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.


Kirsten (not verified)

Wed, 08/25/2010 - 09:26

OH MY HEAVENS!!! OH MY HEAVENS!!! Are you kidding me??? chicks just can't get enough ANA over here. You AMAZE me with your inspiration and your ability to be innovative. WAY TO GO!!!

Lesley Chastain-Crum (not verified)

Wed, 08/25/2010 - 10:02

Thanks for the wonderful idea! We have a laundry closet with bi-fold doors, and after tiling the floor and painting, I couldn't bear to put the tacky wire shelves back up on the wall to hold the detergent, softener, Shout, etc. Now I know what to do!!! I'll have to modify it a bit to accommodate the machines, but I can already imagine how great it's going to be. Thank you!!!

pinksuedeshoe (not verified)

Wed, 08/25/2010 - 11:45

I don't think it is possible to be storage obsessed. This closet is absolutely FANTASTIC! I just love it. Any idea how the casters/wheels would work on a carpeted floor?

I have a closet in my craft room that I'd love to add some more storage too. Here is my closet now, ( )but I am dying over the possiblity of what my after picture could look like!

Alberta Mama (not verified)

Thu, 08/26/2010 - 02:46

I was thinking of building something like this on the inside of my pantry door (just a regular door) to hold spices and oils, small goods etc. Now you have made a plan, I just may have to make it smaller! Thanks!

That Slipcover Girl (not verified)

Thu, 08/26/2010 - 04:18


INSANITY ENJOYED (not verified)

Thu, 08/26/2010 - 07:08

We have sliding doors on both of my kids' closets. Im wondering if I can switch to bifold doors so I can do this. Im sure I could find doors at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Hmmm, off to go check their rooms. By the are brilliant! And awesome....and a whole bunch of other great words :)

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