Easy Basement Shelving Organization

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

It’s January, it’s cold outside, there is 2 feet of snow, I’ve been stuck inside and my house is screaming ORGANIZE ME! 

Actually most of my house is mostly organized, but my storage room is a nightmare.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

I’m kind of embarrassed to show you this room.  This is (was) my storage room.  It’s a great space located in my basement, directly under the family room. Because I have a step down family room, the ceiling height in here is only 7 ft.

It didn’t always look this bad, and I have cleaned and organized the room before, you just wouldn’t know by looking at it.  See the blue bins all the way in the top left?  Totally organized, you just can’t get to them.  What you can’t see by looking at the picture, is that one of the bottom blue bins has collapsed from the weight of the upper bins.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

Knowing that I wanted to tackle my storage room and that there was going to be a blizzard I stocked up.  Not on the normal toilet paper and milk, but on 2×4’s.  I ended up using 10, 2×4’s 66 1/2″ , 28, 2×4’s, 8ft long and a box of screws.

Right now 2×4’s at Lowes and Home Depot are running just under $2.50.  What that means is that you can get all the lumber you need for 16 feet of floor to ceiling shelving, for under $100.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s-

I am not the first to build basement storage, there are tons of plans out there, just find the one you like. I decided to go with the plans on Ana White’s site. If you’ve never visited there before, she has building plans for every kind of woodworking project imaginable and for all skill levels.

What I liked about her garage shelving was that it was made entirely out of 2×4’s, so I could fit it into my car easily, and it was listed as going together in about 3 hours. Going by the measurements on Ana White’s site,  Easy Economical Garage Shelving from 2×4’s, I measured out and marked my shorter 2×4’s.  I only have 6 here because my original plan was to only do one set of shelving 8ft long and then reevaluate the plans. 

It took about 2 minutes to figure out that I needed the additional shelving.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

For the cross pieces, or the rungs on my ladders, I used pallet wood (the thicker side rail pieces).  That saved me the cost of a few 2×4’s.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

The website recommends 2 1/2 inch self tapping screws.  I didn’t have self tapping screws, but quickly predrilled my holes then attached with screws.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

So now I have put together my 3 ladders, and I take it into my storage room to try it on for size.  Uh-oh. In my storage room, I only have 7 foot ceilings.  I mentioned that before, but being anxious to start the project I just overlooked that little detail. If I left the ladders as is, I wouldn’t have been able to fit a bin on the top shelf.

.Garage or Basement Storage

I ended up having to move a couple of rungs of my ladder.  These were my final measurements.

My advice to you is, don’t do as I do.  Measure your space and figure out how large the bins are that you want to include on your shelving and adjust as necessary.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

The first set of shelves were up but I still had a huge mess.  I needed to extend the shelves along the remainder of the wall.

I don’t know if you can tell, but the 2×4’s from the first set of shelves are only resting on half of the rung of that last ladder leaving way for the next set of shelving.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

For the next set of shelving, I decided not to put on that bottom shelf since I had a big bin of camping gear that I wanted to put down there as well as an artificial Christmas tree. That’s the beauty of these shelves, they are totally adjustable for whatever you need to store.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

Moving into my new shelving.

Not everything that was in the room made it’s way back.  I did end up with a couple of trash bags of junk and a car full for a quick trip to the dump. The luggage is nested to take up half of its original space.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

This is the storage at one end of the room.  The trunk contains everything Halloween, from decorations to wigs to costumes.  I did whittle it down a bit so everything fit inside the trunk.

On top of the trunk is gift wrap. The bin holds bows, ribbons, gift bags, tissue paper and rolled gift wrap.

Above the bin I installed a simple shelf to hold empty boxes for gifts.

And above the boxes, out of season wreaths.  These are simply hung on nails hammered into the rafters.

The bins shoved all the way into the corners are for Christmas, I won’t be needing them for a while.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

At the far end of my room is a nook which I found was a perfect place to hold window screens and table extensions.

Easy Garage or Basement Shelving and Storage from 2x4s

Last week I told you that I brought my sons old IKEA shelves down to the basement replacing a shelf half the size.  They are now holding my project supplies.

I’m so excited, I can actually walk into the room without tripping over anything and my house has officially stopped yelling at me.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

Shared at Silver Pennies Sundays, Metamorphosis Monday,

Inspire me Tuesday, Be Inspired, Wow us Wednesdays,

Talk of the Town, DIY Sunday Showcase,

Trash 2 Treasure,


  • anna says:

    great job!

  • Bess says:

    Looks really great but I wonder how you know what is in each container , I don’t see any lables

    • Joan says:

      The blue bins do have labels. Just a piece of clear packing tape written on with Sharpie. You can probably see if you look really close. You’re right, if I didn’t label I would have no clue what was in the boxes.

  • Oh I need to do this in my garage. If only I can get to the walls. I will pin this and figure out way to get started on this project.

    • Joan says:

      The building of the shelves took no time at all. Finding my way to the walls and organizing all the boxes was where all the time was spent, but it was so worth it. Good luck, you can do it.

  • I would love to have these in my basement! Everything looks fabulous. Great job!

  • This is exactly what I need in my garage. I just have to talk my husband into helping me! Thanks.

  • Kelly says:

    Wow, what an amazing transformation. It must feel so good to have everything in order again. It doesn’t take long for those things to get away on us. Great job on the shelf unit.

  • k says:

    We did this when we first moved into our house. All the closets had bi-fold doors that we used for the shelves. only had to buy the 2x4s and replaced doors with sliders and regular doors.

  • Cricket says:

    What a fantastic job!! I have been asking my husband to build me shelves to round up all my bins too. This is exactly what I have in mind to do. Nothing too complicated and time consuming.

  • Carolyn Ward says:

    My basement looks like yours on the first pictures. It is so messy down there that I really can’t reach some of the things that I need. I definitely have to think of a storage solution, so I can have everything nicely organized. The shelving seems to be a really great idea! Thank you for sharing! Your basement looks great when everything is stored properly on the shelves!

  • Angela L says:

    My house yells at me too!