Wardrobe Organisation: How to Create a Shelving Unit in 7 Steps – Super Simple Shelves DIY

First and foremost excuse my hella messy wardrobe in the pictures to come. Terrifying.
Second. Welcome to DIY Tuesday. Today will show you how I created a shelving unit within my wardrobe in under 1 hour 30 Minutes… Talk about a quick fix!

(Maybe I will make this a thing. “DIY Tuesdays” Perhaps once a month or something. What do you think? I’m pretty sure I’m Always DIYing something!)

Here’s a before and after of this project.

I’ve been looking at my wardrobe for a long while now thinking okay, how can I make this space more useable. So I pondered…and pondered… until it came to me. If I just had a better way to store my jeans! Instead of using one of those stupid plastic hanging things – which only really work when they have the space to ‘breath’ (work when the wardrobe isn’t jam packed like mine!).

I needed my shelving to be quite compact. But also be able to keep this folding storage box underneath too. I keep all my workout gear in this as I find it too much hassle to fold. Plus who likes folding anyway (I know for sure not me… Hence why I procrastinated the laundry and built this instead haha!)

I would consider this DIY to be quite simple. Suitable for a beginner.

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YOU WILL NEED:

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Drill / Driver
  • Wood screws
  • Sandpaper (which I couldn’t find. DOH!) 
  • Timber of your choice (I opted for 1 x 1.5″ roofing batten as it was scrap wood lying around!)
  • Wardrobe or other corner to build in.

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1) Empty the Wardrobe

To start fully empty or part empty your wardrobe.

Make sure you have enough space to create your shelves and give yourself a little elbow room.
I opted to part empty the wardrobe because I have lots of dresses that I didn’t want to be ironing again.

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TIP: Sand timber throughout process, as necessary

I have yet to sand this because I couldn’t find sandpaper on my short timeframe

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2) Measure how wide and deep you want your shelves to be.

Here you can see I have marked a line on the bottom inside of the wardrobe.
This is the minimum width I need to fit in the grey storage box. So make sure the shelf structure remains outside of this line. Also at this point measure the depth of your shelving. Mine was 30cm as I had to leave room at the front for the wardrobe door hinges.

Measure and mark the top & bottom of the wardrobe with the same minimum width line.

3) Create an anchor.

This is a piece of batten that is screwed to the top and bottom of the wardrobe to give the uprights something to attach to. Make sure everything is outside of the ‘minimum shelf’ line that you previously drew.
The anchor should be the length of the depth of your shelf (in my case 30cm) and should remain outside the line you’ve drawn.
Here I use the upright batten as a guide to where the anchor batten should be fixed and screw into place with two screws.

I attach this batten down with self drilling wood screws. I opted for self drillers because they are less likely to split the batten and I didn’t need to pre drill holes.
If you feel like your wood may split drill a pilot hole!
Attach an anchor both top and bottom as shown here:

4) Install the uprights.

Once the anchors are secure, measure the height of your wardrobe and cut to length 2 x upright battens. Attach these both. one at the front and one at the back of the anchor battens.

Again be careful when working with batten as it can split easily when you screw into ends.

Checking to make sure the width is correct before proceeding.

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TIP: Make it neater

By all means use brackets or even screws through the top and bottom of the wardrobe and into the uprights.
The base of my wardrobe is not easily accessible and I had no brackets to hand so I opted for timber anchor pieces.

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5) Time to attach the shelf supports.

As you can see I marked the wood on the uprights to make sure all the measurements where correct. I also reinserted the storage box to make sure the shelf supports would not get in the way of the box. Once happy with the height of the shelf, I cut the supporting batten to the correct depth and attached onto the uprights with screws and another shelf support attached onto the solid ‘wall’ side of the wardrobe.

Showing the first shelf supports.

Showing shelf support on the wardrobe ‘wall’ side.

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TIP: Use a level

When positioning the shelf supports you can use a level to make sure the shelf is correctly aligned.
I didn’t have a level to hand (something I need to get myself), so I just made sure I measured accurately from the bottom to the front and back of the shelf support
to make sure the shelf would be attached in the correct, equal, horizontal position.

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6) Create a slatted shelf.

From here its time to create the shelf on top of these shelf supports.
I opted for a slatted design, similar to an airing cupboards. It allows the air to move freely and means clothing smells fresher for longer.
Measure the width of your shelving from left to right, for it to fit upon the supports exactly. Mine is 28cm across and decide the gap between them.
A deeper shelf means more shelf batten. bigger items on the shelf also means you can use less battens and have bigger gaps.

Now you can opt to glue or screw these into place. For quickness & just in case I need to take the wardrobe apart to move it. I used screws.
I used a piece of batten and a pen to get an equal width between each shelf batten. Creating an equal space. You will use more or less shelving battens depending on the depth of your shelves. for me, 4 pieces. was suitable.

7) Repeat steps 5 & 6 for each shelf.

Measure up your shelf height on each corner and mark the shelf height the same as before.
Add shelf supports and shelf battens. Make sure its the same amount of battens to keep it looking neat and keep to the same gaps between each one. Glue or screw as you wish.

As you can see, I built two shelves into my small wardrobe, but you may be able to fit more. Or you could even adapt this design to fit into the corner of a room. Its a simple design that has so many possibilities.

8) (optional) ‘Finishing cap’.

As a last thought I added this ‘finishing’ end cap to the edge of the shelves. Since this is where my hanging clothing will pressed against I wanted it to be neatly finished. Plus it polishes off the overall look of the shelving very nicely. Its totally optional though. But if you have very deep shelves I recommend doing this, as it will help to make the shelf supports a lot stronger and stop it from sagging!

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FINISHED

Leave it as is or fill and paint as you desire.
Its such a simple design but its really helped to revamp my cluttered wardrobe.
I have been through a few of the hanging bits, and put my winter coats into storage – and kept my wardrobe for in-season clothing only.
I’ve donated around 1/3rd of my wardrobe so far and expect to get rid of more too.
Plus as an added bonus. Upon finishing this shelving unit I felt inclined to put all my clothing away!
I finally managed to clear the whole basket of washing even after procrastinating! WOOHOO!
I’m.A.Real.Adult. Are you proud?

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This is what the final result looks like. (although I have since filled the top shelf to the top with cami tops, Ooops! But it freed up some drawer space)

Hope you enjoyed this simple DIY today. I’m always doing little bits and bobs around the house so be sure to pop me a message if I mention a project thats you may be interested in.
Or if you have a DIY to share with me. I LOVE new DIY ideas. Especially home improvement!

P.S. Here is Buddy looking rather worried being surrounded by half my wardrobe stuff.

Have a good one <3

Jazz xx

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