Weekly Organising Challenge – Under-stair Cupboard

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge Understairs Cupboard

Oh my!! It’s been a long week around here. We had a power cut last Monday evening which knocked out our wi-fi router and we had to wait aaaalllllll week for a new one to arrive. I know, it’s been rough! I feel like this post was never meant to be! I’ve battled the wi-fi break down, then when we got a new router, I couldn’t get the printer to connect to it to make my labels, then when I finally managed to connect, I had to clear half the files off my computer to make room for the new printer drivers I needed to download, then the laminator ate my labels and I had to start again, then I ran out of ink, then my tripod broke whilst I was trying to take photos!!

Anyway, enough of the problems, I have finally made it!  This week’s organising challenge was a biggie. I can honestly say that there has not been a single day in at least the last six months that I haven’t thought about tackling this area. And that whole time, it has been gradually getting worse and worse and worse until we reached this point…

Duh Duh Duuuh!

Duh Duh Duuuh!

Ladies and Gentlemen…I give you…the cupboard under the stairs! It makes quite an impressive statement doesn’t it?! I cannot believe or understand how we have allowed this situation to escalate to this degree! WHERE does all this stuff come from?! I wish I had counted as I was working how many coats, bags, hats, scarves and pairs of gloves there were in here. I can’t imagine why we have so many.

You may (just!) be able to see from the before photo that, unbelievably, I have tackled this nook in the past. I even separated things out into drawers and labelled them as well as some of the hooks. Clearly, that didn’t work out too well.

I think the change of seasons is where we fall down with this cupboard. What we need to do is put away our ‘out-of-season’ coats until we need them again leaving just the ones were are currently using. But alas, I have been a bit slack about this.

The other problem with this space is the shape. As with most under stairs cupboards, it is smaller in the back and not easy to get to so it really needs to be saved for storing things we rarely need. Trouble is, I forget what’s in there! So, even if we do need the things back there, I don’t ever remember they are there anyway!

Apart from throwing out all of the rubbish and donating anything we no longer needed to charity, here are the things I’ve changed in an attempt to make this area work harder for us in the future:

  • I designated areas for separate belongings – coats, bags, sports kit and the pup’s stuff.
  • I put away all of our ‘out-of-season’ gear in vacuum bags to be kept elsewhere and be swapped out when the Autumn arrives.
  • I made a ‘wipe-clean’ inventory of what’s tucked away in the back of the cupboard using a laminated print-out and whiteboard pen so that it can be easily changed/updated as necessary and stuck it at the front of the cupboard.
  • I re-labelled the drawers and hooks to encourage everyone to use them correctly.

It’s tricky to make this space look pretty for photos but here are a few of the dramatically improved ‘after’ shots to give you an idea of what’s changed! (Though now I’m thinking it needs a serious re-paint!):

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Understairs Cupboard


Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Understairs Cupboard


Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Understairs Cupboard


Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Understairs Cupboard

The 'Before and After'

The ‘Before and After’

Have you been joining in with the weekly organising challenge? I must admit, it’s harder than I thought it would be to tackle a space each week (especially with a hundred technical hold-ups!!) Maybe I should re-name this the fortnightly organising challenge?! I suppose at least, it is keeping me on track and slowly but surely, we are improving things around here. I’m off to paint a chest of drawers. Don’t forget to send me your ‘before and after’ if you’ve joined in with the challenge this week!

To check out my previous ‘organising challenge’ posts, click on the links below:

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P.S – I’m sharing this post over at iHeart Organizing’s ‘Wait-no-more Organizing Challenge’

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 





  1. Emily @ My Love for Words says:

    Great job! I desperately need to do this too. I can (unfortunately) totally relate to having a project that needs to be done and spending months just watching it get worse first. How great to finally have it off your to do list!

    (stopping by from IHeart Organizing)

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Thanks Emily, yes, it does feel good to get this one crossed off! I can’t believe I let it go for so long! I would say I won’t be making that mistake again but you know how life goes!! Fingers crossed we can all make a bigger effort to keep this zone organised! 🙂

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