This is the perfect time of year to start thinking about getting organized. One of my all time favorite spaces in my house is my master closet, probably because it is the most organized space in my house!
I originally shared my Master Closet Makeover last year, and for a while I was getting questions about it almost on a daily basis.
Today I’m going to share how I built my closet. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
If you haven’t seen my closet makeover, allow me to set the scene. This is how it started:
Lovely, right? Here is how it looks today:
So. Much. Better, Right??
It is not a huge space by any means compared to similar sized houses from the 80’s, so it was important that I use every square inch wisely.
Most of the questions I received were about measurements and how I knew what would go where. Hopefully I will answer those questions here:
What are the measurements of your closet?
My closet measures 6′ wide X 4 1/2′ deep and from ceiling to floor is about 8′.
How did you get started?
I sketched each wall of my closet on graph paper, allowing each square to equal one square foot. Then I started penciling in what I wanted to go where.
How did you decide how to divide the space so that everything would fit your needs?
To decide on the height for each space, I used a sample of what would be hanging/stored there. I used a few pairs of pants to determine how tall to make that section. I used a few shirts to measure out that section. I did the same with my shoes and boots. For the spaces that hold baskets and bins, I found the bins first. Then I measured to accommodate them.
Did you paint the wood first?
Yes! I primed and painted everything first. The knots have bled through a tiny bit in a few spots, so I would probably prime any knots a couple of times before painting. I used a six-inch sponge roller to apply the paint and then touched up any areas that needed it with a brush after installation.
Where did you start?
I painted the walls first of course, using some leftover bathroom wall paper scraps on either side of where the shoe shelves would go. Then I built the shoe tower. For the sides of the shelving as well as all the shelving in the closet I used 12″ pieces of pine cut to fit the lengths I needed. Here are the measurements for the shoe shelves:
All of the shelves are about 6 1/2″ apart with the exception of the bottom shelf which is 12″ tall to accommodate a couple of bins. I store my flip-flops and slippers in these. The bottom shelf is at the same height as the molding I used to trim it out.
How are the clothing areas installed?
If you look at my closet closely, you can see a piece of 1X5 pine that is supporting the shelving all the way around.
This was the next step. Installing this piece the length of the wall allowed me to screw it right into the studs. I added another piece the depth of the shelf on the left for support:
On the right side, I took the support all the way to the shoe shelving so I could find a stud. Clothes are extremely heavy, so try to take advantage of studs whenever possible.
The basket shelving was built by adding 1X3 pieces (the depth of the shelves) to the wall, screwing them into studs.
Then I cut a piece of 1X12 for the right side support in the height I needed. I attached the shelving with a nail gun from the right side, using a level as I went.
Here are my measurements which are based on the size of the baskets, yours may vary depending on your needs.
To finish this side off, I added 1X5 the rest of the length of the top, and to the right side and added the top shelf. This holds bins that keep everything from books, to photo albums, to jeans I may or may not be hoping to squeeze back into some day 🙂
The other side was built very similarly. I started with the support pieces for the hanging bar and shelf. Here are some basic measurements:
For the left side supports, I took them to the shoe shelving, again to take advantage of the studs. It doesn’t take away from the finished look. Now that pipe is another story…
For the middle shelf, I added supports the same way, only I used 1X3 s. I added my shelf and then to build the cubbies, I cut two pieces of 1X12 to 12″ to act as dividers. They also support the top shelf along with side wall supports. I secured them with a nail gun through the top shelf.
The shelf and hanging bar appear to be sagging a bit, but it’s just the picture. As you can see the shelf appears to be leaning forward as well, but it’s not. This is a good time to tell you though that if you have a wall that’s any larger than this, you probably want to add shelf brackets in the center for additional support.
Where do you hang your maxi dresses?
I get this question a lot. I made the right side long enough to accommodate my shorter sundresses, but I only have a handful of longer dresses. It just didn’t make sense to me for my space to create an entire area dedicated to them. I hang them on my regular velvet hangers but use these clips to fold them up at the bottom. It’s a solution that works for me. If you have a lot of longer dresses, you may want to include an area for them.
Where did you buy your baskets?
I found these at Michaels for 50% off. Their styles change with the season, but they always have a nice selection. Be careful they’re not made from banana leaves. The first ones I bought were and there’s a bit of an earthy odor to them. Unless of course you like your underwear to smell earthy!
Ok so there you have it. This is how I built my closet.
Let’s take another look back so you can really appreciate this makeover…
The before was so lovely.
It came a long way! And I think I managed to use every square inch!
Want to know what happened to my Hubby’s clothes?
Find out what happened to my Hubby’s clothes here:
And you won’t want to miss my 10 Tips to a Better Closet. You can put these to work today!
If you have any other questions about my closet, feel free to leave me a comment. This isn’t a huge dream closet, but it is a “real” closet and it is completely do-able!…and it was built by a girl 🙂
I’d love to hear from you, your comments always make me smile!
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