Modify your basement storage for more efficiency


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

It seems like we fulltimers can never have enough “room” to carry all the stuff we find ourselves unable to ditch. Basement storage became de rigueur for motorhomes as designers made them taller and opened up spaces like the luggage storage bays on a Greyhound bus!

But basement storage, being what it is, isn’t always the most usable area for practical storage. Oftentimes, basement storage is just a large, open area, where small objects can mysteriously vanish into your own, personal “black hole.”

Here are a few ideas on how to make your basement storage a bit more useful:

Door it!

Friends of ours who have a big Class A motorhome are also into fishing. Tossing fishing rods into basement storage made for hard retrieval, and at times, damage to expensive fishing gear. Dave scratched his head, and soon attached snap clamps to the inside of the basement storage doors. These simple clips “catch and release” the fishing rods, making for a quick grab and go. You could use specialty “mop and broom holder” devices like these – two, mounted horizontally, one at each end of the door. 

Peg it!

Installing pegboard on basement storage divider walls can give you a real place to hang up smaller gear, tools, etc. Mind you, you’ll need to have space between the pegboard and the dividing bulkhead, so attaching a few 1” x 2” chunks of appropriately prepared lumber to the bulkhead first, then attaching the pegboard to the 1” x 2” chunks will give you the space you need for the pegboard hooks to hang.

Slide it!

You don’t need to spend huge bucks on having a custom (or even stock) sliding drawer system built into your storage bays. Head on down to the big box hardware store and fetch yourself drawer glides. The length of the glide stated on the package tells you how far out your new drawer will slide. Don’t go cheap – purchasing metal, ball bearing glides will put up with heavier loads and are more reliable. Our experience (and that of a custom cabinet man) taught us that “self-closing” glides don’t last long.

In our case, we needed to mount framing on the compartment floor on which to mount the drawer glides. You’ll need to look over your own situation to see what’s best to mount such lumber – in our case we used 2” x 4” dimensional lumber and hardware store brackets to mount to our compartment wood floor. If you’re dealing with metal, you’ll have to give a bit of thought to how to securely mount your framing.

Box it!

Containment is the catch-phrase. Stuff left adrift in a compartment will be a pain in the neck (and other anatomical parts) to fetch back when needed. Clear plastic storage boxes of the appropriate size will make it easier to hold – and see—your possessions. One RVer didn’t worry about the transparency of his boxes. He simply put a numbered label on the outside of the box, then built an “inventory sheet” of what items were in which numbered box, and added specific information as to which bay held the boxes. Now he simply quickly looks up what he wants, and knows where to find it.

Smaller boxes in bigger boxes further “divide and conquer” your storage enemies. 

Got ideas?

We’d love to hear your storage solutions. Drop a comment!