Time to get your closet organized!

We moved into our home about a year ago and most of our closets have those low cost wire shelf closet kits that builders typically install. These systems leave a lot to be desired in terms of style and also typically don’t use up the entire closet space.

Before Closet

Closet – Before


Closet – Before (w/ Clothes)


Closet – After


So instead of going out and buying a particle-board system, we decided to build our own to fit our closet and maximize space. Part one of this article chronicles how we transformed the smaller, reach-in style closet in our master bedroom. Part two will chronicle our larger walk-in closet.


Our smaller closet has dimensions: 36″ deep, 81″ wide, 9ft ceiling




We found DIY plans we thought would work well over at The Family Handyman and tailored them to fit our needs. The most substantial change we made was we built pocket holes using a Kreg Jig to frame the center unit and join the shelves.

The design worked really well for our needs. If you follow these plans, I highly recommend tapering the center dividers toward the top shelf – this not only makes it easier to store things on the top shelf but also adds style and flow to the unit.

Instead of providing step by step instructions (you can get them from The Family Handyman), we’ll highlight how we completed a few parts of the design.

Tapering center dividers

We used a jig saw to taper back the top end of the center dividers.

Jig saw’ing the center dividers


We used Danish Oil finish in “Medium Walnut”.

Danish Oil Finish



Edge banding

We added edge banding to the sides of the boards that we will be exposed. This adds a polished, professional cabinet-grade look to the system. The edge banding is real wood (red oak) and has glue that is easy to apply with an iron. You can get it from Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Divided with edge banding

Top – raw wood, Bottom – edge banding applied

Joining the center unit

Here, you’ll notice where we applied pocket holes using a Kreg Jig to secure the center unit.

DIY Closet – Kreg Jig Pocket Holes

Mounting the closet rod hardware

We used brushed nickel closet rod hardware and poles that we purchased from Home Depot.

Closet Rod

Cutting the closet poles to size

We went old school and used a hacksaw to cut the pole to size.

Cutting the closet pole w/ hacksaw

Finished product

Center of closet


Right side of closet


Left side of closet



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