A hammer in search of a nail…

Closet Organizer Project

I just finished a multi-month project building 4 closet organizer “units” for our master bedroom closet.

The closet is fairly square, but has a u-shape since one wall is predominantly the sliding doors for entry.

I built four units. The first one is on the right wall and has three drawers and three adjustable shelves. There is another shelf above it from wall to wall. This was installed in the middle of the wall with double closet rods on the right side and a single rod on the left. Here’s a picture of the first finished organizer:

The second organizer was a corner unit to maximize space on the left and back walls. It is taller than the other organizers and has three adjustable shelves (the one slightly above center is fixed for rigidity of the overall organizer). Here’s this one:

It allows for another double rod on the left side wall (from wall to corner unit). You can see this here:

Finally, I built two more for the wall opposite the doorway. These were mounted side by side. The left side is similar to the first one with three drawers and three adjustable shelves. The right side one was just built for shelves and has three fixed shelves and three adjustable ones. To the left of these is a single rod and to the right is another double rod. Here’s a pic of these two:

Last 2 Organizers

Note that the left side has three adjustable shelves which were not installed yet in this picture.  There will also be a shelf over the top (similar to the first picture above) from wall to wall for some more storage.

All four organizers were made from plywood only (mostly 3/4″ stock with backs made from 1/4″). The drawers were also built from plywood (1/2″ for the sides with 1/4″ for the bottom and 3/4″ for the front “faces”).

Laura did most of the staining (red chestnut) and polyurethaning (2 coats of satin finish).

Overall, they went together fairly quickly, were good practice, look good (for a closet), and added tremendously to the storage of our closet.

A few items of note:

  • The design and instructions came from a magazine article (add reference) with some variations by me (especially the corner unit)
  • The corner unit doesn’t actually come to a corner “point”. I created a “gap” in the back corner with 3-inch wide board. This meant it fit in the corner better (since it didn’t have to exactly match the walls, which are never square), and it provided another column for the pins of the adustable shelves (5 pins for each shelf).
  • I cut the holes for the adjustable shelf pins with a plunge router using a pegboard as a guide. This creates much better holes than using a hand drill with a stop, but you have to careful with the pegboard since the router will go right through it, if you don’t line up carefully.  By the fourth organizer, some of the pegboard holes were a little ‘oblong’!
  • Each organizer is mounted to the wall about 6 inches off the floor. This puts it above the moulding and allows for cleaning underneath (it looks nice too).
  • Overall rod space went from three rods of ‘x’ length to eight rods of ‘y’ length.
    The double rod on the left wall sagged a little (they are longer than the rest at ‘a’ inches) so I replaced them with “heavy duty” rods which are the same color and look the same, but are thicker. I cut down the original ones for use on the back wall.

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