How to Turn Your Under-the-Stairs Closet into a Wonderful Storage Space

Do you have a closet under your stairs? If so, you’re in luck! This space can be used for storage but it’s often overlooked.

The problem is that this space can be difficult to use properly. The awkward shape of the closet can be tricky, but with the right tips and tricks, you can easily turn it into a storage powerhouse.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to best use the space under your stairs and turn it into an organized storage area. Let’s get started!

Under the Stairs Closet Organization

If you have an under-the-stairs closet, you might have been wondering how to turn it into an organized closet full of storage. It can be tricky, that’s for sure, but it’s definitely not impossible!

I’ve put together an easy six-step process that will help you turn this closet space into an organized and functional storage closet.

Step 1: Decide what you want to store in that closet

The first step is to decide what you’d like to store in that closet. You might find that right now it’s acting more as a drop zone for random things. It might be randomly filled with coats, shoes, pantry items, paper goods, and more.

If you want to create a catch-all closet space under the stairs, that’s fine! You can still keep it organized even if you have lots of different types of items. But it’s important to figure out what you’d like to keep in your closet. Be intentional. Don’t just throw anything and everything in that under-the-stairs space.

If you’re not sure what you want to store in your closet under the stairs, here are a few ideas.

Extra Pantry Storage

One thing you can do with that storage space is to use it for extra pantry items. If your pantry space is limited in your kitchen, your closet under the stairs can totally fit extra pantry stuff! Using that space for food storage is a great idea.

Coat Closet

This space is also the perfect size to store coats or other clothes. If you have kids’ clothes that need to be stored somewhere during different seasons, you can use that closet for those bins of clothes.


If you have lots of clothes that need to be stored somewhere, consider turning this into a coat closet with extra space for kids’ clothing items.

Paper Goods

If you’ve been searching for a space to store paper towels, paper plates, and other paper products, look no further than your under-the-stairs closet. This space is perfect for storing those items that you don’t use every day but still need to have on hand.

Cleaning Supplies

You can also use this space for cleaning supplies. If you have a small vacuum, brooms, and other cleaning supplies that you need to store, this is the perfect place to do it. You can even add a shelf or two to store these items neatly.

Stationary and Gift Wrapping Section

I’ve mentioned having a gift wrapping station before that you can keep on a rolling cart. I’ve talked about cleaning products on a rolling cart before too!

Depending on the space you have in that closet, you can keep those rolling carts under the stairs in storage that is easy to pull out when you need it!

Linen Closet

If you have extra linens that you need to store somewhere, try that closet under your staircase. If you add shelves (which we’ll talk about in a bit), you can easily store your sheets, bedding, and other linens.

Outdoor Gear

If you are outdoorsy and have lots of sports or outdoor gear, you can store them in that closet (like sleeping bags, folding chairs, sports equipment, etc.).

Of course, often your outdoor gear is best suited to any extra space in your garage, but if there isn’t enough room in your garage, then you can use your closet under the stairs.

There are a ton of possibilities!

These are by no means all the options of what you can store in that closet space, but they are a few good suggestions to help you decide what you’d like to store in that extra space under your stairs!

Before you can get organizing, make sure you decide exactly what you want to keep in that closet! It will make all of the next steps much easier!

Step 2: Declutter

The next step is to take everything out of the closet and sort it into three piles: things you use often, things you use occasionally, and things you never use. This will help you determine what needs to be stored in the closet and what can be donated or thrown away.

If you have items in that closet that you don’t want to keep there anymore, find a new space in your house for them. That’s why we decided exactly what items we wanted to keep in our under-stairs closet storage.

I also suggest decluttering the things you’d like to store in that closet before you get too far into organizing. You don’t want to spend time getting things organized when you’re not even going to keep all of them!


Step 3: Gather the items you’d like to store in that closet

If you didn’t already do this in the decluttering phase, it’s time to gather all of the items you want to store in your under-stairs closet. This is a good time to measure any large items so that you can make sure they’ll fit in the space.

I’d also suggest you organize things based on type. Chances are that your storage space will not be dedicated to only one category of items.

For example, you might have some pantry products you’d like to have in the space, as well as some bins of kids’ toys, and maybe even some extra luggage that you don’t know where to store when not in use.

So, if you have multiple categories you need to be organized in the closet, create categories or piles for each of the different types of items. (Pantry things in one pile, luggage in another area, etc.)

Step 4: See how much space you have in the closet

Next, you’ll want to measure your storage space under the stairs. Measure everything – your wall space, floor space, the closet door, the height of the ceiling… everything. If your staircase affects the ceiling (like it causes sloping in one area), make sure to take note of that. This will help you as you figure out what you need to install to make an organized storage space.

Step 5: Add shelves, hooks, and more

Now it’s time to start adding storage solutions to your under-stairs closet! Depending on how big your storage space is, you may not be able to add all these storage solutions. But here are a few ways to organize the space under your stairs.

Add Shelves

One of the easiest ways to organize storage space under your stairs is to add shelves to that closet. You can install shelves on the walls yourself, or you can get a rack that just goes up against the wall.

organize the closet under the stairs
I added shelves to my space so I could have more space for bulk food storage.

Depending on which of your walls is the largest, you can put them along one of the sides or on the back wall. Or you can have shelves on both – whatever you have the space for!

Along the back wall, you could also leave space underneath the shelves so you can store a big bin or two that are too large to store on a shelf.

Use Stackable Bins

If you’re not storing items that you need on a daily basis, you can forgo shelves and use stackable bins instead. Remember to label the outside of them so you know what is in each bin.

However, if you’d like easy access to your items, I’d suggest sticking a shelf or two on your closet walls still so you can grab anything you need to access regularly.

under the stairs organization with totes
I store some of my Christmas Decorations in this area in large totes.

Hang Hooks on the Wall

Another great way to keep things organized is by putting up hooks on your wall. By hanging some hooks, you can easily store items like coats, umbrellas, and more. This is a great way to keep your closet organized and tidy.

Hang a few hooks on the back of the door for some hanging storage space!

Step 6: Organize items in your closet under the stairs

This is tied closely to step five, but as you’re installing shelving, adding hooks to your door, and trying to create organization spaces in your closet, organize your items by type.

So, if you have multiple categories you need to be organized in the closet, it might be helpful to create a system with labeled bins, baskets, or shelves.

If you have large items that need to go in first, start with those. Then begin adding in smaller items. Try to keep things you need often closer to the door so you can grab them quickly.

Try to keep the floor clear so you can walk to the back of your closet for any items farther away.

If everything is in a category (like pantry items together on one shelving unit, cleaning products all together on a rolling cart), then it will be easy to find everything and keep it all organized.

Your closet makeover is complete!

Now your understairs closet is a functional storage closet that is properly organized. Remember, those spaces under your staircase can be a great place for storage… you just need to know how to organize it all!

I hope these tips help you turn your closets into amazing storage spaces!

When you take the time to organize the closets and smaller spaces in your home, it will really help your house feel organized and tidy.

If you have any other great tips, please share them in the comments below!


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