Behind Closet Door Storage

Claim two extra square feet in your closet with this amazing easy plan!


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


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!

Shopping List: 

1x6 Boards
Heavy duty hinges
four caster wheels
1x2 Boards
Anchoring bolts for hollow core doors

120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
General Instructions: 

The success of this project greatly depends on building square, and installing level and square with a square closet opening.

Measure to fit your closet doors.
Cut List: 

Cut your boards to fit your closet and closet doors.

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 Instructions: 

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 Instructions: 

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 Instructions: 

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.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Remove all hardware from the closet opening. Now you can either attach the door to the shelf and then attach with hinges or attach the door to the hinges and door jamb, and then attach the shelf to the door . . . I did both, both worked.

You may need to add a magnetic clasp to keep the doors closed. Is it horrible that I am considering a barrel latch? I guess I’ve picked up the 120 piece play food set one too many times

So what do you think? Am I a little storage obsessed?

Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


LOVE this!! It is something I have been struggling with in my home. Lack of storage and messy kids closets!

It is now on the honey do list!! :)

I have you beat! I have exactly ONE real closet in my house!! (This is what happens when you buy a renovated home built in 1898 and the renovator was a man!) This is a fabulous way to make my large closet more storage effective. Thanks so much for the post!

hahaha clutter free home :) I have 4 children 7 and under, I only see the carpet every couple of weeks when they are looking for a specific toy :)
That being said, that is an awesome idea- my boys room could use something like that.

Love this! We have those obnoxious sliding doors that never seem to open enough to be able to get anything in or out of the closet. I am definately going to change out our closet doors and add this amazing storage (shoes, anyone!)!

Now you need to do plans for a walk in closet. I really want to build something inside ours. All the premade stuff is expensive and not what I want..PLEEEEEEASE!

Are those bifold doors? It looks like it from the seem down each door? If, so did the wood just hold it so they don't fold? We have 2 bi fold doors on our TINY closets in our room and we could really use some more shoe space!!

I love this idea! One question- we have carpet. Would the casters work on carpet, or does anyone have any ideas to make it work in a carpeted room?

I seriously love you. I just swapped the downstairs pantry and toy closet and added new shelves. I could totally use these shelves on both sets of bifolds. Did you just remove the hardware on top of the door to get them out of the track?

Amazing! I've been planning a renovation to my closet at the front entrance and this just might be the thing! There's only 1 bifold door there and I was thinking of removing the hinge hardware in the middle to make two narrow, hinged doors.

I love it, I have to do this to ours, it would be fabulous for a craft/sewing room also, just think of the possibilities.

Can you hear me squealing with delight all the way from Indiana. I love this. I hate the bi-fold doors. This is so awesome! I love you, I love you, I love you!!

ok, I realize I may be really slow, but how do you open the doors, do you stick your hand in the crack to pull them open? do they need any hardware?
I really love this idea. My son has the exact same type of closet!

Now if you could help me remedy the situation of floor to ceiling height sliding doors (which I despise), I could do something awesome like this. I desperately need better organized storage spaces like this with 2 kids and way too many toys and books.

I don't even know what to say. This is life-changing!! Seriously. Does it hurt, Ana? Having all of this genius inside your head? ;) I can't imagine that it doesn't. Um, double negative. You know what I mean. lol!

Oh, holy cow!! That is the most amazing closet makeover I have ever seen!! Such a great use of space. I'm thinking of trying this in the boys' closet. It may help them fit everything. And find everything. thanks for sharing.

Um, that is amazing! I wish I had a closet like that to transform. I've got an old farmhouse with tiny closets but, with a little planning, maybe I can work with one of THEM. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Yours is always the first blog I read every day!

At first glance I thought, "I wish my daughter's closet had real doors instead of bifolds so I could do that!" WOW - I can't believe that transformation. This is definitely getting bookmarked for a future project, thanks!

Ana you are an ABSOLUTE GENIUS!! I just got a brand new closet in my playroom and have been wracking my brain about how to maximize the toy storage possiblities for our 4 kids 5, 5, 3, and 1. Thank you for sharing your brilliant ideas!! Will this work if you have hollow core doors? Mine already swing out, but they are not real wood.

You gave me a great idea. I thought a lot to do something innovative and useful, to to gain more space in house, but I didn't come out with something useful. I will start immediately the changes. But first I have to throw out many unnecessary stuff for the trash removal Calgary agents to take it. With this closet and with less things in the house I will have more space, exactly what I want. Thanks for the idea!

OMG, that's amazing! And exactly what I need for my sewing room closet! You rock, thank you!

(I haven't commented before, but I've been following forever. I'm a "tool chick" too! Luv ya!)

Once again, Ana, you have amazed me! I have been struggling with my middle daughters room for weeks, because of the storage issue. I think this may have answered ALL of my questions. You rock!

I am soooo doing this. I need space to store the extra toiletries I get with coupons. This is perfect for the inside of my linen closet! I'm considering it for my pantry too, but I'm concerned that I still need the bi-fold doors because of the limited space they have to open.

this will be great in my teeny pantry - I have some shallow shelves hanging on the door but they can't hold much. If I put the shelf on wheels so it's supported I could put all my canned goods in it!

Thanks so much for sharing this! I am going to try it out first in my pantry for a spice/can shelf! Then it will be on through the rest of the house! :0)

Thanks so much for all you do!!

Ana, I have a question for you. Is it necessary to use screws as opposed to gluing the edges together and using a nailer gun? I guess I'm wondering what the rules are for using a nailer/brad nail versus screws?

Thanks! :0)

I seriously need a t-shirt that says "Ana is my hero!" I detest the bifold door in my bathroom! The people who put it in totally messed it up and it doesn't stay closed, but this might help. I love to bargain shop...never pay more than $1 for shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, etc. Consequently, we have a lot sitting around and it's always hard to find a place to put it. This is going to be perfect for that! Eventually when we get our laundry in there, it will be able to hold laundry stuff too. Ana you really are my hero!!!!

What a superb solution. Very Clever!! Did you use plastic caster wheels? I am wondering if the casters would wear a path on the hardwood after a while. Would it even help if they were plastic?
Again. good for you. I think it is a very well planned project and brilliant that there is a bookshelf.

Brilliant! Except we've got all pocket doors on the closets. I'll just have to consider how to use the bookcase bits.

Southies, I agree. We should each have 16oz of Ana daily.

Oh I understand your dilemma. I actually have smaller closets. I'm thinking of getting 1 bifold door (as they currently just have fabric as a cover) and then building these to store my daughters books inside and relieve of us overcrowding due to my daughters (our my) love of childrens books. Thank you for the great idea. I'm inspired even more now to do this for myself.


I'm doing this in our master bedroom - which has been doorless for too long. LOVE the fact that I'll be able to stash all of hubby's shoes (he has way more than me) on the door.

I'm literally drooling. Oh, I wish I didn't have stupid sliding closet doors! I would just switch them out for bifold or regular doors so I could do this, but the closets are also raised about 2 inches above the bedroom floors. DANGIT!

Oh well, I know a few people I'll be emailing this link to!

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!!!

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

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!

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:

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!!!!!!

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!!!

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!!!

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!

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!

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 :)

Yet another of your posts has completely made my day. My younger daughter has a whole wall of these doors for a huge closet. Same thing in my own room. If we both weren't already married I think I'd propose LOL

Completely brilliant. I'm saving it for sure! This would be a perfect solution for my home office/craft closet, too!

I have to ask, I missing something? How do you open the doors? Not that attaching a small handle would be a problem, I was just curious!

p.s. I would wear an "Ana is my hero" t-shirt, too!

This is SO fabulous! I'm curious what pocket-screw tool you used because I am totally coveting one!
What a fantastic job... I'm sending this post to my hubby so he can check it out too! Our house is FULL of bifolds - detest - and I'm dying for some beautiful and useful storage like this

storage obsessed? YES, in the best possible way! You, my dear, are brilliant, i'm felling the urge to call my sister and tell her to get ready to head to the Home Depot to buy wood, hinges and some castors. My nieces need a closet makeover like none other and i'm pretty sure i'd have done this in my spare bedroom if i had seen it. i'm still saving it for when we have more in our 'project fund' but i have a feeling those new white doors will be taken off their hinges sooner rather than later. Thanks so much for all of your great ideas!!