How to Make a Storage Closet More Organized and Functional

4 Materials
2 Days

Have a storage closet that’s a total mess? Check out how I updated a walk-in closet to be more organized and functional for storage needs.

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We have a big walk-in closet in our bonus room for storage.

It’s great…it stores so much stuff.

I mean it’s so big I can fit lots and lots of stuff in there.

So...I keep putting unused stuff in there and shut the door.

After a while of stuffing more and more in that closet it gets harder to close the door.

Can you relate?

Do you have a closet or space that after a while becomes a dumping ground for ALL. THE. THINGS?

My storage closet got so bad after the holidays I wasn’t even able to get the Christmas bins back in the closet.

It was time to get organized!

Before Storage Closet Makeover

I forgot to get a picture of the closet before I started emptying it out so it doesn’t look THAT bad.

But don’t worry I’m going to share some amazing pictures of all the stuff I had shoved in this closet soon. Haha!

When we moved in the builder had installed one wire shelf at the top of the closet around three walls.

The shelves weren’t very functional.

They weren’t able to store much, especially the back shelf because the wall is slanted so only a small plastic bin fits on that shelf.

On the side shelves I stored sleeping bags and pillows but they always fell when the kids would try to get just one down for sleepovers.

Not very efficient…at all!

Here are some of the storage bins that were in the closet… and this is just the start…just wait there’s more!

Lamps, air mattresses, a folding table and even a pair of crutches that were all in this storage closet.

And here’s even more that was crammed in that closet.

Maybe now the closet doesn’t seem so big!

I mean seriously…no wonder I could never find anything.

I’d have to dig through solid colored bins trying to locate things I was looking for.

I tried to stay organized by taping index cards to the outside of the bins with the contents inside each bin but the closet was just so jam packed I couldn’t move anything.

And after the holidays I decided I’d had enough of the disorganized storage closet.

Well let’s be honest…I didn’t know how I was going to get my Christmas decorations back in the closet.

So instead I folded up the ping pong table and stacked all my holiday bins along the wall.

Finally, a few months later I emptied out the closet and started the storage closet makeover.

Prepping the Closet Walls

The first thing I did was remove the inefficient wire shelving and filled in all those nail holes.

There were probably 537 holes that needed to be filled with my favorite spackling.

Well…maybe not that many but there were a ton!


Since I used so much spackle to on the walls I decided to prime the walls before painting.

And then I lucked out with the paint and found a gallon in our garage that was almost full from when I painted the bonus room.

Score…I didn’t need to buy any paint for the closet!

I painted the walls and ceiling of the walk-in storage closet in Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.

This is only the second closet I’ve painted in this house.

I painted my husband’s closet when I updated his space last year. You have to check it out here…it looks so good now.

Usually, I don’t feel the need to paint closets when painting the room because who really sees them.

And I’m kinda lazy like that! LOL

But I’ll tell you what…it makes such a difference.

Installing New Shelving

Wire shelving is budget-friendly and functional if installed in a way that makes sense for your storage needs.

I liked the depth of the shelves we had on the side walls to store smaller items but I wanted the shelves to be adjustable.

Installing adjustable shelves in a storage closet is more efficient so you can change them around as your storage needs change.

To keep costs down we planned to reuse the old wire shelves.

We purchased the additional parts we needed at our local home improvement store.

After measuring and marking the walls Chris and I started installing the shelving closet organization system.

First, we mounted the hang track with screws into studs in the wall to be sure the system was secure.

Next, we hung the vertical standards from the track and attached them to the wall.

You’ll notice that our standards aren’t evenly spaced because we wanted to secure them into the studs like we did with the top hang track.

After it was all mounted to the wall and secure I attached the brackets to the standards.

And then added the wire shelving.

We have the space to add another shelf at the top of the standards later when we need more storage.

That’s it!

It’s a super easy installation that doesn’t take more than an hour.

After Storage Closet Makeover

The right side of the closet with the new adjustable shelving is just what I needed to store all the smaller items.

And now my extra throw pillows have a home too.

Tell me I’m not the only one with an overflow of throw pillows!

But what about all those big plastic storage bins and Christmas decor that was piled up all over the bonus room?

Well…I also reorganized all the stuff that filled those bins scattered around the room.

I decided I wanted to use clear bins so that I could easily locate the things stored in them.

Since I already had a bunch of clear bins I sorted everything to make it more functional and also invested in 10 new large clear bins.

There are 3 red bins in the mix but we know they’re Christmas bins…so it’s all good.

I’d like the utilize the space above the bins maybe for hanging wreaths but haven’t done that yet.

I’m loving my new organized and functional storage closet! It feels so great to walk in here and find exactly what I’m looking for.

If you need more DIY closet ideas check out how we transformed our master bedroom closet for less than $250 here!

Suggested materials:
  • Wire shelves   (home improvement store)
  • Shelf wall mounts   (home improvement store)
  • Shelf brackets   (home improvement store)
See all materials
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Linda Linda on Dec 26, 2021

    I’m a little motivated 😂

    Nice job!

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3 of 7 comments
  • Bry Bry on Dec 26, 2021

    As an organization freak, I commend you! I have found that type of wire shelving is great for closets. It doesn't take up as much space and is less costly than the wood stuff. And it can be configured in endless possibilities. Oh, how I envy that storage space!!! Very well done.

    • Simply2Moms Simply2Moms on Jan 06, 2022

      Thanks so much Bry! We love having a big closet like this in our home but it was out of control with all the junk we threw in there. Cleaning it out felt good!

  • Carolyn Carolyn on Jan 19, 2022

    Having had wire and wood shelves I prefer wood. White wire shelves become more and more sticky as they age and are a complete pain to clean with a cleaner akin to Goo Gone. Wood shelves can be dusted or wiped down.