Bedroom closet - beforeBedroom closet - after

Closet cleaning isn’t a flashy subject, but I can’t help it: I’m in full organization mode. I blame the new year. I simplified this closet by chucking old clothes and sticking with just one type of hanger (padded hangers and skirt hangers are on the left side).

Shoebox shelf unit

The solution to the shoe mess: plastic shoe boxes from The Container Store. Plastic shoe boxes are also available at and I built a simple shelf unit for them out of plywood that I got on Freecycle. Rick at The Barn Woodshop was kind enough to cut the wood. Once the pieces were cut, assembly was a cinch.

How to make shoebox shelves


  • plywood cut into these pieces (in inches):
  • top: 34-1/2 x 13
  • sides (2): 30-1/4 x 13
  • shelves (2): 33 x 13
  • primer
  • paint (I used Benjamin Moore Navajo White [N333 73])
  • wood screws
  • wood filler
  • plastic shoeboxes (this will hold 16 women’s shoeboxes, 4 men’s shoeboxes, and 1 boot box)


  • drill and drill bit
  • sand paper or electric sander
  • ruler and pencil
  • paint brush or small paint roller



1. First drill pilot holes to screw together the top and sides. I used two screws for each side.


2. Once the top and sides are assembled, flip it on its side to measure and make where each shelf should go.


3. Draw where the shelf should go, line up the shelf, drill a hole in the middle of the two lines, then screw in the screw. Then move to the next screw, and so on. (I usually counter-sink the screws and cover the holes, but considering it’s just a closet unit, I didn’t bother this time.)


4. Once assembled, fill any gaps in the plywood with wood filler. When dry, lightly sand the edges, then wipe it clean from dust (with a tack cloth or vacuum attachment).


5. Prime (one coat) and paint (two coats). Let dry overnight. Ta-da!