Those who are lucky enough to have a basement or an attic know how convenient it is to have a built-in storage space right in the home. But as convenient as it is to have a dedicated spot for stashing all the stuff that we don’t use regularly but use enough to merit holding onto (much like a garage), those basements and attics can quickly become jumbled and cluttered black holes filled with holiday decorations, extra bedding, household supplies, tools and all manner of odds and ends.
With the help of organizing experts Lisa Kron, who documents the process of making her small home functional and stylish on the site Smallish Home; Ann Lightfoot, co-founder of Done & Done Home; and Lawrence Bosel, a garage and general organization merchant at The Home Depot, we picked out 20 of the best organizing tools and products for the basement and attic, all priced under $25.
Attic organizations ideas
iwill Extra-Large Quilts Storage Containers With Lid ($17.99; amazon.com)
Extra bedding like quilts, comforters and pillows are often stored in the attic when not in use during warmer months, or to await the arrival of guests during the holiday season. These extra-large zippered storage boxes are made of breathable linen but are designed to keep out dust.
Sodynee Vacuum Storage Bags Space Saver Bags, 15-Pack ($19.99; amazon.com)
Another smart storage solution for bulky bedding is the use of vacuum space saver bags. Once the item is in the bag, you’ll use the vacuum seal pump (included) to extract air, creating a flat, sealed home for offseason quilts, blankets and comforters.
Amazon Basics Storage Organizer With Fabric Bins ($23.42; amazon.com)
This fabric and metal midsize storage unit is a great buy with tons of uses. It has three open shelves that can hold up to 10 pounds each and comes with two collapsible fabric drawers that are designed to fit the shelves to offer closed storage if it’s needed.
Sterilite Stackable Storage Drawers, 6-Pack ($44.25, originally $73.99; amazon.com)
Individual plastic drawers are also great for bringing order to smaller items stored in an attic. These individual, self-contained drawers are perfect to use on shelves; Kron recommends them for drawers housing small tools, lightbulbs or painting supplies like brushes and rollers, but they can also be used for storing smaller textiles or holiday decorations.
Iris USA 4-Drawer Wide Plastic Storage Tower ($43.13; walmart.com)
Individual plastic storage bins are handy for items you don’t need access to all that often, but for things you want to be able to quickly grab out of storage, this wider cart is perfect. It comes with wheels that can be affixed for a portable storage solution, and it has pull-out handles with drawer stops to prevent drawers from being removed accidentally.
The Linen Lady Acid-Free Archival Tissue Paper, 75-Pack ($19.99, originally $24.86; amazon.com)
When it comes to storing precious textiles like wedding attire, handmade quilts or baby clothes, proper storage is essential to ensure they do not become damaged by light, dust, moisture and so on. One important part of storing delicate fabrics is wrapping them in acid-free tissue to keep them from becoming yellowed while put away.
Handy Laundry Christmas Ornament Storage ($11.99; amazon.com)
The attic is prime real estate for storing holiday decorations during the offseason. There are loads of holiday ornament storage options available, but the small footprint of this cube-style zippered ornament organizer — which can hold up to 64 ornaments — means it won’t take up a ton of space.
MightyStor Storage Bin ($13.01; homedepot.com)
Storing very bulky or oddly shaped items can be a challenge, but this soft-sided storage bag is the perfect solution for everything from duvets to outdoor furniture cushions. It’s made of water- and tear-resistant polyethylene tarp material and has four handles for carrying.
Coolbebe Extra-Large Sports Duffel Bag ($20.99, originally $24.99; amazon.com)
Extra-large sports equipment duffel bags are typically meant for travel, but they do double duty as storage units too. This water-resistant duffel can be used to store sporting equipment like camping equipment, lacrosse sticks or hockey gear.
Basement organization ideas
Aoben Garage Hooks, 12-Pack ($19.99; amazon.com)
Garage hooks are an incredible investment for those looking to tidy up their storage because they can be used for so many things — and despite the name, their usefulness is not confined to just the garage. This set of a dozen multipurpose storage hooks can be used to hold hoses, ladders, extension cords, strollers and so on. They can also be used for storing sporting equipment from bikes to canoes.
Husky Wall Track Vertical Rail ($7.49, originally $9.98; homedepot.com)
Using vertical space to create storage is a smart idea in any room, and this is especially true of basements, where getting things up off of floors can maximize the use of limited space — and help to protect your belongings in the case of flooding. Bosel highlights the Husky track system: “If you have heavy-duty bulk storage needs, our Garage Wall Track Vertical Rail is highly recommended and can support up to 200 pounds.”
Husky 84-Inch Wall Track System ($14.99, originally $19.98; homedepot.com)
Depending on the configuration of your basement, and on what type of storage needs you have, this slightly different version of the track system is oriented horizontally rather than vertically. Bosel says, “You can easily transform your storage space into a tightly organized area with this Husky track system that supports up to 100 pounds.”
Husky Slat Wall and Track Wide Hook ($9.74, originally $12.98; homedepot.com)
One of the benefits of opting for a modular track storage system is that you can customize it to fit your exact storage needs by mixing and matching various components. Bosel likes the wide hook for storing seasonal items like snowboards and lawn chairs. The hook, he says, allows you to store things “out of the way and easily accessible for when you need them.”
Husky Slat Wall and Track Basket ($18.74, originally $24.98; homedepot.com)
For storing smaller items, or things that you want to have easy access to, Bosel likes the wire basket attachment for use with the Husky track system. “This basket is perfect for supplies like small boxes, bags, accessories and other miscellaneous items that you need at an arm’s length,” he says.
Yanzizan Extension Cord Holder Organizer ($12.40; amazon.com)
While multifunctional organizers are a great choice for the flexibility they offer, sometimes you need a solution to a very specific problem. Enter: the extension cord holder. This 20-inch nylon and Velcro cord holder is adjustable and can hold coiled-up extension cords, cables or ropes. It is fitted with a hook so it can be hung by a nail or around a pipe rather than stored on the floor.
Sterilite 20-Gallon Latching Storage Bin ($9.99; target.com)
Kron calls these plastic storage bins “perfect for storing holiday decorations or camping gear. These bins are made of tough plastic, and they latch to keep dust out.” The opaque dark gray color ensures that light exposure doesn’t cause damage to items that can fade.
Clear Weathertight Totes (starting at $12.99; containerstore.com)
If light exposure isn’t an issue for the items you’ll be storing in the basement, clear plastic bins are great because they allow you to see the contents within. Lightfoot recommends these clear jumbo bins that she says are “perfect for storage in basements, garages and storage units to protect items from moisture, pests and dirt.”
Wallmaster 8-Bin Storage Bins Garage Rack System ($26.99; amazon.com)
For items that don’t need to be stored in an enclosed or lidded bin, a wall-mounted bin system can be a great — and super-affordable! — option for getting a basement and all its oddball contents organized. This eight-bin storage system can hold everything from tools to holiday decorations.
HDX Black 4-Tier Plastic Storage Shelving Unit ($21.98; homedepot.com)
This four-tier plastic shelving unit is a bargain — and it gets high marks for ease of assembly and sturdiness. Use this for stashing storage bins or for organizing odds and ends to get them up off the floor and at eye level.
Husky Slat Wall and Track Screwdriver Caddy ($5.98, originally $7.97; homedepot.com)
Bosel recommends this wall-mounted tool caddy for “DIYers looking to maximize their wall storage.” The caddy holds up to six screwdrivers that Bosel describes as being “neatly lined up and [in a] readily available fashion.”