The Downsizers

Knock, knock. Who's there? Storage space!

01-10-21 4:05 PM

Photo Source: The Container Store

Do you know what's the most underutilized space in a house?  

Do you know what's the most underutilized space in a house? The back of a door.  

Many may put up a hook for coats or that umbrella that you use every once in awhile, but there is actually a ton of unused space on a door (Hint: a typical door is 80” tall and 32” wide).

And do you know what the best part about a door is? You can close it! So if visual clutter is not your thing you can have as much on that door as possible and close it and not have to see any of it.

When you’re downsizing especially, space for what you treasure is at a premium so you have to be creative with how you store things. If you’ve ever worked with a professional organizer, they will tell you to use your vertical space – all that space between your floor and your ceiling. If you look at your space in that dimension, you will see so much unused potential.

Some may get overwhelmed by the number of systems out there for organization. Plus who wants to spend money on something so utilitarian and boring? But trust me, a good over-the-door system will change your life.

Now there are many types out there at different price points, like this  or this or this.  

But before you go buy the cheapest one possible, here is a recommendation that provides a lot more space and flexibility (but is definitely more pricey than some alternatives). 

The Container Store’s elfa Door and Wall system   has been a life-saver for a lot of our clients, many of whom have moved from large kitchens with walk-in pantries to an apartment with a significantly smaller pantry. 

I, myself, have owned one for years now – it’s moved with me 3 times. I originally bought it because my pantry was so small that I needed more space to store things. This system really is a life-saver!

Let me try to explain why I love this system so much:

  • The baskets come in different depths and widths so if your pantry door isn’t the typical 32” width, you can still use the system (my baskets are actually the narrow size).
  • The system is versatile. It doesn't require bolts or screws so it can be switched it to a different door in your house or take it with you to your new space. 
  • The vertical standard is the entire length of your door so you can hang as many baskets as you need to.
  • The standard is held on by two hooks – one at the top of your door and the other at the bottom and then you use a tool to tighten them so the standard and baskets don’t go swinging every time you open the door.
  • The baskets are adjustable so as your needs change so too can your baskets (my sister no longer has a two-door pantry so she is using one of the racks in her new nursery😊)
  • It comes in 2 finishes – white and platinum – and 2 basket styles – wire or mesh.

This system has so many accessories  that it can help in any area of the house (Note: I’m looking forward to helping a client set up a wrapping paper station on the back of a door – anyone out there want to help me fulfill this dream😊?)

You can buy the pieces à la carte (just make sure you get the 77 ¾” standard and the residential over-the-door hooks) or as a kit. And you’re in luck – now through sometime in February, The Container Store is having its Annual elfa Sale so all the pieces are 30% off.

Oh and don’t forgot to use label clips to make the system, and the look, complete. I know, I know…..that may seem unnecessary but trust me, when everything has a clear, labeled home, it takes less time to put things away (even when you live by yourself) and it creates a calmer, more organized home.

This blog was written by Sarah Rhyne, one of our Lead Specialists who specializes in Organization Product Design for our clients. 

If you need a kitchen, closet, garage, or storage area more efficiently designed for optimized space and organization, please call us to schedule a session!

The Downsizers has no affiliation with the products recommended in this blog. 

Scroll down for example photos. Photo sources include The Container Store & our own projects.

Elizabeth Hirsh