I really love our basement. I wanted a large, open space for the kids to run around, so I needed to keep it clutter-free.

I did most of the leg-work this spring, when I participated in the One Room Challenge.  But I realized that I never shared how I actually did the entire DIY basement organization system!

So if you are looking for how you can organize your basement yourself, try some of these tips!!

How To DIY Basement Organization

Clear Entire Space

This is the easiest and most effective way to start any organizing process!  Clear the space!

Our basement started off as a total mess.  (See below and insert large eye emoji)

When I started this entire process, I removed everything so I could have a clean space to start organizing.  It is just so much easier when the entire space is empty, so you can start thinking of new ways to use the space.

For basement projects, I just move everything into the middle of the space.  Wipe down all shelves to get things freshened up!  It is always so nice when you have a clean place to put your newly organized stuff back to, right?!?!

And, when you pile everything into the middle, you can see how much stuff you actually have.  It will help you clear the unwanted clutter, so you only keep what you love and actually use!!

Sort By Category

Another easy way to organize is by category… Not by room.  The reason for this is because when you organize by a specific category, you look for it everywhere in the house.  Then, you can physically see what you have in that particular category.

But this can be challenging if you are trying to organize the basement.  So how are you suppose to create a DIY basement organization system when I am telling you to organize by category??

Figure out what categories are in the basement and only organize those.

Let me give you an example.  Books!  I am sure you probably have books lying around in your basement.

For us, we have books in almost every room of the house.  When I did a major clean of our books, I rounded up each and every book we had in the house.  Cookbooks, kids books, workbooks, my old teacher books, etc.

Like everything.

Piled up so I could sort them.

I know this sounds intense, but once we got started, it only took about 2 hours to get through all the books!  The kids totally helped after I taught them how to sort the books.

So when you are organizing your basement, I want you to figure out which categories you have and start with organizing them.

My guess is you will have books, toys, and miscellaneous items.  The miscellaneous items can be sub-categorized to make it easier to organize!

The toys can seem like a big undertaking, but just start by sorting what you have together.  Any missing pieces put in a bin and look for them later.

You want to start somewhere!!

Label And Store

Find storage that works for your space and what you need to store!

Don’t try to shove large toys into a medium-size bin.

Instead, sort the toys, then find bins, baskets, or spaces to store the toys.

Looking for ideas for holiday stuff?  Try storing in a large, plastic bin.  Add a label so you know exactly what is inside!

Multi-Functional Furniture

Another amazing idea is to find multi-functional furniture.  Using an ottoman that also works as a toy box could be a great option for your basement.

Storing bins under the couch, might help tame the clutter!

Find an end table that also has storage, or can hold a bin for small toys or books!

Anything that can serve double-duty might be a great option for your basement storage needs!

Creative Space Options

Finally, get creative with how you store things in the basement!

Have you seen those under-the-stairs organizing pictures on Pinterest?  That is totally a creative use of space.

What about turning a closet into a play area for the kids?  Not only will it stop you from piling up unwanted items, but you are creating function in an otherwise function-less space!


So come on over and take a peek at our basement!  I am showing you the organized and the total disorganization that I have going on in our basement at the moment!!

The living space is completely organized, but the bathroom, laundry room, and office/utility room are a total disaster!  I will be tackling these projects over the next few weeks/months.

I am trying to remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint.  So I want to take my time in getting my entire house back in order after the kitchen renovation!

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About The Organized Mama

My name is Jessica and I am the founder and editor of The Organized Mama. I was born and raised in Minnesota and currently live in Illinois. I graduated Indiana University with a degree in elementary education. I decided to share my tips and tricks to keeping things organized in hopes of helping people stay organized with little ones. I am in the process of becoming a professional organizer to help assist families in keeping households organized. At The Organized Mama, you will find ways to keep organized, stay crafty and, most of all, enjoy motherhood!

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