Closet versus cupboards for box storage

ontariomomMarch 2, 2013

Hi all,

I hope you can lend me your organizational skills to help me finalize the plans for finishing our basement. I am an elementary teacher, so I have many banker boxes full of teaching games, activities, etc (perhaps 50 boxes). We are also a family of 6 so we have the general household storage needs too (Christmas decorations, off seaon stuff, etc). I need to plan for storing these things in our basement. We had initially thought to make a few long reach in closets for storage around the perimeter of our rec room. I am now wondering if cupboards would be better.

My question is should I do low end cupboards (e.g. thermafoil) around the room, or drywalled closets with doors and shelves inside? I know the cupboards will look better than a series of closet doors, but will cost more. The cupboards can also wrap around the windows which is a bonus. I will not be buying high end custom cupboards. What depth of closet or cupboards would be best? I think I am limited to 24 inches of depth for cupboards short of going custom, but we seem to have space for 30 inches of depth if we do closets. The room will not accommodate a walk in storage area, without losing the ping pong table and blocking the windows. There is one walk in closet in another part of the basement to handle any bulkier storage needs. Any suggestions?

Below is the plan of my basement which if you click on you will be taken to my photobucket to see the plan in a larger scale. There is also an inspiration picture of a wrap around set of cupboards (likely higher end cupboards than we are considering).



Here is a link that might be useful: basement storage cupboards

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Love the inspiration picture. If I understand your needs, more shallow with more shelves would give you access to your banker boxes assuming they are labeled adequately. With 30" depth, you will loose a lot of "stuff" perhaps never to be seen again.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 2:25PM
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Hi mustangs,

Thanks for your input. Good point about not wanting too deep storage for the boxes. After writing, my post I felt we should do the west wall in cupboards, including wrapping around a few feet to the south wall, so we can keep that window mainly in view. These cupboards should do well for the teaching stuff. Some of my teaching supplies are in deeper Rubbermaid containers, which seem to just fit inside 24 inches. Those that are in bankers boxes could potentially be switched over to Rubbermaid containers as the cardboard has seen better days.

However, I think a closet would be cheaper and more versatile on the south wall. We may do a bit deeper than 24 for flexibility too. Some of our other storage is deeper than 24 inches.

My biggest question with the combo plan, would be what kind of door should we use on the closet. We are leaning towards sliding doors, but I know they only allow half the contents to be seen.

Does that sound like a reasonable plan? I am off to HD to see if they can quote me on basic cupboards for the west wall and the wrap around. Clearer pricing will help with my decision as well.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 4:48PM
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For our storage, we used adjustable shelf brackets which are hung on wall-mounted strips. Elfa and ClosetMaid make similar systems although those are not the ones we used. We then put ventilated bifold doors in front of the shelves. I like using the brackets and shelves because they give a long run of continuous shelving which allows for differently sized objects to be stored. The system is also adjustable to allow for different storage needs in the future. Our shelving is 24 inches deep, but the brackets come in different depths for different needs.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:01AM
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Thanks Julie for your comments. I hope I am correct in understanding that you did a 24 inch reach in closet with the vented bi-fold doors on the closet. In other words, the shelves were inside a framed closet correct?

I think you make a good point about the continuous run of shelving to allow for different sized objects to be stored. Do you find that 24 inches of depth was deep enough for all you wanted to store, or would you have been happier if it had been 30 inches?



    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:27PM
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