Steps To Building Your Own Closet Organizer

Living in an older crib, you realize that closets may not be as big as they should be in the modern days. However, at the end of the day, you still need to get the most out of the very little space. What do you do? A closet organizer is your answer. You see, the single shelve and rod inside your closet won't make maximum use of the space. If your closet is 6'' wide for instance, then it means you have 6'' inches of rod space as well as 6 linear feet of space for the shelves.

Now, by installing a closet organizer, you end up preserving your rod space but doubling the shelf space as well. This way, you can find things easier while in a hurry, plus it helps prevent your clothes from getting the much dreaded wrinkles.

Why should you build instead of buying?

There are so many different models you can buy in the market. The problem is that most of them are too expensive yet basic in design. But again, beginning to add accessories starts to shoot the price tag even further upwards, thus making it too costly. Therefore, building your closet out of 3/4 inch goods should make it even more sturdier, plus using something like a hardwood veneer plywood will make it attractive and also formaldehyde-free.

The thing is, being able to customize your closet is the most attractive thing about building your very own closet organizer.

How to build a closet organizer: Type of plywood to use

You should go for for 5/8'' goods, even though 3/4'' is recommended and is also easier to find. Furthermore, a hardwood veneer plywood would be much stronger and also attractive.

And because you'll cover most of the cabinet spaces with clothes, there's no need of getting the more expensive cabinet grade plywood. Instead, go for a domestic plywood which is cost-effective yet a great option as well.

But on the other hand, if you want the insect and mildew resistance characteristics for your closet organizer, you'd go for 3/4" aromatic cedar plywood instead. Another great option is Melamine coated particle boards which are cost-effective, plus you don't need to finish the panels. They are easy to clean, and they also save time which you'd dedicate to painting or finishing them.

So here's your shopping list for the task:

- A sheet of 3/4'' plywood ripped into 15 7/8” wide strips
- 4 closet rod sockets
- Wood glue
- 4 wood closet rods
- 2” wood trim screws
- 3” wood screws


If you're going to use adjustable shelves, optional shelf pins would be advantageous.

The tools:

- Measuring tape
- square- pencil
- hearing protection
- safety glasses
- Circular saw
- Drill
- Countersink drill bit

General instructions

You should review all instructions first before beginning to work. Ensure you're building safely and smartly. Also, work on a clean-level surface which is free from debris or imperfections. Again, use straight boards for this project. Check for square at each step of your progress. When working with screws, you have to pre-drill holes first. To achieve a stronger hold, use finish nails and glue. If the applied glue is in excess, make sure you wipe it off as it can quickly turn into a stain.

The dimensions

Here's your cutting list:

Two– 1x16 at 80” long (sides)

Seven– 1x16 at 15 3/4” (shelves)

Five– 1x16 at 3” (wall cleats)

The Steps

1) Using a table saw, you can rip the plywood into 15 7/8” wide strips. This plan will refer to these strips as 1x16s.

2) Locate the various joint locations on the inside and outside using a square and a tap measure. Using a countersink bit, you can predrill holes for the screws. At this point, you need to apply glue on the joints and attach your shelves.

3) You are free to add additional shelves to create more space. This can be done by either choosing to use shelf pins or adjustable shelves. So if you choose this route, it's recommended you cut the shelves into 1/4"so they can fit easily.

4) Now it's time to locate the studs on the walls and mark them. Using a countersink bit and 3” screws, you can attach wall cleats to the wall easily, because you only need to screw them into the studs.

5) Lastly, you should measure and cut closet rods. Using a measuring tape and a drill, install rod sockets. Your project should take form by now.


The main benefit of customizing your closet using your own skills is that it saves money. A simple ClosetMaid's drawer kit would cost 3 times more than what you'd spend for your entire closet organizer project. So it's easy to see the logic why you should create your own.

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