Sometimes there are places in your home that just need more shelves like our toy closet did! Here is how to install shelves in your closet to make it more functional!
How to Install Closet Shelves
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Ever Since we moved into our house in Texas the “closet at the top of the stairs” has been so useless! It is a nice big walk-in closet in the hall wall with two high shelves and clothes hanging rods… It never made sense…. I don’t know what the builder was thinking! So over the past four years of living in this house, that closet has become a throw it in there to get it out of the way type closet!
But I did something last week that made the closet more functional, more organized and more complete! Thanks to my Dad coming to visit!
I added more shelves in the closet to make it a functional closet! And guess what? I am going to give you a step by step complete guide on how to install shelves in your closet!
Supply List for Installing Shelves in your Closet:
Air compressor or hammer
Nails 1” and 1 ½”
Caulking/ caulking gun
Enough Wood for the project we used this from Home Depot to match the existing shelves in the house. We used boards that 3/4″x 11 3/4″ and then the length
To build the frame you need 1×2 boards of the same material
Step 1 on How to Install Shelves in Your Closet
Before you get started you will want to clean out the closet. This way you have plenty of space to work in. After that, you will want to measure the length of the wall where the shelves will go. Write down this measurement. Then decide on how far apart you want the shelves to be. We did our shelves 22″ apart and I think looking back it is the perfect height. On the back wall, we planned to use two boards for the depth of the wall to have more shelving room.
After we had the proper measurements we were off to the hardware store to buy our materials. Moments like these make me so grateful we own a truck!
Step 2 Painting
When you get home it is time to paint the boards. So people might think I am crazy for painting first, but hear me out. If you paint before you install you only have to touch up the nail holes and stuff. This saves you from trying to paint upside down on shelves and getting paint on the walls. So, paint now and then just touch up once your project is complete.
Step 3 Finding the Studs
While the pieces of your shelves are drying it is a great time to go prep the closet. The first thing you need to do is find the studs in the wall. It is crucial to find the studs because you need to nail into the studs to support the weight that is going onto the shelves. Because let’s be real no one wants their shelves falling down!
We love this stud finder. You run it along the wall and it will light up red and beep when you hit the stud! Mark the studs you find in the wall.
Step 4 Measure where the frame of the shelf will go
After you find the studs, it is time to measure from the floor to your first shelf frame (the 1X2). These are the boards that will support the actual shelf. We planned ours to be 22″ from the ground and then 22″ apart. Mark this on the wall.
Step 5 Measure the Wall and Cut 1×2 boards
After you have measured the height of where your shelf will go and marked the stud it is time to remeasure the length of the wall. Remember, measure twice, cut once.
Then go cut your 1×2 according to your measurement.
After the 1×2 is cut take it up and remeasure the height of the shelf. Mark the height of the frame on the stud. Remember, this is where you will nail it! Use a level to make sure the shelf is level. No one wants a crooked shelf. We used a nail gun because it was so much easier to install the shelves!
Step 6 Cut the Side 1×2 Boards
After the 1×2 is nailed to the wall to support the back of the shelf it is time to cut the 1×2 for the sides of the shelf. Make sure you don’t cut these according to the depth of the shelf, you need to cut them according to where the stud is. Our shelves ended up being 23 1/2″ deep (since we doubled the boards) but our side supports were longer so that we could hit a stud to support the weight. This is what our support frame looked like.
After you build the first support frame, repeat the process for all the other shelves you are putting in.
Step 7 Measure the Shelving and Cut
Next, it is time to measure the wall for the shelf. After you have measured it is time to cut your shelving boards.
Step 8 Install Shelving Boards
After the boards are cut it is time to install them. You install the boards by placing them on the frame and nailing the boards down into the support frame. If your wall is not straight like mine, there will be some gaping in the back or on the side in places. You can fill this in with caulking for a great looking shelf. So don’t worry!
Step 9 Caulking
After the shelves are nailed down it is time to caulk nail holes and the gaps. This can be easily done with a caulking gun.
Step 10 Touch Up Paint
After the shelves are caulked then paint over the nail holes and any blemishes that occurred while doing your project.
And there you have it! How to Install Shelves in Your Closet for a more functional closet!
To get this look: All baskets came from Michaels and those awesome blue bins came from Amazon here! I love how easy they stand up and they are so durable! An added bonus is how affordable they are! So be sure to check them out!
Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!