How to Build a Closet Organizer

Finishing and installing the organizer Step 1

Apply finish. Center the sweater divider in the closet and install the shoe rack. Lay out shelf-cleat heights on the divider and closet sides with a 2-foot level. Locate studs in both sides of the closet wall with a stud finder.

Step 2

From 1x2s, cut six shelf cleats (I) long enough to extend 1 inch past the first stud from the closet's back corners or at least 10-1/2 inches long. Attach the cleats with 2-1/4-inch drywall screws into the closet corner framing and first stud. Attach cleats to center divider with glue and 4d nails.

Step 3

Install the right shelf and the left accessory shelf unit with two 4d nails driven down into each cleat. Fit cleats under the top of the accessory shelf assembly and install as you did the other cleats.

Step 4

Cut six closet pole cleats (J) to the same length as the shelf cleats. Lay out heights for the cleats. Attach with pairs of 2-1/4-inch screws into the wall studs and with glue and pairs of 4d nails into the divider.

Step 5

Fill the screw and nail holes in the cleats. Paint or finish the cleats to match the closet and divider. Install pole hangers with their center screws located 8-3/4 inches from the back of the closet and 1-1/2 inches from the cleat bottoms. Cut closet poles to length and install.

Choosing pole heights

When you build your own closet organizer, you are free to customize it to your needs, and even to your height. For example, the shirt pole is set 46 inches above the pants pole -- enough room to hang long skirts from the pole. But for most shirts, you only need about 36 inches. So, if a short person will use the closet, you could set the shirt pole only 36 inches above the pants pole -- at 68 inches instead of 78 inches. In that case, you could add a second shelf for items that are used infrequently.


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