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Organizing Your Life: The Best DIY Closet Systems

August 24, 2021  
Filed under Smart & Savvy

tidy closet system

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin

As someone who knows a thing or two about being productive, Benjamin Franklin knew how to spend his time efficiently as an inventor and holder of many other important titles in his lifetime. It’s no secret that tidying up and being organized can save you precious time, especially during a morning rush when you’re looking for what to wear on your way out for work or an appointment.

Though not everyone has the luxury of having a dreamy walk-in closet as seen in the pages of Architectural Digest or in celebrities’ homes, with a little bit of savviness and creativity, a custom solution that satisfies both your aesthetic eye and functional needs is just a few steps away.

Having an organized closet system allows you to have a “home” for every category including clothes, shoes, hats, bags and accessories, making it easier to put outfits together at the start of the day and put them back in place at the end of the day.

A few options for creating the best DIY closet system for your space include:

  1. Making use of your existing closet space
  2. Creating a free standing closet
  3. Utilizing walls and ceilings

Using your existing closet space 

For an affordable and easy way to build a system inside of your closet, one option is to build one yourself with PVC pipes. If you’re willing to put in more time and energy using wood and paint for a more chic option, follow a step by step instructional video with Lovely Etc. For those up for a more challenging DIY closet system made with plywood and pine boards, watch DIY Pete’s closet shelving video.  

Another option would be to purchase a simple system that uses your existing closet rod such as Bed Bath & Beyond’s Relaxed Living Adjustable Metal Closet System in Satin Nickel (pictured below).


Bed Bath & Beyond


Creating a free-standing closet

An open free-standing closet system may be a good solution if you have a little more extra space to spare, but if you have a lot of random pieces that are not cohesive and you’re more concerned with how everything looks visually, purchasing an armoire or a closet system with sliding doors may be a better fit for enclosed options.

If you’re opting for the open closet look, check out Anna White’s popular industrial closet solution where she shows you how to build a stylish and budget-friendly Wood Closet Shelving unit.

For an option that requires less manual work, check out the Whitmor Double Rod Freestanding Closet Heavy Duty Storage Organizer (pictured below), which has strong ratings and reviews on Amazon.

Whitmor closet system


Utilizing walls and ceilings

Maximize your space from floor to ceiling by building a DIY shelving unit with DIY blogger Ashley Basnight, who focuses on woodworking projects. Though this shelving project was specifically for shoe organization, it can be used in a multifunctional way. 

Ikea’s Elvari storage solution is also a great option that might not be as DIY, but it includes shelves, clothes rails and height-adjustable posts that require assembly.

Though the floor to ceiling systems are effective in maximizing your space, the only downside to consider would be its hard-to-reach areas near the ceiling since it can be an inconvenience to use a stool or ladder every time. But if you have a lot of items that you won’t be using frequently, it can be a great solution.

Ikea ceiling shelf storage

For maximizing walls, you can create a sturdy clothing rail on the wall using pipes from your local hardware store. Check out Lingywashere’s DIY video for instructions. For a less do-it-yourself approach, Rubbermaid’s Closet Organizer Kit might do the trick (pictured below). Whatever you decide, make sure to use a stud finder or a wall scanner so that the attachments are secured well.

Rubbermaid's deluxe closet organizer kit

Once you find the perfect closet system that works for your space, it’ll give you more motivation to stay organized, help you save time, and inspire you to go after the other goals you’ve been putting off.

“A good system shortens the road to the goal.” -Orison Swett Marden

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