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How to Maximize Corner Storage in a Closet

The Most Effective Closet Corner Organizers & Solutions

The closet corner can be one of the most difficult areas to organize effectively for efficient storage. The goal is to store items in a manner that is easy to access with no wasted space. This is often easier said than done. Closet corners are notorious for being difficult spaces to organize and store items effectively in a manner so that all items are easy to see and access.

Tight closet corner without closet organizer
Although this closet uses all available space for hanging clothing in the corner, some of the clothes are difficult to view and access. It is not a good solution because it lacks effective organizers that would allow all items to be seen and removed easily for use. It also transfers all the weight from the clothes to a single closet rod, which might potentially cause collapse of the system.

The right closet corner organizer can the eliminate dead spaces and maximize storage in those difficult wall junctions and closet corners, all while increasing ease of use and accessibility.

Closet built-ins will increase visibility and accessibility of closet contents. Effective closet corner storage comes down to a good closet design for the corner that takes into account the types of items that need to be stored and the frequency in which they must be accessed. Closet corner solutions can include all hanging, all shelving, or a mixture of hanging space with shelving. The best solution for your closet will depend on how much of each you need to accommodate your wardrobe.

Closet Designers' "Go To" Solutions for Closet Corner Storage:

  1. Built-In Organizers for Hanging Clothes in Closet Corners: closet corner storage

    Hanging areas are often a problem in the corner of a closet. The issue effects both walk-in closets that have storage on multiple walls, and reach-in closets with a deep return. However, closet built-ins can be designed specifically to maximize closet corner accessibility in either of these situations.

    Walk-In Closet:
    For a walk-in closet, the closet organizer system can wrap the corner in such a way that it is easy to access hanging from either direction. Vertical panels are positioned to allow both walls of hanging to have sufficient room. This means that the closet system for one wall, usually the back wall, will partially wrap the adjoining perpendicular wall by at least twelve inches, increasing the total space required for the back wall portion of the closet system to 26 inches. This way, the rod along the back wall will run all the way into the corner without interference from the adjoining perpendicular wall. For best results, LED closet lighting is often used to brighten this arrangement.

    Reach-In Closet:
    Accessible closet corner hanging space is also often a problem in reach-in closets that have a deep return on one or both ends. By "return" we mean the part of the closet that is partially hidden behind a wall and not visible from the door opening). For this type of closet, double hanging rods or a single rod with shelving above are usually positioned across the narrow wall of the return, creating a separate storage section within the rest of the closet that is approximately 24 inches wide. It is important to end the rest of the closet system to prevent it from running into the return. A span of approximately 19-3/4 inches should be left to ensure greatest accessibility for the return portion of the closet. This 19-3/4 inch open space is commonly outfitted with large hooks for robes and wardrobe items used on a daily basis. Other ideas include a wall of smaller hooks for necklaces, purses, caps, baby bibs or other heavily used items that benefit from the convenience a hook.

    closet corner ideas for deep return in adolescent closet closet corner ideas for deep return in baby closet
    These reach-in or "wall" closets with deep returns have been fully maximized so that even the portion of the closet hidden behind the wall is functional and accessible
  2. Closet Corner Shelves:

    Not everything in a closet is hung from a rod on a hanger. Many items are better stored on a shelf. For closet corner shelves, a there should be no vertical panels interrupting the storage. How then to support the shelves? In a traditional closet shelving section, two vertical panels are placed on either side of the shelves. The panels are installed so that they stand perpendicular to the wall with shelves in between, creating a kind of "H" format. With corner shelves, however, the support panel for the inside corner should be installed flush to the wall instead of perpendicular. That will create the maximum amount of storage space. Optionally, each corner shelf can be constructed from a single piece of material if the inner corner of the shelves are curved. This is a popular solution in pantries, where the added strength gained from using a single piece of material rather than joined shelving can be important.

    closet corner shelves
    Corner shelves with joined shelving to create the inside corner. Note the vertical panel installed flush to the wall on the inside corner.
    curved closet corner shelves
    Corner shelves with a single piece of curved shelving to create the inside corner. Note the vertical panel installed flush to the wall on the inside corner.<
    closet corner shelf closet corner shelves for shoes
    The use of low corner shelves rsther than standard shelves increases the visibility of items stored towards the back of the closet/shelf.
  3. The 360 Organizer® Rotating Closet Corner Unit:

    The ultimate in closet corner organization is the 360 Organizer® rotating closet system. Based on the principal of the traditional Lazy Susan carousel, the 360 Organizer® series of closet corner units increase accessibility in the closet corner by rotating a 40 inch tower of shelving, or hanging, or drawers so that everything is always in the front. Different models offer different combinations of hanging space, shelving, or drawers. If you are very limited in closet space, a system like this is invaluable in that you will get the greatest amount of accessible storage in the smallest quantity of space. The 360 Organizer® is mainly used in walk-in closets and dressing rooms because it requires a 40" x 40" corner for installation. However, homes with non-standard, extra-deep, reach-in closets — like many closet spaces seen in older homes across the Chicago area — may also be able to take advantage of this type of closet corner unit.

    The shoe spinner increases closet storage in the corner of the closetThe rotating shoe spinner closet corner unit
    Based on the same principal as the traditional Lazy Susan, the manually rotating 360 organizer® Shoe Spinner increases closet storage in the corner of the closet.
    custom closet system with effective closet corner solution

Closet Corner Storage Tips

Closet corners can be more difficult to organize effectively than the open wall sections of a closet. Rather than giving in to disorganization and mess, take advantage of some of these tried and true ideas from the pros"

  • Remember to maximize the return walls in your reach-in closet
  • "Wrap your corners" in a walk-in closet that needs hanging space in the corner or use a rotating closet system for best results
  • Consider using closet corner shelves that are either curved or joined to wrap the 90° corner of the closet

By maximizing the space in the closet corners, you are guaranteed to increase your overall closet storage, fitting more into less space.