DIY: Building My Own Maid Closets


June, 2017



The Hallway

This year my husband and I decided to turn a long-term rental we own, into a short-term rental that we plan to list on sites like If you are not familiar with short-term rental sites, it is basically using your own property as a “one unit” hotel, and these sites allow you to list your property and use their software for booking, credit card processing, vetting renters etc. We’ve use and HomeAway to book rentals for small vacays, but this will be our first listing.

The previous tenant left our property in horrible condition. She rented for over five years, and smoked, not to mention normal wear-and-tear and a lot of negligence. Basically, we had to gut the place. We’re also doing things differently because there is some difference with a short-term rental and long-term. The main difference is that we have to furnish the property and clean it between guests.  This means we need to keep cleaning products on the property, but we don’t want the guests to be able to access this stuff. We decided the best bet would be enclosing part of a large closet area in the hallway, and adding a lock to it.

This is the hallway, it has closets all along the left side of the area, two feet deep and in three sections.

Photograph by Rachel Rivera

All we needed was one 4x8 piece of sanded PINE plywood. Purchased from Lowe’s.

The idea was to take one of those closet sections, the section closest to the main room, and add a door with a cabinet lock. And add shelving to the door closest to the master bedroom, where we would place extra linens. But, adding a door is not an easy thing, especially when the section is only 64″ high, so there wouldn’t be a standard door to fit it.

We chose to make our own door, we purchased one piece of 4x6 sanded “cabinet” plywood and had them cut it at Lowe’s. We were technically making two doors, a small upper door, and large lower door, so the man had a few cuts to make, but they were square and easy. We don’t own a table saw, so if they didn’t make the cuts at Lowe’s we would have been cursing as we did it with one of our hand saws.

We purchased 3-inch hinges, five in total, pulls, and small cabinet locks. I painted the wood white before we hung the doors. The hardest part of the entire project was the bottom door, since it had to sit about a half inch off the ground to “swing” and holding the door while we screwed in the hinge screws was a bit of a challenge. Looking back, we should have measured for the width of the hinges, and have them cut it 1/4 inch shorter because there was no give. But, they fit.

We used 3 hinges on the 64″ x 35″ door and 2 hinges for the 24″ x 35″ upper door. Then we purchased two “window-sash locks” with keys, and attached those to the frame and the newly attached door. It was really easier than expected and came out better than we hoped. Our total spent:

  • Plywood: $36.00
  • 5 Hinges: $20
  • 2 Locks: $9
  • Total: $65

With the leftover wood, 13″ worth, I decided to use it to make shelves for the third portion of the cabinets. I would have like to have about 16″ worth, but I wasn’t going to buy plywood just for the shelving units. If we were going to hold a lot of things on these, like books, or heavy objects this wouldn’t work, but I only plan on holding a few little things, like extra towels and sheets. Instead of painting the board, I wrapped them in an Amazon Vine item that I recieved, awhile back and had leftovers. It’s the RoomMates RMK9120RL Blue Trellis Peel and Stick Wallpaper Décor. It’s basically a big vinyl sticker that I wrapped the pieces of wood with. So easy. 

I used another Amazon Vine review item to decorate the shelves, which I was really excited about. I placed HOME ESSENTIAL Nylon Basketweave bins on the shelf, and plan on rolling up extra towels and linens and place them in these bins. The bins come in a set of 2, they are 13x15x15 and voila, fit perfect on my shelf (long). I didn’t plan that, promise. The bins are from a company called Dii, and I’m always impressed with their products. They are well constructed and inexpensive. These two bins are blue, it’s not a navy, but not a bright blue (the stacked image of the two bins is the best representation of their color). They are woven to look like a weave, and have a sturdy metal frame inside. I’m liking how they have a low profile and fit perfectly on my shelf. I wish I had two more! They are going to help keep these shelves organized. I’m pleased with the overall look of the entire project and hope my future guests like it too. The only thing we will be adding to the middle section, will be luggage racks.

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The Products in this post:

Tools & Home Improvement

RoomMates RMK9120RL Blue Trellis Peel and Stick Wallpaper Décor >> Find on Amazon

Home & Kitchen

DII Woven Nylon Trapezoid Storage Bin for Home, Office, Closets, & Everyday Storage Needs, (Tray – 13 x 15 x 5″) Navy – Set of 2 >> Find on Amazon

Tools & Home Improvement

Slide-Co 17695-BB Window Sash Lock, Keyed, Brass Plated Diecast
>> Find on Amazon

Most products are purchased, the items for review are listed as review, or Amazon Vine review items. All links lead to Amazon, but since I live in Louisiana I do not get affiliate money.