I want to build sheves above my closet poles. How much room do I need?

I need to know how much room I need between the shelf and the ceiling and how deep the shelves should be to maximize the space I have to store shoes and sweaters and winter things.

  6 answers
  • Heje Heje on Jun 05, 2018
    A minimum of 2 and up to 3 inches to give room for the hangers to go up and over the rod.

  • Nonni Nonni on Jun 05, 2018
    It really depends on what you want to store there. You also have to consider the thickness of the shelf and the clearance space you need to take a hanger on and off the rod. In my closets I have almost 1 1/2 inches between the top of the rod and the bottom of the shelf. That is the minimum distance they should be apart. The depth of my shelf is 16 inches. The edge is even with the front of the rod. It is probably a good idea not to allow your shelf to stick out further than the rod if you are keeping the shelf close to the rod or it may interfere with hanging. Measure from you wall to the front of your rod and that is how deep you would want your shelf. The wire shelving you can find at Home Depot or Lowes provide an easy way to hang a shelf without having a lot of carpentry skills. You just need a drill and bits and wall anchors in case you need to put in a screw where there isn't a stud behind the wall. You can probably look up how to install a shelf on YouTube to find a tutorial.

    • Judith Burg Judith Burg on Jun 05, 2018
      Thank you. My closet is larger than typical closets but it is helpful to know that I can place my shelves 1.5 inches above my poles. I plan to have Home Depot mitre the corners and cut my boards to lengths for me. I will be able to install the brackets myself because I am fairly handy doing these things. Thank you again.

  • William William on Jun 05, 2018
    The average closet is 24" deep with the door closed. A 12" shelf would be standard. It will overlap the rod so the shelf should be 2" above the rod.

  • Trixie Trixie on Jun 05, 2018
    You can figure this out for yourself if you answer a few questions. For example, what is the size of the largest thing you want to store on the shelf? How much space do you have between the pole and the ceiling? Is there enough room for just one shelf or multiple shelves? Do you have storage containers already? What size are they? It;s usually about 2.5 inches from pole to the first shelf. And I think I picked 18 inches as a good height of space between shelves. How tall are you? Do you want to have to pull out a chair every time to get stuff out or is it all off season stuff that you will only have to get out once or twice a year?

  • Deb K Deb K on Jun 05, 2018
    You also may want to consider some type of storage organizer that could fit onto this shelf to maximize the storage

  • Judith Burg Judith Burg on Jun 05, 2018
    Thank you for your reply. My closet is larger than standard closets so I will need to do some measurements to see how much room I actually have above the rods. Once I have measured I can see how much room I have. Thank you for your reply.