Closet Shelving

8 Feb
shelving stacked

Shelving. And an iron. It makes sense later, I promise.

Rob and I share a closet. And not one of those grand, walk-in, almost-second-bedroom closets. A skinny, long closet with a single rail and two shelves and sliding doors that always block at least half of the space. It makes getting ready in the morning something of a challenge.

Anyway, to make things more fun, there’s this strange awkward bump-out on my side of the closet. Our best guess is that it conceals some sort of pipe or wiring, but who really knows? There’s nothing in the hall or the opposite bedroom to explain it. Anyway, I used to have this hanging Ikea storage sectional there, but I put too much stuff in it and it collapsed. So, I decided, something more sturdy, like shelving, was the way to go. Because finding shelving is easy, right?

This topic isn’t so much a DIY or Buy, exactly. It’s more a combo: By combining the powers of DIY and Buy, you too can put shelves in the awkward spaces in your home!

Challenge: Closet Shelving

So, the bump out left an open space that was precisely 10 ¼ by 11 ½ inches. Shelving too wide would interfere with my clothes hanging, and shelving too deep would be blocked by the closet opening’s trim.

There are no commercially prepared shelving units that are precisely 10 ¼ by 11 ½.

I looked for corner pieces, I looked for rectangular pieces, I considered those natural stone tiles that make for awesome bathroom floors. I wandered Home Depot aimlessly for several minutes, looking quite lost, I’m sure. Finally, a kind woman pointed me in the direction of moulding. Moulding? Yes. There.

Turns out, you can buy long pieces of melamine-coated shelving, in varying widths and lengths. And they will cut them for you. For free. Eureka! A few cuts, a few hanging brackets, some edging tape, a few hearty “thank yous” and I was outta there. Total cost for 6 cut shelves (plus the leftovers): $13.74. Edging tape: $5.32. Shelf brackets: $28.29.

Compare that to Marthat Stewart’s 4 pack of melamine shelving (no brackets) for $22.93. The shelving plus tape saved me $3.87, plus I got two extra shelves. Not too bad. Plus, you know, the Martha shelves didn’t fit my space, and so I’d have had to cut them and pretty-up the edges with tape anyway.

That was the Buy. Now, for the DIY.

Because the shelves came from one long piece of shelving, and because I care what the edges look like, I decided to pretty-up the cut ends. That’s where the edging tape comes in. And, thankfully, this stuff is EASY to use. It goes like this:

ironing board with iron and a shelf-to-be

The iron should be on the hottest setting.

1) Heat your iron.

measure the edging tape

Measure, and err on the side of too long. Trust me.

2) Cut a piece of tape to size.

ironing on the edging tape

Iron slowly so the glue has time to really activate.

3) Place your tape on an edge. Iron.

using scissors to secure the edging

I used the palm of my hand once. From then on, I used scissors.

4) Use something to really press the hot tape onto the bare edge. A roller would work, as does the handle of your scissors. Do not use your hand. You will burn yourself. I am speaking from experience.

5) Trim along the edges.

Total time for 6 shelves: 15 minutes. Last but not least, once all your shelving is edged, hang the shelves. Measure and determine the spacing, mark your drill spots, drill your holes, screw in the brackets, add the shelving. Ta da.

the finished shelves

Ta Da!

These shelves are WAAAY sturdier than my hanging storage thing, and I was even able to put that fabric-covered box I made to use. It all works out in the end.

Any great storage/space saving tips you care to share? I could use all the help I can get on this topic.


One Response to “Closet Shelving”

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