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Walk-In Closet Dimensions: A Guide to Walk-In Closets

Once upon a time, having a walk-in closet was considered something that only royalty and the upper class had, but now it is becoming a main feature attached to the master bedroom in many homes. Unsurprisingly, there are also several different layouts and designs that you can choose from if you have the space for it.

Walk-In Closet Dimensions A Guide to Walk-In Closets

For a standard walk-in closet, it is recommended to have between 5×7 to 7×10 feet to give yourself enough room to store your clothes. If you are looking to have three walls devoted to storage with space to dress and maybe even sit down, you should have at least 100 square feet to spare for this. Not to worry if you don’t have this much room, as a functional walk in closet.

Read more below as we go more in depth about different styles and options for layouts to make the most out of your walk-in closet.

How Much Room Do I Need For a Walk-In Closet?

As the name says, a walk-in closet is one that should have enough space for you to walk in comfortably and access your wardrobe easily. The smallest dimensions for an accessible walk-in closet should be 5×7 feet. Any smaller and it will feel a bit claustrophobic. Normally, walk-in closets are about 7×10 feet with an open space of at least three feet in the middle to give a bit more sense of space and the ability to move.

When setting up the shelving or storage units in a walk-in closet, people typically opt for two designs for their layout. The first of which is U-shaped, which has three walls devoted to storing clothes. The second is the L-shape, which actually works rather well with smaller spaces. Two sides of the closet hold the clothes while the other walls are empty, which really opens up the space.

How Much Space Do I Need to Store My Clothes?

Now that you have a walk-in closet doesn’t exactly mean that you can store all the clothes in the world in this space. This is a common mistake that people make, so pay attention to this next section so that you don’t overcrowd the space.

When setting up space to hang clothes, it is important to keep in mind that you should hang the bar two feet away from the wall. A standard hanger is about 17 inches, but the extra space keeps your clothes off the wall. If your space is about ten feet wide and you plan on hanging clothes on both sides, then you only have six feet of space in between. If you are pressed for room, then 20 inches works as well.

Another detail that is often overlooked is the proper height which the bar should hang from. Depending on the garments you have, they have different heights that they should hang from to keep them from touching the floor. Because jackets, pants, and shirts only cover about half the body, they should be from a height of about 41 inches. Larger items such as long coats, skirts, as well as dresses should be hung from about 84 inches to accommodate for their extra length.

To maximize the space, some people like to use a double rod. By using this contraption, you could almost double your available space. Start by hanging the top rod at 84 inches and the lower one at 41 inches. With this strategy, you could also more easily organize where things are in the closet.

The length of the rod also dictates how many garments can hang. Depending on how long your rod is, you should take into consideration how much space specific articles of clothing take up. Generally speaking, shirts and blouses take up one inch per piece. Dresses, jackets, and suits tend to occupy anywhere from two to three inches on the rod. Lastly, when hanging pants and skirts, be sure to allow for 1.25 inches per article. If you happen to be the owner of a ball gown, or are keeping a wedding dress in your space, keep in mind that these will need quite a bit more space because of their size.

Shelving in a Walk-In Closet

Adding shelving in your walk-in closet is a great idea to maximize the space. You could store more items like shoes or odd shaped clothing items that might be too bulky to hang up, or even worn seasonally. Be careful though, as adding shelving could also limit your space in the walk-in closet.

As a general rule of thumb, shelving for shoes should be about 12 inches deep, unless you have an irregular shoe size that requires more space. You should also base the height of the shelves on the highest shoe that you own.

Shelving isn’t limited to storing shoes and odd shaped clothes, you can also utilize this space for shirts and sweaters instead of using hanging space for them. Because these garments are folded when they are stored, allow at least 18 inches of depth to accommodate them. If you want to maximize storage space then consider getting drawers that are 24 inches so that you can store clothes in two rows.

Dimensions for a Dressing Space

If you have a large enough walk-in closet, then it is possible to have an area for it to double as a dressing room. The minimum space to be able to do this comfortably is 4×3 feet. While this sounds small, this is about the same size of a dressing room at a store in the mall.

Other Walk-In Styles

Above, we only went into detail about two styles of walk-in closets, but there are many more ways that you can jazz up your space and personalize it.

Add an Island or a Peninsula

If you have a larger space that you can dedicate to a walk-in closet, then this is a great option. By adding an island to your closet you can store more clothes, fold clothes, or even as an area for makeup. If an island layout doesn’t suit you, then you could push it flush against the back wall to create a peninsula with more or less the same functionality.

Split Walk-In

This design is like the peninsula design in the same way that it divides the closet in two. This style is ideal for giving two people equal space and their own side of the closet for their own wardrobe. Be sure to allow three feet in each of the aisles to be able to maneuver comfortably.

Single Side Walk-In

Even if you don’t have the luxury of a massive space, you can still make a small walk-in closet for yourself. By storing clothes on one side of the wall, you can transform a space of about five square feet into your own walk-in wardrobe. By hanging clothes on your choice of the back or one of the side walls, you will have about three feet of room to move around in. While it might not be as large as the other styles mentioned, it certainly works.

No matter what size space you have available, there is potential to transform it into your very own walk-in closet. There are several styles to implement in order to maximize your space for storing clothes and truly make it your own. Whether you have a room that is 100 square feet or five, the above tips can help make it possible!

About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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