Organizing a Crawl Space

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little red wagon

My guest today is Moreen Torpy, owner of De-Clutter Coach in North Bay, Ontario. Moreen and I go way back to the time when I was an active member of Professional Organizers in Canada, and I’m pleased that she has offered to tell us about her favorite tools for working in basements and crawl spaces.


Organizing in a crawl space can be a tad dangerous. Either we’re bending over and slamming our heads on the upper floor beams or crawling around wearing out the knees of our clothing.

How to avoid these? Here are my favorite tools:

  1. Garden cart: one with wheels that I can sit on and “walk” around by pulling with my feet. If the beams are lower than my head, I still need to remember to duck when moving around.
  2. Child’s wagon: Not only can I move heavy loads around the crawl space easily, I can sit on my garden cart and pull the wagon behind me. It is also useful when organizing a basement or moving my recycle bin to the curb.

Then when it comes to organizing down there, I like:

  1. Repurposed pallets or skids: A crawl space does not usually have finished walls and floor, so it’s important to lift storage off the floor. The pallets or skids can be either wood or plastic, as long as they provide an air space under the storage stacked on them.
  2. Airtight plastic bins: They will not allow moisture, rodents, insects or anything else undesirable in. As organizers, of course we know to label everything, and use color coded bins for the seasons.
  3. Wine racks: The crawl space is ideal to store wine. Cardboard boxes aren’t ideal for a variety of reasons.
  4. Resin shelving: To lift paint cans off the floor and away from the furnace and water heater so their contents neither freeze nor become combustible. Resin shelving can be assembled easily by twisting the upright support into the shelf. The unit can be built to fit the space and also keep storage off the cement floor.

So, as I work in crawl spaces and basements I continue to learn what tools are appropriate and useful therein. And I’m sure as new ones become available, my list of favorites will change.

Photo © Donna Beeler /

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Moreen Torpy is the De-Clutter Coach, a practicing professional organizer. A Silver Leaf Member of the Professional Organizers in Canada, she is also a Trained Professional Organizer.

Moreen also holds several Certificates of Study from the National Study Group in Chronic Disorganization (now known as the Institute for Challenging Disorganization).

In addition, she holds a Certificate of Completion in Hoarding Level 1, Hoarding Level 2, and Clutter Coaching in a Hoarding Environment from Birchall Consulting & Associates Inc. (2011). Moreen continues studying in relevant fields.

Moreen has authored three books: Going Forward: Downsizing, Moving and Settling In, Let’s Get Organized: 172 Tiplets to Simplify Life and Christmas Workbook: how to plan and create a more meaningful Christmas.

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  1. Avatar Dean on December 11, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Excellent advice. Pallets can do wonders for organization. I suggest that you go to large factories to see if they have any discarded ones lying around.

  2. Avatar Joann on October 23, 2016 at 3:31 am

    I liked you on Facebook.

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