Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bedroom Closet Shelves

A couple months ago my daughter was allergy tested and deemed highly allergic to dust mites as well as handed an asthma diagnosis.  Her symptoms were months of a persistent cough, especially at night (nestled in with all those dust mites) and during high energy activity.  So, in an effort to reduce the amount of dust mites she comes in contact with, in addition to getting a fancy anti-allergy bed cover, changing her sheets weekly, and the whole air filter thing, I thought we had better get her dust harboring dress up clothes and stuffed animals out from under her bed.

Every time I mention my house, I will probably mention the fact that it came with zero storage.  Putting shelving in all the kids' closets is part of the plan anyway so I got to work!  This is the closet before which looks nasty when I post it for other people to see, good thing it got a fresh coat of paint!
I left the top shelf above the hanger and just added shelving under.  Why mess with something that's already there?
Small Board 8 in. Next to Existing 12 in. Top Board Creating Total Depth of 20 in. to Match Shelves Below
I purchased a sheet of pre-sanded 3/4 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. plywood for about $20 since I didn't have anything on hand that I could use and I did this project on too much of a whim to take the time to go to the salvage yard.  I took down the hanging rod and cut the plywood into a board the distance between the floor and the existing top shelf, cutting a small indentation at the top to fit next to the existing top shelf support.  I cut the rod to fit in the new smaller non shelf section.
Side Board Cut to Fit Around Support Already Existing For Top Shelf
I pretty much just duplicated the method used for the existing top shelf.  I made supports out of 1 x 4's to rest each shelve on although 1 x 2's would have been sufficient.

I measured the shelves to fit the baskets I planned to store on them (smart I know, that's why I'm blogging)! The bottom three shelves are about 13.5 inches tall, the top two 11 inches.  I decided to make the shelves 20 inches deep, deep enough to store my baskets and a good amount of belongings but not so deep things will get lost in the shelves.  I used some 3/4 in. plywood scraps I had left over from a salvaged book case for the shelves.  Using 1.5 inch drywall screws and a level I attach the shelf supports to the wall drilling into the stud behind the drywall whenever possible. I cheated and besides tapping on the drywall to hear where the studs were, I took my first hint from where the nails were on the existing top shelf supports.

At heart I am a perfectionist which if not curbed would keep me from ever doing anything.  I prefer to live by the whole idea, "If something is worth doing it's worth doing half assed!"  There are some things in which I choose the line of thinking, "I worked too hard on this to not re-do this mistake."  This wasn't one of those things.  I cut the top board 3/4 in. too short not compensating for the side board width.  I didn't want to cut a new one because I just didn't and I didn't want to cut into my nice wood which I will be able to use for something else.  I had no more scraps the right size.  Instead of re-doing it I nailed a 1 x 1 which is actually something like 3/4 x 3/4 to the gap.
A Little Piece of  1 x 1 Trim to Fill in My Gap on the Top Shelf
To finish it off I used finishing nails to secure the shelves to the 1 x 4 supports, puttied over the nails and screws and painted the whole space white.  If I wanted to get all fancy I could have put a thin piece of trim on the front of all the shelves and the side board, but this is just a closet.  This is the final product all filled up with STUFF that was otherwise collecting dust under my daughters bed and cluttering her room.
The room went from looking like an over full space to a somewhat simple bedroom.  My girl's asthma cleard up with some initial aggressive asthma and anti-allergy treatment and we haven't had to give her ongoing treatment thus far.  We still do our best to keep her space as dust free as possible.


  1. Awesome information-I love how you had to curb your perfectionism, and have fun with this building stuff. So impressed, the closet looks fantastic!

  2. Julie DavisAugust 16, 2011

    Sounds like you love all the things I love! Glad you are doing this blog!

  3. This looks great! I'm in awe of how good you are at this.

  4. Thanks ladies! I'm already having fun with this. I'm going around the house thinking, this would be fun to do and share! :) Even more motivation for me! Julie I heard you are an amazing interior designer but didn't know this sort of stuff was your cup of tea! I'm stoked! If any of you have things you think would be fun to share here, send it my way. I'd love to see what you are up to and share it! Kelly, you are the queen of blogging. I watch and weep. :)

  5. Awesome information, this looks so great!