20+ Vertical Storage Solutions to Organize Your Whole House

Maximize space by using these vertical storage solutions in your house! These storage ideas will help you get organized for good!

Organized Primary Closet in a Small Townhouse with Maximized Vertical Storage

I’ve lived in several different sizes and shapes of houses in my adult life. I started out in a teeny one bedroom apartment where I really had to make the most of every inch of space.

After we got married, Donnie and I moved to Arizona where we rented a one-story 3-bedroom home. Since it was just the two of us, we had plenty of room, but since we were renting, we were more limited with how we could personalize the space.

When we moved back to Pennsylvania and had our first baby, Connor, we lived in a two bedroom townhouse, and then a three bedroom townhouse where we added little Caleb to our family. As the boys got bigger (and accumulated more stuff!), the townhouse felt tighter and tighter, and I was constantly rearranging to try to make everything fit in an organized way.

small living room in a townhouse
our little living room and dining room area in our townhouse

A few years ago, we moved into our current single family home. I thought it would be a breeze to organize since it was quite a bit bigger than our last house, but it turns out that EVERY house has its own organizing challenges, no matter how big or small it is!

Ryan Homes Palermo, Elevation L
our current house

In each apartment, townhouse, and single-family home we’ve lived in, there has been one organizing strategy that has saved me every single time– utilizing vertical storage!

Whether it’s in a bathroom cabinet or in a full two-car garage, stacking bins or installing wall shelves, going vertical has really helped us maximize our space so we can keep our home neat, tidy, and organized.

I thought I’d pull together more than 20 vertical storage ideas that have worked for us over the years in hopes that these solutions might spark something that could work in your home as well!

Organized pantry with decanted baking items, pasta, and spices

Grab our free organizing guide, 7 Simple Starting Points!

This quick guide gives you 7 simple, practical ways to begin to tackle an overwhelming organizing project. (And once you get started, the momentum will help you keep going until it’s complete!)

Vertical Storage Ideas to Organize Every Area of Your Home

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

To help you find the best vertical storage ideas for your specific space, I’ve divided these ideas into small, medium, and large categories. Vertical storage really does come in every shape and size!

Small Vertical Storage Ideas

Whether it’s in a cabinet or on a shelf, adding small vertical storage pieces can double or triple your storage space!

1. Store more in cabinets with stacking drawers.

I had a lot of smaller items that I wanted to store under my kitchen sink, but I didn’t want the space to look cluttered. These acrylic stacking drawers were the perfect solution to store our cloths and sponges.

Stacking Acrylic Drawers for Organizing Under the Kitchen Sink by maximizing vertical space

2. Maximize vertical space with stacking pantry bins.

I’ve had these simple white pantry bins for more than a decade, and they’re still going strong! I’ve used them to organize everything from shoes to bathroom supplies to workout equipment to food items and more.

They’re currently being used to keep our painting supplies organized in our basement.

Paint Supplies Organized in Stacking Pantry Bins for vertical storage

Since I loved my white pantry bins so much, I grabbed an acrylic set to organize the toilet paper in our guest bathroom. Don’t want to run out of tp!

Clear Acrylic Pantry Bins to Maximize Vertical Space Underneath the Bathroom Sink

3. Choose stacking containers for maximized vertical storage.

Why use regular containers when you can use stacking containers instead?! These OXO containers not only keep our dish tabs fresh, but they help keep the area under the sink uncluttered by stacking up neatly. They would also work well to organize dry goods in the pantry.

Stacking OXO Bins to Organize Underneath the Kitchen Sink, vertical storage ideas

And speaking of the pantry, we are currently using these nifty containers in our pantry space, and they are designed to stack nicely as well.

Organized pantry with decanted baking items, pasta, and spices

4. Add a shelf organizer.

It’s so easy to waste a lot of space on shelves, but these little organizers help to make sure that doesn’t happen! Our mugs stay much neater with the organizer than if we try to just pile them on top of one another.

Shelf Organizer to Organize Coffee Mugs in a Kitchen Cabinet with Vertical Storage

We used a wire shelf organizer in our last house to do the same thing.

Organized Mug Cabinet in Townhouse with Riser for Maximum Vertical Storage

5. Store makeup (or other small items) in wall-mounted spice racks.

When I came across these cute acrylic spice racks, I knew I had to find a way to use them, and they ended up being perfect for my minimalist makeup collection!

They hang in the corner of my closet. I sit on a stool in front of my full length mirror to do my makeup and can reach all of my supplies perfectly.

Acrylic Spice Racks Used to Organize Makeup Using Vertical Wall Space in a Primary Closet

These racks could also work for storing office supplies, small toys, crafting supplies, and obviously spices.

6. Add vertical storage by hanging a magazine rack.

This metal magazine rack from IKEA helps our boys keep their craft paper and coloring books organized. We didn’t have a ton of space in their shared bedroom in our townhouse, so utilizing the vertical space was a must!

Craft Corner Utilizing Vertical Wall Space in an Organized Kids' Room

7. Utilize a rail + cups mounted to the wall.

And speaking of this little art corner in their last bedroom, we also used a rail and cup system to hold their crayons and markers.

It was originally from the kitchen section of the store, but it works well for storing any small items that you want to hang vertically on the wall.

Craft Corner in a Kids' Bedroom, utilizing vertical storage ideas

Medium Vertical Storage Ideas

Small systems are great, but sometimes we’re dealing with slightly bigger items or a larger quantity of items that we want to store vertically. That’s where our medium vertical storage ideas come into play.

8. Hang a pegboard.

One of my most favorite vertical storage ideas in our last house was this upcycled pegboard that I got for free, painted, and framed to hold craft supplies in my home office!

I used inexpensive organizers from IKEA to hold my mod podge and paint. Pails from Target’s Dollar spot kept my writing utensils organized. And a simple dowel rod held my ribbon collection.

Pegboard with Organized Craft Supplies for a vertical storage solution

I used a pegboard in the garage of our current house to hold our brooms, mops, and other cleaning tools. They were always in the way and falling down in our coat closet, so storing them vertically reduced the closet clutter and made our cleaning tools easier to grab.

Brooms and Mops Hung on a Pegboard in an Organized Garage

Finally, Donnie used a pegboard from The Container Store’s Elfa system to hold smaller items he wanted to keep close by in his office. He used a number of little trays, shelves, hooks, and cups that attached neatly onto the pegboard to keep his items separated.

Pegboard Used for Organized Vertical Storage in a Home Office

9. Use a trash can to store wrapping paper (or other tall items).

Wrapping paper is pretty to look at, but its awkward shape makes it difficult to store. I’ve been using a tall trash can for a while now, and it has worked like a charm.

Trash Can Used to Organize Wrapping Paper in a Home Office Closet

I use another tall trash can to hold the faux greenery that is not currently in use around my house. Again, it is an awkwardly shaped item, but the tall can corrals it perfectly.

Faux Greenery Organized in a Trash Can in a Home Office, vertical storage ideas

10. Bring in a rolling cart.

In our current house, I use a rolling cart to keep our boys’ craft supplies contained. Not only do the three tiers allow me to store more, but the cart can also easily be moved to wherever their creativity is happening!

organized rolling cart with kids' art supplies

Rolling carts could also store baking or kitchen supplies, books and magazines, cleaning supplies, makeup and toiletries, and more.

IKEA rolling cart organizing books, vertical storage ideas

11. Hang a few hooks for vertical storage.

I love hooks because they are so simple to add to a space. They’re also easier than hangers or towel bars for kids (and adults!) to use, so there is less of a chance that an item will end up on the floor. (And that’s a big win in my book!)

We have hooks in our mudroom to hold whichever coat we wear most often during a given season…

Mudroom Built-Ins with Storage Hooks, vertical storage ideas

We use hooks in our garage to keep awkwardly shaped items like hockey equipment up out of the way…

Hooks to Store Hockey Equipment in an Organized Garage

One of the first things I did when we moved into our house was to replace all of the towel bars with hooks for ease of use…

Hooks for Hanging Towels in an Organized Bathroom

And we added a shelf with hooks to our small entry space in the townhouse to act as a tidy drop zone when we walked in the door.

Organized Entryway with Hooks and Shelf

12. Vertical Storage Ideas: Install a cabinet above the toilet.

If you have a little water closet in your bathroom, you don’t want to have to duck out into the main part of the room when the toilet paper runs out, so a little cabinet above the commode is the perfect solution!

Cabinet in Water Closet Above Toilet to Utilize Vertical Storage Space

Using vertical storage for toilet paper also freed up a lot of space under our bathroom sinks so we could use that area for other things.

Toilet Paper Stored in Cabinet Above Toilet, maximizing vertical storage

13. Add a shelf to a cabinet space.

In our last house, Donnie used this dresser, which had four small drawers and one cabinet. The cabinet was always sort of a conundrum because it was really hard to use the space well.

Thrifted Dresser in a Primary Bedroom

When we moved to our current house, I stole this piece as a sideboard for our dining room, repainted it, and had Donnie install a shelf so we could make the most of the vertical space in the cabinet section.

Organized Sideboard Buffet in the Dining Room with an added shelf for maximum vertical storage

It became the perfect place to store and display our little cake stand and pitcher collections.

Shelf Installed in a Thrifted Sideboard Buffet to maximize vertical storage

14. Hang some floating shelves.

I love floating shelves because they can be styled beautifully, but they can also add great storage! I use them to hold a mix of decorative items and bathroom necessities in our guest bath

Floating Shelves in Guest Bathroom, vertical storage solutions

And you can also easily add baskets to floating shelves to conceal unsightly items from view.

Floating Shelves Above a Washer and Dryer

15. Store awkwardly shaped items with a track system.

We used vertical storage ideas everywhere in our garage! Garages have a lot of awkwardly shaped items that need to be stored, and storing many of them vertically using a track system worked out well for us.

We used the tracks and hook attachments to hold our lawn and garden tools…

Lawn and Garden Tools Organized with the Gladiator Track System in an Organized Garage, storage ideas

And they even have special attachments just for bikes to keep them up out of the way, using vertical space that would otherwise be wasted.

Bikes Hung Using the Gladiator Track System in an Organized Garage

Large Vertical Storage Ideas

Bigger spaces and big items call for bigger storage solutions, and our large vertical storage ideas can help with that!

16. Place a dresser in the closet.

I tried to maximize every inch of our boys’ shared room in the townhouse. One of the ways I did that was to place once of their dressers in the closet.

Rather than wasting all of that blank space under their small clothing, we were able to store more clothes in the dresser, which helped us stay organized.

Dresser in an Organized Closet to Maximize Vertical Space

17. Bring in a ladder shelf.

Another one of the vertical storage ideas that we used in the boys’ townhouse bedroom was a cute ladder shelf. Rather than a toy box that would have mixed everything together and made it hard to find, this shelving unit allowed us to break up small toys by type so the boys could easily grab what they needed.

Ladder Shelf in Organized Boys' Bedroom, utilizing vertical space

18. Put in a wall shelving system.

We have now used the IKEA ALGOT system (now called BOAXEL) for 8 different spaces between our two houses because we love it so much. It probably maximizes vertical space better than any other solution I’ve mentioned so far!

In our current garage, we were able to take our storage almost up to the ceiling, giving us tons of room to organize everything we needed.

IKEA ALGOT Shelves Used to Organize a Garage and Maximize Vertical Storage

It’s great for closets too, helping us to use every inch of our coat closet and bedroom closets as well!

Coat Closet Organized with the IKEA ALGOT System, vertical storage ideas
IKEA ALGOT System to Organize a Shared Kids' Closet

The Container Store’s Elfa system is similar to ALGOT, and we used it to maximize vertical space on this well in Donnie’s office. He was able to store all of our video equipment, his book collection, magazines, office supplies, fishing gear, and more, all on this one wall.

Elfa System from The Container Store Used to Organize a Home Office

19. Utilize an etagere for vertical storage.

When a piece can check the boxes of being both functional and beautiful, it is a win in my book! I use this etagere in my office to hold any of the pillows I’m not currently using around the house, along with our printer and paper supplies.

Etagere Used to Organize Pillows and Office Supplies, vertical storage solutions

20. Add in tall cabinets.

One of my major organizing wins came when I was giving a friend a tour of our house, specifically to show her the new cabinets in my office. She walked in and didn’t even realize that these were the cabinets we added because they looked like they were always part of the house!

We used IKEA’s PAX system to add much needed vertical storage to my home office. Adding custom trim to make them go all the way to the ceiling gave them the built-in look we were going for.

IKEA PAX System Used to Organize a Home Office

The PAX cabinets hold any of my home decor items that aren’t in use, along with extra office, craft, and party supplies.

IKEA PAX Cabinet in an Organized Home Office

Because they go all the way to the ceiling, I really can store a ton of stuff in a not-so-deep space.

Large Cabinet in an IKEA PAX Storage Unit, maximizing vertical space

21. Install a closet system.

When we moved into our current house, our primary closet had wire shelves. It just takes one quick glance to spot all of the space that was being wasted underneath our hanging clothes.

Primary Closet Before Photo, poor use of vertical space

We ended up installing a closet system from EasyClosets, and now I can fit so many more items in a neat and organized way!

Organized Closet Using an EasyClosets Closet System, vertical storage ideas

Here’s what Donnie’s side of the closet looked like with just the wire shelving. Again, tons of wasted space.

Before Photo of Primary Closet

And here’s what it looked like after we installed vertical storage solutions with a closet system:

Men's Clothes Organized with a Closet System from EasyClosets, maximizing vertical space

So much better!

22. DIY an entertainment unit for added vertical storage.

Not only did our living room look really empty when we moved in, but it was also seriously lacking in any kind of storage.

Bare Living Room Before Photo

We used pieces from IKEA’s BESTA system to create a beautiful and affordable entertainment unit that added a bunch of storage AND left extra space for pretty decor items too!

IKEA BESTA Entertainment Unit, adding vertical storage to the living room

Again, we added our own trim work to the unit to give it a more custom look.

23. Invest in metal shelving units.

Finally, our basement was a total beast of an organization project. We had so many big and small items to store that could easily turn into a cluttered mess.

We ended up using these super sturdy metal shelving units from Gladiator in various sizes. They are able to hold everything from our holiday decor bins…

Christmas Bins Organized on Metal Shelves for maximizing vertical space

…to our painting and grouting supplies…

Paint Supplies Organized on Metal Shelving in an Organized Basement

…to Donnie’s tools, making the very most of the vertical space and keeping everything neat and tidy.

Tools Organized on Metal Gladiator Shelves in an Organized Basement Workshop

So those are the vertical storage solutions that have been helpful for us over the years!

I know this isn’t an exhaustive list, so let me know in the comments how you’ve used vertical storage ideas to your advantage in your home!

Vertical Storage Ideas: Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! I would argue that vertical storage is especially vital in smaller spaces. When we don’t have any more room to store things horizontally, there is often still some vertical wall space we can use, and that can help create storage where there is none.

It will vary by house, but I would choose the space where you need extra storage most.

If you feel like you need extra storage everywhere, I recommend starting with the closets. When closets are organized and the space is maximized, it can really help to keep the rest of the room organized too.

If adding new storage pieces isn’t in the budget right now, start with what you have!

Put a dresser, cube unit, or small book shelf you already own in the bottom of a closet to maximize the space under the clothes. DIY some wall shelves with scrap wood. Look for storage pieces you own that are safely stackable rather than spreading them out individually.

Many times, we can improve our storage/organizing situation using items we already have on hand. It just takes a little creativity!

Vertical Storage Ideas: Sources

Shop the storage pieces mentioned in this post by clicking on any of the images below.

Thanks so much for following along! Have a wonderful day!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

22 Comments

  1. Emma Watson says:

    Hi, Abby, you have provided some fantastic storage solutions. All of the above are amazing seriously but I like 22,23 number most of all those are very minimalistic I like it a lot.

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Emma! Have a great week!

  2. Cathy Baker says:

    This post is extremely helpful. I especially like it because it reminds me to keep projects small and doable. I tend to get overwhelmed pretty easy.

    I also have a question! What paint color is your door in the garage picture? I’m trying to choose the “perfect” color for my tiny house book nook and that looks like it could be it. I’m tired of purchasing multiple samples. 🙁

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Cathy! The door is painted Sherwin Williams Rainwashed. 🙂 Have a great week!

  3. Wow so many great ideas!Thank you!

    I am definitely trying out the stacking drawers underneath the kitchen sink. I hope I will be able to find something similar to what you used since I don’t live in the US. And the idea of storing wrapping paper in a tall trash can is genius!

    Lastly I discovered your blog only recently and I am really enjoying it so far!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Ioana! That really means a lot! Have a great week!

  4. Well done! So many great ideas for us to use in our house. Thanks

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Shannon! Have a great week!

  5. Outstanding Article Abby !! Love your ideas and your photos show the results so beautifully. You gave me some great ideas to use around my townhouse !! 🙂

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Carolyn! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  6. Tami Pfeiffer says:

    These are very helpful! What did you use to label the containers?

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Thank you so much, Tami! For the labels, I use my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine + adhesive vinyl. There are also a lot of people who sell custom vinyl labels on Etsy if you don’t want to make them yourself!

  7. at home with Ashley says:

    I use the wire shelves in my pantry to stack cans and dried goods because my pantry shelves are sooo tall and inefficient for storage. Great post!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      So smart– what a great way to maximize space in your pantry! Have a great week, Ashley!

  8. Aleksandra Slupinski says:

    Wow this is so helpful! I live in in Italy and our homes are generally smaller than in North America.
    Vertical storage is essential for me to not clutter my 40m2 home haha

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Vertical storage for the win!! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week, Aleksandra!

  9. I have loved vertical storage for years, and you showed some ideas I’d not thought of before…My garage and home office are my big projects right now. And I don’t have a pantry, so I try to use every inch of space in my kitchen. Thank you!

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Yay! So glad it was helpful for you, Luisa! Happy organizing! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  10. Perfect list!
    Now Ill organise my home even better.
    You’re very helpful thanks for this

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      So glad it was helpful for you, Maria! <3

      ~Abby =)

  11. Jan @ Jan's Family Notebook says:

    These are great storage solutions! We are a family of 8 living in a small home so I’ll definitely be using some of them. The cabinet above the toilet and pantry organization will be first on my list.

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      So glad they will be helpful for you, Jan! Have a great week! <3

      ~Abby =)

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.