February 28, 2017

Low Cost Closet Storage Shelves

Storage and closet space is a premium in any house, especially in our 50's house. Even though there is a closet in every room, they only had one rod PER closet. It seemed like a waste of space so we did a quick fix when we moved in and put two rows of basic dowel rods with a board on top. Auston uses the closet in our bedroom and I use the guest room's closet since obviously we have no room to share one - and we don't have many guests since our families live in the same town. The two rods are great, but I had intentionally cut my bottom one short so that my dresses could have room to hang. The dresser in my room was filled with t-shirts, workout clothes, and pjs, but I still needed somewhere to store my sweaters and some shoes - enter my first mini construction project.

You can see the wasted space below the dresses where I kept my hamper and loose purses (which I still need to figure out how to store). I knew I wanted shelves, so I sketched out on a post-it note what I thought would fit.


Common Board
Wood stain (I used Minwax Early American)
Screws (I used 1 5/8")


1. Make measurements and determine how much wood you need. The easiest way to do this is sketch out the shelves/space you need. I wanted my shelves 9" apart so I could fit sweaters and any heels. Make sure you account for the width of the boards, because I didn't and had to do some re-cuts.

2. Gather supplies. I already had the stain, screws, and hand saw, so my only cost was the wood. I ended up with about 176" of board and with my coupon it came out to $30.

3. Prep the wood - sand and stain. Even though common board seems soft, giving it a good sanding works out all invisible splinters and lets the stain soak in. Let it dry for at least an hour before you start cutting and messing with it so your hands don't get stained.

4. Measure and make the cuts. I used our handy hand saw we got for Christmas and made sure everything was square. And remember, it is always easier to make something shorter than make it longer. Before I started screwing things together, I laid it out to ensure things looked even.

5. Assemble the pieces. I screwed all the shelves on to one side first so it would be easier to attach the other side evenly.

6. If you're like me, stain the sides that you forgot to earlier - else, admire your pretty new shelves.

ViolĂ ! I let it sit outside overnight to make sure it was super dry and wouldn't get any stain on my clothes, but if you're skeptical of that you can always put a coat of polyurethane on it.

There you have it friends, your first mini construction project. Now I can stop looking like a slob and take my sweaters off the bed. If you build something for your space or even just rearrange what's already in there, be sure to share it with us so we can appreciate your work!

P.S. This project made me go through a major sweater purge - one I definitely needed. So maybe this is a good time to go through the rest of my closet?

This one's for you guys who love a good before and after side by side (aka me).


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