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!
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.
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!
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!
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Vertical Storage Ideas to Organize Every Area of Your Home
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
We used a wire shelf organizer in our last house to do the same thing.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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…
We use hooks in our garage to keep awkwardly shaped items like hockey equipment up out of the way…
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…
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.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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…
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 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.
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.
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.
It’s great for closets too, helping us to use every inch of our coat closet and bedroom closets as well!
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 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.
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.
The PAX 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 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.
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 installed vertical storage solutions with a closet system:
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.
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!
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 ideas to your advantage in your home!
Vertical Storage Ideas: Frequently Asked Questions
Vertical Storage Ideas: Sources
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Thanks so much for following along! Have a wonderful day!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
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.
Thank you so much for your sweet words, Emma! Have a great week!
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. 🙁
Thank you so much for your sweet words, Cathy! The door is painted Sherwin Williams Rainwashed. 🙂 Have a great week!
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!
Thank you so much for your sweet words, Ioana! That really means a lot! Have a great week!
Well done! So many great ideas for us to use in our house. Thanks
Thank you so much for your sweet words, Shannon! Have a great week!
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 !! 🙂
Thank you so much for your sweet words, Carolyn! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
These are very helpful! What did you use to label the containers?
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!
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!
So smart– what a great way to maximize space in your pantry! Have a great week, Ashley!
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
Vertical storage for the win!! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week, Aleksandra!
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!
Yay! So glad it was helpful for you, Luisa! Happy organizing! 🙂
Now Ill organise my home even better.
You’re very helpful thanks for this
So glad it was helpful for you, Maria! <3
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.
So glad they will be helpful for you, Jan! Have a great week! <3