This Is the Closet Storage Spot You’re Probably Overlooking

updated Mar 3, 2021
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Credit: Anna Spaller

If you’ve clicked on this story, there’s a good chance you’ve amassed a lot stuff over the past year. You’re not alone; I’m right there with you. Whether you’ve stocked up on disinfectants, invested in some reusable masks, or are hoarding sweats, one thing’s for sure: You’ve officially maxed out on all of your storage space — or so you thought.

Chances are you’re missing out on one of the most overlooked spots in your closet. That’s right: I’m talking about the door. I know, I know… over-the-door storage may seem synonymous with college dorms. Unlike shower caddies and unframed posters though, this is one trend that’s worth applying to your post-grad pad. First of all, it doesn’t require new furniture that takes up floor space. And since all you have to do to make it disappear is close the door, you don’t need to worry about a bunch of storage messing up your place’s clean lines. A storage solution that’s equal parts discreet, sensible, and affordable? It doesn’t get more adult than that. So the million-dollar question: How do you max out your over-the-door storage without compromising on aesthetics? These inspirational homes provide the perfect place to get inspired for your own space.

Credit: Pinch of Help

Establish a spa-like setup.

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of being comfortable at home. Many people have taken this unprecedented amount of time inside as permission to stock up on plush robes, fuzzy slippers, and sweatsuits. If you’re looking for somewhere to put all your cozy essentials, take a cue from Pinch of Help blogger Brittani Allen. This organizing pro used an Elfa over-the-door rack from The Container Store to stow those WFH wardrobe essentials in what looks like her linen closet. Not only does this tip make your cozy wares easily accessible, but it’s also an elevated alternative to throwing them on an armchair and calling it a day. What’s nice is you can set the individual hooks, racks, and bins at different heights to customize this kind of piece, accounting for longer, shorter, and irregularly-shaped items.

Credit: Pinch oF Help

Use mesh storage bins.

Allen also used this same organizer for toiletries and cleaning products, but this time around, she lined it only with mesh bins. Now she has a discreet place for items like creams, shower gels, and aerosol sprays that would otherwise be collecting dust on her countertops or (gasp!) the floor. Behind a closet door is the perfect place for a back stock of bathroom or pantry essentials, and if you want to take your setup to the next level, you can label the bins. That way, everything literally has a place, and other people in your house know where to find and put things, too. This kind of setup would be a good one for kids’ art supplies, too, especially if you used the lower half of the door.

Credit: Anna Spaller

Use the space to store accessories.

Want to give your storage situation a fashionable edge? Consider adding some accessories to the back of your closet. While this particular setup features racks (on racks) of shoes, you can always shake things up in your own space by attaching peg rails or hooks for wide-brimmed hats and bags, or slim rods to accommodate a featured outfit or your next day’s clothes. You can also use a canvas organizer in this spot, too, if you need something flatter so the doors will close properly.

Create order in your kitchen.

In case you didn’t get the memo, this door trick isn’t reserved solely for your bedroom closet. Why not maximize space in your kitchen cabinets, too? Blogger Katrina Green of the Badass Homelife applied some hooks to the back of her cabinets, creating the perfect spot for ladles, strainers, and slotted spoons.

Add something streamlined to your workspace.

After spending the past year working (and living!) from home, there’s a good chance your space is cluttered with notebooks, legal pads, and random pieces of paper. To add some functional space for jotting notes without adding even more paper or clutter, attach a whiteboard to the back of your closet door. Follow the lead of Faith Roberson’s Long Island City home and reclaim this spot in any of your living area closets (or cabinets) to stay organized and on task.

Credit: Emma Fiala

When in doubt, hang a mirror.

Contrary to popular belief, not all over-the-door mirrors look juvenile. In fact, this space-efficient staple can actually look somewhat sophisticated; it all boils down to making your mirror feel like an intentional part of your home decor as opposed to an afterthought. In this 325-square-foot studio in Chicago, Andy Koch and Danielle Boachie opted for a thick black style from Target. Since the mirror complements the furniture and rug in the rest of the bedroom, it feels like a natural extension of their sleeping quarters. Bonus points if you can find a style with a shelf or even a few hooks for things like scarves or bracelets, so your mirror is also serving a storage purpose, too.