Install a Closet Organizer to Tame Clutter

Taming Clutter with a Closet Organizer System

We ask our bedroom closets to do so much, but give them so little love. We want our clothes, shoes and random sundries to be kept out of sight, but easy to access. But a closet is merely a disorganized space with a bunch of stuff in it if you don’t tame the clutter. Installing a good closet organizer is the key to making your closet work for you. 

That’s what Toni Hammersley did recently for a closet needing some attention. She writes about what she calls “home management” on her blog A Bowl Full of Lemons. Here she shows us how she and her husband installed a ClosetMaid closet system to bring order to a boy’s bedroom closet.

Since moving into our new home over a year ago, we had put off “updating” the closets. They were “builders grade” wire shelving closet systems, and all were in major need of some change. So we went shopping at The Home Depot in search of a functional closet system that would organize our things, yet be easy enough for my husband and me to install ourselves.

Since all of the closets in the house needed updating, which one did we begin with? The messiest one in the house–  my son’s closet. There are so many problems with the picture below.

Taming Clutter with a Closet Organizer System: The closet before its makeover

My son is eleven years old. He tries his best to keep his room clean and his things put away. But when he doesn’t have a functional closet to organize his things, it turns out like this most of the time. So, the first thing we needed to do was to find a closet system that had many compartments and spacing to put organizational bins for his toys. He also needed drawers and shoe organizers that were easily accessible. When we saw this ClosetMaid system, I knew right away, it would be perfect for his space.

Taming Clutter with a Closet Organizer System

The products we used for our closet makeover

Taming Clutter with a Closet Organizer System: The ClosetMaid Impressions System

The first order of business: clear out the clutter.

Many of the clothes that were in my sons closet didn’t even fit him. We also donated a lot of the toys that were piled on the floor. He never played with them, so they went to a good home.

Tip: When cleaning out closets, take some time to inventory what you have, what you really need, and what you can purge. You will be amazed at the room you have left, after you sort through the clutter.

Taming Clutter with a Closet Organizer System: Ready for the makeover

Next, it was time to assemble the ClosetMaid pieces. We carefully followed the package directions to assemble each piece.  It doesn’t matter what order you assemble them in. We put the show racks together first, then the top shelf and finally the drawers and drawer unit last. After we were finished, we attached each piece to the wall to prevent them from tipping over.

NOTE:  It’s important to install the shoe shelves first (on the left), then the middle drawer unit only after the shoe shelves are placed. Once those are installed, you will be able to install the hanging bars, according to how much room you have left.

Taming Clutter with a Closet Organizer System: Securing the system to the wall

We attached a 1×4″ pine board (18″ long) to the wall, measuring carefully so the wood would match up along the left and right edges of each unit. The boards were screwed into wall anchors. Then each ClosetMaid unit was screwed into the pine boards.

Securing a closet organizer system to the wall

Next, we installed the drawers into the bottom unit. Following the directions, we screwed the drawer bars to the insides of each wall. The drawers slide right in afterwards.

Adding the drawer sliders to a closet organizer system

Installing the drawers in a closet organizer system

After the shoe organizers were assembled, the bars (shoe stoppers) were placed in the holes at the ends of the shelves. They slide right in– no screws necessary.

Attaching the bars for the shoe organizer in a closet organizer system

After the shoe organizers and drawers are installed, it’s time to attach the poles to the wall and units. They simply screw right in.

Adding bracket for closet pole in closet organizer system

You will have to adjust the width of the bar to fit between the wall and the units. Our spacing was smaller than the bar itself, so we had to measure and saw off part of the pole.

Cutting the closet bar to fit in a closet organizer system

This was the hardest part of the project – cutting down the metal rods to fit the 6 foot closet.

Tip: measure twice, cut once.

Installing the closet rods in a closet organizer system

Thanks to The Home Depot and ClosetMaid, the space was completely transformed. It took a day for my husband and me to assemble the closet. Once the closet was assembled, I got to work organizing my son’s toys. To me, this is the most exciting part of the project!!

A closet organizer system installed in a boy's bedroom closet

Totes neatly stacked in a boy's bedroom closet

My son is very artistic. He loves creating things from scratch. So he has a lot of small pieces lying around. These clear Sterilite containers worked well for organizing his small items. They are inexpensive and did the job perfectly! I labeled each box and stacked them on the shelves.

Matching wooden hangers in a well-organized closet

One of the most dramatic differences in the space was switching out the hangers to a more quality style. The plastic hangers worked fine, but since we spent the money to build this beautiful closet, we had to go all the way to perfect it with these dark wooden hangers. It was totally worth it!

Plenty of drawer space in a boy's bedroom closet

The drawers give him the extra storage room he needed, to keep his old t-shirts, pajamas, shorts and jeans. They slide in and out smoothly.

The shoe rack in a well-organized closet

My son’s favorite part of his new closet is the shoe shelf. He thinks that since there is so much extra space, he needs to fill it with more basketball shoes. We’ll see about that. How many pairs of basketball shoes does one kid need?

Each row fits three pairs of shoes nicely. We used two kits, which stack on top of each other. They took about 20 minutes each to assemble.

Closet makeover before and after

Here is one last look at the before and after shots of my sons ClosetMaid transformation. If you have a day to spare, and a helping hand, you can create your own custom looking closet system like we did. If we can do it, so can you!

See more Storage and Organization Ideas here on The Home Depot Blog. Follow our Storage and Organize board on Pinterest for more great storage ideas and DIY projects, too.

Browse our Storage and Organization Department for everything you need to get your home organized.

Toni did this project for The Home Depot’s Store More, Save More event. She received a Home Depot gift card, but the ideas and opinions she expressed are her own.