Closets above a stairwell usually have a slanted floor, which makes storing shoes or longer coats and shirts that would drag on the floor difficult. These closets serve best as linen closets or food pantries, where their slanted floor is less of a problem. If you suffer from limited closet space, however, and need to use a closet above a stairwell as a clothes closet, there are a few ways to maximize your space.
Storing shoes in a closet above a stairwell can be a problem. The slanted floor means your shoes are constantly tumbling out when you open your closet door. Using an over-the-door style cloth shoe hanger -- the kind with pockets for each shoe -- is an easy way to eliminate this problem. Lay the shoe hanger on the closet floor and staple it securely. If you do not want to put staples in your closet floor directly, cut a piece of plywood to fit the floor and staple your shoe hanger to that.
Skip the Hangers
Most anything that can be hung and kept wrinkle free, can also be kept wrinkle free when folded properly. Build up the floor of your closet to form a flat platform, using 2-by-4-inch boards and plywood. Place plastic sliding drawers on the platform and use the closet as a hideaway dresser. You may have to opt to use another closet for your coats, but for most shirts and pants a dresser will do fine.
Don't forget the back of your door as a place to store things. An over-the-door tie rack or hanger system adds enough space for a number of ties or a few shirts and pants. With the loss of space in a closet above a stairwell, every bit of storage room must be maximized. Stick with traditional swinging doors rather than bi-fold or sliding doors, in order to maximize door storage space.
Often times, closets above stairwells have their rack for hangers hung at normal height, and a traditional closet shelf mounted just above the rack. If you are a bit taller, you can likely remove the shelf and raise the hanger rack a few inches and still be able to comfortably reach your clothes. This gives you more room between the rack and the floor, and might just be all you need to keep longer coats and robes from dragging on the floor.