How to turn an old storage room into something useful

How to turn an old storage room into something useful

There are so many reasons to decide to turn your old attic, basement, or garage into something that does more than just holds a lot of boxes. Maybe you realized a garage is meant to hold a car not old junk, or perhaps you’ve decided that you’re finally going to train for the marathon you’ve always wanted to run and so you need to use your basement as a gym, instead of a giant mothball collector. Whatever your reason, there’s no reason to hire professionals. Most of what you want to see done, you can do yourself.

STEP ONE: Get rid of your old junk.

Before dreaming up big plans to create the perfect office space out of your attic, you need to figure out what the space’s advantages and limitations are. You won’t be able to do this until you clear out everything that is currently taking up space in there. So whichever room you want to remodel, and whatever your plans for it are, it’s time to do some cleaning house.

I know this doesn’t sound like an ideal way to spend your Saturday, but you will feel a huge sense of relief once it’s done. Get yourself plenty of boxes and make four piles: definitely keeping, definitely throwing away, worth selling, and undecided. Sort your stuff by dividing them into these piles. Feel free to put off hard decisions.

Anything that you can sell, list on eBay or try to unload on friends. Post big pieces that will have high postage rates on craigslist. Any money you make by selling stuff you don’t want anymore, you can invest in the new room.

STEP TWO: Get cleaning.

Now that you’ve cleared the room out, get your cleaning supplies, because it’s time to wipe away the cobwebs, sweep up the dust, and make the room habitable. If you’re going to be doing any serious renovations (changing the flooring, for example), you’ll need a clean space to start with. So put on some music, some clothes that can get dirty, and get started.

STEP THREE: Decide how you’re using the room.

You probably already have an idea of what you want to do with the new space you’ve just cleared out. But be sure that that idea works with the room’s limitations. Don’t buy a treadmill if the ceiling isn’t high enough, and don’t spend the money building an office in a basement that frequently floods. Know your room’s limitations so you can plan around them. (Be honest with yourself, why weren’t you using this room already?)

Let’s pretend it’s an office you want to create, and it’s in your basement that occasionally floods. Think about what you’ll need in the office and whether the room is amenable to that. Are the outlets high enough off the ground that flood water won’t reach them? Can you install shelves so you don’t need to have anything lying on the floor? Do you have an old desk you can use, one that can get wet and not be ruined?

STEP FOUR: Build your dream office/gym/crafts room on a budget.

Do what you can to remodel the room without breaking the bank. A coat of paint on the walls can change a room. Find pieces of furniture or equipment around your house that aren’t getting used.

Start taking measurements and determining what furniture you need to make the room work. Then look for all the pieces you need through used outlets before buying them new. Office furniture and gym equipment are frequently listed on Craigslist. (Use the money you made selling your old stuff to buy it if you can!)


About the Author: Jillian Watkinson writes for a company that provides supplies for bathroom remodeling in Chicago, kitchen remodeling and much, much more. In her free time, Jillian is out searching for great deals at her favorite supply stores.


  1. one
    Comment by Leo@CPA Salary: Aug 9, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    I think using inexpensive modular shelving units that hang on the walls will make the best use of space, and allows you to rearrange storage when your needs change. Painting the interior of the storage room a brighter color will also make it seem more welcoming.

  2. two
    Comment by Heating NYC: Aug 13, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    You have make the storage room as a guess room or a playroom for your children. It is very great and good idea.

  3. three
    Comment by Elysse Parsons: Sep 21, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    Great ideas you have here. I have too many clutters that I need to get rid of. I’m sure I’ll have lots of spaces once I throw them away. I need a space for my daughter’s study room. This helps a lot.

Comments Feed

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.