: decluttering mantraIt’s not a 100 percent for me, but pretty good advice. This goes for your closet too! What to do with the stuff is another question – I do a mix of all of those things usually. It’s been awhile since I hosted a swap, I may have to do that again soon. :)

I’ve said it a million times but I’ll say it again…you waste money when you aren’t organized. I’ll be the first to admit that when my storage spaces become a mess I end up buying something again because I can’t find it. It’s such a waste and must be the reason I have approximately 12 tape measures.

As for the stuff still in the room – a lot of it is for future projects, a lot of it is just decorative stuff I actually use:

DIY storage shelving

The awesome part? I have empty space on nearly every shelf. Hopefully by the end of this no-spend month I’ll have more projects done and even more space!

One of my favorite tricks is to use the drapery tie backs as big hooks. I use them in our coat closet for bags and scarves and they work GREAT! I used to use these on every one of our windows but have since taken them all down – so I have a lot that I use this way:

big hooks for storage

And yes, I have a little lamp in here. Every room needs some low light. HA!

There you go – one space completely purged and organized! It feels so good!! I’ve moved on to other spaces and will share those as well. Are you feeling the decluttering bug right now? My goodness, when I have the time and patience to focus on it I love this process!

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  1. awesome job looks great
    come see us at

  2. Cleaning out today too!! Such a great feeling when it's done and organized! I would love to have an area like yours...jealous!!! 😉

  3. I would be happy just shopping i your storage room! Garage Sale?

    1. Ha! I take most of my items to a consignment shop -- I find they do better there and I don't have to hold on to them till the spring. :)

  4. I have a basement storage room in our new home, and I fear that it'll get out of control if I don't establish a way to organize it from the get-go! Thanks for sharing your simple ideas. :)

  5. I so need to do some organizing! I love the idea of the curtain hooks! You have the best ideas!


  6. love it! I always feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders when I clean and organize a space in my house... especially storage rooms, they're the hardest! I seriously sleep better at night when it's done. We moved 9 months ago, and a LOT got shoved into the basement, which while renovating our house, just didn't have priority, but now I must do it. Your post is inspiring me to get going! Liz from

  7. I would love to have a room like this! Nicely done. I let my husband organize all our extra paint. :D

  8. On a purge & organize kick,too! My bedroom closet and the linen closet are done! Only have one closet left on 2nd floor and will be done up there! Upstairs bathroom has been cleaned ceiling to floor, too. When 2nd floor is done, it will be onto the 1st floor and then the dreaded basement. Determined to do it all through the winter. GOSH it feels wonderful!

  9. We just moved in to our new home one year ago and I already need to purge and organize! Let's not talk about the off site storage unit still full of stuff to get rid of from the old house, umkay?! :o) Love your storage space! Spotted the litter genie right away. Those things are amazing!!

  10. Nicely done. I'm going through my extra bedrooms (that have become walk-in closets). Feels really good when you finish a project. Everyday Blessings

  11. Thanks so much for the inspiration, i have to do this in our basement and im kinda dreading it. I did it last year but need to purge way more, and what you said about not being able to find things is so true. My hubbie keeps buying tools, nail, screws, etc because he cant find things in the mess. I am helping him to organize his tool area, and hopefully spend less money as a result. Thanks so much, Jenn

  12. So inspiring! I have many areas in my home that need this organization treatment. I wish we had a basement... although, I'm sure we'd find a way to clutter it up too. Anyway, I always love seeing these types of transformations. Great job! Hope your 2015 is off to a great start!


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THANKS so much for reading!