Before & After Photos: Amazing Stairway Cleanup

I love seeing before and after photos when people declutter! This woman did a great job on her stairway cleanup.

Our house is over 160 years old. It has an “extra” stairway in the kitchen that we suspect was originally used by servants. Since we moved in, it has turned into a disaster zone! Thankfully, my mother came to my rescue and helped with an amazing stairway cleanup.

Are you ready to see the horrible before photos? *gulp* Here we go!

stairway cleanup

I know. I know. It really was bad. Let’s take a closer look at what we had going on here.

stairway cleanup

My goal was to use this space for:

  • cloth grocery bags
  • plastic grocery bags
  • lunch bags
  • extra food that doesn’t fit in cabinets
  • rarely used kitchen appliances

All of those things were on the stairs, but they weren’t organized at all. Plus there were plenty of items that needed to be trashed completely.

stairway cleanup

As you can see, we couldn’t use these steps at all. My mom and I hoped to change that as we reorganized the space. Nate and I don’t have plans to actually go up and down these stairs, but it would be nice to be able to use them in case of a house fire without breaking our necks on the way down.

The first thing we did was remove all the items to see what we were really dealing with. I was able to throw trash (like empty boxes) and relocate things that didn’t belong (like paper products, which I store somewhere else). I also declutter items I don’t use (like the bread machine).

stairway cleanup

Ta-da!! Isn’t that much better? My fabulous mother even mopped the entire stairway for me!

stairway cleanup

It was my mom’s brilliant idea to use command hooks (affiliate link) to get all of my bags off the floor. Now my cloth grocery bags, plastic grocery bags, lunch bags, and aprons are fabulously organized instead of in a pile on the steps.

stairway cleanup

Extra food items can easily be stored on the steps.

stairway cleanup

We put my crockpots and extra pans (long story!) on the steps also. We made sure there would be enough space for someone to walk up or down the steps on the other side without major tripping hazards.

And that little bucket on the hook? That is a discount refill bucket for hubby’s favorite french fry stand at the beach. Guys, I am so terribly frugal. I insisted that we find a place for this used-only-one-time-a-year bucket, but we found the perfect spot for it!

I am pleased to be able to say that even though this stairway cleanup was completed in May, it still looks just as organized today. 


Looking for motivation & help with your own crazy cleanup projects?

*These are affiliate links.*

I highly recommend The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to hear from an expert on decluttering. I also highly recommend Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff for those who want to hear from someone who struggles with organization.

Personally, I couldn’t relate to the author of The Life Changing Magic at all. It was inspiring, but her brain works completely different than mine. However, the author of Decluttering at the Speed of Life totally speaks my language. Both are great reads.

Don’t have time to read a 240 page book? Dana White, the author of Decluttering at the Speed of Life, also has a quick eCourse that is excellent.

The 5 Day Clutter Shakedown is five short videos (the longest is just 13 minutes) that cover how to declutter without making a bigger mess, how to find the time to declutter, and the two most important questions to ask yourself when decluttering.

Click here to sign up for The 5 Day Clutter Shakedown. And use promo code NEWYEAR19 for $15 off the entire month of January 2019.

Of course sometimes you just need a kick in the pants to get off the couch and clean something. All subscribers to Simply Rebekah receive a free copy of my Just Clean Something workbook.

Click here to subscribe.

Do you have any unique spaces in your house that could use a major decluttering? How about a stairway cleanup of your own?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Simply Rebekah. You can read my full disclosure here


  1. I love the hooks idea! Also, nice to use an area you wouldn’t normally use (much) for something besides dust and/or junk holding. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Hannah! I wish we had a regular pantry to hold this type of stuff, but the stairs work quite well. (at least they do NOW! haha!)

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