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21 Cheap Closet Updates You Can DIY

Contrary to what you may believe, it’s NOT impossible to get more storage space out of your closet. These simple, inexpensive DIY updates will do just that.

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DIY closet shelves

Custom Shelves

Build closet shelves that double your storage space (really!) with these plans. Take your closet real estate to its full potential and store twice as much stuff in a more organized way. Get the step-by-step plans for building these twin shelves here.

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Belt and Other Hang-UpsFamily Handyman

Belt and Other Hang-Ups

Where do you store your belts? How about on this inexpensive and easy-to-make belt holder? All you need is a wooden hanger and some cup hooks. If some of your belts have unusually thick buckles, just widen the cup hook slightly with a needle-nose pliers. This is a great way to hang small handbags, too. We also have tons of storage ideas for the kitchen.

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shutterstock_505513378 vacuum storage bagsStockPhoto Video/Shutterstock

Pack Seasonal Clothing

One simple way to make extra closet space is to store seasonal clothing and accessories somewhere else, leaving you more space for the items you need now. Put clothes, accessories, shoes and purses in a vacuum storage bag—you’ll be surprised how compact it all becomes once the air is removed. Insert a list of what’s in each bag where you can read it, so you can locate something if you find you need it unexpectedly. Store the bags in your attic, under your bed in a self-made storage box, or in another accessible place.

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Closet Nook ShelvesFamily Handyman

Closet Nook Shelves

Don't let the recessed space at the ends of a closet go to waste. One of our favorite ways to maximize the space you already have is to install wire shelving to hold blankets, towels or bedding.

Wire shelves are available in a variety of widths. Measure the width and depth of the space. Then choose the correct shelving and ask the salesperson to cut the shelves to length for you. Subtract 3/8 in. from the actual width to determine the shelf length. Buy a pair of end mounting brackets and a pair of plastic clips for each shelf.

Plus: Learn how to triple your closet space.

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fix bifold doors

Fix Stubborn Bifold Doors

Tired of bifolds that don’t work right? Learn how to adjust a door that’s always sticking, trim a door that binds, repair a broken corner and tighten annoying handles that keep coming loose. Click here for everything you need to know to do this project yourself.

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Add-On Clothes RodFamily Handyman

Add-On Clothes Rod

Here's an easy way to add space for hanging clothes (or at least clothes that don't require a tall space). Hang a second clothes rod from the upper rod with lightweight chain. Attach the chain to screw eyes directly or use S-hooks or carabiners. Carabiners make adjusting the height of the extra rod a snap. Plus: 18 Life-Changing Organizing Ideas for Hard-to-Store Stuff

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shutterstock_644698957 closet shelves basket box storageSucham Wetthayasafa/Shutterstock

Use Boxes or Baskets for Smaller Items

Everyone has a few smaller items they need to store, such as accessories, jewelry items or knit hats. Left on a shelf, they can look untidy, so buy some matching boxes or baskets to house all these bits and bobs neatly. Most come in multiple sizes, so you can make a feature of them in your closet. You can even nest smaller boxes inside larger ones to save space.

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Build a Shoe Storage Booster StoolFamily Handyman

Build a Shoe Storage Booster Stool

Build this handy stool in one hour and park it in your closet. You can also use it as a step to reach the high shelf. How to make storage shelves: All you need is a 4 x 4-ft. sheet of 3/4-in. plywood, wood glue and a handful of 8d finish nails. Cut the plywood pieces according to the illustration. Spread wood glue on the joints, then nail them together with 8d finish nails. First nail through the sides into the back. Then nail through the top into the sides and back. Finally, mark the location of the two shelves and nail through the sides into the shelves. Don't have floor space to spare? Build these super simple wall-mounted shoe organizers instead!

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DIY closet systemFamily Handyman

2-Day DIY Closet System

This simple shelf-and-rod system will bring order to your cluttered closet and double the storage space. We’ll show you everything you need to build this organizer. No more excuses! In just two days, you’ll have an organized closet. Get the full plans here.

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fh09jun_499_52_059 closet storing scarves and beltsFamily Handyman

One Place for Storing Scarves

There are dozens of ways to store scarves. You want to be able to find them quickly, but your choice of closet storage depends on whether you want them hidden away or to make a feature of them. Rolling them keeps them compact, and they can then be stored in a cubbyhole, or placed in dividers in a drawer. Use shower curtain rings on a sturdy hanger, or make your own scarf hanger (part of a collection of great storage tips, so scroll down to it!) to hold several at a time. These can be stored on hanging rods or hooks attached to your closet wall.

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install wire shelves

Install Wire Shelves


Here, a professional installer shares his knowledge about how to install wire shelving. Make your job go faster and look better with these tips for leveling, supporting and cutting wire shelves.

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Clothes storage ideas for small spaces: Double-decker closet rod

Clothes storage ideas for small spaces: Double-decker closet rod

All you need to gain a lot of hanging space in your closet is two metal closet brackets and a length of closet rod. If your existing closet rod is at least 66 in. from the floor, there's enough space to add a second rod below it and still hang shirts and slacks. We placed the top of the rod 35 in. from the floor, which allowed just enough room to hang two levels of pants. Locate studs on the back wall of the closet with a stud finder. Then attach metal brackets to the studs. Use a level to align the brackets along the top. Space the brackets no more than 32 in. apart. Need even more storage? Check out these easy ways to expand your closet space.

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Clothing Storage Solutions: Turn Your HangersFamily Handyman

Clothing Storage Solutions: Turn Your Hangers

Once you're gone through your closet and weeded out the unused items, turn all hanging clothing with the hanger facing outward. After wearing an item, return it to the hanging rod with the hanger facing the back of the closet. After one year, all articles of clothing still facing outwards were not worn, and you can consider getting rid of them. Find out how to get rid of anything.

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fix a bypass door

Adjust Your Bypass Door

Fix sticking or badly aligned bypass closet doors in 15 minutes using this simple adjustment technique. It costs nothing. Click here to learn how to do it yourself.

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wine box shoe storage containerFamily Handyman

Wine Dividers

Don’t throw those cardboard wine dividers in the recycling bin just yet! If you struggle to keep shoes organized in your child’s closet, try inserting those dividers into a basket or tub and use it as a clever DIY shoe storage solution.

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Erasable TapeFamily Handyman

Erasable Tape

When you need to continually update labels on items like storage boxes, create an erasable label. Put a piece of clear tape over masking tape and write on it using a dry-erase marker. The ink wipes off easily, so you'll have to be careful not to smear it. If you really want to get storage containers out of the way, try putting storage containers on the garage ceiling.

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Behind the Door Storage: Ironing Board StorageFamily Handyman

Behind the Door Storage: Ironing Board Storage

Ordinary coat hooks on the back of a closet door keep your ironing board out of the way but close at hand when you need it. Looking for more nifty storage innovations? Check out these garage storage ideas.

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Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered HangersFamily Handyman

Clothing Storage Solutions: DIY Tiered Hangers

Short on closet space? Use a lightweight piece of chain to stagger hanging clothing in tall closets to maximize space. Just loop the first link of the chain over the first hanger, and hang subsequent hangers on every other links after. Hang up to six shirts for the rod space of one. Want to get into a closet project? Build your own melamine closet storage system here.

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Storage for Small Spaces: Two-Story Closet ShelvesFamily Handyman

Storage for Small Spaces: Two-Story Closet Shelves

There's a lot of space above the shelf in most closets. Even though it's a little hard to reach, it's a great place to store seldom-used items. Make use of this wasted space by adding a second shelf above the existing one. Buy enough closet shelving material to match the length of the existing shelf plus enough for two end supports and middle supports over each bracket. Twelve-inch-wide shelving is available in various lengths and finishes at home centers and lumberyards. We cut the supports 16 in. long, but you can place the second shelf at whatever height you like. Screw the end supports to the walls at each end. Use drywall anchors if you can't hit a stud. Then mark the position of the middle supports onto the top and bottom shelves with a square and drill 5/32-in. clearance holes through the shelves. Drive 1-5/8-in. screws through the shelf into the supports. You can apply this same concept to garage storage. See how to build double-decker garage storage shelves here.

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Behind the Door Storage: Closet Glove RackFamily Handyman

Behind the Door Storage: Closet Glove Rack

If you don't have radiators, finding a good spot to dry wet hats and mittens can be tough. Tossing them into a plastic bin gets them out of the way, but they never dry and it's no fun putting on damp mittens in the morning. This simple back-of-the-door glove and cap rack allows wet things to dry and keeps easily misplaced items organized. Just string clothespins on aluminum wire (it won't rust) and stretch it between screw eyes on the back of a closet door. This also works great out in the garage for drying garden and work gloves. Make your own mitten drying rack with these inspirational ideas.

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Family Handyman

Build Your Own Melamine Closet Organizer

Walk through the closet aisle at any home center and you’ll see lots of closet organizers-everything from wire shelving systems to ones that look like real wood cabinetry with all kinds of fancy accessories. And while these systems are designed to work in just about any type of closet, you can get a fully custom closet organizer—and possibly even save a few bucks—by building one yourself. Here’s how we built ours using melamine panels, plus some tips on building your own.