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8 Best Storage Totes and Containers for Your Basement

Maximize basement space and bring order to your belongings with the best storage totes and bins for basement organization.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Basement Storage TotesDonNichols/Getty Images

Choose the Best Basement Storage Totes

The right storage bins are key to basement organization. When buying containers and bins for basement storage, keep these three tips in mind:

  • Consider climate: If your basement is prone to moisture, invest in bins with moisture-resistant features such as a gasket seal.
  • See clearly: See-through bins let you see where items are located without opening the lid.
  • Size right: TidyNest Chief Operating Organizer Shannon Krause says large bins are prone to over-packing and disorganization. “It’s difficult to properly organize the interiors since there’s so much open space,” she says. Instead, opt for a series of smaller, stackable containers.
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Best Clear Storage Totes

Infrequently used items are usually relegated to the basement. Visibility helps when you’re on the hunt for that sleeping bag, specialty tool or seasonal item.

“When you can see what is in the bins, it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for,” says professional organizer Bridget James with The Organizing Professionals, “Non-transparent bins can become a bottomless pit with mismatched items.”

For basement storage, look for bins with sturdy, multi-point latches and a gasket that helps seal out moisture, dust and pests, like Sterilite Clear Gasket Boxes. Multiple sizes are available at an affordable price.

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Best for Damp Basements

Invest in bins with features to protect against damp conditions, like these Clear Weather Tight totes. Strong latches and an air- and water-tight urethane foam gasket help seal out moisture, pests and dust. “They’re easy to label, and they’re clear so there’s no guesswork involved in finding your camping gear,” says Krause.

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Best for Holiday Decorations

Sparkling ornaments, strings of twinkling lights and festive wreaths make for a joyous holiday, but they spend most of the year under wraps. Holiday decorations and items of various sizes and shapes are best stored in specialized containers.

A bin with plastic inserts to wrap lights around eliminates the headache of untangling lights each holiday season. Similarly, bins with ornament inserts protect delicate baubles and eliminate the need to wrap individual ornaments in paper.

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Best Multi-Feature Bin

There are basic plastic storage bins. Then there are the “they thought of everything” bins. These professional-grade Husky waterproof bins work well for storing tools and project materials.

The heavy-duty side handles make it easy to haul the bin to a jobsite, and a hinged lid means you don’t have to worry about a lid being stepped on if it’s on the floor. Also, don’t worry that the convenient clear lid is flimsy. It’s made from tough polycarbonate.

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Best Budget Storage Totes

For a sturdy, stackable and an easy-on-the-budget option for basement storage, Meck Organizing‘s owner Nancy Meck recommends the Tough Storage Bins line. They’re best suited for dry and climate-controlled basements and come in lots of sizes.

For opaque bins, a strong labeling strategy is a must. “If you like a typed, consistent look, invest in a good label maker and purchase white label tape with black writing so it shows up on the container,” says Meck.

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Best for Basement Playrooms

Tote toys around a basement playroom with wheeled bins. An open design makes accessing toys easy and the metal mesh is sturdy.

These roomy bins can handle a menagerie of stuffed animals or a robust ball collection. Enlist several bins for basement playroom storage. Assign a category of toys to each and affix labels to keep items organized.

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Best Basic Basement Storage Totes

Sometimes, basic is best. With thousands of five-star reviews, polyethylene Roughneck totes are stackable and withstand temperature fluctuations. They come in lots of sizes with comfort-grip handles for easy carrying.

Pro tip: Pair your bins with good, sturdy shelving that takes advantage of vertical space. “Keep the heaviest bins on the lower shelves, keep your most frequently accessed belongings at eye level and less frequently used items on the top shelves,” says Krause.

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Best Oversized Storage Bins

While bigger isn’t always better for storage, oversized items such as camping gear and sports equipment simply need large bins. This roomy Store-It-All Tote features a domed lid that expands storage capacity.

The stackable bins feature wheels and fold-out handles that make hauling easy. With a weight limit of 125 pounds, you can store hefty items with peace of mind.

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Alicia Chilton
Alicia Chilton is an experienced writer and editor, based in Des Moines, Iowa. After spending several years as a digital editor for Better Homes and Gardens, covering all manner of topics related to home, Alicia took her writing and editorial skills into the marketing and communications world, where she has tapped into the power of storytelling to connect audiences to brands in the gardening and nonprofit spheres.

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