Asked on Aug 25, 2015

Need help organizing storage closet!

Laura Laskey
by Laura Laskey
We have a very skinny closet with a bi-fold door that is the only closet available to store our bathroom products. I have tried to use baskets to hold like items but as you can see, it is not working - the products get put anywhere around the baskets. Basically it is a small and dark closet so visibility is low. I am looking for ideas to organize it that would increase the visibility - and stop using the baskets. All suggestions welcome~!
q need help organizing storage closet, closet, organizing, storage ideas
q need help organizing storage closet, closet, organizing, storage ideas
  25 answers
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Aug 25, 2015
    Could you put pull out metal basket-type shelves (or build drawer type shelves) so you can see and access everything? You will need to make sure it clears your door (or convert it to one that opens in the middle and is hinged on both sides or slides). I never understood the concept of deep narrow closets LOL.

  • Kathleen Kathleen on Aug 25, 2015
    I think B's ^^^ suggestions are good because you would be able to pull out the products so you have more light to see. The cost might not be doable for you though. I would first sort out what really needs to be in there and put some things somewhere else. Like the drain cleaner....I wouldn't want that with toiletries.(put under kitchen sink--or get rid of it and use something natural to clean drains!) The baskets you chose waste valuable need something that is squared at the bottom. See how they angle at the bottom and you lose precious storage space? (see first picture on the bottom shelf with orange and purple baskets). Get rid of duplicate cleaners--I make my own cleaner that is for counters, sinks, mirrors and windows. (I have that one and ajax, and barkeeper's friend for rust spots and nothing else). Might want to consider bins with lids so you can stack. This won't work though for some of the taller items. Another option might be to use a lazy susan or two. As for help with seeing inside, maybe you could try one of those lights that run on battery and they hang inside on the wall. Can the blankets go in a bin under a bed?

  • Z Z on Aug 25, 2015
    I like @B. Enne's ideas, but I'm not sure if the bifold would allow for it to work properly because they take up so much room on one side. You might be able to use them if you turn the bifold door into a french door. Another Hometalker did this awhile ago. If this closet is inside your bathroom you could also remove the door completely, paint the shelves with a high quality enamel and the walls a pretty accent color and do something like one of the closets in the Google Image Search below. You have to discipline yourself and your family to use the basket or other containers though. It won't work unless everyone is on board.

  • Deborah Deborah on Aug 25, 2015
    Take the doors off and use a curtain instead. The door is making the opening even narrower. If it was not a fight to get baskets out they would probably work better. Slide outs best case, but baskets the full depth of the shelves would be next, If there's no room left to fill up around them, you can only use the baskets.

  • Laura Laskey Laura Laskey on Aug 25, 2015
    I ordered some of these Better Homes and Gardens baskets. Going to see if the door comes off! But keep the ideas coming please!

  • Laura Laskey Laura Laskey on Aug 25, 2015
    Yes, they did! I saw them on Pinterest and ordered them right away! They are reasonably priced. Since they are pretty I can take the closet door off entirely.

    • See 2 previous
    • Z Z on Aug 25, 2015
      @Laura, a girl after my own heart!

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Aug 25, 2015
    Have you looked into baskets that have slide out options.

  • Joanne Costello Joanne Costello on Aug 25, 2015
    I agree door is the problem. Swap for a small traditional door that would also allow you to use the inside of the door for storage as well. If you can afford to, add baskets/trays that roll out - like often seen in kitchens. Make the easiest accessible shelf hold the toiletries you would reach for the most. Shelf more out of the way for travel size containers. Put the cleaning supplies at the bottom - and cut back on how many you have. I just use a disposable toilet scrub, Mr Clean erasers, Windex and paper towels - and maybe your floor cleaner (and the mop could hang on the door). Another thing that might help - my kitchen closet molding created inaccessible sides on the shelves. We took off the molding and the door and just made the inside look pretty - probably easier in a kitchen than a bathroom storage closet!! Good luck!

  • Laurie Brennan Laurie Brennan on Aug 26, 2015
    A light in the closet would be helpful. We had a dark closet and my husband installed a light that goes off and on with the door opening/closing. It's somewhat like the interior fridge light idea. It has made a big difference…but any light would help

  • Marcy LaSalle Marcy LaSalle on Aug 26, 2015
    Paint the closet and the shelves WHITE. That will help brighten up the area and make it easier to find things. Get rid of the bi-fold door and install two narrow cabinet doors -- one on top of the other. The doors do not have to be the same size -- one longer door and one shorter door will add visual appeal to the area. Place some kind or rubber tray or mat on the floor level. Put your cleaning supplies at the bottom in case anything leaks. Organize the shelving area for toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, small hand towels, etc. Put the things you don't use a lot on the upper shelves.

  • on Aug 26, 2015
    Painting it white is a great idea. So is getting rid of the door. If you do the latter, you can use baskets to organize and hide what's stored. To get our drift, check out the built-in shelving in this post:

    • Laura Laskey Laura Laskey on Aug 26, 2015
      I took that door off - what a big difference! But I do want some kind of door there (not curtains). There is no door frame in the opening. Do you have any suggestions of what I could put there?

  • on Aug 26, 2015
    A pocket door like the one shown here may work:, but it's expensive. How about window blinds? Or a roman shade you can DIY to fit?

  • Deborah Deborah on Aug 26, 2015
    You could take the bi folds you took down and separate them. Then you could use hinges to mount them to the edges of the opening so they open out completely and out of the way. Then you can use the inside of the doors for additional storage. Use hooks and hang things or attach a shoe hanger with pockets. Cut to size. They come in whiite canvas that would look nice with your new baskets.

  • Pat Keadle Gougler Pat Keadle Gougler on Aug 27, 2015
    I had a narrow deep pantry in the kitechen. It was hard to find anything-every thing went to the back. Lowes has slide outs that fit any width from 12" up to about 30". Easy to install and they work great!! No need for baskets or other containers. They are in the kitchen organization area. You would probably want the door back.

  • Laura Laskey Laura Laskey on Aug 27, 2015
    Thank you everyone for the great advice so far. I have taken the bifold doors down and I do want to replace them. I could not convert what I had since they were metal and not wood. But, any other suggestions for door replacements would be appreciated!

  • Laurie Potterbaum Laurie Potterbaum on Aug 27, 2015
    Check out Habitat for Humanity Restore for doors and cast offs, they have great stuff for discount prices.

  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Aug 28, 2015
    First take everything out. Separate linens towels, make sure to get rid of mismatched linens & towels. Use the top 2 shelves for linens, blankets, comforters, or duvets. Then get several baskets, or cloth boxes & sort your toiletries, make-up etc. Place these on the 3rd shelf so they are just below eye level & you can pull them out to find what you need. Using the pink & purple baskets you can separate spray bottles from the other bottles. Place each pile into the 2 baskets. Hope this helps

  • Hb-526434 Hb-526434 on Aug 29, 2015
    Curtains or bed sheets as curtains with tie backs on door frame. Baskets still seem like organization to me in such narrow place. Can u roll up towels, wash cloths to stack neatly?

  • Hb-526434 Hb-526434 on Aug 29, 2015
    Colorful beach towels hung from tension rods. Cut vertical slits in top of towel & weave thru rod.

  • JuliaGulia JuliaGulia on Dec 21, 2015
    I would leave the doors off and paint the walls inside a bright color..I would also either take one of the shelves out or cut it back shorter so you can see what's in the back of the below it easier. Then go get some pretty contact paper and line the shelves with those. Would make a world of difference. Just have it an open closet.

  • Nancy Flemming Nancy Flemming on Feb 23, 2016
    You have probably updated this already, the comments above are all good ideas for organization. To make better use of the narrow cabinet take the bifold off. Remove the centre hinges and rehinge each door to each side of the cabinet, put handles at centre so you open the doors out, makes the cabinet more accessible and easier to organize. Good luck.

  • Laura Williams-May Laura Williams-May on Apr 14, 2016
    get wire racks that will fit the width of the door.Then mark the depth they will protrude into the cabinet and cut the shelf out that deep so that the door closes. that way when you load the racks with the smaller items like cleaners you can see into the cabinet because the shelf depth is halved.

  • ThomasMaloney ThomasMaloney on May 12, 2016
    You could try utilizing the space on the doors by installing hooks or shelves. That will help to create additional storage by maximizing all the space available within the closet area. Another alternative would be to build a drawer which can be easily pulled out for better visibility.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Oct 01, 2022

    I have several organizing posts that might help you