Maximizing Small Spaces – Under the Stairs Storage

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I have yet to meet a family that says, “We have all the storage we need!” It’s a premium commodity in most households. Before you read further however and decide you are going to build some under the stairs storage, start by editing what you already have. As the years go by, kids outgrow their toys and books and other playthings which then creates a great opportunity for you to have a garage sale, donate them to a second hand store or give them to another family who has younger kids. Make three piles: keep, donate & throw away. I suggest doing this too, when the kids are in bed or away at grandparents for the weekend, so it will be easier to edit. Once you have completed that task and you would still like some additional storage, consider a very underutilized area of the home: under the stairs. There are many tutorials online to help you get started and a million different uses. Consult a general contractor if you need additional help. Here are just a few storage ideas to get you thinking.

Entry way storage:

If the storage you desire is at the entryway, keep it clear of clutter by creating a place for shoes, bags & keys. It serves its purpose well if it gets picked up regularly. This pre-built shelf fits nicely under the stairs and can be found at most home stores or hardware stores. Be sure to measure your space before buying a shelf to save yourself the hassle of potentially returning it.

unders stairs shoes

Image courtesy: jassmint.com

This entry way storage features built in shelves and utilizes baskets to help minimize the clutter.

under stairs baskets image courtesy: houselogic.com

A cleaner, hidden storage option allows you to store things like the vacuum or even chairs that might sit on the front porch. Use it to store holiday lights and wreaths so they are easier to find. Adding in shelves will help to keep items up off the floor as well.

under stairs vacuum image courtesy: comqt.com

Pull out shelves at the entry are incredibly clever, but probably do require the expertise of a professional and might be well worth the cost. These are clean, streamlined and will add much needed storage space to the front part of your home.

pull out shelves image courtesy: freshome.com

You need the right configuration for this option to work, but the extra usable square footage creates a place to put the mail, pay the bills or have the kids play on the computer.

under stairs desk image courtesy: homedit.com

An idea that not only looks streamlined and clean, but functional is to create a built in bookshelf. It’s a great place to keep all your books and other keepsakes.

book stairs storage photo courtesy: inthralld.com

Basement stairs storage:

Most homes in our area have basements, a place where many of us store the majority of our stuff. Create an accessible & usable space under the stairs for storing tubs, roller skates, decorations, costumes, folding chairs or whatever you keep in your basement.

basement stairs storage photo courtesy: woodworkersworkshop.com

Another configuration provides ample storage for outdoor play toys, scrapbooking materials and tools. If your storage is in an unfinished part of the basement, using scrap boards to make the shelves is a perfectly fine solution. No need to spend a lot of money on the shelving unit.

basement storage photo courtesy: shelterness.com

Here’s a clever solution to storing your bicycles. Bikes are narrow enough where two can fit side by side as a way to maximize your storage.

bike stairs storage photo courtesy: bobvilla.com

What will you store under your stairs?

 

jcp-headshot8x10-2Lindsay Brandon is a Des Moines based Interior Designer creating design plans for clients who simply just need a plan. Her unique approach is tailored specifically for homeowners who are interested in doing much of the work themselves, but just need a professional plan to get them started. Plans can include space planning, furniture arrangement, color recommendations, suggestions for wallpaper & flooring and a complete shopping list with prices and vendor information so you can implement the plan on your time and your dime. Please visit her website, www.interiordesigndesmoines.com to find out more about her services and price list.

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