How to Install Closetmaid Wire Shelving

When it comes to storage space in your home, most people can never have enough. However, often times it is not an issue of space, but rather a lack of efficient organization to utilize existing space.

Wire organizers made by Closetmaid come in a variety of styles to create a system of shelves, baskets, drawers and supports that screw together to maximize space and help you organize any room or closet.

Most people think of these type of adjustable organization systems as going strictly in closets however, they are just as useful in a garage setting with lots of attachments available to hold canned drinks, rakes, shovels and any type of tool with a long handle.They allow for flexibility to place a shelf up high to go around or under an obstruction in the wall. The adjustable shelves allow you to maximize space by only taking up enough height per shelf to accommodate the contents of that shelf.

Closetmaid offers prepackaged organizers for certain types of rooms or specific needs, such as a guestroom, a laundry room or a kitchen pantry. If your needs are more limited, they also provide individual shelving and drawers that you can mix and match to create your own limited design. This particular brand even provide installation instructions and videos, and a tool on their website so that you can visualize your design before you purchase the pieces.

The only materials you will need are the wire shelves and the hanging hardware and screws sold separately or in a kit with the shelves.  If the area of installation falls between two standard shelf lengths you can buy it longer and cut it with bolt cutter or a hacksaw. When cutting, make sure you leave enough on the end to hold a plastic end caps which will cover the rough open end you just cut.

ClosetMaid 5' to 8' Adjustable Shelf Track Closet Organizer
Amazon Price: $159.99 $119.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 15, 2015)

Installing a Wire Shelf Storage System

Begin by clearing out the area where you will be working. Examine the walls where the shelves will go and perform any maintenance repairs before you begin any shelving work. If you need to patch any drywall, sand it lightly, the prime and paint it with a matching color. This is particularly important if the shelving system will be going inside your home. 

However, if you are installing shelves in the garage and you think most marks will be covered by items stored on the shelves, it may not be necessary to paint over the garage walls. You have to be the judge on that.

The only tools you will need for this project are a power drill, a tape measure, a 48 inch level, a stud finder, a hammer and a Philips head screwdriver.

  1. Mark the location of the studs on the wall first using a stud finder. You can also knock along the wall with your knuckle and listen to the difference in sounds, but I have never had any confidence in that method. If you are installing the shelving system in a brick or concrete wall, you can skip this step. Simply measure the distance between the holes in the hang track and drill into the masonry to install plastic anchors for the mounting screws.
  2. Once you find the first stud, measure out to find the others, either 16 inches or 24 inches on center for each neighboring stud.
  3. A hanging track is used at the top running parallel to the ceiling, or at any desired height really as long as you screw it into the studs at the openings in the track. To begin, only drive the center screw of the track for now.  If you are going to be placing heavy items on the shelves, it is advised to start the hanger at the higher point of the wall and screw it into the top plate of the wall framing that runs the length of the wall.
  4. Since you only drove the center most screw in the track, you can now make sure it is level using a 48” level tool. You cannot rely on the ceiling being a guide because it may be out of level.  It the ceiling interferes with leveling the hanging track, remove the screw and drop it about ½ before proceeding again. Once the track is level, drive the remaining screws in place in the wall studs.
  5. Next, hang the shelf standards, the long rods that the shelving brackets will go into, from the hanging track by inserting them over the rim of the track. Generally, the standards should be no more than 24 inches apart and should be placed over wall studs whenever possible.  If that is not possible, use a toggle bolt for drywall to hold it in place.
  6. Before screwing standards in place, verify it is plumb by holding a level next to it vertically, then drive the screws in place.
  7. Now that all of the standards are in place you can install the hanger bars, the arms that will hold the wire shelves in place horizontally. Put small arms on the back of the hanger into the slots in the standard then push down until they snap in place.
  8. Place wire shelves on the hanger bars and secure them in place.
  9. Place end caps on the explore end of each shelf.
  10. If your new shelving system is going to be used as a closet, hang a bar support along the wire shelves and lock them in place. Lay the clothes bar in place in the hooks.
  11. If your design includes an hanging baskets, clip them to the wire shelf using the hardware provided.
  12. Some designs have floor based drawer baskets that slide in and out like a normal drawer. Clip them in place on the wire frame following the manufacturer’s instructions.
How to Install Closetmaid Wire Shelving
ClosetMaid 5636 SuperSlide Closet Organizer, 5-8-Feet, White
Amazon Price: $59.99 $51.43 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 15, 2015)

Final Thoughts

How to Install Closetmaid Wire Shelving

Closetmaid designs are the best way to organize your cluttered home. If you have specific needs in a pantry, garage or bedroom closet, there is a custom solution for your needs. Their website even provides a design tool to do a mock up of your room and the type of system you want.

Wire shelving is inexpensive and can be installed in less than an afternoon depending on the size of the project. The only thing you need is a good stud finder and drill.

Once you have the hanger track leveled and secured in place, the rest of the project should go smoothly. The hardest part of the entire project may be deciding on what clothes or other items to keep and which to throw out as you become more organized.

Install Wire Shelving