My Tiny Rental Is Low on Storage, but This Brilliant Organizer Made Space Out of Thin Air

published Jan 18, 2022
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Credit: Léa Jones/Stocksy

Just a few months ago, I’d been having major trouble deciding on how to maximize storage space in my apartment, which had few shelves and even fewer closets. I’ve relied on bookcases for years to increase storage, but as we all know, bookshelves can take up a lot of space on their own. It took visiting a relative’s new house for me to consider another option. In her bedroom, my cousin has an enviable double-door closet, and she was excited to show me that on the inside of each door were vertical racks of storage bins. They were packed with items that would be difficult to store elsewhere, and the bins didn’t look cluttered and disorderly. Though these particular racks were bolted to the doors, I knew there had to be a renter-friendly version.

When I think of over-the-door organizers, what typically comes to mind are shoe racks, drying racks, and hooks for bags and other accessories. With my newfound inspiration, I went looking for something similar to the vertical storage rack I’d seen only days before, and found the ClosetMaid Overdoor Organizer.

When I first unboxed the ClosetMaid over-the-door organizer, I was surprised by how many pieces were inside. It wasn’t that there were a lot of parts, but I expected the rods to be one long strip rather than three separate pieces. The organizer is made of metal that’s covered in a sleek, white finish, and it’s super easy to assemble. The organizer measures 77.5 inches length-wise, but because the rods are split into sections, you can adjust the height to be shorter, if needed. For renters, there’s a convenient no-drill installation, however, the organizer can also be mounted with hardware to the wall.  It took longer for me to decide how I wanted to space out the baskets than it did for me to put together the rack itself.

My home office is actually two rooms in one. On one side is my desk and work necessities, and on the other are leisure items like my portable record player, workout equipment, and pop culture memorabilia from Bon Jovi and Bruno Mars concert programs to a collection of BTS magazines. Before I got the organizers, I hadn’t finished unpacking from my move (months prior) because I didn’t have anywhere to store my stuff. The ClosetMaid Overdoor Organizer changed that. I could finally put away the movies that were stacked up in my bedroom, place work documents in an accessible spot that didn’t clog up my desk, and even turned one of the organizers into an over-the-door magazine rack!

The ClosetMaid metal organizer comes with eight baskets, but you can use as many or as few as you need. Because I have two of them, I was able to use five on one and add a couple of extras to the other that didn’t need as much space between them. There are holes from the top to the bottom of the side rails for bin placement. They’re held together with connectors and there’s an additional hook attachment that screws into the top of each rod to make it possible to hang over the door. No-drill U-clamps are used to stick the organizer to a flat surface and hold it in place. The one thing to be mindful of is that these are wire baskets and due to the rails, there’s a half-inch gap between the bottom of the basket and the door. If you’re filling the bin with narrow objects, place them at an angle so they don’t slip out. Another alternative is to put a liner into the basket to keep items from falling through, and as a bonus, the liners give the organizer a personal touch!

Incorporating ClosetMaid organizers into my office has freed up a TON of floor space, and I love them so much that I’m planning to get a third one for my pantry! In fact, the only reason I’m not getting one for my bathroom is because I needed extra hooks in there for towels and robes. It saves space, holds plenty, and looks great. I’ve been recommending them to everyone I know who’s short on space, like me.