Maximize space by using these vertical storage solutions in your house! You'll be organized before you know it!
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.
Just over three 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!
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 solutions that have worked for us over the years in hopes that these ideas might spark something that could work in your home as well!
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Vertical Storage Solutions 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 solution 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
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 Your 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.
2. Maximize 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.
3. Choose Stacking Containers
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.
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.
5. Store Makeup (or Other Small Items) in Spice Racks
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.
These racks could also work for storing office supplies, small toys, crafting supplies, and obviously spices.
6. Hang 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!
7. Utilize a Rail + Cups
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.
Medium Vertical Storage
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 solutions come into play.
8. Hang a Pegboard
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Rolling carts could also store baking or kitchen supplies, books and magazines, cleaning supplies, makeup and toiletries, and more.
11. Hang a Few Hooks
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!)
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...
12. 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!
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.
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.
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.
It became the perfect place to store and display our little cake stand and pitcher collections.
14. Hang Some Floating Shelves
And you can also easily add baskets to floating shelves to conceal unsightly items from view.
15. Store Awkwardly Shaped Items with a Track System
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...
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.
Large Vertical Storage
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.
17. Bring in a Ladder Shelf
Another vertical storage solution 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.
Donnie actually made this ladder shelf, but they sell a similar one here.
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.
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.
19. Utilize an Etagere
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.
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, and 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!
These cabinets hold any of my home decor items that aren't in use, along with extra office, craft, and party supplies.
Because they go all the way to the ceiling, I really can store a ton of stuff in a not-so-deep space.
21. Install a Closet System
When we moved into our current house, our master closet had wire shelves. It just takes one quick glance to spot all of the space that was being wasted underneath our hanging clothes.
We ended up installing a closet system from EasyClosets, and now I can fit so many more items in a neat and organized way!
Here's what Donnie's side of the closet looked like with just the wire shelving. Again, tons of wasted space.
And here's what it looked like after we maximized the available space with a closet system:
So much better!
22. DIY an Entertainment Unit
Not only did our living room look really empty when we moved in, but it was also seriously lacking in any kind of storage.
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...
...to our painting and grouting supplies...
...to Donnie's tools, making the very most of the vertical space and keeping everything neat and tidy.
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 to your advantage in your home!
Shop the storage pieces mentioned in this post by clicking on any of the images below.
If this post was helpful, be sure to pin the image below so you can come back to these ideas when you're ready to implement them in your own home!
And if you're looking for more storage solutions for your home, these posts can help:
Thanks so much for following along! Have a wonderful day!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.