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Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 | 3 comments

Open Wide: A Simple Solution for the Closet Crunch

Open Wide: A Simple Solution for the Closet Crunch

We talk a lot on this blog about how to maximize storage and functionality through decluttering and smart storage containers, but sometimes the solution to your storage woes is a simple change to what’s right in front of you — your door. Take Mary’s “master” bedroom closet with a single 20-inch door. The closet behind this door is actually pretty wide, but this teeny tiny door made it impossible to access the closet’s contents.


Mary knew that if the doorway was larger, it would be much easier to see what’s in there and keep it all organized. With her husband away for the weekend, Mary took matters into her own hands. Armed with a crowbar and sawzall, she ripped off the molding and cut a larger opening for the doorway.



Working for a home contractor, Mary understands it can be tricky to hang a pre-hung door (put it in wrong and it won’t shut properly). She also wanted to make sure the hardwoods underneath the new opening were as seamless as possible. So for the next step — reframing the doorway, installing the door, and patching the floor — she hired out a professional.


With the doors installed, Mary set out to better organize the closet she and her husband share. Using the space planning tool on Kraftmaid’s website, she designed shelving to custom fit her closet’s size and her storage needs.

What’s great about the Kraftmaid site is after you are done, they provide a list of all the materials you will need, available at Home Depot. Mary placed an order online from Home Depot and picked up the supplies at their store. This means no hunting the aisles of Home Depot looking for parts and no waiting in line — it was paid for online and available from the customer service counter.

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Finally, Mary painted the doors and hung mirrors on each one. Although Mary didn’t gain any extra square footage in the closet, the fact that she can open the doors and access everything in plain sight makes a huge difference. And, it looks great to boot!


You can hardly tell where the floor was patched.


And new trim matching the original trim makes this closet look like it was always there.


What a difference a door can make!


  1. Nice work! At our house on Linden, we have the opposite problem. We shrunk our 1930s row house’s living room coat closet as part of a remodel to our kitchen (our refrigerator now occupies about 5″ of the old closet’s space). Now when you open that closet, the door opening is larger than the interior space of the closet! Now we’re in the market for a small door. You didn’t happen to throw out that door did you?

  2. Thanks Eric! We don’t still have the door but you may be able to find a salvage one at Restore here in Alexandria or at Second Chance in Baltimore.

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