Maximize Your Storage Space With Over the Door Organizers

I've heard a lot of people advise that you don't need more storage, you just need less stuff... and while we could all benefit from a good purging session, let's be honest, sometimes you really do need more storage! Not everyone has the luxury of a spacious pantry, coat closet, or laundry room, but that doesn't mean we don't need food, hats and scarves, and clean clothes. 

My biggest piece of advice for organizing when you're short on space is to take advantage of every available nook and cranny, and one of the most commonly overlooked storage spaces is on the back of your closet doors. Don't let that 21 square feet of prime real estate go to waste!

Here are 15 ways I use back of door organizers to create extra storage space around my own home...

Organize on Back of Closet Door

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you purchase something I recommend, you'll pay the same price, but I may receive a small commission.


Coat closets are notorious for being over-crowded. And it's no wonder... trying to fit coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and boots for an entire family into one closet is challenging! Try hanging a shoe bag on the inside of the door. The pockets are perfect for winter hats, rolled up scarves, and gloves. In addition to creating more storage space, an over the door shoe bag makes it easy to quickly see everything and find what you need when you're in a hurry to get out the door.

I've also got a post with my favorite, damage-free way to hang a shoe bag on a door without using the over the door hooks, which is perfect if your doors are extra tall, like mine.

Over the Door Shoe Organizer



Next up, let's talk clothes closets. Both of my boys have fairly small closets, so using the space on the back of their closet doors is an ideal solution, especially for those items that aren't made for hanging and don't work well in drawers.

My older son loves sunglasses and dressing like a dapper little gentleman, so he has quite a few accessories, like bow ties and suspenders. He also wants to save all the birthday cards and postcards he receives, so I created some simple DIY back of door organizers for his closet that I attached with removable 3M Command Strips

The top organizer has hooks for his belts, ties, and suspenders, as well as clips for hanging cards. The lower organizer has denim pockets for holding smaller accessories, like sunglasses, watches, and bow ties. I designed these accessories organizers with denim and leather to match the menswear theme of his bedroom.

Organize accessories on back of closet door

My younger son's closet is even smaller, and we needed a place for all of his hats and shoes. A standard shoe bag wouldn't accommodate hats, so I found this over closet door organizer with spacious pockets. His closet has very narrow, double doors that pull open, and this organizer is narrower than most, making it a perfect fit. I added one to the back of each door, and used some of the extra pockets for the items we need for weekly events, like soccer practice and swim lessons. One of the pockets is large enough to accommodate his soccer jersey, shorts, socks, shin guards, and cleats. 

Back of closet door organizer with removable laundry hamper


You may have noticed one more bonus feature of the back of door organizer that I used for Cooper's hats and shoes... the bottom is a hamper dirty clothes hamper that lifts off when I'm ready to carry it to the washer. Now we don't have a hamper taking up floor space in the room - win/win!

Back of door laundry hamper



When it comes to toiletries, I prefer to always have extras on hand so that I never run out of something important at an inopportune time {although, let's be honest, there's no good time to run out of toothpaste or deodorant!}. But keeping all those around takes up a lot of space. I tried to keep it all under the bathroom sink wasn't working for us, so I decided to add a some adjustable metal baskets to the back of a door in the bathroom. I attached the metal rail directly to our door {using hollow-core door screws and anchors}, but there are hooks I could have used at the top and bottom of the door to make this set-up removable.

This system gives us plenty of space for extra toiletries, medicine, and even our bathroom cleaning supplies. Having everything visible at a glance also makes it much easier to see when we are running low on something so I can add it to our shopping list before we run out.

Bathroom organization on the back of a closet door



A laundry room was on my "must have" list when we were house shopping, and yet the house we fell in love with had a laundry closet. In my quest to make the laundry closet function like a room, I needed to add as much storage as I could. We added cabinets above the washer and dryer for all of our extra toilet paper and paper towels {lightweight makes the most sense for these cabinets because I'm short and can just reach.} 

Then we turned to the back of the doors for everything else. On one of the double doors, I installed a rail with three metal baskets deep enough to hold various detergents and sprays, as well as canisters for stain sticks, lint brushes, buttons, needles and thread, and more. The bottom basket sits just high enough to clear the counter top when the door is closed. I attached the metal rail directly to our door {using hollow-core door screws and anchors}, but there are hooks I could have used at the top and bottom of the door to make this set-up removable.  

back of door organizing laundry closet

On the other door, we installed a mutli-layer towel bar that we use to hang clothes to dry. I can drape sweaters over the rails, or hang my husbands dress shirts on hangers. 

Back of closet door drying rack laundry closet

Below the hanging rack, I installed a glass noticeboard with a printed guide to laundry symbols behind the glass. Using a chalk marker, I can make notes on the glass that keep Scott and I on the same page when we share laundry responsibilities. I'll often make a note to check specific shirts to confirm that stains are removed before drying them, or notes reminding us that certain shirts have to be hung to dry. If you like it, you can download and print this "Guide to Laundry Symbols" poster in your choice of colors.

Free printable laundry symbols poster and dry erase memo board



A couple of years ago I transformed half of our guest room closet into an organized gift wrap station. I used bins, baskets, and drawers in the closet for the larger items, but I needed a solution for all of the small stuff. A set of adjustable metal baskets turned out to be the perfect place to organize all of my decorative tap, gift tags, greeting cards, stationary, and bows. I used clear bins within the baskets to keep everything neatly contained {and stop small items from falling through the metal baskets}. You can read all the details in this post

I attached the metal rail directly to our door {using hollow-core door screws and anchors}, but there are hooks I could have used at the top and bottom of the door to make this set-up removable.

Organize gift wrap and stationery on the back of a closet door

The back of the door is also a great place to store wrapping paper, gift bags, and other gift wrap supplies.



My mom had the great idea to use a shoe bag to keep all of her cleaning supplies in easy reach on the back of the linen closet door at my parent's vacation house. The clear pockets make it easy to see all of the contents, allowing anyone staying at the house to find what they need to do their part!

See that ribbon she used instead of the standard metal hooks? I've got a tutorial for this damage-free way to hang a shoe bag on a door.

over the door shoe organizer for cleaning supplies



I used to avoid using my table clothes and table runners, because I hated having to iron them before each use. I thought there was no way to avoid the creases from folding them, but there is... hang them, instead! I installed two narrow towel bar on the inside of my linen closet doors, and I now hang all my table linens as well as extra blankets right on the door.

Towel Bars on Linen Closet Door to Hang Table Linens and Blankets



As you know, I use spray paint to makeover anything and everything! I have just about every color on hand all the time at the ready for my DIY whims. But spray paint is challenging to store. You shouldn't keep it in the garage where it might get too cold and freeze, but you also can't keep it in the utility room near the furnace because it's combustible. I finally came up with a good solution by hanging a shoe bag on the inside of a closet door. It gives me plenty of space for all of my cans of spray paint, and the pockets on top are great for the stain pens that I use to touch up our wood floor and trim.

See that ribbon I used instead of the standard metal hooks? I've got a tutorial for this damage-free way to hang a shoe bag on a door, which is especially helpful on extra tall doors, like I have.

how to store spray paint using an over the door shoe bag

I get that you might not have the extensive spray paint collection that I have, but I bet you do have some other craft and DIY supplies, or even office supplies that need to be organized!



I originally planned to use the back of the door in our pantry for a space saving spice rack. But then I discovered that the pantry shelves are set back just far enough that I could use the wall space on the right side of the pantry for floor to ceiling shelves for all of our spices and oils.

Of course, I still wanted to find a way to put our pantry door to good use, so I decided to hang a simple DIY bulletin board {cork board wrapped in fabric} on the back of the door. This gives us the perfect place to keep our family calendar, birthday party invitations, school flyers, and - of course - adorable baby announcements. I love keeping these items right at eye-level on the inside of the door where we see them numerous times a day without creating visual clutter in the kitchen.

Pantry door bulletin board

If you don't want to DIY your own pantry door bulletin board, check out these cute options:


Or if you need extra food storage, put the pantry door to use with one of these great storage options:



Last, but certainly not least, don't forget about using the inside of your cabinet doors as well! Under the kitchen sink, I added a towel bar on one side and a paper towel holder on the other side. 

Organize on back of cabinet doors under kitchen sink

In my boys' bathroom, I used 3M Command Strips to attached a divided metal bin to the inside of the cabinet door to hold their toothbrushes, combs, and washcloths. 

Organize on back of cabinet door under bathroom sink


Still want more back of door organizing ideas?! I'm working on a couple more right now that I'll be sharing with you soon! Be sure to sign up to become an Email Insider so you don't miss any of my organizing, decorating, or DIY tips!


  1. I love how many organizing options there are for over the door!! Great post.

  2. I need you to come help organize my house. haha!

  3. Love all the options and have used several over our years of military moves (especially the removable ones!). Where did you find or where might I now find the divider you command stripped to the boys’ cabinet door?

    1. Sorry! I should have included that link in the post (I've added it now). I bought that divided metal bin online, and it comes in a few different colors. Here's an affiliate link: http://fave.co/2BR45lx

  4. These ideas are superb. I specifically loved the creative use of pantry bulletin board and linen closet.