Best Under Stairs Storage – The Complete Guide (2022)

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In many homes, you will find that the space under your stairs is wasted – either used as a blank space or a cupboard that is so cluttered you can’t really make the most use of it! 

Home storage is something that we all need and yet there aren’t many homes that are actually going to come with the versatile storage that we need! Having a good under stairs storage solution is not only going to add value to your home and be a fantastic selling feature if you are wanting to move – but it will be an incredibly useful and practical solution to all of your storage needs! 

Many people think that you are going to have to get a professional to build your under stairs storage for you, but this really isn’t the case! Providing you buy right, you will be able to create your own under stairs storage that is specifically designed for what you need. We created this article to help you see that this is possible – with all the information that you need to find the best under stairs storage for your home. 

In A Hurry? 

Fed up of tripping over loose shoes? Sick of sharing at your hoover sat in the corner of the room? Or too embarrassed to have family and friends over? We can help! Here is all the essential information to find the best under stairs storage. 

Style and Build 

The first thing that you need to think about is the style and design of the under stairs storage that you are looking at. This will affect how easy it is going to be to build and how compatible it will be with different understair areas! This really depends on what you are wanting to use your storage space for…….There are so many options, from coats and shoes, to dog leads and food, or even as a wine rack or pantry! So first decide what you want to store and then you can decide on the design that is going to allow this to happen. Here are the two most common designs…

Block Design 

One of the easiest under stairs storage design options is going to be the block design. This storage design is made up of multiple blocks that can be stacked and ordered depending on the space that you have under your stairs and what you are wanting to store. We really like this modern design because it is super easy to put together, with assembly taking no time at all. Not only that but you can stack smaller blocks for small items or choose larger blocks if you are wanting to store boots or coats. 

Made To Measure Cupboards 

If you are wanting a more seamless finish then a made to measure option may be better for you. These are going to be fitted into your under stairs space so that the cupboard doors lie flush with the staircase. Admittedly they are going to offer a more professional finish, but with that is going to come a higher price tag! Not only this but they don’t offer the same flexibility to adjust the space as your family grows and changes (and with the use of the space!).

TOP TIP: If you are working on a budget, or are unsure of the space that you are going to need, then we would definitely recommend opting for the block design storage units. Due to their modular design, they can usually be added to over time, so you could start with a smaller unit and then work towards it filling the full space. 

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Size 

Don’t forget to check the size of the under stair storage that you are wanting. If it was up to us then we would be getting the largest under stair storage that we could for the space that you have available as this is the best way to make the most of the space, but you may have something else in mind. There are a massive variety of sizes to choose from so you will be able to find one that fits! 

You also need to ensure that you check the width of the cupboards. Standard homes are going to have a staircase width between 800mm and 900mm so most under-stair storage spaces are going to be around the same size, however this is always worth checking to be on the safe side, as storage that sticks out or is hidden underneath isn’t going to have the same nice look! 

You don’t just need to think about the size of the under stairs storage unit as a whole, but also the size of the compartments that you are going to need. There are many designs that come with small cube like compartments, which look lovely and are great for smaller items or ornaments, but it isn’t really going to be practical for larger items that you may be wanting to store, like coats or your hoover. If this is what you need then look for models with a wider range of compartment sizes. 

NOTE: Some under stair storage options are designed to fill the whole gap whereas others are designed to just fill the majority of the space. If you have a more unique size or style of staircase then opt  for one of the smaller options so that you can be sure it is going to fit. 

Build Materials 

You will usually find that under stairs storage options are going to be made from wood. This makes them easy to drill into and secure, plus allows them to be built in a range of sizes depending on the space that you have available. We also like the high quality look that it will be able to offer. 

However, you do need to consider the finish that comes with wooden under stair storage options. You will usually find that it is wood paneling that comes with a vinyl style outer finish, which although very watertight and able to protect the wood from damage, can chip quite easily. This is more prominent with storage options as you are regularly taking items in and out, then once the vinyl outer layer is chipped it can really affect the overall look of the storage! 

If you are needing an option that is going to be more durable and able to withstand shoes being thrown in and out then look out for heavy-duty plastic options. Although these won’t have the same desirable finish, they will be incredibly easy to wipe down and clean when needed and will be able to cope being in areas with more footfall. You will also find that they will usually be cheaper.

TOP TIP: We have found some cupboard doors that are made from glass rather than wood! Although these are going to be a lot more expensive and mean that the items you are storing will be on show, they can allow you to make a fantastic feature of your understairs storage space! 

The Best Under Stair Storage

Chances are your under stair storage is going to be there for as long as you are living in your home, if not longer, so it’s really important that it is right! Make sure to consider these additional aspects when you are looking to buy! 

Cupboard Doors 

Not all under stair storage is going to come with cupboard doors so this is something that you really need to check for! You may prefer to not have doors on your cupboards so that the storage space becomes a feature of the room (and your items will be easier to access) but this does also mean that they are going to have to be perfect and tidy all the time! 

Look out for models that come with soft closing, securely fitting doors that will be able to cope with regular use. The best way to check for this is with the quality of the fittings.

You also need to consider whether you want cupboard doors with handles or without. This really comes down to personal preference…handles are going  to make it much easier to open your cupboards and access your belongings but you could  find them getting in the way if your  staircase is positioned in a narrow corridor. 

Added Extras! 

If you are really wanting the best of all the rest then this is what we found…

  • Storage on runners! – We love under stairs storage that comes on runners. Instead of opening the cupboard doors you pull them out to reveal all your stored items. This means that you can really maximise the space as you will always be able to reach the back of the cupboard! Plus you will have no excuse for it to not be kept tidy! 
  • Boxes – If you don’t want cupboard doors but you also don’t want to have to keep everything totally organised then why not opt for models that come with boxes. These can be slotted into individual shelves – but  you don’t have to use them for every shelf – so that some of your possessions can be hidden away and others can be on show! 
  • Rails and hooks – Anyone that is serious about getting good value for money needs to look out for under stairs storage that comes with coat rails and hooks included inside the cupboards. Not only will this save you money but it will save you time in trying to find rails that are going to fit. 
  • Lighting – Some under stairs storage units are going to come with lighting built in. This gives a really high-quality finish to your cupboards and makes it much easier to see what you are working with. Just make sure to check whether these are battery operated or plug in, as you are going to need a plug under your stairs if this is the case! 

Fitting Your Under Stairs Storage

Many people are put off from purchasing their own under stairs storage because they are worried about fitting the cupboards and shelves, but it is actually much easier than you would think. Many of the products actually come as part of a standard flatpack system, so it is only the more fitted options that are going to require more joinery. 

  1. Measure the space that you have available. Make sure to measure the height of the space and different increments along the understairs area so that you can judge the gradient at which the stairs incline. Most will give you a lower height and a higher height to help you gauge what you need! 
  2. Clear the space under the stairs – if you have carpet down then you may need to consider cutting this away – or fitting your cupboards on top depending on the design and how tight the fit is. 
  3. Once you are sure that your cupboards are going to fit then you can follow the instructions to build your cupboards. Remember that you are probably going to need two people to help position your cupboards under the stairs. 
  4. Finally make sure that you secure the cupboards to your wall! Due to their slim design they can be prone to falling if they are not secured properly! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I build under stairs storage myself?

There is no reason why you can’t build your own under stairs storage, but we would definitely recommend opting for a flatpack kit to help you do this. Due to the angles that are required for different staircases, you would need professional tools (or a lot of time and patience) to build your own under stairs storage without any help! 

What can I use my under stairs space for? 

Depending on the size and space that you have available, there are many uses for your under stairs storage. You can have cupboards that allow you to store your coats and shoes, or cleaning products and hoover. You will even find some that have been designed to be a safe space for dogs or cats, or even as a store for children’s toys.

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