How to Install Closet Shelving

Removing the hanging rod and installing additional shelves will allow this closet to hold a lot more than clothes and Christmas ornaments. Since the room is being converted into a home office, the closet was modified to store a file cabinet and office supplies.

The shelves are made from 1”x 12” composite material with 1”x 2” cleats attached to the walls at each end and along the length of the shelves.

Start by measuring the width and depth of the closet.

Next, cut the shelving material to size.

Cut the cleats to length, remembering to subtract the thickness of the end cleats from the length of the back piece.

The shelving components are primed and painted in advance outside to save time and cut down on any mess.

Mark the height for the top of each cleat.

Use a level to draw lines for the cleats.

A stud finder is used to locate and mark the wall studs at the top of the cleat lines.

The cleats are nailed to the studs with the top flush with the lines.

Set the shelves in place on top of the cleats.

If additional support is needed to keep the shelves from sagging, install a center bracket under each shelf. Another option to increase shelf support is to glue and nail a 1”x 2” strip to the front of each shelf.


  1. I’m 65 year old granny, If you open my front door take about 7 steps open a door go upstairs to unfinished attic about 450 sq.ft. it does have wood floor with insulation in it. I think I need to have more insulation blown in? How do I make the floor strong enough for heavy furniture? It’ all open with 2×4’s (i can make the ceiling as high as 13ft. How do I make a closet with shelves and insulate it. Hope i didn,t confuse you. HELP———-thanks a lot for any info.I can’t afford to have it done so I’ll try to it myself. Leola

  2. So simple, but very effective indeed. We get alot of inquiries from people with domestic applications.
    Will link to this blog, as it is very useful for the DIY home renovator.

  3. Can I still use this technique if I only have one corner to work with and the other side will be open? The shelving will not go from one wall to another wall. Or do I have to put something on the end to help stabilize it better?

    • Hi, Jeanine,
      The shelves will need the three cleats’ support (from the back and both sides) to handle the kind of heavy items that Danny mentions in this video. We recommend using this technique as shown in the video.
      Thanks for your question!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here