Suggestions for a deep closet

ecnyxApril 5, 2011

Hi All,

This is my first post on Gardenweb! Yay for me! I've been a lurker for awhile, but haven't found any posts that could help me with my current dilemma.

I need suggestions on how to utilize a 40inch deep by 76 inch width closet. It's too shallow to be a walk-in closet, but it's so deep it's awkward as a reach-in. And it's a shame to let that space just store "air". I've thought about converting it into a little walk-in, using the sides to hang clothes, and shelves on the backside, but it may make the closet look really small.

Suggestions? Ideas? Pictures? All appreciated!



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Your dimensions have confused me.

is this a wide closet?

Something like this? (maybe I drew the door in the wrong width or spot--I just slapped it in the middle.

Or is it skinny and deep?

Like this?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 7:14PM
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I'm assuming the first configuration.

I would put in something like a 16" shelf along the back and sides. The shelves don't need to fill the entire closet. The space in front could be used to put taller items like brooms, vacuums, etc. If you'd rather have a place for hanging clothes than a back wall shelf, you could do that too and still have side shelves. You need to plan a 24" width for hanging clothes.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 10:24AM
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ecnyx, we do need more information on the configuration and also on what you would most like to use it for if you could, and then next best options and so on. All of that determines whether to put in hanging rod, shelves, whatever. Also, how much do you want to let your imagination soar, or budget soar, or re-make the space? For example, if a space as in the first drawing had folding doors across the front, it could be a home office or sewiing center!

Maximum use of all the space might be ideal but is not always as important as really using it for something that helps in terms of right thing/right place or decompressing another more useful space.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 5:42PM
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Hi - we had a similar closet (diagram #1) issue in our last house and we had LOTS of clothes...

Here's what we did:
We put up (4) closet rods... (2) uppers, (2) lowers... We hung rods in the front and rods in the back, essentially doubling the size of the closet. At the time we lived in an area that had drastic seasons - both really hot and really cold. So - in summer, we would have all our summer gear on the front rods (both top and bottom) and all our winter clothes "hidden" on the back rods (both top and bottom). Once the season was over - I would swap out the rods.

It sounds like a lot of work - to swap clothes - but it really only took a few minutes. Also - it gave me the chance to go through everyone's stuff to put out for yard sales or to go to Goodwill. Nothing was ever really "lost" in the back of the closet for too long...

My hubby and I are currently remodeling our current home and putting in deep closets since the setup worked so well for us. Twice the storage space! We're not fans of the walk-in closet concept - it just seems like a lot of un-needed space.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Hi All,

Sorry for my delayed reply. It's been a rough week. Just spent the weekend on 'phase 1' of moving....

Thanks for the suggestions. The configuration is the first one, it is 76inch wide, and 40 inch deep.

I don't really have a set plan. This is my first condo, and I don't really have a lot of experience in interior design. I would like the closet to be properly utilized is all.
The tricky thing however, is that the closet has sliding doors. I want to change it to bi fold doors instead. How difficult would that be?

Anyway, one of my ideas, was to just put upper and lower rods along the back wall, then open shelving in the front half of the closet on the 2 walls, maybe about 14 inches? I attempted to show this in a picture (not really to scale, just illustrating idea). I know it's not really a great idea....
I don't mind spending some money to put the closet to better use. Maybe several hundred?

If there's any more input, I'm all ears!


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 2:37AM
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Going back to the questions--what do you want/need to put there? If you are planning a closet "design", that is the first question--do you have a lot of hanging clothes, if so are they long or short, do you need to house 40 prs of shoes, do you want to store luggage, or store sporting goods ? Are you going to have dressers and chests and linen closets for foldable things, or are you trying to keep rooms clear of these types of furnishings?

Once you have your vision of what you need to put in the closet, you might like to look at some Elfa stores, Container Store, Google closet design or closet makeover, browse a big bookstore for books on same--what that does is give you some great ideas about what is possible; helps you think, hmm, do I like shelves or cubbies or hanging things. You don't have to use one of those systems or do an elaborate closet thing, but it gets your creative ideas going.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 3:44PM
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I agree w/ Frankie, it would help to know what you need to store.

40" is deeper than a regular clothes closet by about 12 to 16 inches, but not deep enough for a second rod in the back (the only use for the 2nd rod in the back is out-of-season clothes, but that would be worth it!)

I have about 4" of extra space behind the clothes in my closet, and 4" of extra space in front of them. I have hooks along the back wall and along the front, and I hang stuff like the oversize tote bag and the lining to my coat in the back, and belts and bathrobes in the front.

If you put a wall of shelves along the back wall, you'd have to push the clothes out of the way to get to anything. So you wouldn't want anything big, or anything that you used frequently.

You *might* find it useful to put shoes in cubbie-like storage back there--though you'd need them every day, they're small.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 8:34AM
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I did this on the cheap. Before the closet had one shelf and a rod. Since this pic I added a shoe rack at the bottom (got one I could cut down with a pipe cutter) and the new door is on (but not painted). I don't know how small your condo is but good storage adds value in a condo and with a bit of creativity you don't have to spend a lot of money to add it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 11:47AM
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