When you think of your home’s crawlspace, what comes to mind first? If cobwebs and clutter are at the top of your list, you’re not alone. What if you re-imagined your crawlspace into a handy horizontal storage spot? Here are some ways to improve your crawlspace storage situation and make it accessible and useful again!
1. Clean it out!
Assess first. When you enter your crawlspace are you hit with the smell of mildew? Do a million critters scurry away from your flashlight beam? Are there piles of junk or old building materials cluttering the floor? Clean it up, get rid of the clutter and look at the bones of the space? Much room do you have? Use a tape measure to get the proper dimensions and to determine how much you’ll be able to store.
Is there a mold or dampness problem? Properly insulate your crawlspace to prevent more damage and keep the moisture out of your space so it can be an effective place to store and preserve your items.
Knock out the cobwebs, mop everything down and put on a water-stain resistant primer to keep the area fresh and clean.
Check out a local home improvement store for ideas. You’ll find a rich variety of storage ideas and solutions and can consult with staff on how best to implement them in your storage space. Most home improvement stores offer tool rentals on a hourly or daily basis so you don’t have to make a big investment. Many stores also offer classes for beginners that will teach you how to do simple home improvement projects and get you comfortable using tools and taking charge of your home improvement projects. If you are on a budget, go to discount building supply stores for materials like stackable storage boxes and small shelving units. Look for pegboard to put on the walls so you can easily hang shelves and adjust their placement without worry about damaging drywall.
3. Get packing!
After outfitting your crawlspace with shelves, put your storage items into sealed heavy-duty plastic totes and containers. Don’t use cardboard boxes; the initial investment will be lower than buying plastic containers, but they will not protect your keepsakes at all if exposed to moisture. Label each container on the outside and make a copy of each label to put in a notebook. This way you will be able to keep track of where everything is. Store your boxes in the crawlspace according to how often you will need to access them, putting the lesser-used items further away from the entrance and the ones you need more often near the opening.
With a little planning, creativity and elbow grease, you can transform your home’s crawlspace into a useful, clean and handy storage area.