A Custom Closet on the Cheap

It’s official, my boys have a new closet and I still have all my fingers.

If you recall, this whole project started because my boys had outgrown their little plastic drawers, which had replaced a giant floor space-hogging wide dresser when they started sharing a room.

Closet before:

I was going to go purchase a secondhand dresser and refinish it, but instead I decided to build something a bit more permanent, with even more usable storage space. Our house was built in 1960, so while it might have more closet space than a turn-of-the-century home, it still ranks low by today’s storage loving standards.

Not to mention regular closets are probably the least efficient space imaginable for storing things. One shelf? One rod? Pfft. Laaaaaaame.

My Supplies
shelving: $56
 new wood closet rod: $10
closet rod supports: $16ish
help from someone who knows what they’re doing: priceless
Caulk, primer, paint: already owned so we’re gonna say $0

I admit, I did get help from my trusty brother-in-law with drawing the shelves on the wall, making a plan, blah blah blah. However, I cut shelves (way to conquer my circular saw fear, Anna!), nailed stuff together, leveled important things that needed to be level, and got heckled for my slowness impressive accuracy and deliberation.

I could definitely do it again by myself. It would just take… a while.

The new, improved closet has the same length of closet rod for hanging shirts and coats, but I added cubbies and shelves galore!

Each of the boys has a fabric bin ($3 clearanced at Walmart, holla!) for their socks, underwear, and pajamas.

There’s a separate rod for all their coats and hoodies, with plenty of room below for their shoes.

(ahem. My kids never, ever use their shoe basket. Note its near emptiness.)

There’s even room for their games, which is great news for me and my sad little coat closet. (remember what I said about our home having limited closet space?)

Also, as you can see in the above photo we added an extra shelf (12-inches deep instead of 16-inches deep) to help take advantage of the full eight feet of vertical space.

There are roomy shelves for pants and shorts, and yes, I need to do laundry.

Those tall, pristine stacks? Are the shorts. That my boys can’t wear. Because Idaho is freezing.

I even added some “baseboard” to the previously bare closet walls…

Yay for recycled baseboard!

My kids are especially excited that it’s caulked and painted, because I know they go to sleep at night with visions of indoor climbing gyms dancing in their little heads.
So, what do you think?

Update (07/17/2012):I don’t have actual plans, but I did finally make a diagram of sorts and found a couple more photos to share. Take a look:

We drew it on the wall with a pencil first and then refined it and decided upon some hard measurements. As you can see in the “key” in the photo below, the center unit was built and placed inside the closet, then the rest of the shelves were built around it and the 1x4s added to the back of the top two cubbies to keep it square.

Closet boards. Caulk, caulk, caulk.

Extra 12″ deep shelf to utilize all the extra storage above the closet’s door frame: