narrow hallway storage solution (ikea billy review)

One of the challenging parts of having an old house is often a lack of closets or storage solutions. Our house was built in 1919, and has minimal closets. Our bedroom has a small one that was sloppily added on fairly recently, and Lucy’s room has a similar sized closet. We do have some storage upstairs, which is where we keep a lot of our bulkier items like suitcases, bins of baby clothes, etc. On the main floor, we have no hallway closets, no bathroom closets, no coat closets, no mud room, etc. Sooooo it’s required a bit of creative thinking to figure out how to best stay organized without dedicated places to tuck things away in.

One “opportunity area” was our long hallway that goes from the front door to the back door. Up until a few weeks ago, we literally just had a rug in here until I had an a-ha moment – we needed to use this space for some practical storage! ✨ The hallway isn’t insanely wide, so I  had to be mindful of measurements and the best solution I came up with was IKEA’s Billy bookcase.

I  was inspired by Chrissy of Harlowe James who raved about the bookcase for her bedroom. Thankfully, the double Billy fit perfectly in our hallway, in between our bedroom and the hall bath doors. I opted for the half glass, half panel door option in white, and swapped out the knobs for these bar knobs. The new knobs really make the bookcase seem *less IKEA* 😆if you know what I mean. You can adjust the shelves to your liking, which I love, and it’s super easy to move the shelves if your wants/needs change. I varied the shelves; as you can see, we have more room at the bottom for bigger/taller items like boots and backpacks and the shelves are closer together in the middle.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what I store in our new ‘hallway closet’ now! I haven’t really styled this in any way and I  didn’t buy anything new organization wise, which is why the baskets don’t perfectly match. I love that the half glass/half panel door option makes it seem like we don’t just have a big white box in our hallway and we can display some cuter items like sweaters, baby swaddles, nicer baskets, etc. Overall, I  think it still looks good while being incredibly functional! 👏🏽


































I am SOOOO happy with this bookcase and how it’s turned out to be a perfect storage solution for our house! The entire bookcase (+ new knobs) cost about $350 and has proved to be a great add-on to our home. Previously, all of the items were tucked into other random areas of our home, and the hallway wasn’t being used to its potential. The backpacks were out in the front room, the sweaters and pants were stuffed into our already too small bedroom closet, the towels were in the laundry area…you get the point. This bookcase has allowed us to organize so much better, and clear other areas of our home from being cluttered.

*NOT SPONSORED. Just genuinely thrilled with how this inexpensive solution has made our life a lot more organized!

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5 thoughts on “narrow hallway storage solution (ikea billy review)

  1. Love the post, thanks for sharing! How wide were your hallways? I’m really interested in implementing a similar solution but I live in a 650sqft apartment where the hallways is 118cm wide. I know the Billy Bookcase is pretty narrow but would you recommend?

    1. Thank you! Our hallway is about 55 inches wide and the bookcase is about 10-11 inches! It’s very narrow and works perfectly! I wish we would have gotten it sooner!

    2. Did you end up getting it? My hallway is a similar width and I’m thinking about purchasing it because I could really use the extra storage space, but I’m not sure!