Closets can come in various shapes and sizes, so knowing the standard closet dimensions is definitely going to help you choose the right one.
If you ask any interior designer which closet to go for, they might become all philosophical and tell you that closets are more than simple storage solutions.
But they aren’t wrong. A closet is often the focal point of the room, and also the piece that takes up most space. Yet, since interior design isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it’s no wonder that most people tend to misuse closets.
In most cases, all of the stress and tension come alive once you decide to get a new closet. Imagine walking into a woodworking shop or Ikea. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you see all the different kinds of wardrobes and dressers that you know nothing about.
So, today, I’m going to explain the standard closet dimensions. On top of that, I’ll dedicate a few paragraphs to showing you how to use every bit of closet space more wisely.
What Types of Closets Are There?
The Glamorous Walk-In
I would be lying if I said I have never dreamed of a closet the size of a whole room. But, there’s a reason these closets are mostly movie-star assets. A walk-in closet should be at least 4 by 4 feet to allow for a wide enough passage (at least 24 inches). The more space you have — the better.
Obviously, walk-ins are not a space-saving solution. However, if you have an extra room that you don’t know what to do with, consider transforming it into a stunning walk-in closet.
Reach Deeply In
Unlike walk-in closets, reach-in wardrobes are, ironically, not always that easy to reach in. What you get with a reach-in closet is depth, so some of them are configured to store coats and can be even up to 28 inches deep.
The standard depth and length are 24 and 48 inches. The return walls, which extend from the side walls to the door, should be 12 inches or less.
When the return walls are too long, you might find it hard to grab onto the last hanging piece in a reach-in closet. Nevertheless, if you need a deep and tall storage option for all your winter clothing, then this type of closet should still be the one to aim for.
Keep in mind that there are also subtypes of reach-in closets. One of them is the linen closet, which you can use to store blankets and sheets. The utility closet is also a reach-in closet that stores basically all essential household items aside from clothes. There are also pantries that serve their function as kitchenware, food, and beverage keepers.
Besides depth, other features reach-in closets boast with are the numerous shelves and drawers that make this type of closet an even more efficient storage solution.
The Classy Armoires
In my opinion, the armoire is the classiest type of closet there is. The fine details in carved wood add to the rustic look of this wardrobe, making it the perfect choice for vintage lovers. On top of that, the quality of these pieces is often unmatched.
You can have these wardrobes custom-made and tailored to your needs. The recommended depth is 24 inches, but you can make the armoire only 20 inches deep if you don’t have much room.
Another advantage of the armoire is that, unlike a closet, you can move it around. However, repurposing it could be a tough task since you might need to change the whole setup of the wardrobe.
Clothes Racks and High Hangers
For those of you who prefer hanging their clothes rather than stacking the shelves with them, hangers are the best option. There are different formats of high hangers, depending on whether you want to have one or two rods. It’s a standard to have one rod higher than the other. There are also mid-rod solutions if you’re aiming for height.
The best way to save up on space is to get clothes racks that can expand both horizontally and vertically. Wheels are also a desirable add-on so that you can quickly move your clothes around. Plus, this way, you can use your clothes as decoration. How great is that?
How To Choose The Right Dimensions
Before you start your closet hunt, make sure to know what you are looking for. Buying that perfect dream-come-true wardrobe only to find out it doesn’t fit in the room won’t do you any good. This might sound like common sense, but there is a surprising number of people who buy furniture without previously taking measurements!
The optimal way to measure the space is to get some graph paper and make a technical drawing with the height and width of every corner (receptacles matter, too). Also, consider using a protractor or bevel to check whether the walls are standing straight.
Take special note of peculiar wall decorations such as moldings, or any kind of wall damage. Every detail is essential if you wish to truly use your space efficiently and make the most of your closet.
What to Avoid
Although they might be practical for storing winter clothes, deep reach-in closets should be avoided for everyday use. There’s a reason they are called “cave closets.”
Roofline closets are also impractical due to them having a shortened wall, which makes them lose in depth.
What to Opt For
● Plywood Is a Space-Saver
There are ways to save up on space even when you think all hope is lost, and when clutter seems inevitable. The solution that will rid you of worry lies in just one word — plywood.
It’s incredible how plywood shelves can be easily added or moved. Once you install a plywood closet, you can insert as many shelves and rods as you wish by merely nailing a few of them into the plywood.
● Bifolds and Sliders
These are especially reasonable solutions for cluttered homes. Sometimes, just opening the closet door takes up too much space, which is why doors with double folding or sliding features are a must-have for optimizing your use of space. Even if you have plenty of room, consider these types of doors — they are simply more convenient.
● Adjust and Expand
In case you’re expecting some changes that might require you to think ahead (such as new additions to the family), you might want to stay flexible.
Luckily, there are adjustable closets like the ones from Rubbermaid that you can design and change according to your liking. If you wish to store more stuff in the future, then it would be wise to consider expandability. Additional shelves and rods can always come in handy.
Finally, remember that a home improvement project doesn’t have to be stressful. Don’t forget that choosing a closet is not something you have to do alone. Try asking interior designers and other experts for advice. Better yet, ask your family what they think and what they’d need the most!
The take-home message, in this case, should be:
- Do your research
- Ask for (professional) help
- Carefully plan the process out (by keeping in mind both your current and future needs)
It’s perfectly fine not to know how to measure out the space you have or what tools to use, so make sure not to go through this process alone. It might be just a closet, but some of the advice I’ve given you may go well beyond this particular topic.