When I first asked everyone’s advice on what we should do in our mudroom makeover, the most frequent suggestion was to pull off the closet doors and make built-in storage with a bench, cubbies, shelves and hooks. While I love that look, I knew I needed places to put things more than I needed to be able to sit down. The biggest improvement I could make to how the mudroom functioned was to build more storage in the closet.
As you saw in the reveal, I split the closet in half, putting floor to ceiling shelves at one end and a single shelf over top of a hanging rod at the other.
To build these simple shelves, I went with my go-to shelving material: white melamine. It may not be the fanciest, but this stuff is easy. It comes in 12-inch or 16-inch widths (I chose the 16) and 8 foot lengths. One long edge is pre-finished. There is no painting (although you can), no sanding, no special tools.
To support the shelves, I screwed 1x2s (which I did paint) into the wall studs with 3 inch screws. The shelves simply sit on top.
For the top shelf, I used 1×3 as I wanted a wider board to attach the rod.
The divider in the middle is a piece of melamine run vertically. There was a cut-out in the ceramic tile floor for some long-ago shelving system, so I filled that with a 2×4 and cut a channel to hold the melamine in place.
The melamine comes in 8 foot lengths, so for my 9 1/2 foot closet, I had to splice a few of the shelves. My technique was to tack a piece of melamine underneath. It’s perhaps not the most attractive solution, but tucked inside the mudroom closet I wasn’t super concerned about appearances. It’s sturdy and will easily hold a golf ball collection or anything else you want to put on it.
The sturdiness of melamine is its best feature in my opinion. As long as it’s properly supported, it can hold a decent amount of weight and won’t sag. To prevent any droopiness, it’s important to put the 1×2 supports along all three sides of the shelf, not just at either end.
I know there are much more attractive storage systems out there, but, for a behind closed doors solution, this simple set up of melamine and 1x2s works for us. Even better, it’s completely custom and accommodates exactly what we need.
How do you handle closet organization? Has anyone else built a custom storage system? Any other melamine fans out there?