Rochelle spends as much time in the kitchen as she does at a keyboard. It's no surprise that cooking and food are favorite article subjects.
Cupboard Storage Solution
The unused space on the back of a wooden cupboard door can easily be used to store small items. Besides freeing up space inside cupboards, it makes things like first aid supplies and pot lids more visible and easily accessible.
Using inexpensive picture hanging hardware (i.e., eye screws and tough flexible wire), you can keep several small items ready for instant use.
It makes sense to keep home medical supplies on the back of a cabinet door. You won't have to go searching through the soap, toothpaste, shampoo, and makeup when you are really wanting to kill the sting of an insect bite or cover a minor cut with antiseptic and a band-aid.
Your first-aid book can also be tucked in with your supplies, just to make sure you know where to find it when it is needed.
Necessary Tools and Supplies
The supplies you need for this easy storage solution are inexpensive, probably costing less than $4.
- Packet of eye screws with a closed loop on the top rather than a screw head. These come in different sizes. Pick the ones that are best for your particular need. For the first aid supplies, 17/33" or 1,3 cm eye screws were used. The ones for the pot lid hanger were a little larger. The length of the screw will also depend upon how heavy the load will be and upon how thick the wood is on your door. Make sure you don't get ones that will poke all the way through to the other side.
- Roll of picture hanging wire. The wire is often a strand that has ten or twelve fine metal "threads" twisted into a strong, thin, flexible rope that is easy to bend and twist together at the connection ends. You can get both of these items together in a picture hanging kit, but it might have only two or four eye screws. If you are thinking of stringing six or seven lines, it might be more economical to buy the items separately
- Pair of needle-nose pliers with a built-in wire clipper is helpful for screwing in the eye screws and cutting the wire.
- Knife with a sharp point or an awl or ice pick. This is a good tool to start a small hole in the wood for the location and the entry port for the eye screw.
Eye Screw Size and Wire Weight
Depending upon what you want to keep in the inside of your cupboard door, the width and thickness of your wood, and other variables, you may want to use larger eye screws and heavier wire.
How to Place Hardware
Before you decide on the placement of the hardware, you need to determine that the screws and the items being held will not interfere with the sides of the cupboard, the shelves inside or the contents of the inside space.
Usually you can hand-turn the screw for a couple of rotations, then finish seating it by using the pliers to hold and turn it until only the eye shows and it is oriented either vertically or horizontally.
What Else Can You Store?
- Everyday hair care or dental hygiene products: It's nice to have these in plain sight, where they can be easily found, while you are still in a drowsy morning state.
- Keep in mind that lightweight items an inch or less in depth work best for storing with the eye screw and wire idea.
- Small, lightweight plastic tubes that are tapered are ideal for this system. These are also the items that are easy to lose in a well-filled cupboard, and often they are not self-standing.
- Glass bottles, jars, small appliances, and other heavy or breakable items probably need to be stored elsewhere. The lighter, more easily lost items, are best secured in this system.
Use your powers of visualization and do some measuring, or even make a pattern if you are unsure of how things will fit. Another good thing about this system is it is easy to alter if mistakes are made.
Considerations for Hanging Pot Lids
For hanging pot lids, especially on a larger door, you may want to use larger eye screws.
You will also need to leave your wire a little slacker to allow for the size of the lids.
Again, you will need to determine the level of the wire, so the lids will fit without interfering with any shelves or hardware. Try them for fit before you secure the wire to the outside fastener.
Having your most used lids on the inside door near the stove is very convenient and much easier than having to search through pots and pans stacked inside the cupboard.
You will probably think of other ways to use this simple hanger. It could even be a way to hang ties, scarves or other small items on the back of a bedroom door.
Yes, you can buy special racks and hangers for the back of your doors, but I have found that they are more expensive, harder to install and never quite fit the things you want to put in them.
Some ready-made hangers might be appropriate for heavy or bulky items. These ideas can take care of a lot of small items.
Deep and Narrow Cupboard
Next to my stove is a deep and narrow cupboard where I store spices and seasonings. It is very handy, but tiny containers tend to get lost and are hard to see. I found these Spice Gripper Strips on Amazon and they work great.
As with the other door-back ideas, you need to plan carefully so things do not interfere with shelves and hardware when the doors are closed. They come in a twelve clip package (three strips of four each). On my cupboard door I could only fit two per level, but they can be cut apart easily to fit your space.
The peel and stick adhesive on the back of these strips is very strong, so make sure to place them where you want them. The clips hold the containers firmly, but it is easy to remove and replace the items held there.
These happened to be on sale when I got them, and I thought they might be flimsy. I am surprised at how well they work—definitely worth the price.
Gripper Clip Strips
Other Ways to Use Cupboard Doors
Even without the wire system, cupboard door backs can become a handy place to display calendars, phone lists, frequently used recipes, instruction sheets and other useful information. A little tape hold things in place.
Get rid of clutter by using those hidden places to organize the things you want to find easily.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on April 14, 2018:
Thank you, Virginia.It is so easy to do, I especially like it for my pot lids.
I have gone trailer camping enough to know that finding unused space isn't easy.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on April 14, 2018:
I'm going to share this with a Facebook group called Vagabond Trails RV and Camping. They are always looking for good ideas for RVers.
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on March 21, 2018:
Thanks for reading, Janda. Every inch counts in a small living space.
Janda Raker from Amarillo, Texas on March 20, 2018:
Rochelle, thanks for these handy tips. In our pickup camper, any way to save space is greatly appreciated. Your article was well written!
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on August 10, 2016:
Thank you, Anita. I hope it helps you put that space to use.
Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on August 10, 2016:
What a super idea with the wire and screws. Thanks, I have a lot of wasted
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 01, 2012:
I hope this works for you. One thing about it, it can be easily undone if you decide to change it. Thanks for commenting, Frances.
FrancesFrank on April 30, 2012:
Great post. Your idea is so elegant in its simplicity! I have been wracking my brains trying to come up with ideas on how best to organize our snack cabinet with all its varying sized bags of dried fruits, nuts & munchies. At times like this I really miss the highly inventive ways in which my maternal grandmother would put her organizing prowess to work in her home. That lady had mad skills!
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on February 17, 2012:
Thank you, nlfwlseirff. There's no way you can get those tubes to stand up on a shelf.
Kymberly Fergusson from Germany on January 10, 2012:
A wonderful idea for all those tubes that clump together and get lost in a medicine drawer or cabinet!
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on May 05, 2011:
It is fast and easy, prarieprincess. I'm glad so many people found this useful.
Sharilee Swaity from Canada on May 04, 2011:
This is a fantastic way to create extra storage! I am always trying to find ways to make more space, and this is great!
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on March 29, 2011:
I'm glad you found it helpful. I have lots of cupboards, but this just makes a lot of things easier to find.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 29, 2011:
OMG - fantastic ideas! Thanks so much for sharing your clever and creative tips. I just love this. My kitchen is so darn small with very little cupboard space. This is a project I will complete with delight! Rated up and awesome. :)vocalcoach
debbiesdailyviews on November 18, 2010:
Oh thank you for posting this.
The times I have pulled my hair out, and blamed everyone including the dog for loosing pan-lids, when they are just lost in the pan cupboard somwhere.
This is invalluable information to me.
Love the back of the cupboard door instructions too. I have voted you up, and if there was an absolutly brilliant sign to click on I would, instead I gave you useful.
Thank you, great tip.
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on November 08, 2010:
Thanks so much, Lisa.
I am pretty good at organizing and storing-- but KEEPING it that way is harder. My Hubby is a pilot-- I mean a Pile-It . . . he piles things here and there and keeps everything. I have dealt with some of this, but we have to strike a balance. I can't stress too much about the piles, except when expecting house guests.
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on September 05, 2010:
I know what you mean, MMC. I have looked over many clever racks and holders, but they never seem to quite fit, and they ARE expensive. Using the wires give you the advantage of fitting the size and shape of your own items.
If you buy some kind of plastic rack, it's rarely quite right--- and you have to clean or wash it now and then. Hopeit works well for your needs.
Thanks for commenting!
My Mother's Child from Southern United States of America on September 05, 2010:
O.K. You have saved me $$$$$ with the solution of wire and a couple of screws. My glass could be half empty thinking of how many poducts I have purchased trying to find a way to store the lids of my pots and pans. Howev er I'll look at the glass as half full by thanking you for taking the time to write this hub. I'll start paying attention to you, perhaps my retirement fund will get the chance to grow!
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on September 04, 2010:
Thanks, Money Glitch. Hope you find it practical.
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on September 01, 2010:
Thanks, Storytellersrus. Tell her to look up ideas on sites about RVs and travel trailers-- they are very space efficient in their storage ideas.
Barbara from Stepping past clutter on September 01, 2010:
Very useful advice. I need to link my New York City daughter to this hub- space is always at a premium in her tiny apartment! Thanks.
bayoulady from Northern Louisiana,USA on August 30, 2010:
Great and thanks! I never would have thought of picture hanging wire. Neat and I can do this without asking my brother to do it.Rated up/useful!
Om Paramapoonya on August 30, 2010:
So practical and affordable. What a great way to hide our mess. lol Thanks for sharing, Rochelle. :)
Rochelle Frank (author) from California Gold Country on August 29, 2010:
I always like more spacious space. :) That was the whole idea. Thanks for your comment, charlottelacar !
charlottelacar on August 29, 2010:
what a brilliant idea..this hub could be of help really for this teaches people to utilize the space thus making it more spacious.