Why You Should Build Your Own Closet Organizer

B.Y.O! As in build-your-own closet organizer. Our guest bedroom closet officially has a storage solution.  One that doesn’t include stacking 10 boxes on top of one another hoping that they don’t tackle you the next time you open the closet. Why build-your-own closet organizer when you can purchase one? Customization, strength, and price to name a few. Let me explain.

The sky’s the limit on customizing your own closet. In our case, our skill is the limit. #amateurbuilders  I could make as many shelves as I wanted and at the exact height I needed.  I wanted lots of shelving that was deep enough and tall enough to store big totes of “stuff.” But you could easily add a bar to hang clothes or shoe storage or even drawers. Deck it out!

It was important to me for our shelves to have enough strength to support a lot of weight.  Since we made ours out of actual wood, I knew it would be sturdy. Sure there are organizers that you can customize the shelf height, but to know that they are sturdy you’ll have to pay a little more than I was willing to.

To my last point, you can usually build-your-own for a lot less than what you can buy in the store while having everything that you need. We used literally a few 1x2s, screws, and plywood. We were able to use some scrap wood we had left over from other projects, so I don’t know exactly how much this project cost. However, I do know it was well under the hundreds of dollars I saw “pre-built” closet organizers going for in the store.  Here’s the back story on our guest bedroom. When we built our house, we left one bedroom unfinished to save us money. We would have 3 bedrooms that were finished and we were only pregnant with our first child when we moved in to our house. So we didn’t really need it at the time, which meant we could take our time finishing it ourselves. I like a good DIY project and thought this would be fun learning experience for us. My husband didn’t really see the fun in it. He can be a party pooper sometimes! Well, here we are 5 years later still working on it.

Recently, we tackled the closet. I knew I wanted a closet organizer that would be more shelving than anything. Since we don’t have a lot of guests stay with us, let alone for extended amounts of time, we really didn’t need any hanging space. It needed to be sturdy and function as a storage closet. I just wanted another place to store all my junk! Seriously, look at all these boxes of stuff stacked up! Most of the boxes are labeled “memorabilia,” which is just sentimental stuff from when I was a kid that I have a hard time parting with. Yes, I have hoarding tendencies. I’m working through them.

The organizer in me was way too excited to put everything in it’s place. I may have spent a few hours locked away in this bedroom organizing the closet. Because seriously, open one box which leads to opening another and another. Soon enough you have the whole room covered in piles of paper and stuff. All in “organized” little piles of where they are going next. It’s endless.

I really wanted sturdy wood shelves to store all my miscellaneous stuff and open floor space for my carpet cleaner. Not too much to ask if you ask me! Just don’t ask my husband.

Our carpet cleaner needed a home, so I couldn’t have floor to ceiling shelving. Therefore, we had to have a divider down the middle. The left side would be all shelves and the right side only a couple of shelves with the bottom being open for the parked carpet cleaner.

We started by cutting 5/8 inch plywood to fit the length of the wall from the top of the trim to the bottom of where I wanted the top shelf to be. We screwed a 1×2 board to it so we could then attach this to the wall vertically in order to have something to anchor all the shelves to. The carpet still had to be installed when we were putting the shelving up, so we didn’t want any boards to be resting on the floor. We cut a bunch of 1x2s to act as shelf brackets and attached them to the wall and the vertically placed plywood so that the shelves would rest on them. Then we cut all the plywood shelves. I went ahead and painted a couple coats of white paint on them and called it a day.Once the paint was dry, I put all the shelves in place. Now to my favorite part: I got to throw all my junk on the shelves and stand back to enjoy the doors shutting with ease and empty floor space in front of the doors. Victory!We’ve crossed a lot off our list for this room. We just recently had the carpet laid also, so that makes the room feel more finished. And warmer. It’s amazing how much warmer the room is with just the addition of carpet.Building your own anything is not for everyone. We are not professionals by any means, but I do like to try to DIY when I can. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I stand back and look at a finished project! Despite all the errors and bumps along the road.

There is still more to do, but I feel like I can see the finish line at this point.  Although is there ever really a finish line in home decorating? By finish line I mean I’m happy with it…for now.