What We Like
Easy to install shelving and clothing rods
Expands and adjusts to fit the space available
What We Don't Like
Anchors are difficult to install
Only one set of short clothing rods
Shelves bow with too much weight
Run the term “closet organizer” through your search engine of choice and you’re bound to run across the Rubbermaid Deluxe Closet Kit. On the hunt for a closet organizer that could accommodate the changing needs of our family, we found that Rubbermaid’s model offers configuration freedom that other similarly priced models just don’t. We were impressed with how we were able to customize our setup, building in both shelving and hanging spaces, but we did run into a few installation issues along the way. Read on for everything we discovered about the Rubbermaid closet kit after testing it out for a few weeks in our home.
Setup Process: Slow start, speedy end
My husband and I installed this closet organizer in our boys’ room. The closet measures 5 x 3 feet and had standard builder-grade shelving when we started. The kit fits 4- to 8-foot closets, so ours landed right in the middle of Rubbermaid’s range.
The process started by locating the closet’s studs and installing the top rail. My husband managed most of this on his own, but if we’d been installing both top rails to the full 8 feet, it would have taken one of us to hold the rail while the other marked and drilled the guide holes. As it was, the process took him about 15 to 20 minutes.
The whole [installation] process, including an unforeseen trip to the hardware store, took two and a half hours.
It was the next part, installing the upright extensions, that proved problematic. The kit includes wall anchors in case the screws cannot be installed directly into a stud. Well, ours didn’t line up with a stud, so wall anchors it was. The anchors are made of plastic and have to be pressed into a predrilled hole using an application device that’s included with the kit. To say they were difficult to place would be putting it mildly.
Once installed, the anchor was activated by perfectly centering the screw in a small hole at the back of the anchor. Trying to place a screw in a tiny hole that we couldn’t see wasn’t easy. Even when we’d gotten them correctly installed, the anchor didn’t hold the screw tight. After it took 30 minutes to install two anchors, one of which wouldn’t stay in place, and we realized we still had at least eight more to go, we opted for a trip to the hardware store to get different anchors, screws, and washers. After some research, it turns out we weren’t the only users who’d had this problem with the included hardware.
We used the new anchors, screws, and washers to install the upright extensions without a single hitch from then on out. With the upright extensions in place, hanging the shelves and clothing rods was simple and fast. The whole process, including an unforeseen trip to the hardware store, took two and a half hours. Without the trip to the hardware store, I think we could have had it up in an hour or so. My husband, who knows his way around a toolbox, was perfectly capable of installing this kit on his own. However, if you don’t have much installation experience, it will probably take two people—one to hold rails and extensions while the other measures, marks, and drills holes.
Design: An eye toward expansion
If you ignore the wall anchors, everything else about this kit is as versatile as possible. The top rail can expand to fit anywhere from 4 to 8 feet and it comes with plenty of upright extensions and extender pieces so you can install shelving from top to bottom if you want. If you need more, the kit is also compatible with others in the Rubbermaid Configuration line.
If you ignore the wall anchors, everything else about this kit is as versatile as possible.
The shelving and clothing rod brackets are about as easy to install as can be. They lock in place, but unlocking them is a cinch should you want to change the configuration. We tried this out a few times as we know we’re going to need to make a few adjustments as our boys grow and their storage needs change.
Customization: Let your imagination run wild
This is where the Rubbermaid closet kit really shines. The customization options are nearly endless, especially if you’re willing to buy an extra kit with additional upright extensions and shelves. You can place the shelves and clothing rods at whatever height suits your specific needs. For example, you could completely cover a wall with shelves or opt for a clothing rod across the entire length with shelves underneath. Rubbermaid also makes compatible wire drawers if you want to store shoes, socks, or other miscellaneous items.
Despite how customizable the kit is, we really could have used a few more instructional diagrams to spur some ideas. Though there are three diagrams per closet size on the box, they don’t offer specific instructions on how to replicate them. I will say, however, that once you understand the basics of how the setup works, it’s not hard to see how you could make changes to fit different closet configurations.
Despite how customizable the kit is, we really could have used a few more instructional diagrams to spur some ideas.
Price: Great for what you get
For a closet organizer that retails for roughly $150, the quality is good with solid top rail pieces and strong upright extensions. The wire shelves aren’t bad for the price, either, but we did double up on one shelf that held our boys’ wooden blocks. Granted we have a lot of blocks, the shelf bowed slightly until we added an extra unused shelf for additional support.
Competition: A standout among wire closet organizers
Everyone’s looking for the next best way to keep themselves organized, and closet kits are one answer. In our experience, we found that Rubbermaid’s kit offered exceptional value, outperforming organizers that cost 3x as much. While you can certainly find budget hanging organizers, like the Simple Houseware Organizer, for $15 or less, they offer little in the way of actual storage and are likely to break after a few months of use. On the other end of the spectrum, brands like ClosetMaid offer wooden models which have the upper hand on quality, but come with a much steeper price tag (roughly $450) and less configuration versatility. Due to the endless options for customization, the favorable price, and the fact that you can expand on what you already have by buying additional kits, we’d say Rubbermaid comes out on top.
Totally worth it if you don’t mind buying your own replacement hardware.
For the price, it’s hard to beat a sturdy frame and an adjustable configuration. The one thing you’ll have to watch out for is the anchors; they could give you problems and necessitate a trip to the hardware store. Once you have that handled, however, installation is a cinch and the organizer performs exactly as you’d expect.
- Product Name Configurations Deluxe Custom Closet Kit
- Product Brand Rubbermaid
- MPN FG3H8900TITNM
- Price $149.95
- Weight 43 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12.8 x 96 x 72 in.
- Color White or titanium
- What’s included 9 shelves (26 to 48 inches each), 2 top rails (48 inches), 19 brackets, 5 uprights (47.5 inches), 2 upright extensions (25 inches), 2 hanging rods