How to Make Closet Organizers

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Designing and constructing a simple closet layout with shelves and a rod to hang clothes and coats can actually save you time and money. When your closets are organized, you not only find what you need more quickly, you can also see what you already own and are less likely to buy it again. Add lidded, plastic storage containers and open-topped baskets to make separating like items easier and the possibility of disorganized shelves less realistic. Whether you choose to install a pre-made closet organizer or make your own, the results are worth the effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Screwdriver
  • Power screwdriver
  • Two and one-half-inch wood screws
  • Hammer
  • One-inch nails
  • Power saw
  • Half-inch thick plywood sheets
  • Shelf support boards
  • Closet rod mounts
  • Closet clothing rod
  • Shop vac
  • Plastic storage bins
  • Square or rectangle baskets
  • Remove everything from the closet, including existing shelves and rods (unless you plan to incorporate them into your new organization plans). Unscrew the closet door from its hinges and move everything, including the closet's contents, away from your work area.

  • Measure the height, width and depth of the now empty closet, and use these measurements to design a new layout.

  • Determine the height of new each shelf by starting either on the closet floor and working your way up or at the closet ceiling and working your way down. Use a tape measure and a level to ensure precision. Then mark the location and width of each shelf with a pencil on the closet walls. This will help guide you later.

  • For each shelf used in the new design, install mounting boards to the walls of the closet by using the lines you marked on the closet walls in step three, finding the wall studs, and screwing two-and-one-half-inch screws through the support boards into the wall with a power screwdriver.

  • Use a tape measure to mark on half-inch thick sheets of plywood the length and depth of the closet shelves and cut them with a power saw. If desired, all shelves except the top shelf can be as deep as the closet itself. Then set the plywood pieces on the installed shelf supports and nail them into the narrow ends of the support boards.

  • Follow the directions in step six for shelves along the side of the closet as well. To install them, set them against the already installed horizontal shelf supports and secure them using one-inch nails though the narrow ends of the shelf support boards.

  • Follow the directions and use the hardware that came with your closet rod mounts to secure them between a side wall and the shelving unit. Once again, use a tape measure and level to mark rod placement so that the rod brackets are installed evenly.

  • Adjust the length of the rod to match the distance between the installed mounting brackets, set the rod over the brackets and push it down into them.

  • Reattach the closet door to its hinges; then clean up the work area with a shop vac.

  • Replace all closet contents. Use plastic storage bins with lids to help keep shelves organized or to take advantage of floor space. Separating smaller items into square or rectangle baskets also helps keep shelves organized.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the space between the top shelf and the closet ceiling wide enough that you can easiy maneuver items on and off, no higher than three inches below the top of the closet door opening and perhaps more narrow than the shelves below.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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