Have a storage closet that’s a total mess? Check out how I updated a walk-in closet to be more organized and functional for storage needs.

We have a big walk-in closet in our bonus room for storage.

It’s great…it stores so much stuff.

I mean it’s so big I can fit lots and lots of stuff in there.

So I keep putting unused stuff in there and shut the door.

After a while of stuffing more and more in that closet it gets harder to close the door.

Can you relate?

Do you have a closet or space that after a while becomes a dumping ground for ALL. THE. THINGS?

My storage closet got so bad after the holidays I wasn’t even able to get the Christmas bins back in the closet.

It was time to get organized!

Before Storage Closet Makeover

view of walk-in closet before makeover with bins stacked in corner

I forgot to get a picture of the closet before I started emptying it out so it doesn’t look THAT bad.

But don’t worry I’m going to share some amazing pictures of all the stuff I had shoved in this closet soon. Haha!

When we moved in the builder had installed one wire shelf at the top of the closet around three walls.

The shelves weren’t very functional.

They weren’t able to store much, especially the back shelf because the wall is slanted so only a small plastic bin fits on that shelf.

On the side shelves I stored sleeping bags and pillows but they always fell when the kids would try to get just one down for sleepovers.

Not very efficient…at all!

bins, lamps, folding table and other items stacked in corner of room

Here are some of the storage bins that were in the closet… and this is just the start…just wait there’s more!

Lamps, air mattresses, a folding table and even a pair of crutches that were all in this storage closet.

bonus room with bins and stuff cluttering floor in room

And here’s even more that was crammed in that closet.

Maybe now the closet doesn’t seem so big!

I mean seriously…no wonder I could never find anything.

I’d have to dig through solid colored bins trying to locate things I was looking for.

I tried to stay organized by taping index cards to the outside of the bins with the contents inside each bin but the closet was just so jam packed I couldn’t move anything.

plastic bins, christmas accessories and other items stacked in room against wall

And after the holidays I decided I’d had enough of the disorganized storage closet.

Well let’s be honest…I didn’t know how I was going to get my Christmas decorations back in the closet.

So instead I folded up the ping pong table and stacked all my holiday bins along the wall.

Finally, a few months later I emptied out the closet and started the storage closet makeover.

Prepping the Closet Walls

hand repairing holes in wall with dry wall spackle

The first thing I did was remove the inefficient wire shelving and filled in all those nail holes.

There were probably 537 holes that needed to be filled with my favorite spackling.

Well…maybe not that many but there were a ton!

Geez!!

paint supplies on newspaper and drop cloth on floor in closet

Since I used so much spackle to on the walls I decided to prime the walls before painting.

And then I lucked out with the paint and found a gallon in our garage that was almost full from when I painted the bonus room.

Score…I didn’t need to buy any paint for the closet!

empty walk-in closet freshly painted after old shelving removed

I painted the walls and ceiling of the walk-in storage closet in Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.

This is only the second closet I’ve painted in this house.

I painted my husband’s closet when I updated his space last year. You have to check it out here…it looks so good now.

Usually, I don’t feel the need to paint closets when painting the room because who really sees them.

And I’m kinda lazy like that! LOL

But I’ll tell you what…it makes such a difference.

Installing New Shelving

hand holding closet bracket in store

Wire shelving is budget-friendly and functional if installed in a way that makes sense for your storage needs.

I liked the depth of the shelves we had on the side walls to store smaller items but I wanted the shelves to be adjustable.

Installing adjustable shelves in a storage closet is more efficient so you can change them around as your storage needs change.

To keep costs down we planned to reuse the old wire shelves with the ClosetMaid ShelfTrack system.

We purchased the additional parts we needed at our local home improvement store.

hand holding drill installing support bracket for wire shelving

After measuring and marking the walls Chris and I started installing the shelving system.

First we mounted the hang track with screws into studs in the wall to be sure the system was secure.

completed brackets installed on wall in closet

Next we hung the vertical standards from the track and attached them to the wall.

You’ll notice that our standards aren’t evenly spaced because we wanted to secure them into the studs like we did with the top hang track.

hands installing wire closet system bracket

After it was all mounted to the wall and secure I attached the brackets to the standards.

And then added the wire shelving.

wire shelving across wall of closet three rows of long shelves

We have the space to add another shelf at the top of the standards later when we need more storage.

That’s it!

It’s a super easy installation that doesn’t take more than an hour.

After Storage Closet Makeover

completed storage closet makeover with neatly organized plastic storage bins and pillows arranged on wire shelving

The right side of the closet with the new adjustable shelving is just what I needed to store all the smaller items.

And now my extra throw pillows have a home too.

Tell me I’m not the only one with an overflow of throw pillows!

But what about all those big plastic storage bins and Christmas decor that was piled up all over the bonus room?

completed storage closet makeover with plastic storage bins lining left side of walk-in closet

Well…I also reorganized all the stuff that filled those bins scattered around the room.

I decided I wanted to use clear bins so that I could easily locate the things stored in them.

Since I already had a bunch of clear bins I sorted everything to make it more functional and also invested in 10 new large clear bins.

There are 3 red bins in the mix but we know they’re Christmas bins…so it’s all good.

I’d like the utilize the space above the bins maybe for hanging wreaths but haven’t done that yet.

I’m loving my new organized and functional storage closet! It feels so great to walk in here and find exactly what I’m looking for.

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4 Comments on How to Make a Storage Closet More Organized and Functional

  1. Well you sure have storage now!!! shelves, shelves, and more shelves. Can you have too many? No!!
    This post makes me want more shelves;)

    • Isn’t her closet amazing!?? I would love to have space like that somewhere in my house! Thanks so much for reading our blog!

  2. If it were me, I know I couldn’t have stopped at just one side of shelves. I know I would have made a shelf for every single bin too…lol. I love what you’ve done to get the room usable again! It sure makes a huge difference!
    I actually just started working on my kitchen pantry. It’s just a 36 wide 24 deep built in that has goes up a foot from the ceiling. I sure wish I had a big one! Anyway, I’ve decided, big or not, I’m going with all Rubbermaid containers. I purchased 2 large and 2 medium so far and I’m loving them so much that I’m going to fill the cabinet with them. Just those few have made a huge difference! My husband asked me if he could have one for a large amount of nuts he bought so I’ve already had to give one up and I’m not happy about it! LOL yes they are a bit pricy but for me, well worth the money. Not only do they have clips on each side but they also have a rubber seal that you can hear forcing the air from when you’re closing them. Oops sorry I need to stop. WELL DONE!

    • My husband actually wanted to do shelves on the opposite side of the room but honestly, I didn’t feel I needed them with the large bins. But I definitely want to add some storage above those stacked bins so shelves up high may be next on the list. Also want to figure out storage for wreaths and get them out of the garage where they get covered in spider webs. Sound like you’re on your way to a perfectly organized pantry! My pantry is also on my long list of projects. Have a great day! 🙂

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