If you’re short on storage space, learning to build a closet yourself may help you add additional space and give you the freedom to create and manage your own design.
While you’ll need some basic carpentry skills and a few power tools, if you’re not afraid of a little sawdust and hard work, you may just find that building your own closet shelving system may be exactly what you need, and at a fraction of the cost of more expensive organization systems.
Basic Steps to Build Your Own Closet:
1. Choose a Location:
While you can build a unit in any area of your home, there are certain things you will want to consider in choosing a location. You will want to make sure that the space does not interfere with doors, windows, or walkways and paths.
You may want to consider the flow of the room – will placement in one section of a room make a different impression than in another? Before you get started, you will want to make sure the place you choose is the best possible one to use. You will need to decide if you will use pre-existing space, build new, or expand what you already have.
2. Plan Use of Space
You will need to ask yourself how you plan to use the closet space and what is the best use of the area you have to work with. For example, if you have a lot of clothing that needs hung up, you will want to make sure that your space will accommodate that need by making sure there are ample hooks and clothing rods.
If you plan on storing other items in your closet, you may want to consider organizing items into boxes or small storage containers. If need be, take some time looking at pictures online, in books and magazines, or even visiting a closet furniture showcase display near you for inspiration and ideas.
3. Measure, and Measure Again
The most important step is to measure the space you’d like to use. You will want to measure the width, the depth, and the height. You’ll also want to measure space for the clothing rods and shelving. While the measurements and dimensions you will need will depend on your individual design, you can never do too much measuring.
Accurately having the right numbers will help make it much easier to prepare a materials list, as well as make sure that your project will go smoothly.
4. Plan Your Design
Creating a rough sketch of your design will help you in visualizing exactly what you want to achieve with the space you have. You don’t need to be a graphic design artist to draw the basics, so don’t worry if it isn’t exactly to scale or perfect, though the more realistic you make it the better.
Be sure you label the different areas as to exactly what you will be using them for, as this will help you make sure that your plan will maximize the use of the available space you have.
5. Choose Your Materials & Tools
Depending on what you have chosen to do, you will then need to make a list of the materials and tools you will be using. If you are building a closet from scratch for example, you may need lumber, drywall, and even paint. If you are using an existing closet and are simply building custom shelving, you may decide to use wire shelving or wood shelving, in which case you would need different tools.
Having a list of all the materials and tools and other supplies you need will help make it much easier shopping at the hardware store for your items and ensure that you start the project off completely prepared. When shopping you will want to make sure that you have everything you need to avoid making multiple trips to the store or buying the wrong items.
6. Start Building
Once you have planned your project from start to finish, the next step is to take your ideas and make them into a reality. Generally, you will want to start with preparing the closet space to then installing your shelving or hanging rods. Lastly you’ll want to make sure your closet has doors and that all of the finishing touches have been taken.
Remember to follow all safety precautions when using power tools and to read the manufacturer’s directions for the shelving or closet system you are installing if you have purchased a pre-built design.
7. Organize Your Stuff
Once the closet has come to completion, the final step is to organize your belongings so they can take advantage of the new additional space. Make sure you aren’t keeping anything that you don’t need, as it will only add to the clutter and chaos.
You may want to consider labeling shelves, drawers, and boxes to help you remember where everything goes and to remind yourself to keep it neat and tidy for many years of enjoyment to come.
The Bottom Line
While it may seem like an overwhelming task at first, when you break up the process into several smaller steps it becomes much easier to visualize and reach your goals of becoming more organized. There are many different things you can do to maximize the space and the possibilities are endless when you decide to create your own design.
Learning to build a closet yourself will not only save you money in the long run, but give you the overall satisfaction of knowing you did it on your own.