Author Topic: Ideas for an understair basement closet  (Read 1874 times)

Offline otowner98

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Ideas for an understair basement closet
« on: November 24, 2012, 09:09:04 PM »
     I have finally regained control of the closet under the basement stairs from our family's (my wife's) Christmas decorations by building a plywood platform in the attic for them all to rest comfortably on for 11 months of the year.  I'm really stoked because when we finished our basement, I went from having 800 square feet of  storage to probably 40 in a long, narrow pantry room. 
     Question is, how do I effectively make use of the space under the stairs.  All the research I've done online is for a bunch of Martha Stewarty looking stuff.  Not really what I'm looking for.  I'm open to any and all ideas.  Entry is straight in from under the "top" of the steps, sloping down with the steps.  Drywalled walls, VC tile.  As mentioned, I have a good sized pantry, and I also have my defensive preps well situated. 
      My thoughts so far have been to store so large cook ware, maybe some water in stackable containers, and to move the really longterm (as in so I don't have to dig it out often) 5 gallon buckets in there.  Not sure if anyone has a similar set-up and how they've configured it, but I'm kind of at a loss right now for how to start it.
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 05:18:33 AM »
I'm not sure what area of the country you live in, but I've seen a lot of people use that area as a shelter (tornado, hurricane) or a panic room.  We don't have stairs that have under area storage ourselves, but I thought I'd throw that idea out there for you.
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Offline Herew

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 09:00:38 AM »
I am in a similar situation. Our stairs are split by a landing so the space is short in the front and taller the further you go in. I was planning on building some shelves for my canned goods. I also want to use the space for long term food and water storage. Finally, I think I've talked the wife into letting me make some mead back there.
I probably haven't helped much, but that is what I'm doing with a similar space. 
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Offline ID_Joker

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 11:16:52 AM »
My experience using under stairs space from the end is that there's not really enough room to line the sides so you can walk down the middle; thus it it really hard to get to the stuff at the back (ie where the stairs get down to the floor.)  My take would be to pack the back with things you hope to never have to get to .... like maybe long term food stores.  Then you can use the more accessible 'near-door' space for yout cookware.  You could even fill it with your lt storables and then put shelcing horizontally across it to store the cookware on in a more organized manner -- just don't nail down the shelves in case you want to get into the back for some reason.


Offline flippydidit

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 12:11:52 PM »
If you wanted to get better access to it there's another possibility.  It would take a little designing on your part, but the idea is to section out a part of the stairs and hinging them.  Might want to also add some hydraulic lifts or a garage door spring.  It would look a little bit like the stairs on the Munsters TV show.  Dragon is optional.



More access space would look like this:



Just some thoughts if you wanted access from the stair side.  Besides, secret passages and hiding places are much cooler than Martha Stewart.
 8)
Nate
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"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
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Offline otowner98

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 08:13:13 PM »
I should have done that when I was finishing the basement a couple of years ago, but oh well.  Funny though, that Munster's thing was the image I had when I thought, "how else could I get in there.

I think I'm leaning towards longterm food and water at the far end, and maybe shelves "hanging" from the top 2 or 3 stairs for the bulking pasta makers, large bowls, etc.  Then I might put some narrow (1-2 quart jar deep) shelves on the sides going in. 

Thanks for all the suggestions, and keep them coming as I'm sure concept to completion will stretch into the new year.
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Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 08:20:53 PM »
One word of caution --

If the Christmas stuff used to be in the (cooler temp) basement, but is now being moved to the (warmer temp) attic, please be careful about wax candles (such as Advent wreaths, etc) that won't survive the summer up there.

Your wife will thank you.
"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

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Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 08:23:26 PM »
"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." -- CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson on Peak Oil in CNN's investigative report "We Were Warned: Out of Gas" June 2007/May 2008 03:05

"We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier." --Steely Dan 1983

"... it doesn’t really matter who is removing your civil liberties, whether it is being done by a democratic government, a kleptocracy, a dictatorship or even the green police. When your civil rights are gone, they’re gone, and you really are in trouble, no matter how good the cause." --UK journalist Anthony Harrington, "Peak Oil and Collapse Scenarios," QFinance, September, 2011

Our parents used to say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of it."
And now our kids say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of us."

No food shall be grown that Monsanto does not own. (It all started with the disastrous 1980 SCOTUS ruling on Diamond v Chakrabarty. Petition your Congressman to revoke all patents on living things.)

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." FDR 1937

The Tin Foil Hat Song by the League of Lady Conspiracists

Offline otowner98

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 08:30:52 PM »
Wow.  You probably just saved my behind for Christmas, 2013.  Thanks, Oil Lady!
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Offline Big_Al

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 02:38:49 AM »
Maybe use the space to store long term food. If it is really hard to get too, then it could be used for storing valuables (mount a small safe to floor with lugs and store silver). You could also split the closet with a false wall, to really have a place to store things or as a hiding spot. Throw some silver, water, food, flashlights, books, a small arm, and be done.
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 03:57:20 AM »
You can get creative with your stairs to maximize that "narrow space".



You could reduce the depth of each drawer as you go up and that would give you a vertical flat wall on the inside of the staircase.  Then you'd have more of a "square" storage under the stairs vs. the "triangular" area you have now.

Just a thought!
Nate
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"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Ideas for an understair basement closet
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 07:47:53 AM »
Wow.  You probably just saved my behind for Christmas, 2013.  Thanks, Oil Lady!

No Problem. :) 

One more thing ... certain decorations with LOTS of glue in their composition, as well as fake white snow-looking stuff (such as fake green pine branches which have been factory sprayed with some sort of white stuff to look like snow) are also very sensitive to the heat of an attic. And so those portions of the decorations can/will break down during the summer. And when you take them out in Nov/Dec next year, you will find that the white fake snow will have crcked and caked right off, falling clear to the bottom of the box.  There'll be no way to get the white stuff back on again and you'll just have to re=spray it yourself with a can of white spray paint. As for the stuff with a very high glue content, that stuff will likely be obliterated into cracked broken bits of no-longer-glued-together debris. 

Not ALL the decorations will suffer such chemical breakdown due to attic heat, but SOME will.

YMMV.

Good luck.
"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind." -- self-made billionaire Richard Rainwater in his business analysis of Peak Oil, "The Rainwater Prophecy," Fortune magazine, Dec 26, 2005

"This is an emergency far worse than World War I and World War II put together." -- CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson on Peak Oil in CNN's investigative report "We Were Warned: Out of Gas" June 2007/May 2008 03:05

"We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier." --Steely Dan 1983

"... it doesn’t really matter who is removing your civil liberties, whether it is being done by a democratic government, a kleptocracy, a dictatorship or even the green police. When your civil rights are gone, they’re gone, and you really are in trouble, no matter how good the cause." --UK journalist Anthony Harrington, "Peak Oil and Collapse Scenarios," QFinance, September, 2011

Our parents used to say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of it."
And now our kids say, "Don't worry, the government will take care of us."

No food shall be grown that Monsanto does not own. (It all started with the disastrous 1980 SCOTUS ruling on Diamond v Chakrabarty. Petition your Congressman to revoke all patents on living things.)

"The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." FDR 1937

The Tin Foil Hat Song by the League of Lady Conspiracists