How to Turn Your Crawl Space Into Storage Space

August 17, 2017 , In: Indoors , With: 2 Comments
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No matter how big or small your home, a need always remains for additional storage space. Whether you have a surplus of holiday decorations or camping supplies, they both require a clean and moisture free environment for storing.

Most homes and condos have a crawl space. And the crawl space usually goes unoccupied unless unwanted visitors like spiders and mice make it their home. We could all use the extra space, so let’s explore how to turn your crawl space into storage space.

What Can I Store?

Crawl spaces are ideal for storing seasonal items like decorations and clothing. Many of these items are only needed once a year. You don’t need to waste your easily accessible storage indoors, for things like Easter baskets and kayaks. Unless, of course, you live in sunny Florida and use your kayak often. Think about the advantages of storing your winter ski pants and boots in your crawl space — they take up a lot of space indoors. These items can easily store in plastic containers which help keep pests and bugs out.

If your crawl space is easy to access, you could store additional food items here as well. Canned fruits and vegetables have a long shelf life. Why clutter up your kitchen pantry with excess if you don’t have to? If you often buy in bulk, think about keeping a few of the items out but store the others in your crawl space. If you buy paper towels in bulk why try to keep 18 rolls under your sink? Simply store one or two rolls in the pantry and put the rest in an airtight container in your crawl space.

If you’re planning on more children, you can store baby clothes and outgrown toys in your crawl space as well. Things like extra diapers, outgrown bicycles and helmets store easily, making them a perfect addition to crawl space storage as well.

photo-map

What I Cannot Store

You should stay away from storing treasured keepsakes in your crawl space. While you will learn best practices for prepping your crawl space, disasters can hit at any time, and you wouldn’t want to put your fourth-grade scrapbook at risk for harm. You will want to take unstable temperatures and possible pests into consideration. Keep those special items in a closet in the main area of your home where the temperature and humidity are consistent.

Preparing Your Crawl Space

Let’s look at the steps it takes to get your crawl space storage ready. You must follow these steps to ensure your items will not face damage or deterioration.

  1. Clean out any dirt residing in your crawl space. Remove any debris and dilapidated insulation, and make sure to remove any mold by thoroughly cleaning any affected areas.
  2. Seal the walls and floors with a vapor barrier to protect against moisture. If your crawl space’s door is in disrepair, you may want to consider replacing or fixing it. In some cases, you can pour a concrete floor in your crawl space which gives you the best protection against moisture. You will want to contact a licensed contractor if you decide to go the concrete route.
  3. If your space is prone to flooding, or you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, then you may want to consider installing a sump pump. A sump pump collects water underground and sends it to the pump to keep your floors free of water. Check out this great video for more information on installing a sump pump.
  4. Insulate the walls with rigid foam to help keep your home energy efficient. It also maintains better air quality in your crawl space. There are a few types of insulation to use depending on ventilation. Some crawl spaces are ventilated, and other are not. Check with your local building association to determine ventilation codes for your area.
  5. If your floor is not concrete, consider a rubber drainage mat flooring option. After laying the mat floor cover with rigid foam insulation. Then cover with a moisture barrier. Seal the moisture barrier well with heavy duty tape. For extra protection, you can run the barrier up your insulated walls about 12 to 18 inches. Again, make sure to seal the walls with heavy duty tape.

Helpful Tips

Install shelves around the perimeter of your crawl space. This step is optional but adds additional protection against moisture damage. Keeping your items off the ground will help protect them in the case of a flood. Shelving also provides better organization.

Pack your items properly. You will want to store your items in dry, durable plastic containers with a secure lid. Choose a strong plastic container to keep out pests and withstand dust and moisture. Also, consider adding labels to your containers for easy recognition of what each container holds.  

Don’t overlook lighting! You can always use a flashlight, but adding lighting can heighten the convenience level. Without proper lighting, you might use the space less. The simple solution is to install a low voltage lighting system. Romex is an easy to use and affordable cable that has a tough thermoplastic sheath. The sheath is tough enough to prevent any damage from rodents. Easily learn to run electric and lighting through your space to make it accessible all hours of the day.

Whether your home is large or small, it’s always nice to have some extra space for storage. Plus, most homes and apartments have unused crawl spaces. If you follow all the steps provided here, you’re bound to have a clean and dry space to store your faux Christmas tree, kid’s bikes during the winter or surplus of kitchen supplies. Remember to consult a contractor when needed, and don’t forget to pack your items properly, for the best results. Happy storing!

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How to Turn Your Crawl Space Into Storage Space
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How to Turn Your Crawl Space Into Storage Space
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No matter how big or small your home, a need always remains for additional storage space. Here's how to turn your crawl space into storage space.
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Your Wild Home
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Megan

Editor at Your Wild Home
Hey! I'm Megan. I am a dog-lover and enjoy exploring the outdoors. Your Wild Home covers a lot of topics, including (but not limited to) home improvement, home decor, construction, real estate, and sustainability. I enjoy writing in third-person and I am addicted to chocolate, coffee, and terrible puns. Learn more on my About Me page!
  1. Reply

    Hey Megan,

    Really helpful ideas you had there. Now I can utilize more space. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nate W.
    • August 20, 2017
    Reply

    Thanks for posting Megan! We have a few spaces in our house we are looking at turning into storage. The garage isn’t big enough anymore, and I think that the garage is supposed to be a space used for cars… I think…?

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