Find Storage on a Closet Door

Helloooooo! Yass, it’s been a while, but I’m back…today anyway. The weather broke and we’re back to typical North Carolina winter weather (50s and 60s), so I dug out from under the mountain of blankets, peeled myself from the sofa, and by Gawd I did a little DIY. Woot woot!

I’m embarrassed to say (not really, because y’all know me by now) that I’ve been meaning to do this simple little ditty for a couple of months. Here’s a variation of it (Closet Organization Sans Tools) that I did back at the condo a few years ago. Actually, almost four years to the day–coincidences like that fascinate me. Apparently the end of January is when my organizational impulse kicks in.

Before I get off track though, the Closet Organization Sans Tools was about utilizing the inside of a closet door for storage where maybe you don’t own a drill or perhaps you’re renting and drilling holes is a no-no. Today’s project takes it just one step further by adding a drill and more permanent fasteners.


  • Three inexpensive hooks ($3.25 ea)
  • A drill w/drill bit and phillips head bit
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Step ladder (if you’re short like me)
Some simple tools will do the trick.

The Problem

I have three backpacks that take up real estate on the floor or valuable shelf space. And I’m never sure which closet each one is in. It’s been status quo for me to check all three closets before I find the backpack I’m looking for. Before you ask, yes, I need three backpacks. I need the big pack for travel, medium pack for my laptop and sometimes travel, and small pack for Grace–it’s the equivalent of a diaper bag for my pup’s stuff when we hike or road trip (for the basics: treats, bowl, water, poo bags). Yep, my dog has her own micro pack and I’m okay with that!

Three backpacks and a small closet.

The Solution

Install a series of hooks on the back side of the closet door on which to hang backpacks. They’ll be in one location and not taking up coveted closet space.

The hooks in action. Tiny closet = poor photography!


  • MAKE YOUR MARK. If you like for everything to be just so, measure the center of your door so you can get the hook centered. If you don’t care about that, eyeball it and ditch the tape measure.
  • LEVEL. Mark one hole with a pencil, and then use the level to get the hook straight before you mark the second hole. I do like to have things level and cannot hang anything without one.
  • DRILL. Drill pilot holes slightly smaller in circumference and shorter than the screws.
  • ATTACH. Use the screwdriver bit on your drill to attach the hooks with the screws.


  • Hold the level across the bottom of the hook. You have more of a plane to work with on the bottom rather than the tips of the hooks on top. Trying to use the level on top of the hooks gets pretty squirrelly.
  • If your arms aren’t the guns they once were, hold the drill no higher than mid-chest. You’ll have more control and leverage to put behind the drill when tightening the screws. If I get my arms above mid-chest, I’m more likely to not have the pressure I need behind it and strip the screw heads. This is where the step ladder comes in–so you can get at that top hook and still hold the drill mid-chest.
Use the level across the bottom of the hook rather than trying to rest it on top.

This project took about 20 minutes from start to finish and the backpacks are all together, out of sight, and occupying what was previously dead space. A win-win-win! Trifecta! Triple-header! You get the idea.

The backpacks are out of sight and not taking up closet space. You can’t even see them!

And that’s a wrap! Less than $10 and 20 minutes to get the backpacks off the floor, out of the way, and where I’ll always know to find them. I call that a productive rainy Sunday. If you’ve found a use for dead space in your closet, let me know–I’d love to share your ideas on the blog!


Closet Organization Sans Tools

Because of the compact nature of my condo, even the real estate within my real estate is at a premium.  I’m always looking for ways to eke out a little more storage space where I can.  Well, I found a little space on the inside of the door to my coat closet.  I have shoes hung on the inside of the master closet doors, so I thought hey, why not use the entry closet too?  I installed two open top file boxes from the Container Store (also at most office supply stores; about $6 each) to serve as catch-alls.  I used those 3M Command Mini Hooks to hang them and added a couple of 3M Command Medium Designer Hooks to hang individual items.
Two storage bins and two hooks. Easy peasy.

The file boxes are great for my scarves, gloves and dog leash, and the two hooks are perfect for my backpack and hat. The best part – no tools!  Full disclosure – I did use a level and a pencil to be sure I attached the hooks evenly side-by-side so the file boxes would hang level.  But other than that, it was pretty much an eyeball kind of project.  If you’re comfy with the tools, go ahead and drill some holes and attach those boxes with screws, but it sure is nice to know you don’t have to.

3M Command Mini Hooks
Who doesn’t love a little organization and more storage space?

What’s in Your Inbox of Llife? Give yourself the gift of decluttering

You may have noticed Chubs Lived Here has been quiet for the past couple of weeks (well, I hope you noticed). The push to get the condo ready for market has consumed us. I know, I know, enough about getting ready for market. But, you’ll be happy to know, we have been busy as bees here and have the place ready – yahoo! We are going live on Wednesday – buyers welcome! After lugging MUCH to the newly-rented storage unit (something I swore I would never have in my lifetime because if I have too much stuff to fit in my home I just need to purge. hmph. look at me now), after painting this-that-and-the-other, and so much cleaning I can’t begin to tell you…voila! Check out the staged closets. Ooh, ahh! I think that’s my favorite thing about this whole process – the closets. Isn’t that funny? Not the extra space to maneuver in the kitchen, not the super clean carpet, or even the freshly painted door. Who would have thought?


the closet-o-stuff
another angle for drama
stuff no more!
Anywho, I got to thinking, why don’t we (meaning I) treat ourselves (meaning me) like this on a daily basis? I work hard, come home and work hard, and usually keep out of trouble. I deserve some space in my closet, dander-free carpet, and a spacious kitchen. But I let all of the things pile up. It’s sort of like the inbox of life. Like the mail, invoices, and to-do lists on my desk, I let shoes, pillows, books, and brick-a-brack accumulate all over my home. Don’t get me wrong, these are all lovely items, but do I need them? I have a list of books on goodreads that reminds me what I’ve read and what my favorites are. I suppose I don’t really need copies of my favorites looming over my head as I watch tv. Same for cookbooks in the kitchen. My favorite recipes can be added to Pinterest. I really could pare my wardrobe down to about half and be just as happy and well-adjusted (and stylish!). Honestly, I only wear about half of my wardrobe anyway. I smell a challenge! Let’s start with photo albums. How many? Maybe 15? Yep. Project No. 1 is to scan as many of those puppies as I can and be rid of the hard copies. I may need to schedule that as Project No. 1 after the wedding though. Seems those wedding projects are piling up in my inbox too…