Sunday, May 13, 2012

More Clothes, More Closet!

About a month back, my boyfriend P and I decided it was time to move in together. But that meant that we would have a lot more clothes! We live in a one bedroom apartment, with a standard closet, measuring 8'W x 9' H x 1.5'D. Here is what the existing closet had for hanging space:

We had one hanging rod, at about 6' above the floor. With no secondary closets in the entire apartment, we needed to solve this. We went to the local hardware store, picked up the supplies for an extra shelf and hanging bar, as well as, all of the systems to properly hook it into the wall.

I now wish that I had taken pictures of all of our fails, but I don't, so let me explain what we did. First we removed the existing shelf and hanging bar. Then we moved it up to 7' from the floor, using plastic molly's, and screws to secure the shelf, then to test it, we started hanging up the clothes... and then the shelf started falling out of the wall. This was incredibly frustrating!

So we went back to the hardware store, and asked what to do. We needed to get different supports for the shelving that attached to the back of the closet. This support was of course only made in a 3'-6" span, or a 9' span. The smaller was much too small, even if we put in two, and the second was about a foot too wide. So we bought a hack saw, and the larger shelf. With that we also bought hardcore drywall anchors, and a stud finder. (P thought this was for him!)

Then we got back to work. Now, because the drywall was weakened from the plastic mollies ripping out, we had to move the shelf another 6" up from the floor, making it 7'-6" from the floor, all said and done. We searched for the studs, but as we live in an old historic building that was never supposed to be living space, the closets weren't framed out with the studs set the way we see them now. We were a bit nervous about not being able to anchor into the stud, but since we had the drywall anchors that say then hold up to 75lbs/anchor, we went ahead.

After measuring, drilling in the anchors, screwing in the back support rail, and putting up the vertical pieces for the shelf to hook into, we did just that. We put up the shelf and bar, and tried again to hang clothes on it. It held! we put of the secondary shelf 3' below the top shelf, putting it at 4'-6" from the floor, and centered in the closet. This self is only 4' wide, so that we could add some hanging shelves on either side, hanging from the top rack.

When I previously stated that "it held" didn't! Well it did, but only for 2 days. This time everything hooked into the wall, with the heavy duty drywall anchors, remained in the wall. But the vertical supports, hooking into that, maneuvered themselves out of the back support. UGH! We realized that we needed to anchor-in these supports as well, instead of just screwing them in. Luckily, since nothing ripped out of the wall, we didn't have to start over completely again.

Here we were able to use the plastic mollies, as this area wasn't holding the bulk of the weight of the closet. We screwed everything back into place, and re-hung all of our clothing again. Then after several days of it still standing, we hung the shelves on either end. After it hung for a full week, we celebrated!

The good news is, now we know how to do it right, if ever we have to do it again, and all of you can learn from my mistakes!

Best of all, we can fit all of our hanging clothes, and we have storage space for all of our off season bedding, and linens to go!!  Here's how it looks now:

Overall, it makes a considerable difference, and it is still standing one month later (knock on wood!). Over the next several weeks, I will be showing you all of the little things we had to do, in order for the two of us, and all of our stuff, to fit under the same roof!

Happy Designing, and as always, be sure to comment with any questions!


  1. LOL!! Congrats - on co-habiting AND mastering the closet.

  2. Glad you won the closet war! Nice job. g