I am excited to share my review of the Elfa Closet System. I was first introduced to Elfa closets when I helped my then fiancée, Burt, move out of his condo. I fell in love with his closet and could not believe he created the design himself. Though I loved the setup I was skeptical on it being useful because of the cost. But after using the same Elfa closet materials in four different homes I am convinced it is an excellent long term solution. In addition, two of the homes were rentals, so using a closet system which would not destroy the walls was important.
When we moved into our new house I had the foresight to document my husband changing our master bedroom closet. Please note that I am sharing with you a general process and I strongly encourage you to use the resources Elfa has on their site. Also I recently I became an affiliate for Elfa however I have used their closet system for almost nine years in various parts of our house. I am only recommending what I know has worked for us for a long time. Stay tuned to see the final results and find out about a great sale listed at the end.
Below is a picture of our master bedroom closet before the Elfa closet system install. It was a nice closet but the layout did not work us.
Here are the steps we took to install our Elfa closet system. And to clarify “we” I really mean my husband Burt did most of the work while I gave input and support. He enjoys setting up the shelves and I enjoy organizing, we make a great team!
Step 1. Measure your closet or storage area
Measure height, width, depth and even odd areas such area above the doorways. My husband was able to add an extra storage shelf above a doorway. Also consider drawing out your closet with the dimensions or use Elfa’s free design center (scroll down to “Design Your Own Reach-In Closet”).
Step 2. List your closet needs
List everything you need to store in your closet. Do you need room to hang long dresses and shirts? How about shoes? Do you need storage options as well? How about sweaters and belts?
One big need for our closet were drawers since many years ago we stopped using a dresser. Also I wanted an open area for my jewelry where I could easily see all my options.
Step 3. Plan, Design and Buy
You can design your closet in your PJs at home by going to Elfa’s site or visit the Container Store and their helpful staff can answer your questions (warning, there are a lot of amazing supplies at the store so this could be dangerous:). If you visit the store bring your closet measurements, rough sketch of your closet system and your budget. Also another decision is using white or plantinum shelving and any wood trim options. White shelving was our choice because of cost. When at the store we erred on the side of caution by purchasing extra supplies since there is no Container Store nearby.
Step 4. Install tracks and standards
As I mentioned before Elfa has an installation guide which can walk you through the process. Also you can pay for your closet system to be installed as well however I can not vouch for the installation since we always did it ourselves.
First step is installing Elfa’s easy hang top tracks which will eventually hold the vertical standards for the closet system. Elfa sells special wall anchors if the track is not screwed into the stud. If the top track was to long Burt used a hacksaw to shorten the track.
You can cover the track with this cover if you prefer a clean look.
Next, place Elfa’s easy hang standards on the top track to hold your shelves or any other closet components. Make sure you insert all of the standards you will need. Otherwise you will need to uninstall some of your shelves if you need to add a standard.
5. Install your shelves and closet components
Install the very top item on your closet system which for us was the ventilated wire shelf, shelf bracket, closest rod holder and rod. If you wish to prevent any small items falling through the wires consider using the translucent wire shelf liners. I used the liners for my jewelry and sweaters. You can also use basket shelves with dividers to store socks or other small items.
Work your way from the top – down and install any lower shelves or closet components.
Now working from left to right start the process again in the next section. Install the shelves and components going from top to bottom. You can see Burt installed hanging mesh drawers which replaced our dresser. If you prefer a different look Elfa also sells translucent drawers with wood frames.
Here is the final product, a closet that works for us. For my jewelry Burt used the Elfa Utility Wall Board, utility hooks, utility board hooks, utility board boxes and shelf hooks. Many years ago I thought about a jewelry box but this setup is better, I love being able to see all of my options at one time! This utility wall board also works great for craft rooms and garages. At the end of this post I have additional photos of the closet.
Giving an honest review of the Elfa Closet system, one of my least favorite items is the valet hook. I love its function however we have broken two of them trying to install it on our shelves. When it does work it is nice being able to hang your clothes out for the next day. Also popping the shelves into the shelf brackets takes a little practice but once it is in place the shelves are very sturdy. My son thought it was funny to climb the shelves and it held his weight while I ran over and grabbed him.
The downside of Elfa is the cost. Being up front you can create your own closet system using other systems however the quality will not be the same nor will the options. Over time we have budgeted and saved allowing us to add to our Elfa closet system supplies. We have used our Elfa closet system in our bedroom, kids closet, garages, offices and my desk. Its versatility has allowed us to meet our organization needs anywhere in our garage and home.
But I have good news! Elfa is 30% off from now until February 28, 2017! This is an annual sale and is a great time to start organizing that one area of your house that drives you crazy. My office closet is next on our list.
So what area of your house or garage would you love to use a closet system? Let me know in the comments below.