20 Affordable 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.

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Coat rack belts
Family 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.

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shutterstock_505513378 vacuum storage bags
StockPhoto 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.

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closet nook wire shelves
Family 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 or other custom 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.

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fix bifold doors

Fix Stubborn Bifold Doors

Tired of bifolds that don’t work right? Learn how to adjust a bifold door that’s always sticking, trim a door that binds, repair a broken corner and tighten annoying handles that keep coming loose.

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Family 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.

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shutterstock_644698957 closet shelves basket box storage
Sucham 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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JUN_2007_013_T_01-1 shoe storage booster stool
Family Handyman

Build a Shoe Storage Booster Stool

Build this handy shoe organizer 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 system
Family 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 belts
Family 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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closet storage
Family Handyman

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.

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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.

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wine box shoe storage container
Family 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 tape storage hack
Family 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.

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Ironing Board Storage
Family Handyman

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.

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Closet storage
Family Handyman

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.

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Double decker closet storage storage for small spaces
Family Handyman

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.

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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.

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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.