The Tiny house Blog

Custom Closet DIY Installation: A Step-by-Step Guide for Homeowners

Updated on:
June 25, 2024
Custom Closet DIY Installation

Image Source: Canva

A custom closet is perhaps not the first thing you think of when doing a home renovation or building a home, but it should be on your list. Having a custom closet not only provides for better organization and increased storage but also helps create a functional day-to-day life. 

Custom closets don’t have to break the bank, DIY closet installation is a rewarding and cost-effective project for you to get stuck into. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process of planning, designing, and installing a custom closet in your home, check out this page for more information.

Planning Your Custom Closet

1. Assess Your Needs and Space 

First up, you need to figure out what you need, so that you can create something that addresses those needs. 

This means heading over to that supply closet, taking a look at what items you have shoved in there, and deciding how they would best be organized and stored, Consider the types of items you need to store, such as clothes, shoes, accessories, and other personal items.

Then, you also need to assess how much space you have in which to create a custom closet. Measure your closet space accurately, noting the dimensions of the width, height, and depth. Take into account any obstacles like doors, windows, and electrical outlets.

2. Create a Design Plan 

Once you have a good idea of what needs to be stored, how much space you have, and how best to store things. Sketch a layout of your closet, including the placement of shelves, rods, drawers, and other storage solutions. 

You can use online design tools or closet design software to help visualize your plan. Ensure that your design both maximizes the space you have available and meets your storage needs. 

Think about adding things like as adjustable shelving, double-hanging rods for short garments, and dedicated spaces for shoes and accessories.

3. Choose Materials and Hardware 

The next step is to choose the materials and hardware for your custom closet. The most commonly used materials include wood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), and wire shelving. 

Keep your budget in mind, and be sure to choose durable, high-quality materials that fit your aesthetic preferences. Select appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws, and anchors, to ensure a sturdy installation.

Now it is time to get your supplies and get to the building.

Gathering Tools and Supplies

Before you begin the installation, gather all necessary tools and supplies. Here's a list of items you will probably need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Saw (if cutting shelves or rods to size)
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Anchors and screws

Now for the fun part, the installation. 

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Step 1: Prepare your Space 

Empty the closet completely and remove any existing shelving or hardware that you are not planning on using (don’t be afraid to reduce, reuse, and recycle where you can). 

Patch any holes or imperfections in the walls and give the space a fresh coat of paint if needed. Make sure the area is clean and free of debris before you start the installation.

Step 2: Mark the Studs 

Use a stud finder to locate the studs in your closet walls. Mark the stud locations with a pencil. You’ll want to know where these are as they provide the necessary support for heavy items like shelves and hanging rods. 

Ensuring that your hardware is anchored into studs will make your custom closet more stable and secure.

Step 3: Install the Vertical Panels 

Your first installation will be of the vertical panels or sidewalls of your closet system. These serve as the foundation for your closet. 

Use a level to ensure the panels are vertically straight and attach them to the wall with screws. These should be secured into the studs. 

If your closet system includes a back panel, you’ll want to install this next.

Step 4: Install Horizontal Supports

Next, install the horizontal supports for shelves and rods. 

Measure and mark out the desired heights for your supports, look back on your plan, and think about the types of clothing and items you'll be storing so that you can put the supports in the right place. 

Attach the supports to the vertical panels and walls using screws and brackets. Use a level to ensure the supports are straight.

Step 5: Add Shelves and Rods 

If you need to, cut your shelves or rods to size and then install them by placing them on the horizontal supports and securing them with screws or by attaching them to the rod supports. 

Double-check that everything is level and securely fastened!

Step 6: Install Drawers and Accessories 

If your custom closet design includes drawers, assemble these (you can buy a pre-manufactured pack if you want to), add the sliders to the closet, and then place the drawers on the sliders. Test them out to ensure they move smoothly on the track.

Install any additional accessories, such as shoe racks, belt and tie racks, or pull-out baskets. These accessories enhance the functionality of your closet and keep your items organized.

Step 7: Final Adjustments and Finishing Touches 

Double-check everything and then make any necessary adjustments to ensure everything is level and securely fastened.


Add your finishing touches, such as trim or molding, and then it is time to clean up the installation area and organize your items in your new custom closet! 

Image Source: Canva

Tips for a Successful DIY Closet Installation

Here are some hot tips to help you have the most successful closet installation possible.

1. Plan for Adjustability 

Your storage requirements may not always remain the same, design your closet system with adjustability in mind. 

Adjustable shelving and rods allow you to adapt your storage space as your needs change over time. This flexibility ensures that your custom closet remains functional and efficient for a long time to come.

2. Use Quality Materials and Hardware 

Try to keep within your budget, but it is also important to invest in high-quality materials and hardware. While it may cost a little more upfront, it will save you both time and money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs and replacements. 

3. Take Your Time 

When it comes to DIY, patience is a virtue. DIY closet installation is a particularly detailed process and it requires precision. 

Take your time to ensure accurate measurements, secure installations, and a polished final result. 

Rushing through the project can lead to mistakes and subpar workmanship, and may result in you having to spend more time and/or money fixing it up in the near future.

4. Seek Help When Needed 

Some aspects of the installation, such as cutting materials to size or securing heavy panels, may require an extra set of hands. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from a friend or family member to make the process both easier and safer.

5. Follow Manufacturer Instructions 

If you're using a closet organizer kit or pre-fabricated components, carefully read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. 

These instructions are designed to ensure proper assembly and installation. Deviating from them can result in an unstable or less functional closet system. 

Benefits of a Custom Closet

If you’re wondering whether it’s really worth it, we’ve set out some of the benefits below to help you make your decision.

1. Maximized Storage Space 

A custom closet is tailored to your specific needs, which means that you get to decide what works best for you and create it. 

Custom designs make the most of every inch of space you have available, providing dedicated areas for all of your belongings and reducing clutter. 

2. Increased Home Value 

Installing a custom closet can increase the value of your home, but make sure that the closet you install is easily adjustable so that others can easily make it suit their needs as well. 

Potential buyers often appreciate well-organized storage solutions and may be willing to pay more for a home with custom features. 

A well-designed closet can definitely add some market appeal to your home!

3. Enhanced Organization 

Finding and accessing your belongings has never been easier! With that, comes a neater and more functional living space (it also makes it easier to organize and maintain that organization). 

With designated spaces for clothes, shoes, accessories, or other items, you can maintain a tidy and orderly closet, saving time and reducing stress.

4. Personalization 

You can personalize your storage space to fit your lifestyle and preferences. Choose the layout, materials, and accessories that best suit your needs and aesthetic. 

This personalization makes your closet more functional and enjoyable to use.

5. Durability 

If you do it correctly and use high-quality materials custom closets are durable and long-lasting This durability ensures that your investment will stand the test of time and provide reliable storage for years to come.

Installing a custom closet yourself can be a rewarding project and a cost-effective way to help ensure organization in your home. Follow this step-by-step guide to help you create a functional and durable closet that suits your needs.

Remember to plan carefully, use quality materials, and take your time to ensure a successful DIY installation. With the right approach, your custom closet can become a valuable addition to your home, providing organization, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. Good luck with your project!

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