If you’re looking for ways to gain extra storage space, a basement staircase leading up to a first floor is an ideal spot. Very often these staircases have drywall on the inside of the stairwell while the outside is left with the framing exposed. This provides the perfect place to put in some 2×4 shelves.
Just cut the 2x4s to fit in between the studs and secure them in with 3″ screws. Installing an inexpensive roll up window shade, so that it rolls down over the storage area, will protect cans of food and cleaning or workshop supplies from collecting dust.
By using outside mount brackets, such as those typically used on a window, you can easily clip the window shade in place and pull it down to hide the area.