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.


Tim & Katie (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 05:32

Once again, Ana, you have amazed me! I have been struggling with my middle daughters room for weeks, because of the storage issue. I think this may have answered ALL of my questions. You rock!

DIY Girl (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 05:42

Every time I visit your site, I find something else to add to my ever growing to do list. You are amazing!

Janey (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 06:22

I am soooo doing this. I need space to store the extra toiletries I get with coupons. This is perfect for the inside of my linen closet! I'm considering it for my pantry too, but I'm concerned that I still need the bi-fold doors because of the limited space they have to open.

Cat (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 06:31

this will be great in my teeny pantry - I have some shallow shelves hanging on the door but they can't hold much. If I put the shelf on wheels so it's supported I could put all my canned goods in it!

Christine (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 07:30

Thanks so much for sharing this! I am going to try it out first in my pantry for a spice/can shelf! Then it will be on through the rest of the house! :0)

Thanks so much for all you do!!

Christine (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 07:37

Ana, I have a question for you. Is it necessary to use screws as opposed to gluing the edges together and using a nailer gun? I guess I'm wondering what the rules are for using a nailer/brad nail versus screws?

Thanks! :0)

manielynn (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 07:41

I seriously need a t-shirt that says "Ana is my hero!" I detest the bifold door in my bathroom! The people who put it in totally messed it up and it doesn't stay closed, but this might help. I love to bargain shop...never pay more than $1 for shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, etc. Consequently, we have a lot sitting around and it's always hard to find a place to put it. This is going to be perfect for that! Eventually when we get our laundry in there, it will be able to hold laundry stuff too. Ana you really are my hero!!!!

sheabella (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 07:53

What a superb solution. Very Clever!! Did you use plastic caster wheels? I am wondering if the casters would wear a path on the hardwood after a while. Would it even help if they were plastic?
Again. good for you. I think it is a very well planned project and brilliant that there is a bookshelf.

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