New Closet Day!

Happy New Year everybody!  I hope your year is going great so far.  We’re having fun enjoying our new closet.  I finished it yesterday and we started putting clothes back in it today.  As you may recall we were going to just go through our clothes and clean out the closet when inexplicably one of the shelves fell off the wall.  Renovating the Master Closet was not on my to do list, and certainly not something I wanted to do during my New Year’s vacation.  I spent Saturday morning demo-ing the old closet shelves.  Turns out all the shelves were ready to fall down so it’s a good thing we acted when we did.  I was expecting to tear up the walls pulling all the toggle bolts out.  In reality all except two toggles were not intact, so the job was as simple as pulling the shelves off the wall.  Scary stuff but luckily we avoided any sort of disaster, especially with two little kids running around in there.

Once the closet was demo’d I spent Saturday afternoon wrapping up something that was on my “to-do” list.  I installed the last two cabinets we had purchased for the studios; a sink base and wall cabinet in my studio.  This was pretty straightforward and unremarkable.  I will say I love my new 18V Ryobi cordless drill.  It works like a charm and made cabinet install super easy.

Saturday night we decided to go with the Martha Stewart closet system at Home Depot.   I used their handy design tool and came up with a configuration that would cost us about $625 including sales tax (and use of a 10% coupon).  Interestingly enough, the espresso finish is stock in stores.  If you want white you have to order online and have it shipped (albeit free shipping).  We changed our minds and decided on the espresso finish.  It was less expensive because we’d be buying it in store with our store only coupon.  Plus the dark finish goes well with our oil rubbed bronze light fixtures and the adjacent bathroom’s dark bronze tile floor.

Sunday I ran out and picked up everything I needed.  Basically we got one of the 4′-8′ “deluxe” starter kits and from there I added another set of 48″ panels, several 24″ shelves, a couple 35″ shelves and a series of 4″ & 8″ drawers.  We had amicably divided up the closet space the night before and hopefully the solution we came up with will give our clothes a happy, effective, place to live.

I brought all the boxes in and read through the directions.  Seemed simple enough.  First thing up I marked a level line at about 76″ off the floor (84.5″ to the top of the vertical panels, minus 8.5″ or so).  I then marked where my vertical panels were going to go, as well as the location of all the studs on the wall.  Using my handy dandy drill I started hanging up the bent metal channel that would be the primary (read “only”) support for the entire system.  I screwed the channel into every stud, and for shits and giggles I used some of my handy dandy self drilling 75 lb. toggles at the end of each section, where they didn’t end on a stud.  The directions also said I should install a toggle bolt if a panel lands more than 3″ from a stud (2 places over the 12′ of my system).

Once the channel was installed I put together the drawers.  A tedious job but fairly simple.  the directions were easy to follow.

I then installed the 72″ x 24″ center section.  I screwed two shelves to the unit and the stood it upright.  With a little help I lifted it into place, the metal wall support rail fitting into a groove cut in the vertical panels.  I wonder how strong this is but it looks okay and I hadn’t heard anything bad about it in the online reviews.  I’d think if people had been killed by the system falling off I’d have heard about it.  Below the center section I mounted a support cleat under the bottom shelf and added my own screw just for added security.

I then hung the 48″ panels.  I decided to bolt the end panels to my wing walls for added security.  Before I could do that I needed to screw in all the shelves, then hang the unit and slide it into the corner.  By screwing all the shelves to the verticals instead of just letting the  shelves sit on pins I feel the system will be more secure.  We don’t need adjustable shelves and I worry about a shelf falling off and killing someone by accident.  Once slid into the corner I used some black oxide cabinet screws to attach the unit to the wall.  Finally I installed the clothes rods and the remainder of the shelves, once again screwing everything together.  I may add some more cleats just for more piece of mind but overall it seems relatively solid.  I filled my half with clothes today and it looks great.

So this was not on our plan of things to get done or finished but out of necessity it is done sooner rather than later.  And we’re really happy with the results.  Now it’s back to work and all the other stuff.  No worries, I have plenty left on my list to do.

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