From Spotlight: Storage and Cleaning Tips to Take the Hassle Out of Life

Attic & Basement Storage Ideas to Gain More Space

You’ll get more livable space while getting rid of clutter. It’s a win-win!

Custom basement under-stairs storage drawers
Image: Architecture by EL Studio/Pepper Watkins, photo

Outfitting your basement and attic with efficient storage can be life-changing. Not only will you get more living space, it can give your home an edge over others when it comes time to sell.

Try these ideas to get the most storage out of your home, while freeing up more floor space for you.

Conceal the Mess With Built-Ins

Built-in basement bookshelves for storage

Expand your idea of built-ins: they're not just for your upstairs living room, and this value-adding upgrade is easily DIYed. Break out your power tools or work with a carpenter to craft wall-to-wall shelving for this über-useful storage idea.

Cover With a Curtain

Let's face it: Your off-season tubs will never be glamorous. But they can stay out of sight, even if you don't have to budget for built-ins.

Dividing a basement room in two gives you the best of both worlds: the bonus living space of a finished basement and a dedicated storage area. It's also money-smart, because you'll get those finished-basement benefits without the wall-to-wall costs.

The key? Visual separation between the two. Science says clutter makes us anxious, so this basement storage idea suggests hiding the mess with a curtain. Choose a heavy curtain to keep out the basement chill.

Take Advantage of Rafter Space

Wire racks placed in between attic rafters for storage

Don't let imposing rafters limit your imagination: This awkward space is eager for a smart storage solution. Long, wall-to-wall shelves provide plenty of horizontal space for those pesky must-haves you don't need every day, like picnic supplies, seasonal dishes, and niche cleaning supplies, leaving your other spaces neat and tidy.

Stuff the Awkward Spaces

Built-in clothing storage in finished attic

Figuring out how to best take advantage of your attic's slanted ceiling feels like a particularly frustrating game of Tetris. But this clever attic closet storage idea fits the bill — and the slope.

Use your imagination to fit just the right storage items in this unusual space. Here, kids' clothes and accessories are a perfect fit for this mini built-in, and soft stuffies fill the awkward top space.

Other contenders for this angular cubby? Folded linens, spare throw pillows, or a creatively-stacked triangle of toilet paper.

Go Modular Beneath the Stairs

Colorful storage boxes under stairs

That behind-the-stairs space can be tricky to fill: nothing quite fits right. But this ingenious modular basement under stair storage idea fits any sloped space, no matter the size. Use wooden crates or build your own stacking boxes to fit all your storage needs.

Paint the back of the boxes to add color and interest, or to clarify whose stuff goes where. Bonus: If your daughter knows the red-painted boxes are hers, she'll be less likely to scatter stuff everywhere.

Push Pull-Out Storage to the Limit

Custom Lego storage bins in a basement

This gorgeous built-in bookshelf is perfect for a large collection, like LEGO. The best part? The transparent plastic makes it easy to find exactly what you're seeking, but still keep the space from feeling cluttered.

Author photo of writer Jamie Wiebe
Jamie Wiebe

Jamie Wiebe is a writer and editor with a focus on home improvement and design. Previously, she worked as a web editor for "House Beautiful," "ELLE Decor," and "Veranda."