Decorating Closet Organization Closet Shelving DIY Wire Closet System Updating your closet may seem like a chore. But with the right tools, it can turn into a simple task that takes only an afternoon. We'll show you how to choose and install the right shelf storage system for your space. By Caitlin Sole Caitlin Sole Instagram Caitlin is the senior digital home editor at Better Homes & Gardens, where she covers all things home, including decorating and interior design, cleaning and organization, paint and color, home improvement, and more. She is a writer and editor with nearly a decade of interior design education and expertise. She has vast experience with digital publishing, including SEO, photoshoot production, video production, eCommerce content, print collaboration, and custom sales content. Caitlin graduated with a bachelor of journalism, with an emphasis in magazine editing, as well as a minor in textile and apparel management from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also received a multicultural certificate. Caitlin regularly attends trade shows and industry press conferences for market research and continued education. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Published on June 6, 2017 Share Tweet Pin Email Project Overview Working Time: 3 hours Total Time: 3 hours Skill Level: Beginner Help a small closet store more by installing a wire closet system. Rubber-coated wire shelving is available from a variety of retailers and manufacturers, and it can help you make the most of your space. Plus, installing a closet system is super easy. All it takes is an afternoon and a few common tools and supplies. Before you begin, here are some helpful tips: Keep it safe. Before installing shelves, check with a professional electrician and plumber to be sure you won't be drilling into electrical wires, ductwork, or plumbing components. Cover up. If your closet has tile or wood floors, you might wish to cover them with a drop cloth to prevent damage. Find a friend. For safety reasons, it's best to have a partner present to help install long shelves and hold your step stool when working up high. Buy extra pieces. If plans change, you'll have parts on hand. If not, you can easily return them. Assess your needs. Most closet systems use closet-gauge wire shelving, but heavier-duty garage systems are also available. Unless you're storing sports equipment or other particularly heavy items, a closet-gauge system will generally fill the bill. Check in. If your local hardware store won't cut your shelving to size for a nominal fee, consider investing in a bolt cutter for safe, clean cuts. Cut it short. When trimming shelves, cut a half-inch shorter than the space they'll occupy. This prevents scratched walls and makes it easier to fit shelves into wall brackets. Related: Stylish DIY Styles Ideas What You'll Need Equipment / Tools 1 Measuring tape 1 Pencil 1 Online design tool, we used the online planning tool for the Elfa shelving system from The Container Store 1 Printer 1 Level 1 Drill 1 Rubber mallet 1 Screwdriver Materials 1 Closet system including racks, standards, brackets, shelves, glide mechanisms, drawers, clothing rods, and all related hardware 1 Wall anchors 1 Shelf liners 1 Protective end pieces Instructions Measure and Lay Out To start, measure your closet. Write down all relevant dimensions, including depth, width, door swing, and light placement. Use an online design tool to create a closet layout. Print the layout, then purchase items from the corresponding list. Before you begin installing, hang the layout on your closet door frame for reference. Unwrap all materials, and organize them by the wall where they'll reside. Attach the Top Rack Using a level, place the top track or rack and mark holes with a pencil. Drill holes, then insert anchors into holes that don't line up with studs. Tap into the wall with a rubber mallet. With a drill, hang the track or rack, leaving screws a bit loose. Manually tighten screws with a screwdriver to prevent damaging the track. Attach Standards Next, hang standards from top bracket. Some systems will require hardware (the one shown here does not). Group standards together and insert shelf brackets into the standards. Once brackets are inserted, slide standards to their approximate position on the track, using provided spacers if needed. Install and Adjust Shelves Install smaller shelves first, then longer and deeper ones. Ventilated shelves have a top and bottom; the middle support wires are connected to the bottom of the shelf. To install, press shelves down and back into brackets. You should hear shelves lock into place. To adjust shelves, start from the bottom, repositioning them for adequate clearance as you go up. Smaller shelves can be lifted up and out of standards by the brackets, while larger shelves will need to be removed from brackets before repositioning. Refer to your printed layout for optimal storage space. Add Shelf Liners and Drawers To prevent wire marks on clothing and to prevent small items from falling through slats, cover shelves with plastic shelf liners. To add drawers, affix the lowest glide mechanism first, then follow manufacturer instructions to add brackets. For drawers that share a center bracket, be sure to use a center bracket cover. Drop baskets into drawer frames. Add End Pieces and Clothing Rods For a finished look, cap shelves and cover exposed brackets with protective end pieces. Follow manufacturer instructions for installing clothing rods, adding support for rods that span longer than 36 inches.