20 Staircase Storage Ideas to Help You Make the Most of Every Inch

triangle storage area in wall
Photo: John Merkl

Don't let the areas below and beside your stairs go unused. Step up your home's storage capacity by optimizing this area for organization. Here are 20 staircase storage ideas to outfit that extra space with boosted functionality.

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Functional Furniture

wood sideboard near modern white staircase
Jeff Herr

Make use of corner space around staircases by incorporating functional storage pieces that might not fit elsewhere in the room. A credenza can offer hidden storage for items like extra dishes or blankets and provide a tabletop surface for displaying favorite accessories. Choose a slim design that won't interfere with the flow of traffic.

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Built-Ins at the Base

Shelving and cupboards at the end of stairs
Brie Williams

A small stretch of wall at the base of a staircase is an ideal spot to incorporate extra storage. Consider upgrading this blank space by adding built-in shelves and cabinets. Corral small items in baskets and other containers to keep the shelves looking tidy.

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No Space Wasted

triangle storage area in wall
John Merkl

Look to nooks and crannies (like the open space underneath stairs) for extra storage. These built-in shelves, which hold kids' toys and books, are angled and graduated to fit neatly beneath the staircase. Thick trim around the opening gives the alcove a finished look.

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Custom Stair Solution

Living room with bookshelves and stone fireplace
Keller and Keller Photography Inc

Creative customizations can turn an awkward space around a staircase into a handy storage hub. Here, a built-in sofa tucks neatly next to the stairs to make clever use of tight quarters. Above it, shelves hold a collection of books and knickknacks and provide display space for other decorative accessories on top.

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Incorporate Kitchen Storage

Sink and cupboards near stairs
Emily Minton-Redfield

The area alongside a staircase doesn't need to go to waste. Here, adding a partial wall next to the stairs allowed for another workstation in the kitchen. This stretch of cabinets houses an at-home wet bar complete with a sink, drawer storage, and extra prep and serving surfaces.

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Welcome Entry Addition

Seating area near stairs with shelves and décor
Jeff Herr

With spots for storage, display, and seating, this previously underutilized alcove near a staircase is now an inviting entryway area. An upholstered bench provides a cozy spot to kick off shoes, while drawers below offer convenient storage for seasonal outerwear and other gear. Shelves installed in a secondary niche showcase favorite accessories to add personality.

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Add a Drawer Wall

Drawers on stairwell
Werner Straube

Open shelves aren't the only option for below-stairs built-ins. Sometimes closed storage, like this wall of drawers, works best for stashing items like table linens, candles, and serving platters out of view. Custom-sized drawers take advantage of every inch of space beneath this staircase. Recessed-panel fronts and shiny glass knobs give the unconventional configuration traditional appeal.

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Try Open Storage

Shelving under stairs with décor
Tria Giovan Photography Inc

Open stairs expose even more storage opportunities. This staircase's steep design allowed the homeowners to annex a nearby wall for adding storage. The bookcase-like unit is equipped with adjustable shelves to display artworks, collections, and souvenirs.

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Smart Landing Spot

Desk next to stairs with décor
Brie Williams

Stair landings and nooks created by upward-turning staircases can supply ample storage space. Consider using this area to set up a mini home office. Providing cabinets, drawers, and display shelves, this hutch and desk combination turns a small alcove into a practical work zone.

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Expand Your Library

Hallway going to outside doors
Michael Partenio

If you have more books than places to stow them, it's time for some outside-the-bookshelf thinking. These cased shelves make use of under-staircase space to house favorite volumes. If you're thinking of creating similar shelving, measure the height and width of your largest books to ensure the shelves are the proper depth and suitably spaced.

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Clever Cabinets

Cupboard storage under stairs
Ed Gohlich

Double-door cabinets built into the under-stair area maximize this staircase's functionality. Wavy glass adds eye-catching texture to upper cabinet doors, while beaded-board doors on the lower cabinets reference the home's wood-clad ceilings. Glass knobs provide vintage style and shine.

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Creative Construction

Wine storage under stairs
Stacey Brandford Photography Inc

The area below the stairs can convert into storage space for any room or hobby. Here, tempered glass walls, an entry door, and wall-mounted wine racks fashion a wine cellar beneath a modern staircase situated near the kitchen.

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Bonus Space

Pull out shelves under stairs
Gordon Beall

Stairs rising near a kitchen offer the perfect opportunity for homeowners needing extra storage. This staircase wall accommodates angled cabinets that increase in height along with the climbing steps. Pullout inserts amp up efficiency, while the cabinets' slab doors, ebony finish, and sleek chrome pulls contribute contemporary style.

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Store-Bought Stair Solutions

under-the-stairs storage idea
Adam Albright

Not all under-the-stair storage ideas require a major remodel. Incorporate bookshelves at increasing heights to utilize wall space under stairs, then use them to organize books, art supplies, toys, and other media items. For a cohesive look, paint the furniture pieces the same color.

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Create Kid Storage

fire station playhouse exterior
Edmund Barr

This stairway houses a themed playroom that keeps kids' toys, furniture, and art gear outside family living areas. Although the angled ceiling may be too short for adults, it's the perfect height for kids. A fire station facade with miniature sconces and windows invites little ones to come in and play.

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Carve Out a Family Center

Hallway with blackboard sign
Jim Franco

Staircase recesses and a storage-packed wall partner to create an all-inclusive mudroom. Cabinet doors equipped with bin pulls and chalkboard fronts bearing family member names stack up across from locker-room-style cubbies, which feature bench seats and shelves. By opening the lower section of the staircase wall, these homeowners gained space for setting shopping totes near the home's primary exit.

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Hidden Home Office

Living room with office under stairs
John Bessler

Double staircases provided these homeowners with enough square footage to tuck in an office. The desktop and storage shelves nestle against the far wall beneath the sloping ceiling. An office chair moves back and forth between office and living room as needed. Folding doors close to hide the work area and messy in-process projects.

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Stair-Stepped Storage

Stairwell with décor and artwork
Greg Scheidemann

Ledges jutting outward from a wall expand display space in a gallerylike stairwell. Capped and trimmed with decorative molding, the projections provide surfaces for displaying modern sculptures. You could also place small baskets on each ledge to corral miscellaneous items to be put away later.

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Opt for Narrow Storage

Tall shelves near stairs
Edmund Barr

When space around a staircase is limited, opt for shallow cabinets that don't intrude into walkways. These built-out cabinets project only a few inches into the room. Extra pantry staples and snacks are stored behind the closed doors.

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Double-Duty Storage and Display

Shelves under stairs with décor
Gordon Beall

A narrow stretch of shelves is all you need to make use of the empty space beneath a staircase. These homeowners reached under the steps to carve out a nook for open shelves, which provide storage (and a showcase) for collections and books. A basket on the lowest shelf helps keep smaller items contained.

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