Sometimes when you move into a new house, or even when you live in the same one for years, you know that the closet could use a makeover. Maybe it is too small for what you need or just not well divided for your usage. Whatever the reason, when you are ready, a do-it-yourself closet makeover is a great way to improve you storage and organization.

In our case, the manufactured home we live in had one closet in the master bedroom. It’s a long closet, but when we moved in it had one shelf across the entire length of it and one closet rod. My husband and I took one look at it and knew it wasn’t for us.

The Problem

Our closet had one seven foot long hanging rod that was supposed to allow us to hang up our clothes in the master bedroom. Our initial fear was that if we hung too much on it, it would immediately collapse. Our second concern was that while it was good for long clothes, it wasted a lot of space.

Above the rod for hanging clothes was a single long shelf. It inspired the same fear that if we actually used it to store anything heavier than pillows, the shelf would collapse, probably at the most inconvenient time ever.

So we had to think outside the box to create our own DIY closet storage solution.

The Solution

We started by taking out the existing rod and shelving. Once we measured the space, we found we could fit two IKEA wardrobes into the closet. We got them on sale and spent about $400 to install both of them. This gave each of us one side of the wardrobe with a hanging rod for long clothing and one side for other storage.

The wardrobes are six feet tall, so I can hang dresses and long coats in one side and still have room at the bottom of that side for shoe and boot storage.

The other side of the wardrobe is can be customized with shelves and a hanging rod. In my husband’s wardrobe, since he needed more room for shirts, we used the hanging rod and just a couple of shelves. In mine, the hanging rod is used to store accessories and I have three shelves below it. Each shelf holds two bins that are perfect for storing folded sweaters. I sort my sweaters by color and keep them from slipping off hangers or getting hanger marks in the shoulders.

Once the wardrobes were in place, we found we still had about two feet in the middle of the closet between them. We found modular drawers and shelves fit the space perfectly, allowing us to put two shoe racks at the bottom and two drawers for clothes in the otherwise wasted space.

In addition, the top of the wardrobes provided shelf space for storing extra bedding and seasonal clothing.

By replacing the one long bar with modular shelving, we more than tripled the usable space in our closet. In all, the project cost us less than $600, a trip to IKEA and a day’s work.

Creating a DIY solution to your closet storage needs is as easy as thinking outside the box.