Under Stairs Shelves





Introduction: Under Stairs Shelves

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Step 1: Wasted Space

Somewhere in your house, shed, barn, garage, or whatever, you may have wasted space under your stairs!  Spiders are the only occupants taking advantage of this space.  I had some stairs in my garage leading up to a bonus room that were perfect wasters of space....until I made my shelves.  It is easier to get organized if you have a place to store the stuff that you are trying to organize.

Step 2: Dive Right In

I had a very small window of time between work, sleep, and playing with the family so I did this quick and simple.  In the process, I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do so you will have to use your imagination.  The good news is that the shelves you make will be your own.

  I used some 3/4" thick plywood for the shelves (you might have some 1/2" plywood laying around, or some planking pulled from a pallet, or some really thick cardboard, or carbon fiber)  You get the idea.

For My shelf supports  I ripped some scrap 2x4's into 2x2's, and fastened them to the stringers with some #8 wood screws.

Along with the normal safety equipment...Safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection and proper clothing I used very few tools.

A circular saw (handsaw would work fine, but would take a bit longer)

Drill for drilling and countersinking holes and for driving the screws.

Sandpaper for smoothing the edges (power sander would be quicker but louder)

A measuring tape, carpenters square and pencil for marking.

I also had a workmate (clamping table) that made things easier.

Step 3: Measure

Measure to see what size to make your pieces.  I was able to make all the supports the same length, but my shelves varied by almost half an inch overall!  To make the shelves easier to keep track of, and to have a tight fit I measured and made each one, one-at-a-time.

Step 4: Mark Cut Drill and Sand

Time to get repetitive.  I cut all my shelf support pieces square on one end and cut at a 45 degree angle on the other (just to be a little fancy)  I then drilled and countersunk my screw holes and sanded them all down.

Step 5: Mount Your Shelves

I held the shelf supports in place and transfer drilled the screw holes into the stringers.  I then used wood glue and screws to hold them in place.  I then cut out and placed the shelves one-at-a-time.  I made the shelves so they fit just tight enough to hold themselves in but loose enough that I could take them out for easier cleaning.

Step 6: As Always Enjoy

Now you will have shelves to organize some of your stuff.  Kind of haphazard in this photo.  I later made some sloped sided organizer boxes https://www.instructables.com/id/Sloped-Sided-Organizer-Box/ and put some like items in each box.  Now when I need something like safety equipment I just grab down the box that has my gloves, glasses, and ear plugs, take them out and put the box back.

I hope you have fun making and using your shelves and as always....Thanks for reading and Enjoy!

P.S.  Don't forget to vote!


  • Fantastic idea!  Thi...-ward173

    ward173 made it!


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Good use of space

If ever the need, I will definitely do this! Thanks for sharing.

This is a great idea. Does the vibration of going up and down the stairs cause items to vibrate off the shelves?

Pretty smart idea for people who have very little space.

You got my vote, what a great idea and not too hard to do. I also agree with chuckyd to add a lip to prevent things from falling off.

many possibilities here

if you have space and wish and require

those battens you so deeply secured

could be extended out beyond stringers

to make some or all shelves deeper

for heavy objects an extended bottom few shelves could all protrude forward to meet a supporting vertical etc

great stuff



thanks for the kind words

time out to reply

Neat ideas like this is why I subscribe to instructables! Since I am retired and always looking for projects and after a lifetime of accumulating stuff (junk) we always run out of places to put it all. But will the additional storage space encourage my Wife to buy more?


Thanks. I am glad I have inspired you. You can have fun with a project and make the wife happy.