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How To Organize a Basement Workshop (DIY Guide)

It’s easy to get your workshop cluttered when you use it for many repairs. You might have tools lying around that make it hard to find anything or get any work done. So, how do you organize a basement workshop to make it safer and more accessible? 

Here are a few ways you can organize your basement workshop: 

  1. Remove all your equipment.
  2. Clean the workshop.
  3. Separate tools you use from those you rarely use. 
  4. Put your tools in well-labeled boxes.
  5. Make more shelves if you have the space.
  6. Organize small tools in well-labeled containers or boxes. 

The rest of this article will discuss these DIY tips to organize a basement workshop in more detail, so you can have a cleaner, organized, and easier-to-work-in basement workshop. 

1. Remove All Your Equipment

You can’t clean and organize a cluttered space with all your tools still inside. You need a clear space for a fresh perspective and to make the organizing process easier. Therefore, you should remove all the equipment from your workshop and place them in boxes or storage containers. 

You should avoid dumping the equipment on each other to prevent damage. It will also be hard to reorganize the items if you don’t know where you placed each tool. 

2. Clean the Workshop

You should clean your workshop before you start organizing your tools because you don’t want to store your items in a dirty space (source).

The items you’ll need for this exercise include:

  • Clean water.
  • Soap.
  • Other cleaning agents such as window cleaners.
  • Scrubbers.
  • Vacuum cleaner.

You should clean all surfaces thoroughly and inspect any damaged areas that may need repair. If there are damaged areas, you should try to repair them before you organize the workshop. 

Also, ensure you check cabinets, shelves, door and window hinges, and other vital areas to confirm that your workshop is fit for use.

3. Separate Tools You Use From Those You Rarely Use

Every workshop has a stack of tools that are either broken or not used often. And you can’t dispose of these tools because you’ll probably need them at some point. However, they can clutter your workshop and make it impossible to find the tools you use frequently. 

Therefore, the best approach is to have a designated area for the tools you rarely use. It could be an empty crate, cabinet, or a lone shelf in the workshop. It would help if you stacked these tools neatly to leave room for the more frequently used ones. 

And remember to put visible labels on the container, shelves, or cabinets you use for these tools. It will be much easier to find them when you need them. 

4. Put Your Tools in Well-Labeled Boxes

Now, it’s time to arrange the tools you use often. They’re probably the reason your basement workshop was so cluttered in the first place. 

If you’re using boxes to store your tools, label them well. For example, you can have separate boxes based on the functionality of your tools: 

  • A gardening tools box.
  • A house repairs tools box.
  • A car repairs tools box, etc. 

Using labels makes it easier to find specific tools and put them away after you use them. And if you’re using shelves or cabinets to arrange your tools, ensure they’re well labeled. This will not only help you and your family find tools faster but will make the place look neater.  

Also, remember not to stack tools on each other because they might fall off and cause injuries. Therefore, allocate enough space for tools to prevent accidents in your workshop and maintain order.

5. Make More Shelves if You Have the Space

The most probable reason your basement workshop is so cluttered is because you don’t have enough room to store your tools. And the solution is to create more space for storage. 

However, expanding your basement workshop might not be viable from a cost perspective. Therefore, you can make more shelves above or below your existing ones. You’ll only need a ladder to reach the higher shelves when you need to retrieve your tools. 

If you’re not keen on making the shelves yourself, you can purchase an affordable shelf instead. I recommend this 4-Shelf Amazon Basics Storage Shelving Unit (link to Amazon) because it’s a heavy duty shelf that can store up to 1400 pounds (635.03 kilograms). Therefore, it’s perfect for your basement equipment. 

Having more shelves will not only make your basement workshop neater, but they’ll also create more floor room to move around, and the workshop will become a safer space for you and your family. 

6. Organize Small Tools in Well-Labeled Containers or Boxes

After stacking away all the tools in their respective containers, you’ll still be left with tiny things on the floor with no specific place to put them. The most common smaller tools are cables, tape, nails, and screws. 

And these items can be dangerous if you leave them lying around the floor of your basement workshop. However, your repairs won’t be complete without them. Therefore, you need to store them away properly for when you need them. 

Use well-labeled containers or boxes for each item. And you may place them in one corner or near their partner tools. For example, you can put the nails and screws in their respective containers and store them near the house repair containers. 

Also, remember to label their containers for easy identification when you need them.


There’s no doubt that the tools in your basement workshop are useful, but you need to find them first before they can help you. Fortunately, you can organize your workshop with these DIY tips in a few hours. You’ll enjoy the results for a long time if you commit to keeping your workshop well organized. 

Here are a few things you can do to keep your workshop organized: 

  • Start with a clean workspace before organizing. 
  • Label all your storage containers for easier access. 
  • Keep the tools you use often separate from the tools you rarely use. 

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