I recently had my fill with out disorganized front entry closet. The closet never got used. Don’t get me wrong – it was full of STUFF. But, we never used the closet because the STUFF was just all piled in there.
It was extremely difficult to find anything. Things fell to the floor and were not seen again for months. It just wasn’t working.
One weekend I reached my breaking point. I pulled EVERYTHING out of the closet and headed to my local home improvement store to grab some plywood.
Seriously. All you need to make your own custom closet shelving system is:
- 3/4-inch plywood
- 1 x 4 boards
- a level, measuring tape, pencil
- stud finder
- circular saw
- electric drill and 2-inch construction screws
- nail gun + wood glue
MY new DIY Entry Closet Shelves
These shelves were SO easy to install. You can easily finish a project like this in a weekend. The hardest part is waiting for the paint to dry on your boards.
Adding a bottom storage shelf with a cleat
Instead of adding cube storage all the way to the floor in the right -hand side of my closet, I opted to create large open shelves at the bottom of the closet.
This really helps keep things from piling in a jumbled heap of the closet floor.
Using my stud-finder, I screwed a 1×4 board (a cleat) into the wall, about 9-inches from the floor. Be sure to add smaller cleat boards on both side walls as well.
Then I cut a shelf from my 3/4-inch plywood.
Side Note: You’ll notice that my shelf didn’t extend all the way to the wall on the right-hand side. This is because there was an existing cleat board for the top shelf in the closet. By placing two 1×4 boards on that right wall, I was able to have the new cube storage (in the next step) be flush against the boards and extend all the way to the top shelf.
Next, I added two squares of 3/4-inch plywood to form the sides of my bottom shelf. Then I topped my bottom shelf with another board. This gave the illusion of a large “cube” at the bottom of my closet.
About the paint: I gave each board two coats of primer and two coats of paint before I installed them. I highly recommend painting your boards before you install them. Otherwise you’ll have a very difficult time painting in a tight space with lots of nooks and crannies. Not fun.
Note: I also added a small board in the center of both shelves. This is to keep those shelves from bowing.
I secured everything together with wood glue and a nail gun.
Adding Cube Storage on One Side
Next, I built a free-standing 4-cube storage organizer to add to the right side of the closet.
I knew I wanted my cube organizer to extend all the way from my new bottom shelf to the existing top shelf.
I measured my 3/4-inch plywood to make a large rectangular box. It was just assembled with wood glue and my nail gun. Super basic.
Before I added the shelves, I set the box inside the closet to make sure everything fit.
Then I took the box back out to paint and add shelves with my nail gun.
Once the cube organizer was finished, I put it back into the closet and screwed it into the stud on the back wall. So… even though it looks like my cube organizer is sitting on that bottom shelf, it is really secured to the stud in that back wall with 4 screws.
The Finished Closet Shelving
To finish everything off, I added a panel of bead board to the back wall of the closet. It was leftover from another project, so why not?