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When it comes to putting stuff on your walls, sometimes it just sounds like a little more work than it’s worth.

Some people are content to just use their walls to hang paintings and posters, but there’s a lot of potential up there for shelving, storage, and decoration! You just have to work up the motivation (and maybe the courage) to get a little handy with some shelf brackets.

But trust us, it isn’t as bad as you might think! In fact, here’s five easy things to keep in mind to help make the process as painless as it can be:

 

Use The Right Kind Of Nails & Anchors
Depending on the kind of material your walls are made from, you’re going to need to check for the right kind of nails and anchors to use to hold your shelf brackets. If your walls are drywall, your shelf brackets will be better supported by heavy-duty drywall-specific anchors made of steel or aluminum as opposed to the plastic anchors favored by lighter types of wall material (like thin woods). Find out what your walls are made out of and figure out what anchors will best support your shelves.

 

Screw All Your Drill Holes BEFORE Hanging The Brackets
You’d be surprised how many people think they can just brute-force the screws into place after they hang the bracket, but this is a recipe for disaster. Place your shelves where you’re expecting to hang them, take some careful measurements, clearly mark each anchor point, and drill away. This will protect the integrity of your wall and make the actual hanging much easier when you need to put the shelves up.

 

Mark The Tape, Not Your Wall
When checking for studs and marking where the shelves are going to go, it’s a much cleaner solution to use painter’s tape (or “delicate duty” masking tape) instead of drawing right on the wall. Block the intended area for the bracket off with tape, and do all measurements and marking on the tape to prevent leaving permanent blemishes on painted walls. (Or, at least blemishes other than the drill holes.)

 

Use A Laser For Levelling
While lasers may never quite be as exciting in real life as they are in Star Wars (although it’s fair to say these lasers are much safer), they can still come in handy when hanging up shelf brackets. Rent, buy, or borrow a self-levelling laser (or any kind of laser that projects a straight, consistent horizontal line) and use it to line up any marks you make or measurements you take to keep everything as even and level as possible. Imagine how frustrated you’re going to be if you finally get everything measured, drilled, and installed, and one of your brackets is a little uneven? This is a good way to prevent that.

 

Keep An Eye On Weight Limits And Installation Instructions
Finally, it’s a simple task but it bears repeating: make sure to follow all given weight limits and mounting instructions. We know, we know, you know how to use shelves, but ignoring weight limits can cause huge problems and potential injury to anyone unfortunate enough to be sitting underneath the shelf when it finally gives up. Make sure to factor in your shelves to this weight limit as well, and decorate accordingly. Your books and family photos will be glad you did.

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