After we finished up phase 1 of our side entrance makeover (check out the before, painting, artwork, and lighting), and it was looking all pretty…

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…until we carried on down the stairs to tackle sore spot #2. The bottom of the stairs storage nook.

When you walk down the stairs to our basement, you come through a first door which takes you into a vestibule with the storage area and the laundry closet. Then you can carry through another door which takes you into the 1-bedroom apartment in our basement. So that’s like our tenant’s “front door”.

We always felt reeeeally badly that this storage area had gotten out of control. When we finished up our insane 7-week basement reno back in 2010, we just plunked some old shelving and drawer units down in that storage area and left is as-is. Ever since, it has just continued to accumulate more and more stuff and look more and more cray-cray. I’m embarrassed to even show you these pics.

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It’s a total mish mash of stuff in here. Stuff that we need to access fairly regularly, stuff that can’t go into our garage (like paint – it would freeze!), and just random junk. Our tenant also uses this spot for her shoes, recycling, and some other supplies.

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I did a bit of searching around to check out storage solutions, and am really digging the look of the IKEA Algot series. It’s a modular system with tons of different options (drawers, shelves, etc) and I like that it’s mounted directly onto the wall. No big bulky units sitting on the floor.

Here are a few pics in my inspiration folder (all three images from ikea.com)

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Before we can get to the fun part though, we need to actually clear out and sort our stuff. Is it weird that I’m excited to do that? Purge, purge, purge!

Are you guys tackling the organization/storage in your pad? Ever used the Algot system from IKEA? I’m not sure if it’s the new year, the cold winter weather, or what, but I seem to just be moving from one spot to the next in our house trying to organize everything – it all needs to have a dedicated home! 

  • jackie

    Okay, like any sucker, you had me at the pink wall! But then I looked more closely and didn’t see any photos that actually had the kind of stuff you need to store in them. Like paint, mops, … I am really curious how you’ll set this up to work. And oh, I have that same storage tote (the one with the black and clear things….embarrassingly I use it for my son’s clothes and it’s the tippiest thing in the world. Damn you Canadian Tire!)

    • gemma

      Haha – I know, it’s fab right? We’re going to use a ton of bins for our stuff (paint supplies, travel accessories, camping gear, etc) and IKEA sells bins that fit perfectly onto those Algot shelves. The other plan is to put our paint cans directly onto the Algot shelves, with the large very heavy ones on the floor underneath. As for brooms and mops? I think those will have to be mounted onto the wall.

      We’ll keep you posted! :)

      xo,
      gem

  • jackie jade

    organizing is so tough, but can’t wait to see what you come up with!! our basement and garage are getting more and more outta control and i need to take a whole weekend to seriously purge too. good luck!!
    – jackiejade.blogspot.com

    • gemma

      Oh my goodness, I *totally* relate! I would be mortified if anyone saw our garage right now :)

      Good luck with your purge!

      xo,
      gem

  • Megan

    Arg… I wish I had a storage monster… I have a storage ant. Meaning I have to do a lot with a little… but sometimes the challenge can be fun. I am in the process of organizing our house now… one room at a time.

    • gemma

      It’s definitely way trickier when you just have small spaces! We have our garage (a godsend!), but that storage area at the bottom of the basement stairs is pretty much it for indoor storage for us. We’re definitely in the “maximize the space” mindset, so we’ll keep you posted on what solutions we come up with!

      Good luck with your organization! It must be the new year or something that kicks us all into gear, huh? :)

      xo,
      gem