Organize & Clean

Small Space Solutions: Using Cabinet & Closet Doors for Storage

published Apr 10, 2012
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In small spaces, a lot of things go on behind closed doors, but how often do we really think about the doors themselves? While we’re all familiar with over-the-door organizers, few of us really consider the the possibilities that the back of the door can offer as an useful area. But in a small space, using the door can give you that extra little bit of room and functionality.

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

• In the medicine cabinet, small items like makeup, Q-tips, ointments, and nail polish can be stored in small containers like the MagnaPods shown in Image 1. (Or if you don’t have a metal-door cabinet, consider adhering similar containers, like these from the Container Store, to the inside of the door.)

• In the kitchen cupboard, use the back of the door to keep all your spices close by and well organized. Arranging them like this eliminates unnecessary cabinet rummaging. And for a simple (and in my opinion, genius) solution for those who don’t want to put holes in the cabinetry, you can use magnetic paint to make spice tins adhere easily (Image 3).

• The door offers even more space for dry goods, as shown in this well-managed pantry (Image 4). Or, if you don’t need extra space for storage but would like an area for menu planning or for a shopping list, the pantry door offers a perfect location. Chalkboard paint can help you make the most of your doors (Image 5).

The Family Handyman has help step-by-step instructions for making your own steel-and-whiteboard message board on the inside of a cabinet door (Image 6).

• It’s possible to maximize the space for cleaning supplies if one forgoes a trash can in favor of attaching a garbage bag to the door (Image 7). Especially in a kitchen, where trash gets smelly quickly and needs to be taken out often, the small size is not prohibitive, and it takes up less under-counter space.

• Over-the-door jewelry and shoe organizers are the most famous of the door storage options, but they certainly aren’t to be slighted (Images 8 & 9). And if one is feeling particularly creative, with a bit of chicken wire and some S-hooks, the back of the door itself can be converted into jewelry storage (Image 10).

• I love the idea of inspiration boards, but in my tiny office space, I always feel that they look cluttered. This project, which uses foam-core and fabric, would work wonderfully as an inspiration board surface. I could have all my beautiful decorating pictures at the ready, but when I wanted the space to look tidy, the cabinet could close, and they would all disappear! (Image 11)

• And who doesn’t love the multifunctionality of pegboard? (Image 12)