Follow this simple DIY tutorial for building a closet organizer that will maximize space without having to spend money on a costly closet system. 



– five 1″x12″x8′ MDF shelf boards  – five 1″x2″x8′ common boards – two 1″x1″ square dowels  – two 1″x4″x12″ boards  – wooden closet rod – two pairs of closet rod sockets – 1.25″ Kreg pocket hole screws – painters tape  – caulk  – spackling  white paint – small foam paint roller and paintbrush



pry bar  miter saw or circular saw jigsaw  Kreg Jig  nail gun tape measure drill  carpenter’s square level



Start by measuring the dimensions needed for your closet size. My closet is a small closet 63.5″ wide. If your closet is smaller or larger, you can adjust the measurements of the top shelf and the shoe shelves to make it fit perfectly.

WOOD CUT LIST If your closet is a different size be sure to adjust the measurements. 1″x12″ MDF for main structure: – 1 @ 63.5″ or total width of closet – 2 @ 73″ for vertical supports – 5 @ 16″ for middle shelves – 4 @ 23″ for shoe shelves – 12 @ 6 1/4″ for shoe shelf supports 1″x2″ boards for facing: – 1@ 63.5″ or total width of closet – 2 @ 72 1/4″ for vertical supports – 5 @ 16″ for middle shelves – 4 @ 22 1/4″ for shoe shelves

WOOD CUT LIST 1″x1″ boards for facing: – 8 @ 5 1/2″ for supports for shoe shelves and dividers for shoe cubbies 1.25″ round dowel 2 @ 22 for closet rod Scrap wood for shelf supports – 2 1x2s @ 11.5″ to support the bottom shoe shelves – 2 1x4x @ 11.5″ to support the top shelf

CLEAR THE CLOSET Before you get started, you want to clear everything out of your closet. DEMO Once your stuff is cleared out, remove any shelves and closet rods that are already in the closet.  You may be able to reuse the shelves in your new organizer.

CLEAN AND PAINT Once everything is out, patch any holes with spackling then give the closet a good cleaning and a fresh coat of white paint.

LAY OUT YOUR DESIGN Once you know what design you want, use painter’s tape to tape out the design on the back wall of your closet.

CUT THE MDF TO SIZE Once you have your layout, measure and cut the MDF boards to size.  *If your closet has baseboards  cut a notch in the bottom of the two long MDF pieces with a jigsaw so it can sit flush*.

BUILD THE CENTER SECTION Use pocket screws to build the middle section of shelves. Once you have drilled all of the pocket holes, measure and mark where each shelf needs to be placed. Use pocket screws to screw each shelf to this side.

Lay the other vertical edge flat on the ground and flip the shelf over to be on top of it. Make sure the two notches you cut for the baseboards are in the same corner. 

Use a carpenter’s square to make sure all the shelves are square then attach them to the second long side with pocket screws. 

Lift your middle section into place in the closet. (This is also a good time to remove your painter’s tape layout if you haven’t yet.)

ATTACH THE TOP SHELF Add the shelf across the top. Set it in place on top of the middle section of shelves. Use a level to even out the middle section if needed.

BUILD THE SHOE SHELVES One side of the closet has two simple shelves and the other side has smaller shoe cubbies. I used a jigsaw to cut a notch for the baseboards in the inner bottom shelf support.

PAINT THE SHELVES It's easier to paint the wood before installing it than it is to try to paint all the nooks and crannies of completed builds.

CUT AND ADD THE WOOD TRIM Measuring and cut the 1″x2″ boards for the trim.  Once you have each piece cut and lined up nail it in place with your nail gun.

PAINT FINAL COAT Once the trim is in place, it’s time to prepare it for the final coat of paint. Caulk anywhere there is a gap between boards and use spackling to fill in all the tiny nail holes. Then add a final coat of paint.

HANG THE CLOSET RODS The final step is to add the closet rods. I cut my old closet rod into two pieces and painted them white to match everything else. And you are done! 

Get the full step-by-step tutorial here.

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