A closet under the stairs can be a tricky space to work with. From sloping triangular walls to low overhead clearance, these little spaces can be tough to optimize. However, they are also a great spot to carve out some extra storage or to create a jewel-box like space for a special use. The following suggestions will help you get organized and keep the troll under the stairs at bay.
Know Your Stuff
The first step is to consider the function of your little closet space. Will this space provide run-off for your entry hall closet, store coats and boots and other seasonal items, sports equipment or linens? Alternately, do you want to create a special use nook? A little desk space, play area, craft room or mini-bar are great solutions for these under-used niches. Once you know what you want to store, you’ll have an easier time planning what your storage needs are.
Making the most of a small under stairs closets means you’ve got to get creative. Look for stepped shelves or stacked cubbies that can tuck into a triangular space. If you can’t find any storage units that fit, consider building your own custom shelves. Many lumber stores will make the cuts for you, so plan your shelves in tapered lengths for that built-in, custom look.
If you plan on incorporating hanging storage, there are lots of great ways to optimize your space. Visit a storage store or shop online. You’ll find lots of great options – such as tiered hangers or hanger doublers, hanging sweater organizers (which can also be used for shoes) or slide-out hanging systems. A hanging boot rack is a great choice for storing multiple pairs of boots in a streamlined vertical space, and, even better, can be customized to fit in shorter spaces. That’s especially great if you are planning to install double hung, two-tiered clothes rods. Choose what works for you to make the most of your under stairs space.
On A Roll
In tight and multi-functional spaces, using wheeled storage can provide some much needed versatility. A rolling garment rack instead of a fixed rod will allow you access to a whole second layer of shelving behind. A cabinet of drawers on wheels can be pulled out, revealing a desk nook behind. Tuck it back away when you’re finished with your work.
A“Door” Your Space
Decide whether or not you need a door on your closet. Removing a closet door can help make the nook feel more like part of the room. Add some exposed open shelving and coordinating storage boxes to complete the built-in look.
If your closet is an out-of-site-out-of-mind type of storage space, be sure to utilize the back of the door. Don’t forget about over-door storage racks, boxes and hanging receptacles to organize smaller items and accessories. You can also add a row of hooks for coats, a mop and broom caddy or a peg board system to hang your tools.
Let There Be Light
Adding lighting can be one of the best things you can do upgrade your space. If you can’t afford to hire an electrician to wire a new chandelier fixture, get creative with a floor or table lamp. If you have no outlets at all, there are many battery-powered lamps on the market, some with a motion detector feature that will light up every time you enter the space. Being able to see your storage will increase its functionality, decrease the time you spend looking for things and allow you to get and stay organized over time. It will also let you admire all your hard work in setting up your little under-stair miracle.