Organizing The Closet Under The Stairs

Organizing The Closet Under The Stairs  Mary Organizes

WARNING: Too many pictures!!!

There is this closet underneath my stairs. It holds all of our games, puzzles, and kid art supplies. Around the corner of the back of the storage closet is where I store our 72-hour emergency kits and a little bit of our long-term emergency food storage. I wanted to organize the back area and create more storage space. As for the shelves that were already there, they just needed a good de-junking. The shelves are mismatched, but when we moved into this house, I already had those three shelves that spanned the heights of under the stairs. It just made sense and I can’t rationalize the expense right now of changing them out when they’re working just fine.


Here is what it looked like before I spent some time working on it. The pictures make this point obvious, but I still feel like stating: I am terrible at taking dark closet pictures. Forgive me and try to imagine pretty magazine-lighting.

It isn’t the worst closet ever, but it just needed some attention.

The Messy Closet under the stairs BEFORE

another view of the before

The Lucky Box - I throw random kid stuff in here when I tidy up

BEFORE - the shelves

BEFORE picture of the shelves in the closet under the stairs

This area is just a ton of wasted space. The stuff I mean to store here is here, but this space could really be optimized.

BEFORE picture - around the corner in the closet under the stairs

BEFORE Pic - The back corner of the closet under the stairs


One night after the kids were in bed, Matt and I put the new shelves in. There was still more work to be done, but the next day I wanted to show Izzy the progress. Once we were in the closet together, we started to organize the other shelves without meaning to. We had planned to do something else, but we just got hooked on cleaning out the shelves. Izzy said “I love organizing. It is just too hard to stop!”

My little helper kept me laughing

The Haul-Away Pile

Here is all the junk we pulled out!! Gone gone gone!!!

The haul-away pile



And here it is now! I’m really happy with how the shelves in the back of the closet turned out. I also added labels to stuff and hung up the art shirts.

A tidy closet under the stairs!!

AFTER - My Organized Closet Under The Stairs

AFTER - The shelves are easy

Added labels. Created different bins for the card games. There is a kids card games box on the other shelf next to other kid games.

Organizing the games and extra pieces

Labels with dry erase. Awesome, awesome.

The Supply Buckets - love these dry erase labels

AFTER - The newly organized shelves in the closet under the stairs

This was my favorite shelf to organize, because I love the new wire bins that fit into the cube shelves.

Tidied up these shelves and added baskets

One for painting supplies and one for art supplies.

The paint bin and art bin

Hung up the art shirts on little hooks. So much better than having them crammed into a basket.

Hung the painting shirts up

This space is way more functional. The simple addition of the shelves multiplied the amount of storage!! I already know what I want to go here, more emergency preparation and long-term food storage items.

The new shelves in the back of the closet made a lot more storage room


The Lonely Pieces Bin

Here is our “Lonely Pieces Bin”. Whenever I find a game piece, I just slip it into this bin.

The Lonely Pieces Bin


The Lucky Box

Here is our Lucky Box. I started calling it that after I saw one of the awesome comments from THIS POST.

Where I keep my Lucky Box

It is interesting to learn how good it makes me feel as I get these projects done around my house. I’m finally getting done a ton of stuff that I had put off. Like this closet, it is easy to put off things you’ve learned to ignore! Of course, it was way easier than I had pictured, I wish I had made this a priority sooner … but all things in their time.

Here is to getting things done!!!

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6 thoughts on “Organizing The Closet Under The Stairs

  1. What exactly goes into your 72 hour emergency kit? I think it is an excellent resource to have on hand but I have no idea what should be in it. Do you have a list or a site to refer me too? Thx.

    1. Google 72 hour kit and you will see a ton of stuff. I think I should do a post about what I put in mine. It is the stuff I’ve guessed we’d need in the first 72 hours of a real emergency.

  2. I love all of the pictures – you show so many great ideas for labeling, how you have organized and that you are reusing what you already have. I would love to just go buy all new shelving but reality it is a huge waist of $ when you can usually find a shelf you might not be using or not utilized to its full potential.
    You have definetly motivated me this morning…thanks again for all the pictures and nice work!

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