Closet Organizer

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Project by phlepper posted 07-08-2009 06:32 AM 6349 views 13 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Closet Organizer
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Still getting caught up on older projects…

Here is a closet organizer I built several months ago for our master bedroom closet. The organizer was based on an article from “Best Weekend Projects” a magazine from The Family Handyman. That article had one organizer for a standard closet. Since we have a larger, walk-in closet, I built three of the organizers and custom-designed a corner unit.

The first one is on the right wall of the closet and has three drawers and three adjustable shelves. There is another shelf above it from wall to wall. This was installed in the middle of that wall with double closet rods on the right side and a single rod on the left. Here’s a picture of the first organizer:

Closet Organizer (Right Wall)

The second organizer was a corner unit in the back left corner to maximize space on the left and back walls. It is taller than the other organizers and has three adjustable shelves (the one slightly above center is fixed for rigidity of the overall organizer). Here’s this one:

Corner Organizer

It allows for another double rod on the left side wall (from wall to corner unit). You can see this here:

Left Side

Finally, I built two more for the wall opposite the doorway. These were mounted side by side. The left side is similar to the first one with three drawers and three adjustable shelves. The right side one was just built for shelves and has three fixed shelves and three adjustable ones. To the left of these is a single rod and to the right is another double rod. Here’s a couple pics of these two and the center wall:

Center Wall (Right Side)

Center Wall (Left Side)

All four organizers were made from plywood only (mostly 3/4″ stock with backs made from 1/4″). The drawers were also built from plywood (1/2″ for the sides with 1/4″ for the bottom and 3/4″ for the front “faces”). All the edges were faced with birch edge banding (ironed on).

My wife did most of the staining (red chestnut) and poly-ing (2 coats of satin finish).

Overall, they went together fairly quickly, were good practice, look good (for a closet), and added tremendously to the storage of our closet. They were also a good practice project before working on something that would be “out in the open” :)

A few items of note:

  • The corner unit doesn’t actually come to a corner “point” in the back. I created a “gap” in the back corner with a 3-inch wide board. This meant it fit in the corner better (since it didn’t have to exactly match the walls, which are never square), and it provided another column for the pins of the adjustable shelves (5 pins for each shelf).
  • I cut the holes for the adjustable shelf pins with a plunge router using a pegboard as a guide. This created much better holes than my previous method of using a hand drill with a stop, but you have to careful with the pegboard since the router will go right through it, if you don’t line up carefully. By the fourth organizer, some of the pegboard holes were a little ‘oblong’!
  • Each organizer is mounted to the wall about 6 inches off the floor. This puts it above the base molding and allows for cleaning underneath (it looks nice too).
  • The double rod on the left wall sagged a little (they are longer than the rest of the new rods) so I replaced them with “heavy duty” rods which are the same color and look the same, but are thicker. I cut down the original ones for use on the back wall.

-- "A hammer in search of a nail..." (

8 comments so far

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 3896 days

#1 posted 07-08-2009 06:38 AM

nice job with the organizers

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you [email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


117899 posts in 4177 days

#2 posted 07-08-2009 06:43 AM

good job looks great wow what a neat closet


View hasbeen99's profile


183 posts in 4139 days

#3 posted 07-08-2009 09:06 PM

Nice design and great job maximizing the space!

-- "The only thing that counts is faith, expressing itself in love." --Galatians 5:6

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4847 days

#4 posted 07-09-2009 05:20 PM

Very nice, I saw that article and showed my wife, big mistake. She wants one just like it. Great work.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4273 days

#5 posted 08-04-2009 12:55 AM

Thats a neat closet.

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12790 posts in 3757 days

#6 posted 02-26-2010 07:42 AM

very nice closet organizer….

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View asloanie's profile


54 posts in 2588 days

#7 posted 07-10-2014 01:14 AM

How did you mount/hang the units on the wall?
How deep is the closet?

View phlepper's profile


21 posts in 3853 days

#8 posted 07-10-2014 04:43 AM

asloanie, the organizers were hung via screws from the inside of the organizer through the drywall into studs in the wall. Each organizer has three 3/4” plywood strips that are glued and screwed to the sides and back of the organizer (the back is only 1/4” plywood). The strips are at the top, middle, and bottom of the organizer.

I mounted these just above the baseboards, so they sit flat against the wall.

The organizers are about 23” deep at the bottom and about 15” deep at the top where they taper. The closet these are in is a walk-in, so there was plenty of room for the 5 total organizers.


-- "A hammer in search of a nail..." (

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