How to Fix a Falling Closet

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Closets are important storage areas; often they're the only built-in storage spaces in most homes. Often, closet maintenance is ignored over the years. When a closet's shelves or hanging rods begin to sag or fall, your much-needed storage space suddenly requires a fix. Simply reattaching or replacing supports, brackets or hanging rods are typically quick and inexpensive solutions.

Things You'll Need

  • Plywood or other wood
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Wooden support strips, 1 inch thick
  • Stud finder
  • Measuring tape
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Wood or metal closet rods
  • U-shape rod brackets
  • Additional support brackets (optional)

Closet Shelves

  • Remove the shelves you plan to replace. Measure the area from wall-to-wall and front-to-back of where each shelf will sit. Measure the exact surface to get the best fit when the shelves are put into place.

  • Mark the pattern for each measured shelf surface onto plywood or other desired wood. Use a thickness equal to or thicker than the original shelf for maximum support. Use a circular saw to cut the marked shelf patterns from the wood.

  • Remove and measure the shelf supports that need to be replaced. Measure the area where any additional support is needed along the back of the shelf, especially if lack of support was the cause of sagging or falling shelves. Keep in mind that side supports should extend the entire length of the sides of the shelves they will support unless a back support is also used. Allow for the side or back supports to be shorter in order to fit all supports flush to the wall corners.

  • Sand the wood pieces and paint as desired.

  • Use a stud finder to locate studs in the wall. Use a measuring tape and level to mark where the supports will be placed in the closet, or use the pattern left after removing the old supports as a guide.

  • Nail or screw the supports into place along the marked lines. Slide the shelves onto the supports.

Hanging Rods

  • Assess falling closet rods to decide whether you need to replace the rods, the rod brackets or both. Purchase and use larger-opening brackets if you plan to use a hanging rod of larger diameter.

  • Remove the hanging rods from the closet. Use a screwdriver to remove any brackets you intend to replace.

  • Use wood screws and a screwdriver to attach new brackets in the places where the old ones were. Attach the new brackets, with the U opening pointing upward, to the wooden side support on the wall of the closet, or attach them to a marked area where a stud is located behind the wall.

  • Screw additional support brackets to the underside of a shelf, or attach longer supports to the back of the closet along a wooden support piece or where a stud is located in the wall.

  • Slide new hanging rods into the U-shaped brackets and also over any additional supports you have added to the underside of the shelf or the back wall of the closet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lighten the load on your hanging rods by adding a second rod, about 4 feet off the floor, for shorter hanging items like pants and shorter shirts.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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