How to Build a Custom Closet Organizer

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An organizer helps keep things in the closet in order and easy to find.
An organizer helps keep things in the closet in order and easy to find. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Your closet is a mess and you can’t find what you’re looking for. It’s time to get organized -- and what better way than to build your own closet organizer. Closet organizers can consist of a few simple shelves or involve a structure that's a little more complicated, with rods of different levels and drawers. With the proper tools, the home do-it-yourselfer can create a custom organizer that will have that messy closet cleaned up in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • 1- by 3-inch lumber
  • Circular saw
  • 8d nails
  • 6d finish nails
  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • Hand saw
  • Hanging rods

Measure the side and back walls. Using 1-by-3 lumber, cut the shelf supports for the back and side walls. Cut the back support 1 1/2 inches shorter than the measurement of the back of the wall. Cut two side supports equal to the side wall measurement. Cut another set of shelf supports in this same manner for the bottom shelf.

Locate the wall studs and nail the top shelf supports into the wall at 84 inches off the floor, using 8d finish nails. Attach the bottom shelf supports in the same manner at 76 inches off the floor.

Cut two pieces -- measuring 12 inches wide and 76 inches long -- out of 3/4-inch plywood, using a circular saw. Cut six 12-inch square pieces out of the plywood, to form the interior shelves in the central unit. Cut two additional pieces from the 3/4-inch plywood that measure 12 inches by the width of your closet, to form the shelves placed on the top and bottom supports.

Space the 12-inch square shelves evenly within the central unit and secure in place with 6d finish nails. Do not attach shelves to the top or bottom of this central unit.

Place the completed central unit in the closet against the bottom shelf support. Notch out the top of the central unit where it comes in contact with the bottom shelf support so it fits flush to the back wall of the closet. Lay a long piece on the top of the central unit and the bottom shelf supports. Secure it to the shelf support and the top of the central unit with 6d finish nails.

Lay the other long piece of plywood on the top shelf supports and secure in place with 6d finish nails. Install hanging rods below the bottom shelf on either side of the central shelving unit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Substitute 2-inch wood screws in place of the finish nails.
  • Consider using cedar wood for the shelves to discourage moths.
  • Use baskets on the shelves for holding items such as shoes and other accessories.

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