What to do with all that crap…

I have lots of bags. Too many bags.

I noticed a few months ago that there is a lot of open airspace above the basement stairwell. I realized that I could stick my not very often used bags up here. The problem is that my arms aren’t ten feet long, so I couldn’t reach any hooks mounted up by the ceiling.

This weekend I made it work, despite my human length limbs. A couple of pulleys and cleats from the hardware store, a little scrap lumber and rope, and it all went together.The (teenage, probably daughter of the store owner) clerk at the hardware store said: “I love rope cleats. I wish I had a use for cleats. They are so perfect”. I agree, pulleys and cleats rule.

At the end of each pulley is a hook with a few links of chain. The chain goes around the hang loops or handles on the on bags and backto the hook. Once connected the bags are pulled back up to the ceiling. I fit a few backpacks, three saddle bags, a handlebar bag, my camping hammock, and more panniers then one person really should own (4 or 5 pairs) up there.

More photos:

I hope someone else finds this to be a useful idea. I learned a couple of things:

  • The pulley will tell you what size rope to use. Using thinner rope means it’ll jam.
  • My Little Giantclone ladder works great in stairwells.
  • The little caribiner keychains sold at hardware store checkouts that say “Not for climbing use” work great as the hooks on the ends of the ropes.
  • I need to find my knot tying handbook.


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