How To Install a DIY Rubbermaid Closet Organizer

Rubbermaid closet organizer systems come in various kits such as the HomeFree series, FastTrack and the Configurations closet systems.

Installing any kind of organizer can be tricky especially if you have no handyman skills or have never installed anything before. Here is a tutorial thanks to Rubbermaid that I will try to simplify to make it easier on you. There is a video to follow to help you as well.

First your gonna need to clean out your closet completely. This is would be a great time to rid of any clothing that doesn’t fit, is worn out, or just plain out of style. A good rule of thumb is “if you have not worn it in a year it’s time to clear“, catchy huh? Donate to local charity organizations or sell them in a yard sale or online at places like Ebay or Craigslist.

Installation

Remove any hardware or old wall system from the closet using either a screwdriver or a power drill (recommended) if you have one. A hammer may be needed to remove any nails or stubborn hardware that won’t come out easily. Spackle any holes left over from the removal process and sand them flat once they dry for painting purposes.

Next you need the following tools:

  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Power drill and drill bits (1/8″ and 3/8″)
  • Hammer
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall anchors
  • pencil
  • paint, spackle and putty knife

Tip: You will want to fix or repair any holes left by another closet system so now is a good time to repair. Then paint the closet before you install your new system.

Rubbermaid closet systems come in many options and styles that usually contain the following:

    • hang rails
    • upright tracks
    • shelving
    • hang rods and drawers or baskets

1. MEASURE & MARK

First you want to “measure and mark” the extendable hang rails. This will allow you to see where you want the closet system to be mounted. Using the stud finder locate the studs.

They are usually set 16 inches apart.  Mark the locations of the studs 86 1/2 inches above the floor. Use the level to be sure the marks are straight. Then draw a line horizontally to connect the marks. The hang rails will overlap to shorten or lengthen according to your closet size.

2. MOUNT HANG RAILS

Next hang the rails and upright tracks. Using the line you drew as a guide, hold the hang rail up against it and make sure it is level. Then every time the hole in the rail matches up with the stud marks you made drill a 1/8″ pilot hole in the rail holes that corresponds with it as your guide.

Tip: If there are no studs within 4 inches of the corner then drill a hole for a drywall anchor screw.

Drywall anchor installation:

You need to mark and drill a 3/8 inch “wall anchor” hole in the second hole on the left side of the hang rail. Gently hammer the wall anchor till it is flush with the wall. Then insert the key to the anchor to engage it.

Watch this quick video on installing shelving with drywall anchors!

Now slide the hang rails over top of each other to get the desired length you want by matching the holes up.

Once you determine where the stud is on the right side of the rail insert screws into studs or drywall anchor for secure fastening.

Note: Screws will need to be secured through each rail into the stud and can be spaced no more than 24 inches.

3. HANG UPRIGHT TRACKS

Slide the upright tracks over the hang rails on the right and left sides 2 inches away from the corners.

Tip: Use the plastic rail cover as a spacer to mark two inches with. It is 2 inches long.

Mark the position of the lowest upright hole and fasten it using a screw or drywall anchor (if there is no stud 4″ away from end).

You need to measure 22 inches from the left vertical hang rail and continue this process for every hand rail until you get all your desired rails mounted.

Helpful tip: continue on the end that is more accessible (right or left). For example start on the left side if that is the side you can access easier or vice versa for the right.

You will want to cover the hang rails with the supplied plastic covers for safety from the edges. Cut to fit with scissors.

4. Bracket and Shelving Installation

Place the brackets and shelves into the upright where you want them. Start at the top and work your way down. Make sure the bracket locks are “unlocked.”

Note: You cannot use the top two slots of the upright track as the brackets WILL NOT fit. Because of weight concerns the “bottom two slots” should also NOT be used.

You want to make sure the “nose” of the brackets are coming through the front shelf edge.

Once you have your shelves and brackets in place “slide” the supplied lock so they can be secured. You will hear a “snap” which tells you shelves are secured and locked

5. INSTALL ADJUSTABLE CLOSET RODS

Attach closet rod brackets below closet shelving. Then slide rod onto bracket and tilt it back till it locks into place. Put end caps on both ends of the rod for decoration and safety.

Once the closet rods are at your desired length, put them into the rod hangers and press down to snap them in place.

Note: Do not extend the rod more than 3″ past the rod hanger.


Watch this video on wire closet system installation by Lowe’s

The following are accessories you can purchase to add to your closet system later:

  • Shoe rods
  • Shoe shelving (adjustable)
  • Sliding pants rack
  • Sliding basket
  • Tie and belt organizer

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is needed to be able to install a Rubbermaid closet system?

It is designed to be fairly easy for anyone to install. However I will tell you from personal experience that if you have no knowledge or handy skills around the house you may have a little difficulty. DIY projects can be time consuming and tricky if you have no experience with measuring, drilling or putting things together. You will however need a drill, screwdriver, hammer, stud finder and level at the very least.

What’s in the box?

Everything you will need minus the tools. All the hardware, instruction sheets and the closet system you purchased.

What if there are some parts missing when I get it home?

This rarely happens but it does happen on occasion. You will have to contact the retailer you purchased from and send the entire package back. This is why it is always best to “CHECK THE CONTENTS” off against the parts list that comes in the box. Be sure you have everything before you start installation otherwise you may be really frustrated if you have to take down something you already started assembling.

What if the hang rail height is too high for me?

No problem! The instructions are a general guideline for installation. If you are shorter than average the drop the hang rail down 4-6 inches so you can easily reach the rod and shelving above.

What is the recommended distance between vertical uprights to be hung?

Rubbermaid recommends they be installed 22″ apart (from inside to inside)

Can I purchase add on shelving, rods and brackets if needed?

You can buy shelving as kits to be added if you need them. You cannot buy rods online however, you can find pieces in your local Lowe’s store to add should you need them. They are called HomeFree Series in Lowe’s stores.

Can I expand the closet system after installation?

Yes it can be expanded by purchasing additional vertical upright extensions. They are used to extend an existing track and allow additional shelving and accessories to be attached.

What is the depth of the shelving?

The shelves are all 12″ deep

What’s the difference in HomeFree Series and Classic Configurations?

It is the same thing. The HomeFree Series is exclusive only to Lowe’s. It cannot be bought online at Rubbermaid.com

Can Homefree accessories work with Classic Configurations and vice versa?

Absolutely, they are interchangeable

What are the weight limits for each kit?

Rubbermaid asks you to contact them direct regarding weight limits. You can call them at 888-895-2110

TIPS

  • Once you have your closet organizing system set up to your liking you can begin to put your items back into the closet in their desired location.
  • Make sure you arrange like items together so they are not only easy to locate but also difficult to misplace.
  • Closet organizing ideas are paramount to a clean and clutter free closet. Knowing how to organize your closet is a major step in the maintenance that comes with closet organizing systems.
  • Consider utilizing clear storage cubes or boxes with labels to better store certain smaller or seasonal items.
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