Create a more functional closet!

Updated: Jun 20

For a while now every time I opened our front closet door I’d involuntarily let out an “UGH” before trying to pick out the shoes/coat/hat that I was looking for then quickly closing the door and pretending this disaster zone didn‘t exist.


This was after I pulled out the majority of the jackets hanging up. I forgot to take a true before picture.


I finally did something about it. The shoe rack needed to go, *someone* in our household never got the hang of using it, boots didn’t fit on it, therefore many shoes just ended up in a sloppy pile in front of it.

Adding additional shelving was my plan. The closet only had the one shelf on top and two hooks on the sides (which can’t be seen in the photo).

After removing everything and painting the walls (it was filthy), I put the first shelf up 24” from the floor. I had leftover plywood from a laundry room makeover that I needed to make good use of. I also had a lot of leftover smaller boards in the garage which were left behind by the previous owners. I used these spare boards to create cleats for the shelves.


I screwed them into the studs and made sure the boards were level and that the side pieces were shorter than the 12” depth of the board for the shelf.

I decided one additional shelf wasn’t enough and added another shelf 12” from the floor and one above the top shelf using the same cleat format. For the top shelf since you’d see the cleat, I used leftover baseboards and turned them upside down for a more put together look.


I added 1x2 boards on the front of the shelves as trim, and veneer edge banding on the existing shelf. I used provincial stain alone on the top shelf which was pine, and on the bottom shelves (plywood) I used brazilian rosewood gel stain first followed by provincial stain. The reason for this was that the plywood didn’t take up the provincial stain very nicely and the store I went to didn’t have walnut gel stain (or any other dark option) available. I used wood glue on top of the cleats to attach the shelves. I planned to use my brad nailer as well, but they’re wedged in pretty well and I’m hoping that along with the wood glue does a good enough job. So far so good.


I purchased some new hooks and placed them along the existing board (this was the only way to attach them so that they were sturdy, the studs are in inconvenient areas for hooks).

Et voilà! There is so much more space for our shoes and available hooks for bags and hats. The upper shelf is great for storing winter essentials during warmer months.


Obviously the plant and pillow are just for the after photo, the closet does not look like this on a day to day basis, but that wouldn’t be an aesthetically pleasing photo now, would it?!


How it actually looks today.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to make your spaces work FOR YOU!

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