Closet Door Built-In Storage

13 Materials
2 Hours

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!

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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..?).


-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


-measuring tape

-2 clamps


-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 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.

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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.

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3 of 37 questions
  • Ty Ty on May 23, 2022

    Has anyone completed this project with a hollow core door. If so what did you use to attach it?

    thanks, Ty

  • Marty Ayers Marty Ayers on Nov 26, 2022

    Here is a suggestion for your sweaters: get a "skirt/slacks hanger". fold your sweaters and put them in a 2 gallon zip bag (Glad makes one) then clip them on the skirt/slacks hanger. Photo is how I use this idea in my sewing room... to hold projects that are cut out and ready to be sewn.

  • Kimberly Ann Kimberly Ann on Nov 27, 2022

    Great idea if you do not have a lot of shoes. Behind door shoe racks in the stores will fit many more pairs

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2 of 378 comments
  • Nana Nana on Dec 03, 2022

    Great idea. The only other thing I would do is cover the door (behind where you are putting the shoe holder) with a pretty contact paper to hide the shoe marks from taking shoes out and in the holder.

  • Jan Moore Jan Moore on Dec 08, 2022

    Re sweaters, because I wear a 3-4X none of my tops stay on hangers. I use the plastic faux crystal hangers and put foam icon

    Foam Hanger Covers - Charcoal - Pack of (100)


    which slides over the top that has a hole for the hook. Looking back on Amazon it looks like they don't have it any more but do have a lot of different items in the same vein.

    I have also seen on Home-talk some using rubber bands.

    These keep my tops from sliding off and I don't get shoulder "bumps", which was my primary reason to use that type of hanger to begin with.

    You can now get "velvet" hangers but they are too narrow and leave a crease.

    I use the faux crystal on all my clothes so the closet rod looks neat as well.