Organize The Closet Under The Stairs {Update}

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Closets underneath stairs can be awkward, no doubt! I’ve shown you how I’ve organized this closet in the past, but I’ve given it an update. I’ve replaced all of the hodge-podge shelves with uniform shelves from IKEA. I like the price of these shelves as well as the ability to find different height and different width shelves that all look uniform.

Closet Under The Stairs Update 1

Truthfully, I put these shelves in last year. Hello, my name is Mary, and I forget to write blog posts. 

My daughter and I re-organized it a few weeks ago. We pulled everything out and gave it a fresh once-over. We pulled everything out, decluttered, and moved some things around as we put them back in. It feels better in here now.

Let’s have a look –

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This basket hanging on the left of the open door is one of the most useful organizing tools at my disposal! It is my What-Not-Basket. <—You can read more about it HERE, or basically, it is a basket I put things in throughout the day that I find laying around the house that belong to my children. Then, each day it is on one of my children’s chore lists to empty this basket.

I also use it during my Daily Super Tidy if I’m doing it without my kids. Basically, I can get the house super tidy without taking the time to put away every tiny piece of kid junk. I’d rather the children deal with putting away their junk than me BUT I would also not like to live in a mess until they do it. That can be a catch-22 … until you bring out THE BASKET.

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We’ve been playing a lot of family games lately. Maybe because it’s summer or maybe because my girls are finally old enough that it’s starting to get really fun.

I want games front and center in this closet, because we don’t actually call this closet “The Closet Underneath The Stairs” as the blog post would suggest. Around here, this closet is just known as The Game Closet, even though it has a lot more than games in here. I think that’s just the most important thing in here to everyone.

When we were re-organizing, we went ahead and got rid of any games that we haven’t wanted to play in a while. We get new games semi-frequently, so we always need to clear out and make room!

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This shelf has the card games, sorted by type into the bins.

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The next shelf up has smaller boxes of games and the games with really small pieces that are easy to open. I want these boxes up here so that the 3 year old can’t reach them very well!

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This is our Lonely Pieces bin for pieces that are separated from their games.

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Admittedly, I left the very top shelf alone. I could see everything on it and knew we weren’t getting rid of it, so I didn’t bother going through the effort of reaching and straightening it up. It is weird how you can work so hard for something, like organizing an entire large closet, but then get randomly lazy about one tiny part. Hmm.

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The middle section of shelves is full of Little Guy’s stuff, piano music and choir music, the bins have electronic cables, family history files, religious manuals, Lego League materials, and even an art bucket. You could say that it is very diverse and well used!

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My 3 year old boy is obsessed with Play-doh right now. He could play it for hours and “cook me” a million cookies and pizzas. I’m one lucky mom. Since we removed his toy box from the living room, we moved a toy box in here that he can access while he plays downstairs. He’s now old enough to come and go easily from this closet and also realize he doesn’t need to pull everything off the shelves.

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I still keep certain things out of his reach, though, like this art stuff bucket. I want these supplies gotten out on my terms (as in not right at bedtime).

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These end shelf units are my back up inventory for household items and staple pantry items that I like to have a TON of. I was actually so alarmed that there was only 1 peanut butter left when I took this photo that I bought four the next time I was at the store. We go through peanut butter like some people go through water … 4 kids who eat some every day! I don’t like to bog down my regular pantry with these items when I have a lot of room here.

That black box stores my manuals and warranty information — I’ll have to show that another time!

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This back corner contains some of our Emergency prep items. All of our 72 hour Emergency Kit stuff is in this corner. Also, some of our 1 Year Emergency Supply of food.

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This little opening on the left of the shelf is where we keep poster boards. I try to have my children re-use the big tri-fold ones if possible. It’s always good to have poster boards on hand because you never know when kids’s are going to come home with a surprise project due the next day…

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These buckets are awkward to store many places, but they store here alright! I’m grateful for storage places like the closet under the stairs!

The purple bucket above has more Lego League materials, and the pink bag below is full of 72 hour kits. There are actually 2 backpacks in there. I used to just have the backpacks out, but then my kids kept opening them up and going through them and taking stuff out, which is not the point of trying to have things packed and ready for an emergency! So, we hide them away in plain sight.

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Sometimes the house is too quiet and I can’t figure out where all the kids are, but I hear little giggles coming from this closet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened this door to all four kids cramped in here, sitting on the floor playing a board game. Well, three girls playing a board game and a little brother pretending to play along. I love empty floor space – always have since I was a child. Every kid needs floor space, because that is where things happen.

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And there you have it! This is how I organize our closet underneath the stairs.

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My daughter, who is a most excellent organizer, and will probably take over my business for me one day, organized with me every step of the way. She really wanted to and would have been mad if I did it without her (true story).

I asked if I could take her picture in front of the closet, and she said I could only take a picture WITH her. Well … I wasn’t planning on being in a blog photo today, but when your daughter asks to do such a thing, you just smile and do it.

My husband usually laughs at this shirt choice. I always seem to pick my “I Can’t Adult Today” shirt on my busiest days of adulting. Sometimes the humor of the irony gets me through the day. It helps that it is one of the most comfortable and soft t-shirts that I own. {I order my favorite t-shirts from HERE.}

(Photo Credit goes to another child. I can not remember which one. Ha!)

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this little update on our game closet (aka – The Closet Under The Stairs).

I’ll be showing even more closets this week, so look out!


Happy Organizing!


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12 thoughts on “Organize The Closet Under The Stairs {Update}

  1. You made use of every nook and cranny of your under-the-stairs closet, Mary. I’m giddy just looking at all that organization. And I can see why your children have fun playing in the closet/fort/hiding place.

  2. Adorable picture of you two! What a fabulous closet! Mine isn’t nearly so big, but the shelves gave me a good plan!

  3. Love this and everything else in your home! I really wish we had a closet for storing things in a central location.

    1. It makes a big difference! I won’t have this in our new home, so I’m already brainstorming different solutions. There’s always a work-around!

  4. Love the way you’re organized this cupboard. Just wish I had an under the staircase cupboard. My daughter, 11, also loves to organize. She and I love nothing better than cleaning out and organizing a room or cupboard.

Leave a comment! I love to hear what you think!