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When you build shelves in a closet you expand its storage capacity. Adding wood or laminate melamine shelves to a closet or linen cabinet increases room for towels, odds and ends and other things. This project is not difficult if you have the right tools and parts. You’ll need four long metal shelf slot brackets, those long metal strips with slots for shelf pins, and boards to use as shelving.

Step 1. Clean out the closet. Remove all linens and towels from your linen closet and take down the existing shelves by unscrewing any brackets or shelf cleats with your screwdriver. Patch all holes in your walls with regular spackling and a scraper. Let the spackling dry for 4 to 6 hours.

Step 2. Install two shelf-mounting brackets — each a long metal strip with slots along the front — 10 to 12 inches apart on each side wall with the bottom of the each bracket 16 inches from the floor. To install the brackets, set the first on a side wall in position and mark the location of the mounting holes on the wall with a pencil. Drill out a pilot hole with a 1/4-inch bit for a #8 to #10 drywall anchor at each mark, and tap the anchor in the hole.

Step 3. Set the bracket back on the wall so the mounting holes line up with the anchors and drill a #8 screw through each hole and into the anchor. Repeat this process for each mounting bracket so you have two brackets on each side wall, both perfectly level.

Step 4. Set the shelf pins into the shelf-mounting bracket at equal distances along the bracket. Shelf pins are small brackets that hold the shelves in place. Use the level to ensure the shelf pins are perfectly straight.

Step 5. Measure the width of the closet, and subtract an inch to account for the shelf pins, with a tape measure. Or, simply measure the distance between the two shelving pins on the closet’s side walls, as either way works fine. This is to find the length for each shelf. Cut laminated shelving boards to this measurement, one for each set of shelf pins, and fit them one at a time into place on the shelf pins. Do not measure the total distance between each side wall,wall; take into account the width of each bracket.

Step 6. Adjust the shelves as needed by removing the laminated shelf board from the shelf pins, and moving the shelving pins to another notch in the shelf bracket.

Materials List:

  • Screwdriver
  • Spackling
  • Scraper (plastic or metal)
  • Electronic stud finder
  • Ruler
  • Adjustable shelf mounting brackets
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Drywall anchors
  • Shelving brackets
  • Tape measure
  • Power saw
  • Laminated shelving boards