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Project Guide

DIY Closet Organizer

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1
Measure the Closet Space
A diagram showing measurements for a DIY closet system organizer.

Crafting your own DIY closet organizer is simple. You just need enough time and a little know-how. Start by measuring accurately. Accurate measurements are the secret to making any size closet more functional. 


You will install your finished DIY closet system on shelf supports. 


  • Measure the back wall and two side walls of your closet space. 
  • Use these measurements to determine the length of the shelf supports. 


Tip: Deduct 1 1/2 inches from the length of the back wall shelf support measurement to account for the 3/4-inch thickness of each side wall support.


2
Measure Pieces for Closet Organizer
Man measuring wood for the closet organizer.

You'll use 3/4-inch plywood to make this closet organizer. Measure out:


  • Six 1-inch x 3-inch boards. The lengths will be based on the back and side wall measurements in Step 1.
  • Two 11 7/8-inch wide long closet shelves. Use the length that fits the width of your closet in Step 1.
  • Six 11 7 /8-inch square shelves for the central unit.
  • Two 11 7 /8-inch side pieces for the central shelf unit.



3
Cut Shelf Supports
Man cutting support boards for the closet organizer.

Cut the six 1-inch x 3-inch shelf supports you measured out in Step 2. Cut these pieces for the top and bottom of the closet walls.



4
Cut the Shelves
Man using a circular saw to cut a shelf for the closet organizer.

Use a circular saw to cut the following pieces you measured out in Step 2. 


  • Six 11 7/ 8-inch square shelves for the central unit. 
  • Six 1-inch x 3-inch boards with lengths based on the back and side wall measurements in Step 1.
  • Two 11 7 /8-inch wide closet shelves with lengths based on the closet width measurement in Step 1.


5
Attach Shelf Support to Wall
Man using a drill to screw a board to the closet wall.

Your shelf support pieces will bear most of the weight of the central shelf unit. It's important to attach them to the studs. Use a stud finder to find the studs in the back wall and the two side walls of your closet space.


  • Attach the supports for the top shelf to the walls with their top edges 84 inches above the floor using wood screws. 
  • Attach the supports for the bottom shelf to the wall with their top edges 76 inches above the floor using wood screws.


6
Assemble the Central Unit
Man nailing pieces together for the closet organizer.
  • Use wood screws or finishing nails to put the center of the organizer together.
  • Space the shelves evenly. Or choose spacing based on the height of the items you plan to store.
  • Leave the top and bottom of the unit open.
7
Position the Central Unit in the Closet
Man positioning his DIY closet organizer against the wall.
  • Position the central shelf unit to be the middle of the DIY closet system.
  • Cut excess wood out with a hand saw so the unit fits into the support board. Take your time here and avoid removing too much wood.


8
Install Long Shelves
Man screwing in brackets for the closet organizer.
  • Lay one of the long shelves on the lower shelf supports. It will be on top of the central shelf unit. 
  • Attach each long shelf with wood screws or 6d finishing nails.


Tip: Add metal shelving brackets in the corners of the long shelves for extra support.

9
Alternatives to Screw-In Closet Shelving
A freestanding organizer filled with four wire baskets in a closet.

Freestanding closet shelving comes in a wide range of designs and styles. Simply measure your available space and look for a unit that will fit. Choose from basic wire storage systems to high-end wood organizers perfect for upscale master bedrooms. Ready-made and ready-to-assemble closet organizers are also available. 


  • Freestanding wire organizers come with one or more shelves. 
  • Freestanding organizers in wood looks come with shelves. They can also have a combination of shelves and drawers. 
  • Freestanding plastic closet systems may have a hanging rod and shelves and storage baskets. 
  • Wire storage organizers can have drawers and baskets. Some are freestanding. Others hang over a door.


Tip: Large organizers may need to be assembled. Make sure they are anchored to a wall for safety and stability. Read the instructions that come with your unit for details.



Having a DIY closet organizer will make you wonder how you ever got by without a beautifully functioning closet. Building a closet organizer doesn't have to be difficult. Just take it step by step. Keep in mind that your organizer isn’t just for bedroom closets. A properly built organizer can work wonders in a coat closet or pantry. It’s also great option for uniquely-shaped closets where readymade organizers won’t fit. 


You can also choose closet systems that are ready to install. It’s a smart choice for those who’d rather not take on a DIY project. Readymade organizers come in range of different looks to match your decor. Organize your closet and optimize space with a wood closet system. These customizable closet systems are designed to fit your needs. They’re durable and have the look of built-in luxury. Budget-friendly wire closet systems are easy to install. They also include all the necessary hardware for installation.


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