DIY Storage Shelves

10 Materials
2 Days

We have one storage closet in our house and we're determined to never get more stuff than what fits in that closet. But, we're only 1.5 years into living in our house and the closet is a disaster. Like can't walk in, things might fall on you when you open the door disaster.
Sure, we went through our storage containers and got rid of some of the stuff we no longer needed, but the space still wasn't working. We decided it was time to tackle some DIY shelves to organize our walk-in storage closet. And I'm happy to say that it worked! We ended up having extra space leftover in the closet and we can easily find what we need!
Alright, let's start DIYing!
For more tips and tutorials, visit the full blog post at
1. Clear out all of your clutter.2. Mark all of the studs along any place that a shelf will touch.3. Determine your spacing for your shelves.
4. Measure the distance between your walls for your shelves.5. Cut your shelves using a circular saw.6. Cut your 1x3 support boards. You should have a 1x3 support board under every side of your shelf that is touching a wall. For our shelves, we cut a total of 4 1x3s for each shelf. First we cut a 1x3 that was the length of our back wall, then a 1x3 that was the length of our side wall - .75". Then we cut a 1x3 that was the depth of the side shelves - .75" and finally a 1x3 that was 1.75" shorter than the depth of our shelves. For the final 1x3, we cut the bottom 2" at a 45-degree angle. You don't need to do this--it's just for a more polished look. Since our side shelves were going to be up against the door trim, we just cut the short support board straight. 7. Cut your bracket supports. Measure the short side of your brackets and then subtract 2" from the measurement. This will be the size of your support board.8. Sand all of your 1x3s.9. Install your 1x3s by screwing them into the studs.
10. Install your bracket support boards by screwing them into studs.11. Test all of your shelves for sizing. Make adjustments if needed.12. Caulk and spackle. You'll want to caulk the underside of the support boards, but you can wait to caulk the top until after the shelves are installed.
18. Touch-up any paint that you might have.19. Now for the best part. It's time to fill those shelves! Hopefully you took step 1 seriously and purged so this step will be extra fun. Fingers crossed you find out you have extra room like we did!
13. Prime your MDF.14. Paint your shelves.
15. Paint your MDF shelves, paying special attention to the fronts of the boards.16. Once the paint has dried, it's time to install your shelves! Start with the top shelf and work your way down. Place the shelf on top of the 1x3 then screw the bracket into the 1x3 support and the shelf.17. Caulk where the shelf meets the wall and where the shelf meets the 1x3 supports.

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

30 Creative Painting Techniques & Ideas You MUST See
30 Great Mason Jar Ideas You Have To Try
30 Fun Way To Brighten Up Your Backyard This Summer
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
30 Brilliant Things You Can Make From Cheap Thrift Store Finds!
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
Upcycle Your Old Clothing Items For These Great Ideas!
15 Amazing Projects To Help Make Your Home Look Fabulous
29 Ways To Get A Splash Of Blue In Your House
30 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
3 Weird Step-by-Step Ways to Decorate Your Plain Tea Towels
Valentine's Day Is Getting Closer! Get Ready With These Lovely Ideas
Turn Dollar Store Laundry Basket Into Wreath Form In 8 Easy Steps
15 Memorial Day Crafts
30 Jaw-Dropping Decorating Techniques You've Never Seen Before
Zoe Hunt

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Karola
    on Jan 16, 2020

    Where are my clothes going to be?

  • Lynn
    on Feb 8, 2020

    Those shelves look really thin. How much weight can they hold without bowing? The plan is good. But cheap materials make the job twice as expensive. Just a bit of experience speaking.

    • Ginger Too
      on Apr 15, 2020

      I’m sorry no way that much wood would be level with out the amazing amount of cud’s wrk and trimming required with out some kind of miricale

  • Nancy
    on Apr 15, 2020

    What if there is only one stud in the closet?

    • Tim Tomson
      on May 14, 2020

      Then your closet isn't big enough for this type. But there is always more than one stud, even if you only count the leads in the corners.

Join the conversation

2 of 13 comments
Your comment...