Let’s get vertical

In the words of organizing guru Olivia Newton John,

Let’s get vertical, vertical
I wanna get vertical
Let me hear your closet talk

That’s not how it goes?

That’s how it went in the closet under the stairs… and it’s fabulous.

Building shelves in this closet was one of my home goals for this year.

We have a great storage space, but without shelves it was just a pile.

Messy closet

Disorganized closet

Confession, I hadn’t even put away our Christmas decorations because I didn’t want to go to the work of digging through the pile to find the storage bins.

But no longer.

Building shelves in the closet under the stairs

Christmas is tucked away, along with camping gear, electronics, artwork. There’s even a place for the vacuum and folding chairs.

Building shelves in the closet under the stairs

I used my very simple technique of affixing cleats to the wall (I used 1x3s) and then putting pre-finished white melamine shelves on top. The wrinkle with this closet was the stairs. I could only put the cleats on the back and one side wall, so I needed to find another way to support the end of the shelves that tucked under the stairs.

A few 2×3 braces screwed into the stairs solved that problem.

Building shelves in the closet under the stairs

Because I went vertical, we can fit a tonne of stuff in here. In fact, we have more than a shelf and a half empty–room to grow!

I think my favourite part is that I have a nook that perfectly fits the vacuum. Some mail organizers on the wall hold alternate attachments and extra bags.

Storing the vacuum and its attachments

Sturdy hooks hold our folding chairs and little step stool.

Store folding chairs by hanging them on the wall

And there’s still room to walk beside the shelves and access everything even at the far end.

Sing it with me, people. Let’s get vertical, vertical…

10 thoughts on “Let’s get vertical

  1. How is it that I have never seen that video??!! LOL
    I am totally envious of your closet shelves. They are exactly, exactly what we need! And the vacuum nook is perfect. 🙂

  2. Great job! I love getting organized…and then standing back and admiring what I’ve done 🙂 Shelves make such a huge difference, don’t they? We have to get more shelves up in our shed – I’ve been using brackets but I quite like your method and I think I will try it out for the rest of them.

    • The admiring is a huge part of the project. I find myself wandering past a newly completed area just to look at it again… and again!

      One tip for the cleat method: if your walls aren’t straight, it can be a bit challenging. Under the stairs, the back wall had a serious wave. There’s a few places where the shelf doesn’t touch the cleat, but it’s well supported elsewhere, so I didn’t worry about it. However, you could always scribe the back of the shelf and trim it to match your wall. I’ve never found that necessary, and I’ve used this method a lot.

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