9 Basement Shelving Ideas to Increase Storage Space

The basement can be a notoriously messy space. Clean up, get organized and reclaim your lower level with these creative basement shelving ideas.

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Whether your downstairs functions as a home bar or playroom with your kids’ playhouses and toys, you’re going to need ideas for organizing your basement. In addition to basement storage bins and containers, the right shelving is essential to maintaining a clutter-free space.

Shelving units also provide opportunity for experimentation with  design and basement remodel ideas, such as adding open shelving and cabinetry to a basement laundry room or putting in an under-stairs storage unit.

However your basement works for you, check out our basement shelving ideas to increase storage space for ways to keep your downstairs space tidy.

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A built-in black shelf in a bedroom with a green bed and couch
via @atouchoftippy/instagram

Best for Multifunctional Spaces

This wall of built-in shelves from Instagram user @atouchoftippy includes open and closed storage, as well as a desk. It’s a smart example of how to fit a ton of storage and a workspace in a room that also serves as a TV-viewing and lounge area. Plus, the moody black finish proves that you shouldn’t be afraid to use dark paint colors, even in a basement.

Pottery Barn’s Logan Desk with Bookcase Suite delivers a similar look without demanding the time commitment of a DIY shelving project.

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functional basement shelving with white bins for storage
via @the.halvy.house/instagram

Best for Holiday Decor

Is your holiday decor a chaotic mess of stacked bins and baskets? Get them organized with some heavy-duty shelves, like the ones used here by Instagram user @the.halvy.house.

These are effective for a storage room, because the height and shelves adjust to fit low ceilings, and the steel construction holds up well to basement moisture. Another handy tip: For bin labels, use outdoor letter stickers rather than craft store stickers for longer durability.

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Arched basement shelf in black to store children's toys
via @functional_decor/instagram

Best for Style

The basement is an adequate out-of-the-way space to experiment with DIY furniture projects. This cute arched shelf, built by Instagram user @functional_decor, is an Ikea hack made to look like this more expensive version. We love how the bright toys pop against the black backdrop of the shelves. A tall piece like this is also a clever way to draw the eye up and make low basement ceilings appear taller.

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Shelving under the stairs with woven baskets
via @hope.homes.happiness/instagram

Best for Under Stairs

Every little inch of storage space helps when organizing your home, so don’t overlook basement nooks and crannies like, the empty area under your stairs.

In this example from Instagram user @hope.homes.happiness, the awkward triangular-shaped space becomes a storage area with the right accessories. Shelves alone don’t always work, but matching baskets elevate the style and organization of a shelving unit.

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Shelving insert with a television in a carpeted basement
via @threegalsandtwoguys/instagram

Best for Game Rooms

Call it whatever you want—play room, media room, game room—but a basement space that incorporates games, toys and an entertainment section needs shelving.

In this basement by Instagram user @threegalsandtwoguys, bookshelves are cleverly arranged around the TV to create the look of a custom built-in piece (without the price tag). For a similar look, you’ll need two short bookcases and two tall bookcases. Check out the Wahl Bookcase for an affordable option.

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woven baskets on storage shelves for a home office
via @primspace/instagram

Best for Tight Spaces

Who says basement storage can’t be equal parts useful and attractive? This awkward nook next to the basement stairs could have been dusty, wasted space. But thanks to a smart solution by Instagram user @primspace, it’s a functional and decorative area. Simple white shelves and matching baskets (along with some handy labels) hide and organize tools, safety items and other miscellaneous supplies.

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kid-friendly shelving with toys and kid activities for the play room
via @ellabelledesigns/instagram

Best for Kids

If you use your basement as a playroom, it’s a good idea to incorporate low shelving that kids can reach, as done here by Instagram user @ellabelledesigns. We like the look and versatility of a horizontal bench unit. It works as accessible toy storage and can be repurposed later as storage for shoes or books when the kids are grown.

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combination shelving with a white trim
via @jwhhomes/instagram

Best for Hiding Items

A wall of built-in cabinets provides plenty of storage, but can be boring to look at. Open shelves allow you to display decor and access things you use frequently, as shown here by Instagram user @jwhhomes. If custom storage is not in the budget, check out this sleek armoire that comes in four colors and has a closed-door design.

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craft room shelving with clear shelves for storage
via @rialeeczi/instagram

Best for Craft Rooms

There are few messes that can’t be drastically improved with clear bins and shelves. Prime example: this basement craft room by Instagram user @rialeeczi.

The simple wood shelving unit along the wall can be a DIY project, or you can buy this metal and wood version with a similar look. Either way, measure the depth of the shelves so you buy clear bins that fit, allowing you to quickly identify what’s inside.

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Mary Henn
Mary Henn, MFA is an Associate Shopping Editor at Family Handyman. She’s also a national award-winning writer and journalist. Her expertise lies in interior design, home decor, gardening and outdoor trends. When she’s not working on the latest content at FHM, you can find her reading poetry or hiking with her dog, Henry.