Consumer Reports tests at-home closet organizer kits


Plenty of do-it-yourself kits promise to provide the rods, shelves, and drawers you need to turn chaos into order. Consumer Reports tested several closet organizers, priced from under $100 to more than $500.

They looked at five closet organizers and found building the Ikea system to be maddening, right down to the sticky drawers.

Swedish police were called to a home to handle a loud domestic dispute, and it turned out the couple was struggling to build Ikea furniture!

Testers at Consumer Reports were not surprised.

"This experience was really frustrating, and we're both engineers," said Consumer Reports' Pat Slaven.

Ikea's $170 Algot system took almost three hours to build, partly because the measurements in the instructions were off by half an inch. It didn't help that the product did not come with the 39 screws it calls for to put the system together.

"They also don't mention that you might need anchors to fasten it to sheetrock. If you put the system up with just screws and then put a load on it, it might come right off of the wall," Slaven said.

Instead, Consumer Reports says save your sanity and splurge on the Platinum Elfa Reach-In system, from The Container Store for $475.

It took just 35 minutes to build, and the drawers glide smoothly.

Not looking to pay top dollar? Rubbermaid's HomeFree closet organizer from Lowe's costs $156 and took just over an hour to build.

The downfalls with this product are that some of the edges are unfinished, and there's a gap where the bottom of the drawer should meet the front. There are a couple things testers would change, but not fatal flaws if you want to straighten out your mess for less.

Consumer Reports says no matter which closet organizer system you choose, there's a key step to installation -- determine where the studs are in your closet wall before you start working, so the shelves can be firmly attached.

Find Patricia on Facebook at ABC13PatriciaLopez or on Twitter at @patricialopez13

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