Closet Door Built-In Storage

13 Materials
$38
2 Hours
Medium

Okay, so I have to admit, I have A LOT of shoes. I'm not the type to put away my summer shoes during winter, because you never know when you need a pair of flip flops or open-toe heels during the colder months (call me crazy but I don't stick with the close-toe heel rule...if there is one). Because I don't put away my summer shoes, coupled with the fact that I have a ridiculously small closet, it can look like a hot mess with the quickness. My closet is in my son's room, so even if I line my shoes up nicely, he eventually gets in there and messes them up. Hence, my need for a solution!


You can organize your own closet this spring, with our expert organizer, Meggie Mangione by signing up to our online group workshop.



BEFORE:

HOT MESS!!!


I promise all of my clothes are nicely hung and in some what of a style coordination, however, I don't want to ruin my knit cardigans by hanging them on hangers so I just hang them over the middle of my closet rack. If anyone has a solution to this issue, please feel free to share! I don't have any drawer space for them, otherwise I'd fold them. I'm beginning to think I'm going to need to figure out another project for additional clothes storage (maybe I'll mount some more crates on the wall..?).



SUPPLIES:

-3 pieces of 1x6x8 common board

-2 pieces of 1x2x8 common board

-1 1/4" screws

-1 1/2"-2" trim nails


Not pictured:

-fine grit sand paper

-wood glue

-damp rag

-pencil

-measuring tape

-2 clamps


Tools:

-chop saw

-drill with bit and counter sink

-nail gun


*Note: amount of wood may vary depending on the size of your door and how big you want your storage unit to be.



STEP 1: Measure, cut and sand boards


As mentioned in my supplies list, I purchased (3) 1x6x8 boards and (2) 1x2x8 boards. I cut my boards to the following lengths using a chop saw:


(2) 1x6 – cut to 6’

(5) 1x6 – cut to 16”

(10) 1x2 – cut to 16”


*If you don't have a chop saw, you can have your boards cut at Home Depot or Lowe's, whichever place you purchase them.




I decided to keep my wood unfinished, however, if you want a finish on your boards, I would suggest finishing them before cutting.



After I cut my boards, I knocked off the splinters and edges with a piece of fine grit sandpaper.



Here are my cuts all laid out before assembling them.



STEP 2: Assemble shell of storage unit


First, I measured every 18" on my 6' boards to mark where my shelves would sit. Rob suggested I do this before assembling anything.



Then, I applied wood glue to the edges of one of my 16" 1x6 pieces and positioned it between the top edges of my 6' pieces.



I nailed the outside of the 6' pieces to the inside edge of the 16" 1x6 piece.



In order to easily mount my storage unit, I glued and nailed a 16" 1x2 piece directly under the 16" 1x6 piece.



Once the end was glued and nailed, I attached a clamp to hold everything together until the glued cured.


Repeat these steps for both ends of the storage unit.

Here is the unit all clamped up...now it's time for shelves.



STEP 3: Assemble shelves of storage unit


Much like STEP 2, I assembled my shelves by gluing and nailing the remaining 16" 1x6 pieces of board. Once I put glue on the ends of my 16" pieces, and starting at one end, I placed the top edge of my board on my pencil marks from the first part of STEP 2. Then, I wiped any glue that bled and stapled the end shelves.



STEP 4: Assemble rails of storage unit


For the double rails of each shelf, I knocked in two pieces of 16" 1x2 boards, one at a time. I used two scrap pieces of 16" 1x2 boards for spacers. I didn't use wood glue for this step, because the rails were so tight. I simply used a hammer to gently knock them in place and stapled the ends from the outside of the 6' boards.



STEP 5: Mount storage unit


Finally, I used a counter sink attachment for my drill to pre-drill three holes on the top of my storage unit and three holes on the bottom. Then, I screwed in my screws to make the unit nice and secure.


If you're looking for a way to more simply organize your OWN closet, then we have the solution for you - join our organizing workshop, starting in only 5 days!



I'm really happy with how this built-in storage unit came out for my closet door. I still have a few stragglers sitting on the floor but I feel my closet looks so much more organized, given how small it is.


*Because I only had to purchase the lumber for this project, it was less than $40 total for supplies.

This video file cannot be played.(Error Code: 102630)
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

15 Gorgeous Bohemian Inspired Decor Items To Make For Yourself
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
23 DIY Wall Clocks That'll Transform Your Whole Room
17 Faux Brick Ideas For Your Home
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
15 Amazing Things You Can Make With Dollar Store Gems
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
31 Super Cute & Easy DIY Ideas For Your Kitchen
18 Fun Ways To Add Glitter To Your Home Decor
31 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
15 Pieces Of Furniture That DIYers Built From Scratch

Have a question about this project?

31 questions
  • Eroque022810
    on Dec 14, 2016

    Why don't you use your closet?

    • I don't understand the question. I think it's hard to tell from the pictures but my closet is very shallow but wide so I have clothes going all the way to the left and right and not a lot of extra room to add more shelving above the 1 shelf I have.

    • 9530106
      on Dec 14, 2016

      Since you stated your closet was in your son's room, I believe they are asking why you don't use the one in your room. ( If you have a closet in there!) :-)

    • Pam
      on Dec 15, 2016

      If she is like me, my closet is already full and need a second one!!

    • Frances Linehan Hawe
      on Dec 20, 2016

      Does it matter why she uses a particular closet the point is she has made brilliant use of storage space in this one.

    • Mary Hofstra
      on Dec 26, 2016

      We have closets like that, that go to the right and left. I've asked my husband if he could knock out the wall and open it up. So dumb how they closed it off like that and put in a small door. You'd think it would've been cheaper and easier to keep it more open with bi-fold or sliding doors.

    • Judy Prier Burgess
      on Jan 3, 2017

      I have a deep narrow closet called a "Walk In" - but you have to walk in sideways with clothes in your face. Ugh! And the door originally opened in! Just making it open out helped a lot - but still .... you wonder why it was ever built the way it was!! Love the shoe storage idea, but I think it is beyond my skill level.

    • Alice Wilson
      on Mar 8, 2017

      It is so cool that she built and shared photos of this woodworking project! I am impressed! I wonder if someone will open up the wall enclosing these long, shallow closets and share the adventure! 👍

  • Agnes
    on Dec 14, 2016

    Beautiful! You are so handy! Very organized way for the shoes. I just worry if the extra weight would be too much for the door hinges. I have a few doors that are hard wood and heavy and the hinges sagged and made the doors scrape the floor.

    • My husband is a builder and didn't seem concerned with it so I'm praying all goes well with it.

    • Ginger the farm gal
      on Dec 15, 2016

      They don't make hinges and door knobs like that any more, you've got some good old construction in that house. Could you put "S" hooks on the one bys that hold the shoes in place for strap shoes and flip flops.?

  • Mandy
    on Dec 18, 2016

    Love this idea! Can't wait to share it with my mom, who's always looking for more space. Have you thought about incorporating a lower bar using the hooks that allow you to cascade the clothes (maybe 4 for each hanging space you are using for one )?

  • Mary
    on Jan 3, 2017

    Does the door need to be solid? Or is a hollow core door okay?

    • If you were to use a hollow core door, you want to make sure to use anchors so that the weight of the shoes don't pull the storage unit off.

  • Jan piner
    on Jan 3, 2017

    I love this!!!!! Have u considered command hooks on outside of your brilliant shoe organizer? Would b a great place for flip flops, sandals or even scarfs. Regarding sweaters, check out Pinterest for instructions for folding over hanger. I use my bottom closet rod for them. Jan

    , Pinterest
    • Hi Jan! No I didn't think of Command hooks but that's a great idea! Someone also shared that same sweater folding trick with me and I'm definitely going to try it out! Thanks for sharing! 😊

    • K. Marshall
      on Jul 10, 2017

      This is a smart idea and could be modified to hold many different type items.

    • Liz
      on Mar 21, 2018

      Don't forget about the valuable real estate under your bed. You can get an inexpensive container that slides in and out easily. Another trick is to use bed risers for even more space under the bed. You can get to your sweaters in any weather.

  • Dianne King
    on Mar 21, 2018

    I love this idea but does the added weight affect the door at the hinges or in the frame?

    • Ang28357833
      on Mar 21, 2018

      Yes it adds undue weight on the door which will warp the hinges, and will also cause door to sag. Most closet doors are hollow core doors not solid wood, so this would destroy a hollow door.

    • Liz32879065
      on Mar 21, 2018

      Thought the same thing. This is way to heavy for that door!


    • Susan Bechamp
      on Mar 21, 2018

      You could use longer screws in the hinges that sink passed the door jamb and bite into the wood frame that supports the jamb. Additional longer screws might be needed on the latch side to keep things level. If the existing hinges are not up to task, replace them with heavy duty hinges. (Using four hinges instead of three will also stabilize the door).

    • Suzy Googoo
      on Mar 21, 2018

      Cute naysayers. It’s all about the hinges: use 4 and sag no more. That’s what I did. I would have added 2 more shelves to fit the rest of the shoes on the floor in the closet.

    • Cvmarin
      on Mar 21, 2018

      Good design! Only put lighter shoes on door+/or add extra hinges. Sweaters? I keep a pile in a rectangular bin pushed to far side of closet floor.

      Also check out storage beds... a new type lifts up entirely like a car trunk, supposedly a hydraulic lift makes it easy to raise.

  • Hb
    on Mar 21, 2018

    Hi, Great Job and I am sure this helps with organization but I do have one quick question please.


    Most interior doors are hollow , many of the surfaces are just thin plywood or perhaps nowadays thin MDF . Your shelving unit looks pretty substantial so , how do your 3 screws top and bottom stop from pulling out with the weight of your shelving unit? If the screws do pull out , you wont be able to reinstall the screws in same location . Did you install those plastic anchors into the door first?

    • Eliza Spear
      on Mar 21, 2018

      If you look at the door before the shelf the outside frame is solid wood and only the Center is hollow. They attached it to the solid part

    • Rin
      on Mar 21, 2018

      I'm in a rental, so I bought one of the over the door hangers that has 5 rows of 4 pockets for holding shoes & have it hanging on the inside. From the looks, I have more clearance, less weight & can hold more shoes.

    • Tst29180201
      on Mar 21, 2018

      I built a similar storage unit in our hallway linen closet many years ago. You can see my version in the attached photo (apparently you can only attach a square photo so it doesn't show the whole thing). Mine has 1/2" dowels across the opening instead of the 1 x 2s, and the sides, shelves, etc are made from 1/2" plywood. The unit is attached to a hollow door with no problem, and I think the weight is similar. I attached it to the door with hollow door fasteners shown below. I'm not sure what the hollow door fasteners are rated at, but I know they are able to handle much more than any weight you would put on it. The other thing I did differently is that I used angle brackets (you can see them under the top shelf) on one of the top shelves and near the bottom to mount it.

      Hopefully this is helpful.

      , Hollow door fastener 1 8 1 4 grip, Angle bracket
  • Susie
    on Mar 21, 2018

    With the weight of the materials and the shoes, how do you keep the door from sagging? Also, note that when using pine, your screws will counter sink without using a special attachment in pre-drilling as you would need in using hardwoods.

    • Gladys Goodson
      on Mar 21, 2018

      To neatly store your sweaters, fold them in half lengthwise with the arms lying on one side of the sweater. Fold in half crossways. Hang on "fuzzy" hanger like you hang pants or jeans on a hanger. By using the "fuzzy" hangers they do not slide off hanger. No stretch or hanger marks on shoulders.

    • DeniseW
      on Mar 21, 2018

      Looks like she would not have the width in her closet to hang her sweaters like that, though. Maybe she could use something like this:

    • JoAnn
      on Mar 21, 2018

      I use the hanging sweater protector. I easily fit two folded sweaters per cell, mine holds a dozen non-bulky sweaters. For those that do not fit I do as Gladys does, folding them neatly over a hanger, but I use the cardboard tube and metal hangers leftover from suit pants that went to the cleaners.

    • Barbara
      on Mar 21, 2018

      Now that she has floor space, she could put square baskets/cubbies to hold her sweaters. Or, clear off the shelf in the closet to hold baskets or clear containers for the sweaters. I see boots and boxes up there, they could come down to baskets or cubbies on the floor.

    • Car13960794
      on Mar 21, 2018

      I use Joy Mangano hangers from HSN for all my clothes. Flocked covering holds securely, so no shoulder bumps. They don't stain wet clothes and even my 6' 6" husband's clothes fit perfectly.

  • Carol Sullivan
    on Mar 21, 2018

    Great idea, looks tidy! I’m thinking that you might have been able to add at least 1 if not 2 more shelves for additional space. Or would that been too much weight on the door?

    • Suzy Googoo
      on Mar 21, 2018

      The additional weight is easily remedied by adding 4 hinges rather than 3. That’s what I’ve done and it’s held up without any issues.

    • Carey
      on Mar 23, 2018

      You did a good job with this. I am amazed that you put all this together with those tools and glue on your beautiful floor!! I would have had to put down a plastic sheet or old table cloth, Newspaper, something to protect the floor. I have never been able to be that good with the glue!! : ) For your sweaters, Is the space under your bed already in use? I recently found a night stand for $25 on Craigslist in beautiful condition that I put under my shorter hanging clothes. I am using it for my Scarves and shawls, but it would also work well for sweaters unless you have a lot of them which from what I can see you don't. I would have problem snagging them if I hung them over the rod. Could you put a shelving unit on top of your dresser?

    • Patricia H H Ledford
      on Oct 10, 2018

      I'm kind of embarrassed to ask; but do you think this could be done on double shuttered closet doors?...from PHHL. Which by the way ,I would love to paint first...PHHL

    • Sharon Gehrke Wolf
      on Nov 17, 2018

      What is PHHL?

    • Melody
      on Nov 17, 2018

      Her initials

  • Deborahrolen
    on Mar 23, 2018

    How do you keep the door from sagging?

  • Val
    on Mar 28, 2018

    Your closet looks a lot like my closet, do you live in a Cape Cod style home? This is a wonderful idea, and so well done.

  • Sharon Gehrke Wolf
    on Nov 17, 2018

    Great job! Have you thought of making a built in shelves on your closet floor for your sweaters? You could put your shoes overflow on top of that.

  • CJ
    on Nov 17, 2018

    In need a doggie door in a French door panel. Any ideas? Thanks

  • Brenda
    on Nov 17, 2018

    Great video. You are talented. What I want to know is who taught you carpentry? I could never do this but wish I could! haha.

  • LK
    on Nov 17, 2018

    Is your closet door solid wood or hollow-core?

    • Grace Gleason
      on Nov 17, 2018

      It's one of the older type, solid boards framing 1/4" plywood center. Look at the top photo.

  • Sandy Ingelse
    on Nov 17, 2018

    Any suggestions for tiny closets with sliding doors? I have tons on boy boots. Love your idea. Awesome job!

    • Neva Dew
      on Nov 17, 2018

      If the door is strong enough, and there is enough clearance inside the closet, put the shelves on the door that slides behind the "outer" door. Or if you meant one of those barn door sliders - a door shelf is out of the question.

    • Steph knepper
      on Nov 17, 2018

      Thats a roughy…I’d like to know this myself.

    • Otter
      on Nov 17, 2018

      Inside your closet, the walls that the rod hangs are your only option.

      you can make two of these that can just stand on the floor

      it will take up about 16 inches of real estate from your closet though.

      But to het the shoes and boots of the floor it could be worth it

    • Grandma
      on Nov 17, 2018

      My brother-inlaw put shelves all the way along the stairwell leading to his boys room in basement. He removed some of the plaster board along stairwell. placed well spaced shelves in the openings. The depth of shelves is only app. 2' He framed around the openings to give a nice finished look. The 2' space plus framing finish was a nice fit for canned storage. easily reached by stairs. Opposite wall of stairwell for bannister. This idea could also be used in other confined areas for shoes, mittems , just use a well thought out imagination. Do not do this on exterior(outside ) walls as you will lose heat in winter, cooling in summer. It has worked well in my garage in small unused spaces for storage. grandma

    • Grandma
      on Nov 17, 2018

      check above for using side wall of closet for storage .

  • Barb
    on Nov 17, 2018

    As for the hand knit items thrown over the rod: There is a lot of potential storage area “under” those cardigans. Why not build your shelving area on the back of the closet behind where they are taking up the rod space, since you are carpenter competent, the width of a folded sweater. Maybe one shelf for each three sweaters, down the wall stopping with clearance for the shoes on the floor,

    • Jewellmartin
      on Nov 17, 2018

      Your idea for the cardigan storage makes a lot of sense. So does purging more clothes and shoes. The door storage is very smart, but too bad the top three shelves weren’t a little shorter. There would have been enough room for more shoes. But I always have one pair of shoes on the floor, ready to step into, in case of fire or another emergency. Great ideas, ladies! ☺️

  • Roseann8628
    on Nov 17, 2018

    Hi, how about adding a shelf above the top shelf? Then fold and stack those sweaters. You can find different types of closet shelf dividers (or with your skills, DIY some). Search "closet shelf divider" on Amazon. Great job! :)

  • Judy Gillespie
    on Nov 17, 2018

    What is your LINK FOR MY FUTURE NEED FOR THESE DIRECTIONS, please?

    My email address is: jg100god@yahoo.com


    Thanks Judy Gillespie

  • 19698379
    on Nov 17, 2018

    I love your shoe organizer. Very clever and probably cheaper than buying one in a store. How about underbed storage containers like these? https://www.thebudgetdecorator.com/diy-under-bed-storage/

  • BrokeCrazyLady
    on Nov 18, 2018

    I really like the idea of utilizing the space between the closed door and the hanging clothes. I hadn't considered that one.


    There is often a considerable amount of wasted space fairly high and fairly low in a closet. The trick is figuring out how to utilize that space.


    I agree with other suggestion about an extra top shelf, but have you also considered all the space between the bottom of your clothes and your floor? Many people would create some type of box down there. I'd hate that because at my age, bending over is far harder than stretching upward to get an item.


    In my own tiny closet, I removed the dowel, cut it to size and put two rods upper and lower on one side of the closet (much like a walk-in closest, without the space to actually walk in) then I put shelving on the opposite side and even more shelving above the dowel to store rarely used items.

  • LWellborn
    on Nov 18, 2018

    Is this a solid door or hollow core? If it's hollow core, my concern would be that the shelf unit would be too heavy.

    • AngieZ
      on Nov 19, 2018

      Her door is older and it looks to me to be a solid door. Also, if you are screwing into the door to hang the shoe rack, you would need a solid door.

  • Gail Nabity
    on Nov 19, 2018

    Have you considered adding a hanging rigid fabric “shelf” to your closet rod? I did and I now have storage for a couple dozen knit sweaters and am using only “12 of hanger space. I can see exactly what I have and quickly slip it off the shelf.

    • Shirley
      on Nov 20, 2018

      This was also my immediate thought for the sweaters. I have two, and love 'em! Also have two made for shoes.

    • Donna Williams
      on Nov 24, 2018

      If you like the rod-draped method, get a couple of 4-level pants hangers, and slide on segments cut from a pool noodle. You still get the padded draping, but it will steal less closet width, and can be moved to the ends of the closet for summer. Meanwhile, you can see each sweater, and select it more easily, since most of the pants-hangers have individually pivoting arms. I use them to organize scarves, tablecloths, and other linens as well.

    • Gail Nabity
      on Nov 24, 2018

      Great tip! Thank you.

    • Chris Johnson Rogers
      on Nov 24, 2018

      Maybe with the new floor space in the closet, get one of the plastic drawers sets and put it there and fold the sweaters in it.

    • Kati Hanson
      on Nov 24, 2018

      Really cool idea! Reminds me a pantry in the kitchen

      This is real versatile and easy to do. Thanks. I like the 2 suggestions of frantic hanger and under the bed storage for your sweaters. Maybe use old ladder...the part with steps. Insert to middle of closets. This way each sweater has a step to lay on and easier to find each one.☺



      I



    • Alison Bulick Gilroy
      on Nov 25, 2018

      Gail great minds think alike! That is exactly what my suggestion was going to be!! Cheers!

    • Alison Bulick Gilroy
      on Nov 25, 2018

      Gail, that's exactly what my idea was! Great minds!

  • Susie
    on Nov 20, 2018

    Did you add extra hinges to the door to prevent sagging due to added weight? This is an excellent idea you had and looks great. Could also be used for handbags! You did good!!!!

    • Deborah Tedder
      on Nov 24, 2018

      I love this ideal💗

    • Barbra Gaston
      on Nov 24, 2018

      That good job

    • Shelia Rainey-Knox
      on Nov 24, 2018

      I was wondering the same thing, Susie. I added a mirror to the inside of my walk in closet door and now I have to hold it to make sure the door latches when I close it because of the weight.

    • Trisha Alston
      on Nov 24, 2018

      1. Excellent, excellent, excellent idea. 2. Wd this work on a hollow door? and 3. Tell me you dont have crates on your walls...lol..really

    • Louise Bobbitt Glay
      on Nov 30, 2018

      I added an aluminum hanging shelf inside a closet door and another inside my pantry door. Even though I didn't put much weight in either one my doors are sagging. Love the idea but it isn't working for me.

  • Justin Hall
    on Nov 24, 2018

    Who’s the person on the couch that can’t be bothered to assist you?Probably could of taken 1/3 of your time off. But good for you! It looks greats and I will be using this one.

    • Rhonda Fleming
      on Nov 24, 2018

      If she’s like me, I’d rather do it myself because others make me nervous!

    • Stephanie
      on Nov 24, 2018

      Lol...thought the same thing...

    • Chris Johnson Rogers
      on Nov 24, 2018

      I do the stuff my self! First I like doing the projects, I worked as a carpenter for years, and my husband is a heavy equipment mechanic and isn't careful with fine details, lol!

    • Anna of 4
      on Nov 24, 2018

      I have went over this several times and I don't even see a couch, let alone anyone sitting on one.

    • Danielle Leigh
      on Dec 1, 2018

      Lmao. People these days need to lighten up. You made me giggle. 👋🏼👋🏼

    • Noreen Schaan
      on Feb 27, 2019

      Lol😂😉

    • Stella Suprise
      on Nov 14, 2019

      He's barefoot - must be his shoes she's building it for!

  • Rita
    on Jan 29, 2019

    Thanks for this idea! Going to use a drawer from the trash and put wood strips across the bottom and up a little higher!

  • Tim Schlaht
    on Feb 9, 2019

    Could this be done on a hollow core door? Like the idea of extra hinges. Would also put this on the back wall of closet. These are all great ideas. Thanks

  • Kaie
    on Mar 14, 2019

    Does the closet door close all of the way with the storage unit on the door?

    • Snooks1948
      on Aug 4, 2019

      yes of course it does. You could also use S hooks on the front of the slats and hand scarves, ties etc. on them.


  • Meli
    on Jun 13, 2019

    How about rolling your sweaters? I do this with tees and other knits.

    • Terry Duke
      on Oct 10, 2019

      If you did roll them, they could be stored in this wonderfully clever organizer— instead of shoes— then you could create a different shoe solution that would utilize all of the open space or your lower closet walls!

    • Aingel Bass
      on Nov 18, 2019

      http://www.bustle/article/161112-should-you-fold-or-hang-sweaters-here-is-the-best-way-to-store-them

      Has several tips (with video) from fabric experts.

      Using the fold & roll for your wool, cashmere, & angora; place in new door storage. Using the fold & hang for rest.

      Now build a fabulous shoe caddy/rack with flip-flop pockets at he ends! I've seen some reusing old cookie cooling racks accross the bottom with a cookie sheet under as drip tray for more messy wet/sloshy boots in mud rooms & "scrap wood" ones for bedroom closets!

  • Mellen40
    on Nov 19, 2019

    My only concern is how close are the shoes to the clean hanging clothes?

Join the conversation

2 of 333 comments
Your comment...