Does your closet need some organization? A couple of weeks ago I shared the problems we were having and ideas we had to help our small closet have more organization. Now we are going to build a closet system to help organize our small space better. Do you struggle with closet organization? Maybe this can be your solution to help organize your closet.
Our closet is 65” wide, 5 ft 5”. Which is a standard size for a closet but ours is our master closet (for 2 people) making it feel really small. It’s as tall as our ceiling 8ft and 2ft deep.
Here is the plan!!
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SUPPLIES – just for the system, not the drawers (in another post)
- 2 – 4’x8’x.75” plywood (will have extra)
- 4 – 1”x2”x8’ wood board (actual is .75”x1.5”)
- 3.25” baseboard (I reused the old in my closet)
- trim for the floor (I used quarter round under the shoe shelf)
- 3 – rod holders
- 2 – 1.25”x4’ wood dowels
- box of 1” Kreg Jig course pan screws
- paint & primer
- white caulk
- spackling paste
- #220 grit sandpaper
- 1.25” finishing nails
- 2.5” finishing nails
- liquid nails
- stain & poly
- pocket plugs
- wood glue
- Kreg Jig
- Table Saw or Circular Saw
- Orbital Sander
- Miter Saw
- Air compressor w/nail gun
- Paint brush & roller (or the Critter paint sprayer will save you time)
- Caulk gun
- Pin punch with hammer
- Tape measure
- Razor blade
CUT LIST W/DIAGRAMS:
After gathering the supplies, the wood needs to be cut. Here are the cutting diagrams for the plywood.
TIP: Try to cut the same measurements at the same time.
To make the cutting process easier I have included diagrams of when to cut each piece, the cuts are labeled with numbers. So cut them in order.
SIDE NOTE: The sides of the system need to be cut to an “L”, cut #25 & #26. To do this, clamp the wood together and mark the wood like the diagram. Then using a jigsaw cut the wood.
ALSO, cut 2 brace pieces to 14.75” from the extra pieces of the plywood (width should be 2” or 1.5”).
Once all the plywood is cut, cut the 1×2’s boards (trim pieces) to these lengths. Some cuts are a little long and will have to be cut down while assembling.
USING THE KREG JIG
After the wood is cut, a couple of pieces need some pockets added to them. These pieces are the sides, middle shelf, bottom shelf, shoe shelf, brace 1 (one for each side), brace 2, and the trim piece. In the diagram, the “*” is where a Kreg Jig pocket will be placed.
Please Note: For the sides, you will want the pockets to be on either the inside or outside but make sure it’s the same for both.
Add the pockets; there will be a total of 30. Side Note: I finally upgraded my Kreg Jig to the Kreg Jig K5 and that thing is wonderful. I wish I would have upgraded sooner!
SANDING AND PAINTING
The wood now needs to be sanded, I mainly sanded the edges. To save time, I used my orbital sander with #220 grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface. After all the wood was sanded, I wiped the wood with a dry cloth and prepped for paint.
Side Note: We were in the middle of winter when I did this project. So I was not able to use my paint sprayer, I really really wanted to because it would have saved some time. But a roller worked just fine.
By painting the wood at this time it will save you time later. It’s easier to roll paint on than trying to paint all the corners after the wood is installed (you will have to once!). I apply two coats of primer (I used Kilz Premium) and two coats of white paint (Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Stain). It would be a good idea to lightly sand between coats to have a smooth finish; I didn’t but wish I did…
TIP: Paint the baseboard & quarter round now!
While I was painting all the wood, remember the back and front need to be painted for most of the wood; it would be a great time to demo the current closet. That’s what I did!
PREPPING THE CLOSET
Before a new closet system can be built the old closet needs to be removed. To remove all the old, I used my fantastic WonderBar (crowbar), hammer, and razor blade plus a couple of other items for the carpet. Speaking of the carpet, we decided to remove it from the closet to show the hardwood floors. That’s right we have beautiful hardwood floors under all the carpet, it will be set free one day!!
If you have carpet, you will want to remove it from where the drawer system will sit but you could put the system on top. But I would recommend removing it then reinstalling it with tac-strips around the drawer system. Sorry, no tutorial on that…
To remove everything that was painted, I took the razor knife and cut along the edges (where they hit the wall). This is to help the paint from chipping. Then I used my WonderBar to remove the shelf (it was nailed together), rod supports, and two of my baseboards (floor trim). I was very careful when removing the baseboards because I will be reusing it.
Once everything was removed, I had to sand the walls (was an oil based paint but also lots of paint drips). Plus I moved the ceiling light. Then I primed and painted the walls (I used the same paint from before).
Because this post is already long and we still have a lot to cover I will be sharing how to build a closet system in three posts. That’s right, three. Don’t worry the process is not hard, I just want to share every detail to help you with the process. Part 2 will be covering putting together the system, where part 3 will be all the finishing touches.
Hope this tutorial will help you build your own closet system to give you more storage and organization. Do you have any question so far?
Did you miss a part? Here’s the list
- Cutting Diagrams – Part 1 (THIS ONE)
- Assembling the System – Part 2
- Finishing the Closet system – Part 3
- Building the drawers
- Making shaker style drawer front
- Total cost for small closet makeover
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