DIY Closet Makeover (Part 1)

We have two guest bedrooms in our home. Both closets in those bedrooms serve as junk closets for our nieces toys, the "what if" items we "might one day need if someone ever visits our house and didn't bring"... and other random items. We desperately needed organization and to better utilize the space in the closets to be able to locate and find what we needed. In order to do this... we took these steps.

1. Function/Needs

First thing you need to determine about your closet is HOW does it need to function for you? Does it need house your kids toys? clothes? sheets? pillows? etc.

In Tennessee, we have found that many newer builders aren't building linen closets in the bathrooms. Our master bathroom... no linen closet... one of our guest bathrooms... no linen closet. Which means that the closet has to double duty, as a linen closet.

It also needs to function as our nieces toy closet and a space for guest storage when they come to visit.

2. Clean/Donate

Remove everything from your closet. We organized a little differently than Marie Kondo, as we don't really have any sentimental items in our closets. Anything that wasn't directly in one of the above categories, we either found a new home, donated, or threw it away. The items that remained, we organized into categories of use to determine size of container.

3. Make a Plan

There are many different ways to update a closet. You need to plan out the space to make sure you can get the maximum use out of it.

  • Add hanging space

Our current closet configuration didn't have any hanging space, which we knew our guests might need. Luckily - there was a lot of wasted space, as the closet is actually rather deep. If we shortened the shelves to fit the baskets - we could add a hanging rod in front.

  • Update Shelving to be flexible

We needed to update the shelves from wire shelving so we could store different items on them. Books and smaller items fall through the wire shelves. We also expect to have changing needs for that closet, potentially a nursery sometime soon. So the shelves needed to be able to change heights without being very difficult.

4. Gather Supplies

Baskets/Bins - We purchased all of the bins and baskets from TJ Maxx Homegoods ranging from $4.99-$16.99. How many and what size you need is dependent on your stacks of items!

Shelves - I purchased these at Lowes, and had them cut to size. Remember, we are NOT handy. We need it fool proof! Hint: Not all closets are exactly square. You need to make sure you are measuring the smallest distance across so the shelves fit inside. You can find these in the closet section - they have different widths and depths. We had to get the deeper ones - so each shelf cost us $14.95.

Brackets - Also purchased at Lowes, directly next to the shelves. The brackets (found here) come in different colors and sizes. I honestly wish we had purchased the grey wall slots - so they would have blended in better with the wall color we chose. But white works fine. You need a minimum of 2 brackets. If your closet is wider - you might need 3 or 4 to stabilize the shelves. How many wall brackets you get - you will need the same amount x amount of shelves for the double track shelf bracket (found here).

For example: Our finished shelves were going to be 33 3/4" wide x 20" deep. We wanted 5 shelves and we used 2 wall brackets = 10 double track shelf brackets.

Reminder: these brackets do NOT come with wall screws. You have purchase them separately! Make sure that you either have 2 studs where you are planning the brackets or purchase anchors/togglers!

Paint - We already had leftover paint from our garage. So we didn't need to purchase ceiling, baseboard, and wall paint. But if you do - don't forget to purchase! Lighter colors are better in smaller spaces!

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