Consumer Reports: Closet Organizers for Spring Cleaning

With spring cleaning just around the corner, you may be vowing to straighten out your messy closets. Plenty of do-it-yourself kits promise to provide the rods, shelves, and drawers you need to turn chaos into order. Consumer Reports tested 5 closet organizers, priced from under $100 to more than $500.

Building Ikea’s $170 Algot system proved maddening. It took almost three hours to build, partly because the measurements in the instructions were off by half an inch. And it didn’t come with the 39 screws it calls for to put the system together! There was no mention that you might need anchors to fasten it to sheetrock. Consumer Reports experts say that If you put the system up with just screws and then put a load on it, it might come right off of the wall.

NBC 5 reached out to IKEA about the Consumer Reports testing, this was the company’s response:

We appreciate the feedback about our ALGOT product and are listening to our customers.
Right now, we are in the process of updating our buying guide and will have it in stores May 1.

As for the instructions in the wall uprights, we have the cm to inches conversion now rounding to the 1/8”. Before it was rounding to the ¼” and, instead of the section with the 23 5/8” shelf saying that, it said 23 ½” which over a span of 3 sections causing the measurements to be off.

The buying guide is also now clearer regarding the wall fittings. Like all the other products we sell, we don’t include the screws or wall anchors with the product. (However, we are now in the process of ordering specially counted/sized screws and wall anchors that we can sell so customers can pick the number of packs needed to mount the number of sections they buy, making it easy and convenient.)

About IKEA:
At IKEA, we stand behind our products. Any consumer having difficulty with the assembly or functionality of a product should report it to their store location. We are happy to offer to exchange or do a credit or refund.

The in store and web communication has the following disclaimer:

Different wall materials require different types of fasteners. Use fasteners suitable for the walls in your home (not included).
Be aware that different wall materials are able to support different loads of weight. For instance, walls made of drywall cannot support as much weight as walls made of wood, concrete or brick.
If you are uncertain about what type of mounting devices to use, please contact your local hardware store.
Only for indoor use.

When we see negative quality trends on a specific product, our internal process involves reporting the product to our Quality and Safety team at IKEA of Sweden. From there, a thorough investigation is conducted with the manufacturer.

Mona Astra Liss
IKEA North America Services, LLC

The best closet system Consumer Reports tested is the Elfa Platinum 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? The Rubbermaid HomeFree from Lowe’s cost $156 and took just over an hour to build. But some of the edges are unfinished, and there’s a gap where the bottom of the drawer should meet the front. A bit sloppy 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.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

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