Behind Closet Door Storage

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 08/23/2010 - 20:42
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Claim two extra square feet in your closet with this amazing easy plan!

Guess  what goes on behind closet doors in the Knock-Off Wood house?
Scary, eh?  What could be behind Grace's closet doors . . . .
I'll give you a sec to put junior football helmet on . . .
What can you expect out of a preschooler's closet?

It's taken me weeks to get the courage to share the closet of a three year old with the world, but it's taken me months to take what was just a clever idea and turn it into . . .

A closet with even more storage

Here's the bottom.  You can see how I simply built bookshelves, attached them to the inside of existing closet doors, put the doors on hinges, and added a couple extra square feet of storage to a tiny closet.  Oh, those hooks are Command hooks from 3M - So easy to use, I love them!

When open, the doors opens completely flush, giving you the most room to access the inside of the closet (as long as there is not a wall or something in the way).  No those are not my bookcases (the saggy white ones), they are the last of the flat pack particle board furniture that I have in my home.

When closed, the bookshelves sit in the door frame, taking up what used to be completely wasted space.  And in a house the size of mine, with exactly three closets, every square inch of a closet is prime real estate.

These are super easy to install.  Simply remove the bifold door hardware and attach the bifold doors with standard hinges as shown in the photo

The weight of the doors rests on wheels, so you can load the doors up.  In one closet door, I was able to store ALL of Grace's books.

That's alot of books!

Think of the possibilities - pantry items, toiletries, towels, accessories, and did anyone mention shoes?

And best of all?  I can close the doors live my dream of a simple, bare home, free of clutter.  No one (besides you, my friends) would ever know what's behind my closet doors.  All for around twenty bucks a door!

So wanna make your own?  Here's how I did.  You will need to alter your shelves to your own closet specifications.  So get your measuring tape out!

Measure to fit your closet doors.


Shopping List

1x6 Boards
Heavy duty hinges
four caster wheels
1x2 Boards
Anchoring bolts for hollow core doors

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

Cut your boards to fit your closet and closet doors.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

The success of this project greatly depends on building square, and installing level and square with a square closet opening.


Step 1

First, measure your closet doors. If they are a standard 24″ wide, you will need to subtract 5 1/2″ to get a total door shelf of 18 1/2″ wide. That means all of the shelves will need to be cut at 17″ wide.

Measure the overall height of the doors and subtract two inches. Cut two 1x6s to this length. You will also need to cut as many shelves as desired to the shelf width (in my example, 17″ wide). Also cut 1×2 shelf trim to the shelf width, one more than the number you cut for shelves.

Step 2

Basically, you just build a shelf, as shown above, out of 1x6s. You have to make the shelf 5 1/2″ narrower than the closet door so that it has room to swing when opening and closing.

Step 3

Then you attach the 1x2s as shelf trim and supports. I used my Kreg Jig™ to build Grace’s closet doors, but you could also simply use 2″ wood screws countersunk. Don’t forget the glue.

Step 4

Then you attach the caster wheels to the bottom. You only need two caster wheels per door. I use 1 1/4″ caster wheels. Those are the pocket holes I used to build the shelf with.


famr_4evr (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 03:47

Oh, holy cow!! That is the most amazing closet makeover I have ever seen!! Such a great use of space. I'm thinking of trying this in the boys' closet. It may help them fit everything. And find everything. thanks for sharing.

Heather (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 04:08

Uh-Mazing. Love it. Love it. Love it! ...especially the "de-cluttering" genius.

Leslie (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 04:34

Um, that is amazing! I wish I had a closet like that to transform. I've got an old farmhouse with tiny closets but, with a little planning, maybe I can work with one of THEM. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Yours is always the first blog I read every day!

Julie (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 04:40

At first glance I thought, "I wish my daughter's closet had real doors instead of bifolds so I could do that!" WOW - I can't believe that transformation. This is definitely getting bookmarked for a future project, thanks!

Summer (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 04:40

Ana you are an ABSOLUTE GENIUS!! I just got a brand new closet in my playroom and have been wracking my brain about how to maximize the toy storage possiblities for our 4 kids 5, 5, 3, and 1. Thank you for sharing your brilliant ideas!! Will this work if you have hollow core doors? Mine already swing out, but they are not real wood.

mintelume (not verified)

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 02:46

You gave me a great idea. I thought a lot to do something innovative and useful, to to gain more space in house, but I didn't come out with something useful. I will start immediately the changes. But first I have to throw out many unnecessary stuff for the trash removal Calgary agents to take it. With this closet and with less things in the house I will have more space, exactly what I want. Thanks for the idea!

Laura (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 04:41

OMG, that's amazing! And exactly what I need for my sewing room closet! You rock, thank you!

(I haven't commented before, but I've been following forever. I'm a "tool chick" too! Luv ya!)

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