Elsie’s Storage Room Makeover

Elsie pulling Christmas decorations out of a clear bin in a storage roomHello hello! I am so excited because today I FINALLY get to reveal my storage room makeover … and this is not just an ordinary storage room. It’s pretty “extra” in all the best ways. Especially my new best friend (a freezer that is making all my dreams come true). And I definitely went a little overboard making the room aesthetically pleasing—but hey, this storage room is honestly life changing. I feel like a real adult finally!

We’re partnering with The Home Depot for this post. They’re our go-to for so many projects, supplies, appliances, fixtures—you name it. (Oh yes, and PLANTS, haha). When starting to plan this room out, we knew it’d be perfect to partner on since they have everything we needed for the space.  before picture of a basement with brick walls and after photo of storage room with white walls and shelves of binsHere’s a before and after view. This storage closet is a long hallway closet in the the back of what used to be our garage. Since we no longer have a garage, we wanted to use this room to store all our extra off-season stuff (and then some!). There is a separate large closet in our basement for tools (larger ones like saws) as well.

To be fair, I didn’t take a before photo with all our STUFF, but it was piled so high in here that you couldn’t even walk! You can use your imagination.

before photo of a corner of a basement with gray brick walls and after photo of corner of storage room with white walls and shelves of binsAnd, here’s a view from the opposite direction. Adding these shelves was the biggest game-changer so we can organize all our decorations, seasonal stuff, party stuff, toddler clothes we are saving for the next kid, etc. I am SO IN LOVE with these shelves. I used these Sterilite 70 QT. Ultra Storage Boxes to fill the shelves. They are great for organizing all our random things—I love that I can still see the stuff inside them.

On IG Stories earlier this summer, I took a vote on whether we should paint the door a light or dark color. So many people voted dark, but then someone pointed out to me that if we did white you can see spiders and I was SOLD.

I love the white because it’s just a fresh, clean slate. This room is 90% functional choices, but the white paint is my 10% just-because-it-makes-me-happy. And I’m definitely more motivated to clean and organize spaces that are visually pleasing … that’s normal, right?

wooden shelves with clear tote bins on itElsie putting a clear bin of Christmas decorations back on the wooden shelves of clear bins storage room with white walls and shelves of clear bins clear bin with a black label on it that says 2T clothingLet’s talk about storage! I will forever be tweaking these storage boxes because I don’t want to keep stuff we aren’t going to use. At this point, since we’ve lived in our home three years, I am donating everything we haven’t used and aren’t planning to use this coming year.

So everything in this room is stuff we love and are going to use. It’s really important to me that we’re not just keeping stuff for the sake of keeping it. I’m really grateful to have a place to store stuff for upcoming projects now since I think you’ve all seen my office (it sometimes becomes the place we throw stuff when we clean—yikes). Intentional storage is so much better.

Elsie pulling Christmas decorations out of a clear bin while sitting on the floor of the storage room clear bin with a black label that says halloweenHoliday stuff is a BIG category for me. It’s the most grandma thing about me, I think. I love seasonal decor. I’m so excited to have a place to store it all together now so that when the next season rolls around I will actually know where it all is!wall of the storage room with a white cork board hanging on the wall with tools hanging on it

close up of white corkboard with tools hanging on itOn this wall, we added a Dimensions white pegboard. This is one of my go-to ideas for storage because I love how you can customize it!a white fridge by the shelves of clear bins with a potted plant next to it

Elsie smiling and opening the fridge and pulling out a box of pie crushLet’s obsess about the freezer, shall we? It’s the Frigidaire Frost Freeze Upright Freezer. I am so so so excited about this! It’s a complete game-changer for our home.

So I love our fridge, but the freezer part of it is extremely small. For that reason, we always knew we wanted to add a deep freezer to our basement storage room. I always envisioned the kind of chest deep freezer that we had growing up, but my mom suggested that we do an upright freezer because it’s much easier to keep organized and see everything you have. Best advice EVER—thank you, mom.

The freezer is helpful for so many things:
-Storing overflow for what can’t fit in our freezer in our kitchen.
-Easy junk food meals for weekends and cheat nights (Jeremy and I are trying to swear off ordering so much delivery food and this will be extremely helpful).
-Keeping our fridge healthy. We like to eat mainly healthy foods, but then splurge for weekends and special occasions. It’s the most annoying thing ever to me when there’s a tube of cookie dough or a pint of ice cream staring me in the face when I’m trying to be healthy.
-Keeping stocked up on easy meals. We have been making so much vegetable soup lately and I’m so happy I can hoard my frozen veggies. We also like to keep options for quick meals on hand for Nova that are healthy (she loves cauliflower fried rice just as much as regular fried rice and we all love steamed broccoli).
-Keeping ingredients like pie crust on hand so we can make holiday memories.
-Being able to stock up on things we always use (like stock UP) when there’s a good sale.

Forgive me if you think it’s silly that I just listed out all the things I’m going to use my freezer for,  but it’s such a big practical upgrade for us. We’re so excited!Elsie opening the fridge but we only see her legs from behind the fridge door

Thanks to The Home Depot for sponsoring this post! And thank you so much for reading! Collin and I had so much fun working on this project. It’s definitely one of those SUPER functional spaces that will pay off for years and years to come! xx – Elsie

P.S. Looking for more ways to keep your space organized? Be sure to check out this guide for organizing your home (room by room).

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Hi Elsie,

    What’s the size of your storage room and what did you use on the floor?


  • What a beautiful space! I saw in the comments that you have since moved…How did those bins hold up? I tried a while back to get some clear bins but I don’t think they were great quality because the bottoms cracked right away.

  • Hi! I keep coming back to this post for inspo as we slowly clean out our garage! I love that you don’t have to unlatch the lids (surprisingly so stressful when I’ve got limited time to stash / grab something or only one free hand LOL) and can’t believe I didn’t think of leaving them off altogether. How did you store them? Curious as this decision would leave me staring at the wall of bins in indecision! Thank you for all the beautiful work that you put out there!

  • How are the floors done? Beautiful project. It looks great. Also what size are the bins?

  • Hi! I was wondering what the dimensions are for this room? I’m create house plans for a build and I want to include a climate controlled storage room specifically for decorations and I’m wondering how big I should go. Thank you in advance!!

  • Love love love
    Where did you get your light fixtures?
    At they screw in?

  • Do you recall what color paint you used on these walls? I like the white and am curious about the shade used. Thanks.

  • I love your storage room reno! Can you tell me what you used for the floors? Did you paint the concrete or lay down flooring? Thank you so much for this post!

  • Your storage room looks awesome! For better flow and ease of use, might I suggest you flip your door on your refrigerator so it opens into the room. Again, great info on your website! Thanks for sharing…

  • We’re hoping to remodel our basement soon and build a new storage space, the dimensions of this space look perfect! Would you mind sharing how wide this corridor is? And the depth of the shelves?

    • Hi! I don’t have the exact measurements, but we built the shelves to fit these specific storage boxes. XX

      • I am looking at carving out a storage space in our basement. Could u tell me how deep the space is? I would love to have room to walk in like yours!!!

        • Hi! We just moved and I don’t think I ever measured. What I would do is measure your space, then measure for shelving and any other stuff you want to include (like my freezer). Another tip- we chose our storage boxes and then built the shelves to fit the boxes perfectly. XX!

          • Oh NO !!! You MOVED from the house that you did all that work ?

  • Our basement ceiling is just like this and I’ve been wanting to paint it exactly like you did to brighten it up. Just curious if you sprayed it or used roller/brush?

  • hey, are the shelving units custom? maybe you could do a DIY instruction post on how you made them 🙂

  • Oh darn it. We (four sisters) would have loved to follow you and your sisters site. But so many women complimented and asked questions and out of all of them you only responded with one reply …….

  • I’d love to know what the dimensions are of your closet and how deep the shelves are on the long wall. Do you happen to know?

  • I came back to this post to see if there was an answer on flooring. I’m still curious. Paint and epoxy? Tile? Vinyl?

  • I love that shelving units… where did you buy those… Please send me the information… Because I NEED IT BADLY!!! Thanks…

  • I absolutely love this! Everything is so nice , clean and organized. Can you please share where you bought the shelving from? Did you build it?

  • Hi Elsie,

    I love this room! I have been dreaming of shelving like this in my basement but never envisioned it so pretty along with my practical. Can you share the shelving plans? I’d like to build those same size shelves in my basement.

    thanks so much,

  • THIS is my dream right here, a dedicated storage room! So lovely! 🙂

    P.S. New to your blog, it ROCKS by the way!

  • Love this storage area. What did u use to paint the shelves and the floor. Or did u epoxy the floor?

  • This layout looks a lot like my storage area, but I have all sorts of tubs; I love your clear, matching totes!!! A couple of questions: Did you leave the lids off for photo purposes or do you not use them? Secondly, do you have an idea for holiday items that don’t fit in a tote, like a wooden snowman, a scarecrow, a Victorian Santa, Easter baskets, etc.

  • This is also a beautiful approach for any dingy basement reno. Did you need an electrician to tame the cords in the ceiling? Did you simply paint the electrical cords when you painted the ceilings?

  • I live in a part of Florida where we have no basements and our attic is a criss cross of beams for hurricane regulation, so I envy the storage space. So gorgeous! What are the dimensions of the space? I’d love to carve out something for storage and this layout is perfect- absolute perfection!

  • Love this kind of posts and before/afters. They always offer so much useful information – I mean, who couldn’t learn a thing or two by your storage room? For me is the consistent storage bins and the vertical freewer for stocking on food on sale.
    hugs from Italy.

  • How did you hang the pegboard on the concrete wall? We have a similar room in our basement and I’ve been wanting to hang pegboard but don’t know how. Great makeover! Looks amazing.

  • Looks awesome! Would love a tutorial on the shelves. Our basement has a storage area, but totally needs some deeper shelves, and I’d love to see the step by step of how Colin built this.

  • @Samantha – The colored garland is from MIchael’s, so I imagine the red and white one is as well; it looks to be the same shape and length.

  • Wow!! I love organized spaces and this is next level!! So smart to include a freezer. Did you know you can easily change the door swing direction?

  • The space looks awesome! I totally understand about the freezer. My sister and I bought a small one and with all the projects and guests we have had, it was a game changer… and a lifesaver!

  • Love the change and I am inspired to change my own, inefficiently laid out storage room. I would love to hear more about painting the cement floors (it terrifies me!!!)

  • Love it!! How did you make the shelves – or did you buy them? We need shelving for our garage 🙂

  • I currently live in a small apartment with my husband, and we don’t have very much storage for everyday stuff, not to mention special stuff like seasonal decorations! So your storage room is like my wildest fantesy come true! Haha!

  • I love this!! My goal this year is to fix up our laundry room in our basement, its the only part of our basement that is unfinished. I’m intimidated to start however because I know we have to clean the cement floors, and all the exposed wood needs to be dusted and I have no idea where to begin!!

  • Wow what a fabulous transformation!
    It looks lovely!
    Debs @ https://tiger-mint.com

  • Wow, what a transformation! It is so nice to see an aesthetically pleasing storage room, one that does the job & looks good at the same time – because why not? This is giving me all the inspiration and I can’t wait to buy a peg board to keep our tools on in our workshop! Thank you for the inspiration!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • This is a lovely storage space. However I am still bothered by the need for such a space. Surely in an age where we should be thinking hard about our impact on the environment we should be looking to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ we have.

    And unless you live a distance from stores that you can’t walk a big freezer should be necessary. Fresh food is better for you.

    Also storage boxes without lids mean everything in the boxes will be covered with dust after a very short time.

    That said efficient and beautiful storage of what we do have is a good thing.

    • A deep freezer can actually be a very efficient, and extremely practical way of storing fresh fruits and vegetables from a summer harvest—it’s far easier to stick your produce surplus into the freezer for winter use than it is to can things. For many families, too, it’s far more cost effective to buy food in larger quantities and to store it than it is to buy as-needed for each meal.

    • I thought the idea of storage was to re-use what we have (seasonal, kids clothes, etc)? And Elsie did mention the point of the freezer was to avoid eating out and getting take out, preserving food so it doesn’t go to waste.

  • I love this! I have the same feelings about the deep freezer. Mine is a big chest and I’m totally envious of yours! In any case, it is soooo nice not having to clutter our upstairs freezer and be able to stock up on items!

  • I just love how tidy and organised everything is after the makeover! It’s just so… clean! Haha!! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this project!! I cannot wait to do mine! I was wondering how to do it and how I have the perfect inspiration. Could you explain how you created and installed the shelves? And the paint you used for the walls and floor? Was it the same? How many layers? Thanks so much for your wonderful job and for sharing!! Xo

  • You have motivated me! My laundry room is a nasty brown color. It has 2 windows but that color sucks up all the light. I love your bright space. Also, not that you asked but one of the bloggers I follow just painted her freezer door and replaced the handle with a gold one. Thought you might be interested in the handle change. Check it out.

  • So inspiring! I love how you’ve committed to making even storage beautiful. Makes me want to tidy and clean all day tomorrow! 🙂

    Eva | www.shessobright.com

  • I love our deep freeze! My favorite way to use it is to do a bunch of baking leading up to guests or holidays so I can have a ton of different options.

  • Gorgeous! I’m deep in creative storage in our quirky MCM. You can use some of the cubby space between planks on the opposite wall. Some shallow shelves for shoes, etc. Holes threaded with elastic to store rolls of paper or bolts of fabric.


  • Can you share how you did the floor? Is it just white paint on cement or something else? Thanks! Looks super dreamy! ????

  • That looks amazing!!! I’m working on my attic and have similar ideas planned re storage, like using shelves, lots of white (so I can see spiders) and see-through boxes. I was wondering if you are not going to use any lids on the boxes? (I’d personally be afraid spiders could fall in.) And also, do freezers not have drawers in the US?

  • this space is AMAZING!!!

    for clothing items, have you thought about purchasing those bags you can suck the air out (with a vacuum or its own pump)? just so that you create more storage inside of the bin but also to protect the clothes. i know its just a matter of time before you are using it again but in the meantime it will be more protected.

    i love how much more space those bags give you!

  • I’m a sucker for organization posts like this!! It’s so glorious to have everything in it’s place – neat, and clean. How did you guys do the floor? Is it a special type of floor paint or epoxy?

  • This looks great! I would love to paint my storage room white. Where are the shelving units from?

    • I am wanting to paint my cold storage room in my basement. Your space is perfect!! Bright and clean, just what I’m wanting. Can you tell us what paint you used and how it’s holding up on the concrete? Thanks!

  • This looks AMAZING and is so inspiring, BUT most importantly, whereeee is that red and white garland from?!

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