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Tips for a Successful Closet Renovation

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

As my husband and I were watching TV one evening, we heard a loud "Whoosh!" come from our master bedroom. We promptly investigated but found nothing. Later that night when we went to bed, I opened our walk-in closet door and discovered a disaster. The entire back of our wire rack closet had pulled out of the wall and fallen to the floor taking all the clothing, storage bins and some sizable chunks of drywall along with it. Needless to say, a new closet was now on the to-do list.

After a couple estimates from national closet chains, I knew the best way to get the custom closet of my dreams without breaking the bank was to build it myself. Here are my tips and advice on how to build a designer closet:

  1. Weed It Out

The first thing I needed to do was clean out any items I no longer needed. This included clothing, jewelry, shoes, and keepsakes. If you didn't wear it for a full season last year, let it go! Try to donate what you can to some charitable organizations and sell anything you think could bolster your new closet budget. Go to

to decide where to donate wisely.

2. Plan the Space

I drew a simple sketch to include the "zones" I wanted. Most people want ample storage for clothing and shoes. Some other options to consider: Do you want to include a divided space with upper and lower hanging racks? Cubbies for folded items? Handbag display shelves? Jewelry and luggage storage? Make a list and prioritize. Then draw a layout by hand or use design software such as Sketchup to create your space.

3. Do Your Research

When it comes to building a closet, you have a few options of materials to use. If you are handy and want a challenge you can build by hand using sanded popular or cabinet grade plywood. If you prefer to have prefab laminated pieces that get screwed together, many people choose the Pax Wardrobe System by Ikea. It's easy to use and comes with it's own free planning tools to help you purchase items for the space. After reading lots of reviews, I decided I wanted deeper boxes than the PAX system could offer. I would build this closet with custom dimensions using sheets of plywood. What could go wrong?

4. Measure/Build

This is the toughest part. As the old saying goes, "Measure twice, cut once." Have your hardware store do as many cuts as possible. I learned how to use tools, make cuts and many other tricks of the trade through You Tube videos and my favorite DIY Influencers on Instagram.

After four long months, I finally had the closet of my dreams. Every time I walk into the space, I still can't believe what my husband and I were able to accomplish! It was well worth the countless trips to Lowe's, long hot days cutting and painting and learning along the way.

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