Here’s how to maximize that unused wall space in a basement stairway to store all your cleaning tools, supplies, and miscellaneous items that don’t have a home anywhere else in the house.
Cleaning tools are long, awkward, and difficult to store, especially if space is lacking in your home. But if you have a basement or garage stairway, this may be the perfect place for you to keep them. I just finished remodeling my own basement stairs and added a wall organization system to hold brooms, mops, dusters, and small cleaning supplies, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Here’s exactly what I used and how you can do it in your own house.
Supplies You Need:
- Garage storage rails
- Standard hooks
- Rail-compatible baskets
- Pegboard pegs (optional)
- Spray paint (optional)
Why Garage Storage Rails?
I know, it seems like an unexpected way to use them, but hear me out. Garage storage rails are extra strong and sturdy, so they’re perfect for holding cleaning tools. They can even hold the weight of your vacuum and carpet cleaner if your stairway is wide enough.
On top of the strength, garage storage rails are super easy to install and customize. All you have to do is screw the rail to the wall, then you can arrange and rearrange the hooks anytime without having to take it all down.
This gives you the opportunity to change up the layout seasonally based on the tools and products you’re using, and add new hooks when you buy new cleaning tools.
There are all kinds of rails and slat wall kits on the market for you to choose from. I like these from Walmart because they’re affordable, easy to install, and have held up very well for me in the garage with heavy lawn equipment.
Which Garage Rail Accessories To Buy
The key to this actually working while not being in your way when using the stairs is making sure you buy short hooks. Most garage rail starter kits come with hooks that are really long because they’re technically made for big equipment like leaf blowers and grass trimmers. These aren’t very helpful for smaller things like brooms and mops, so save your money and skip the set.
I recommend just buying the rails on their own, then buy compatible small hooks like J-hooks and shorter peg-style hooks. These don’t stick out much and still allow you to hang all your cleaning tools up against the wall. If your stairs are wide enough, you can add baskets too.
Arranging Garage Rails For Stairway Organization
I’ve found that the best layout is putting the longest cleaning tools on the lower steps and the smaller items on the steps closest to the landing. It’s much easier to reach up to take down a broom while standing on the stairs, but very hard to reach a small item or take it out of a basket when you don’t have a lot of standing space.
If you aren’t using baskets and are just hanging big cleaning tools, keep the ones you use most frequently near the door or landing, and the lesser-used ones further away.
Customizing Garage Rails For Interior Use
If your stairs are inside the house instead of in the garage, or if you just want to make them look a little prettier, you can spray paint them components like I did. I just used a spray paint with primer included and did two light coats on the rails and hooks. (Tape the nonslip hook covers, or remove them so they don’t get paint on them.)
Other ways you can customize your garage rails are to add additional pegs, line the baskets with fabric, label baskets with bin clips, label above each hook with a label maker, or add binder rings to all your cleaning tool handles for easier hanging.
More Organizing Ideas For Stairs
- Use peg hooks to hang dirty or wet shoes
- Add a stair basket for transporting small things between levels
- Store grocery bags together for quickly grabbing before shopping
- Keep a handheld vacuum on the wall for vacuuming stairs
- Add additional hooks for coats and backpacks
- Install motion sensor lights for safety
Want More Rail Storage Ideas?
I’ve used this exact same rail system in two other spaces in my home and they really are so versatile. You can see how I use them in my garage in this video, and how I turned them into home gym storage in this video.