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You don’t see it quite as much in newer houses, but a lot of us live, have lived, or plan to live somewhere with an under-the-stairs closet! These can be pretty handy for a lot of uses, and the fact that they’re already tucked nicely away really gives you an opportunity to maximize your floor space and streamline the adjacent areas of your house.


If you’re looking to make the most out of an under-stairs closet, or just need to know how to keep it a little more organized than it already is, we’ve got some tips ready to help you stay clean under the stairs:


Figure out what’s going in there. If you don’t have anything in there already, or if your closet is already bursting at the seams and you’re looking to do some purging, the best place to start is to decide on what’s going to in the closet. Is it close enough to the entryway to be a good place for coats and backpacks to hang? Are you using it store out-of-season clothes like heavier jackets and rainboots? Or maybe it’s just going to hang onto extra clutter that can’t find a home anywhere else? All of these are valid options for under-stairs closet storage, but deciding on a purpose early on will go a long way towards helping you decide how you’re going to arrange everything inside.


Determine how much space you have to work with.  This is never the most exciting part, but under-the-stairs closets tend to be designed at funny angles, have walls that suddenly come to a sharp point, or just don’t offer a lot of space. Don’t devote hours of your life to it, but take a second, grab your tape measurer, and figure out just how much room you have inside your closet before you start making any big plans.


Get some shelves in there. Nine times out of ten, these closets don’t have a lot of organizational options already. Depending on what you’re going to be storing, the next step should be to get some closet shelving put up on whatever wall offers the most space in order to better arrange everything. There’s going to be a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when placing these shelves – you’ll need to leave room to actually get in there, and if the shelves are too big you can crowd out other needed storage solutions, but if they’re too small you won’t be able to use them effectively. Take some time to think about where the shelves are going and use them to maximize your usage of space.


Use every inch of room you’ve got – get clever! Even after you’ve got the shelves put up, you’ve still got a lot of usable wall and floor space to work with, and in smaller closets like these every little bit helps! Consider getting some over the door storage to hang onto smaller items or maybe use the back of the door for coat hooks, get some stackable storage bins to use your remaining vertical space, and if you’ve got the floor space these closets are always a perfect spot for some shoe racks or maybe a storage bench to keep things from cluttering up the floor.


Make it your own. Of course, even after everything is organized and put away, you still have some chances to make it a little more fun! Don’t be afraid to paint the walls, hang up posters or paintings you don’t have the room for anywhere else, and get a little creative with your shelf coverings! Just because not a lot of people are going to see it doesn’t mean you have to make it plain!

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