Basement Organization: Installing Shelves, Bins and Racks

basement house clutter garage storage
  • 4-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-500

Organization is simple using shelves, bins, and racks. Basements are typically constructed with concrete floors and walls. Install your organization system using drop-in concrete anchors and create a sturdy storage structure. Drop-in anchors are suitable for light to heavy load applications and they are easy to install.

Step 1 - Shelves, Bins or Racks?

Begin your installation by assessing your needs for basement storage. First, create a list of all the things you would like to store. Add room for expansion. Then organize your list into storage groups and visualize how best each group can fit into shelves, bins or racks. Save your list as an inventory.

Shelving is most suitable if you need the flexibility to change your plan or store different size objects and containers. Shelving installed using a standard shelf and bracket system offers layout flexibility as shelving can be easily added, deleted, and moved around by simply moving the brackets to different slots on the shelf standards. Shelving will support light to medium weight objects and books.

Bins are nice if you have lots of the small objects that you don’t mind mixing together. Bins are ideal for storing loose objects that otherwise would be difficult to contain. Bins can also protect your storage from dust, humidity, and rodents in your basement.

Racks are great for large or heavy objects that are self contained. Well marked, heavy duty cartons or crates work best on racking systems. You can assemble sturdy basement racking systems using low cost, basic hardware supplies.

Step 2 - Lay Out

blue storage tote

Draw or use masking tape to lay out the organization system on your concrete floor and wall. Protect yourself by planning ample room to bend your knees, using appropriate lifting techniques, to load and unload your basement organization system. Planning enough room for two people to handle large loads will save your back in the long run.

Step 3 - Basement Organization System Installation

Basement organization systems must be anchored securely to your basement to prevent collapse. This is especially important in seismic areas vulnerable to earthquakes. Most pre-manufactured basement organization structures incorporate a means for attachment into their design. Drop-in concrete anchors are ideal devices to secure your basement organization structure.

What is a Drop-In Anchor?

assortment of wall anchors

Drop-in anchors are available at local building supply stores. They are cylinder shaped, zinc or stainless plated devices intended for use as concrete anchors. When installed correctly, they leave behind a sturdy, standard, female thread flush with the surface of the concrete. Simply bolt your organization system into the drop-in anchor. Drop-in anchors are suitable for floors, walls, and ceilings.

Verify that the load capacity of the drop-in anchor will handle your structure when fully loaded. Increase the number of anchors or increase the size of the anchor if needed. Also consider upgrading your basement lighting to accommodate your organization system.