Behind Closet Door Storage

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 08/23/2010 - 20:42
| Print this plan

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.


Jen (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 12:12

LOvE, lOVe, LOVE this!! What a fabulous idea. I am eyeballing all my doors trying to decide which to start with. Thanks for posting.

Loni (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 12:46

GENIOUS! You just solved a major issue! I couldn't figure out how to make a new baby share a room with my hubby's 5yr old without over crowding the room and keeping our guest room. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Ana White (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 14:10

You have made my day. Thank you so much for appreciating my crazy ideas.

If you have a hollow core door :( you can use an anchor system to attach the bookshelves to the door like done in this video…

I used a plastic wheel, but a rubber wheel would probably do. As far as carpet goes, I would guess a low pile carpet would work, but probably not a shag carpet. Also, there should be no transitions, as the closet is fixed and will not have room to "give". If your doors are solid wood, you could leave the wheels off and add heavy duty hinges, but I can't guarantee a weight limit (shoes would probably be fine, a pantry full of canned goods . . . not so sure).

Can't wait to see your more efficient closets! Love ya for your kindness! Ana

Jessica (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 15:40

I LOVE this idea... Our duplex is literally 816 sq ft for 4 people... Sooo I've been coming up with all kinds of quirky storage ideas (and purging lots of toys and useless items.) With a 3 year old and 1 year old we've got a lot of storage needs.. Guess what I'm building next!

Amanda G (not verified)

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 16:27

I ABSOLUTELY love this idea...what a great use of space. many books. Love it. I think I may have to link back to this on my Eye Spy the Internet on Sunday.
Amanda (from:

MrsYokes (not verified)

Wed, 08/25/2010 - 02:48

We have the same closets and I HATE them! I just might learn to love them now! Only problem for me - our bifold doors are floor to ceiling - some serious height adjustment will be needed. This is a great idea!!!!!!

Megan (not verified)

Wed, 08/25/2010 - 04:12

YAY!!!! That is brilliant!! Of course this means my planned order of completion of knock-off wood projects just got modified again! :)

Maura (not verified)

Wed, 08/25/2010 - 07:02

Ana, this is pure genius. You got my hubby to start following your blog with this post!

Free Plans Made Possible By Our Sponsors