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A Basement Story

University Park | Denver, CO

I’m so excited to share this project with you!

Here’s the Scenario

Family moved into their home a few years ago, had a baby soon thereafter, and like many of us - life got crazy and they never had a chance to get organized, so everything ended up in the basement. Sound familiar?

Fast forward to now, another baby on the way and they needed help distilling down their belongings in the basement to create systems and space for their growing family. This included two storage closets, a play area, and a desk space. First on the docket? The two closets, which included a guest room closet and a stairwell closet.

Here are the before photos of the two closets (guest closet and stairwell closet):

Distillation is Key

My client and I spent a few sessions pulling everything out of both closets and distilling things down to just the most important belongings. We determined what stayed, what needed to be discarded, and what could be donated or moved to another spot in the house.

During the Distillation Phase

I’m super proud of my client for the serious amount of distillation she did. She told me at the beginning of the project that she has a hard time letting go, but we worked through it item by item, and in the end, she was able to clear out the excess to make room for the belongings that mattered most.

The best part? She did it all while being SUPER pregnant. In fact, the baby was born two days after our last distillation session. Can you imagine going through the above nearly nine months pregnant? My client is a SUPERHERO on so many levels!

Anyhoo! We distilled little by little until both closets were completely empty (below), and then I cleaned both spaces and prepared them for what was next.

The Stairwell Closet

For the Stairwell Closet, I replaced the bulky storage racks with an Elfa system that took up less physical space, but allowed for triple the storage. After 40 storage bins and an Elfa custom install, this closet is now much easier to maneuver around in and access belongings.

Classic Elfa w/ Melamine Shelves

Here's the before and after photo of the stairwell closet followed by a quick video tour!

The Guest Room Closet

As for the guest room closet, we reserved most of the big bulky items to be stored in here since majority of the shelves were 33" deep (vs. the 12" deep shelves in the stairwell closet).

I used a lot of labeling on both the shelves and bins to help the family remember where to put things away. I used different color labels between the shelves and bins for differentiation.

AFTER | Helpful Labels

There's a full list of products at the end of this post, but wanted to share a couple quick videos about one of my favorite closet products - The Umbra Hitch Hook. Check it out!



And that's it! Yay for function! Organization is often a journey that requires thoughtful planning and distillation, but it's always one worth taking. I promise!

Products Used:

White Elfa Classic with 12" Melamine Shelves (stairwell closet)

Clear Home Logic Storage Bin (stairwell closet)

Umbra Hitch Accessory Hook (guest room closet)

Our Long Underbed Box (guest room closet)

Our Jumbo Box (guest room closet)

90 CT Sterilite Utility Tub (guest room closet)

28 CT Sterilite Utility Tub (guest room closet)


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