How to Beautify and Optimize Closet Storage

Built-in Closet Storage

My two girls shared a pretty small room and it had a normal size closet. Since the room was small, it did not really fit a dresser and all the other stuff they needed. The bottom line is that our girls needed more storage space! Their closet contained a hanging rod and was large enough to only hang their shirt tops. So I thought maybe I could make the closet a little better and optimize the space by removing the long hanging rod, adding in a dresser on one end, and placing a smaller rod on the opposite end . It was so fun to take something simple, like a closet, and make it a little more awesome! This was the first time I used a lot of different tools on a project, which was exciting, yet a little scary. The hardest part of a project is starting! Just go for it and you will surprise yourself!


impact driver or drill
paint (your choice)
mdf board
mdf 1X2 boards
brad nailer
wood glue
router (optional)
miter saw
shiplap (optional)
plywood (optional)
handles (optional)
2X4s (optional)
drywall (optional)
hanging rod (optional)

Step 1

First, I tore out the existing closet. Some of you probably think I am really crazy, however, there was just enough room to make it flush with the existing wall that it would really optimize the storage space. 

Step 2

Next, we put together a dresser that we bought. However, you can easily skip this part if you have a dresser already put together. 

This picture shows what we had completed so far. We removed the closet doors, knocked out the wall, and built the dresser. What will happen next is building the new wall so the closet could be a little bigger. 

Step 3

Next step is building the walls. Have you ever framed a wall before? I have only done a few times and YouTube is always my best friend for projects like this. If your closest is big enough to fit a dresser, you can easily skip this part as well.  I will one day write a blog on how to frame and drywall, however, for now please look up on YouTube on how to do this. 

Step 4

After building the wall, I then proceeded to attach the dresser to the wall so that the dresser permanently stays in the same spot. I used my impact driver to screw the dresser in place.

Step 5

Next, I built some shoe storage because I had a little bit of space to work with on the side of the dresser. I just barely bought a bigger miter saw and it cut the 15 inch board that I needed, which was awesome! I also used a router, and it created a perfect place for the shelves to fit. This makes it so I don’t need to use nails, just glue. If you don’t have a router, no deal. You can just nail or screw the shelves in place. 

Step 6

I then cut the shelves for the storage shoe rack. It is not level in the picture, but when I screwed the shelves into place, I made sure they were level. Make sure your project surfaces are level! I then cut the shelf length to be snug against the wall. This will for sure be different for every custom build. 

Step 7

Then, I framed the dresser doors with some primed 1X2  Medium Density Fiberboards(MDF). I just used wood glue and brad nails to connect it together. I also used natural wood filler for the holes made by the brad nails. You can totally skip this step as well, I just added this for my choice of style. 

Step 8

Next, I then moved back to the walls. Do you see this hole from the existing wall? There are a few things you can do to fix holes and imperfections in the wall like this one. My personal favorite is to use shiplap, and that is what I did for this project. If you want to know how to do shiplap, there are plenty of YouTube video tutorials on how to install it. An alternative to shiplap is to patch any of the holes, texturize the wall (if it needs texture to match the existing wall), and then paint it. 

Step 9

Once you fix major holes and blemishes, the next step is to paint! I decided to go with a green paint color for the built-in dresser/shoe rack and a white paint color for the rest of the closest space.

Step 10

This step is purely for my design style. I had some left over plywood and I just glued them to the front of the dresser drawers. I also added handles

Step 11

I put together the rest of the closet. I got a target from Target and I got the hangers from IKEA, however you can find them on Amazon as well. Also, make sure you buy your wood rods in the dowel section, not the closet section. It’s much cheaper that way. 

Step 11

In the daytime it is pretty light in here, but the night time it can get dark. So I bought these rechargeable motion sensored lights. They are held on by a magnet so when the battery dies I’ll just take them down and recharge them. It saved me so much money on electrical. 

It is all done! I am so amazed with how it turned out. It makes the space feel a lot more roomy when everything can just go in the closet. I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you have any questions let me know in the comments. Also, I did an arch doorway instead of using a door. If you would like to learn how I did that click here

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