Five Easy Ways to Add Usable Storage Space Under Your Stairs
Americans love stuff, but most of us have too much of it. That's why American houses keep getting larger, and it's also why about 10% of us also spend money on a self-storage unit. Considering that the average storage unit costs close to $1,000 a year, it's no surprise that some of us also get creative about finding more storage space in our homes.
One spot that represents a lot of wasted space is below any set of stairs. There's often a huge void of space underneath, enclosed in drywall. Even if that space is open to the air, it's kind of difficult to put to good use due to the angle of the stairs above. Of course, if you're handy and have some spare time you could create seriously useful storage under there--but if you're not ready to make this into a huge project, the good news is there are less intense options that don't require carpentry skills.
You will have to open the wall under your stairs, of course, and put some effort into making the area look nice with some trim work. But once that's done, there are a lot of easy options for putting the space to good use.
Angled shelf brackets
If your stairs go up high enough, one simple way to transform the area underneath them is to install some angled shelf brackets. These attach to the framing of your stairs like any other shelf bracket, but can be adjusted so that the shelving is parallel to the floor no matter the rise of your stairs. These instantly transform any sloped area into usable storage and all you need is a level and a power drill.
One of the simplest ways to use the space under your stairs is to simply pick up some ready-made storage designed for the spot. Barring that, you can just pick up a bunch of stackable, modular storage cubes and arrange them under the stairs starting with one under the lowest point and rising up as you go.
Some affordable kitchen cabinets can be slotted in under the stairs, topped with any kind of surface (wood, leftover laminate, tile) and immediately used to store, well, anything. If you have some vertical space towards the end of the stair's run, you could add in a wall cabinet or two and create a bar area. Alternatively, put some stackable file cabinets in there for some extra office storage.
Under your staircase is a great place to store a couple of bicycles. All you need are some bike storage hooks. Sink those babies into the stringers of your stairs and just hang your bikes there when not in use. Of course, you can also use those hooks to hang just about anything else--handbags, clothes, tools, whatever you have no other place to keep.
If you want to transform the space under your stairs into a mud room or extra closet area, you can just pick up a closet organizer system and adapt it to the space. This is perfect if your stairs are near the front of the house, because you can use the space as a coat room and shoe depot where folks can deposit their stuff when they walk in.