DIY Simple Closet Shelving Organization

Sunday, July 29, 2018 -
How to add storage and organization with a simple DIY closet system

*This post is sponsored by DAP Products and The Home Depot. I have been compensated for my time and provided with product or payment in exchange. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

When we bought our house a couple years ago, it had one of those "dens" that could have been a bedroom if the original owner had requested it from the builder. It had a doorway with no doors, and a closet recess with no closet. Since 4 bedroom homes usually sell for more money, we figured it would be worth the effort to turn the den into an official bedroom.

The first thing we did was to install french doors with a diy transom. Then, we finished the closet wall, and framed in the bi-pass doors. But, then I got lazy, shoved all of our junk inside and forgot about it for over a year. If you slid one of the closet doors open, this is what you would have found.

If this room looks a little familiar, it's because it's currently my boys' game room where we keep the futon I built a custom storage base for

Here's my sketch for how I wanted the shelves and organizers laid out. The cross hatched section on top indicates where the wall above the doors. Even though you won't see it looking straight on, I wanted to added a shallower, 12" deep shelf up above to make the most of storage space. The rest of the dividers and shelves are made up from standard, 16" deep bullnosed shelving. The green lines on the diagram are curtain rod, to give future homeowners the option of using this room as a bedroom. 

Every space is different, and no two closet dimensions will be exactly the same. I'm sharing the materials and steps I took, but make sure to measure your space specifically before starting. 

Materials List:

The shelves are supported by 1 x 4 cleats, nailed into the wall studs. I cut lengths of flat, fingerjointed trim to fit the dimensions of all the horizontal shelves and dividers. 

Whenever I'm working on a ladder, without fail I'll forget to grab nails or measuring tape about 100 times. I finally decided it was time to upgrade to a decent set of work bags. 

I've been rocking the Husky 12 Pocket Handyman Rig. It has enough pockets and loops to store all my materials, and then some. My favorite feature is the metal measuring tape clip. I've been good at remembering to hook my tape on my work bags every time, even though I forget half the time and still look for it.

Once the cleats were up, I added the shelving and secured it in place with more brad nails. With the structure all in place, I applied a bead of Alex Fast Dry caulk to every seam and joint. This will make everything look seamless once painted. I prefer Alex Fast Dry because it's water-based so it's easy to clean up, and it's ready for paint in only 30 minutes.

Don't tell anyone, but I had a little trouble finding a couple of the studs (I blame the builder for not centering them properly). To hide the evidence, I pulled out some DryDex spackling and filled the tell-tale nail holes. It's like they never happened.

I rolled 3 coats of paint on everything and was ready to add the closet rod. I've built a couple closets in the past and I think the quickest and easiest option is to use pre-painted steel cups to hold the rod ends. I added a pair to each hanging section and dropped in a 1-3/8" wood rod.

Finally, I loaded up the shelves with baskets and totes a breathed a sigh of relief.

To help contain all the crumpled wrapping paper rolls, I built a quick box from scrap OSB left over from my modern dresser.

Not to be cliche, but you really can't have too much storage. Those extra shelves are going to be jammed packed with all that random junk we seem to collect.

Just in case you need a reminder, here's how this hot mess started

and now a bit more organized.

And if you're wondering about the closet doors, don't worry. I'll be adding those this next week. I'm actually swapping out the old bi-pass doors for an updated style and am painting them black to match the rest of our interior doors.

Are you ready to outfit your closets too? I guarantee you'll love the extra space.

If you like that, you'll love these ideas:


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