Closet Works
Closet Works Logo

Subscribe to this BLOG

Closet Systems for High Ceiling Storage

How to Maximize The Vertical Storage Space in Your Closet Using Pull Down Ceiling Storage Systems and More!

Although eight foot ceilings were long the norm in home construction, high ceilings have become increasingly popular. Nine to ten feet is the new standard in residential construction. These higher ceilings harken back to an older time in our nation's history. Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, ceilings in homes were usually 10-12 feet or more. As a rule of thumb — the bigger the room, the higher the ceiling was. This was for aesthetics, as rooms should have a certain proportion of width to height, in addition to practical comfort in an era before air conditioning since heat rises in a room. This resulted in some grand spaces coveted by today's homeowners. It is no wonder that builder's try to incorporate high ceilings into their current projects.

These high ceilings can sometimes present a challenge in closet design. How do you utilize all the available square footage when most of it is out of reach? There are several tricks of the trade when dealing with high ceiling storage for closets. Closet organization solutions for high ceiling storage include various pull down ceiling storage systems, step up solutions like ladders, or reach extenders like the shepherd hooks used by many retail clothing stores.


Pull down closet rods are a type of pull down ceiling storage for hanging clothing. When hanging space is needed and the closet has a high ceiling, these rods are a good choice so that clothing can be stored high overhead while remaining conveniently accessible. The motorized version of the pull down ceiling storage closet rod is made to fit closet widths of 33-48 inches. They are often used in longer closets, but these long closets must contain sections that are broken into shorter widths with vertical panels placed 33-48 inches apart as is done in most custom closet systems. Motorized pull down rods come with standard or extended reach. The standard version has a vertical lowering range of 30 inches and can hold up to 60 pounds of clothing. The extended version is convenient for 12 foot and higher ceilings. It has a vertical lowering range of 50 inches and can hold up to 70 pounds of hung clothing. They are operated by remote control, making it very easy to access items stored out of reach.

motorized closet rod with extender for 12 foot ceilings
Motorized closet rod with extender for 12 foot ceilings and higher.


The same pull down functionality for hanging clothes is available without motorization. The manual pull down closet rod includes a handle with a long arm that hangs down and can be pulled to to raise or lower the items stored on the high rod. The manual pull down rods have a 25 pound load capacity and are available in three adjustable sizes fitting closet sections that are between 21-1/4 to 26 inches wide, 26 to 35-1/6 inches wide, or 35-1/6 to 47 inches wide. They are simple to use, but don't hold as many clothes as the motorized version. The manual pull down rods will extend your vertical reach by 30 inches. They are not avaialble in an extended version.

Closet Works manual pull down ceiling storage closet rod
Manual pull down closet rod for high ceiling storage.


Department stores and clothing boutiques often have clothing on display that is hung very high — way over the reach of any of their customers or sales staff. The solution is to use a shepherd's hook to move the hangers as needed. A shepherd's hook (named for its shape rather than its function) is a long pole with a hook on the end used to retrieve clothing stored above your head without the need for a ladder or step stool. The hook makes it easy to grab hangers and anything hung on the hanger. It's not as glitzy as a motorized closet rod, but it is still an excellent, lightweight, inexpensive and easy-to-use system for accessing clothing hung high and out of reach.

shepherd's hook
Use a shepherd's hook to extend your reach to access clothing hung very high.


The simplest and most obvious solution to accessing storage in your high ceiling closet is a ladder. Whether you need to get to shelves or cabinets, a ladder is your best bet for accessing closet items that are not stored on hangers. There are many different types available. The best one for you will depend on your exact closet situation and budget. A rolling ladder works well for unbroken overhead expanses of shelving or cabinets. Similar to a library system, they are available in many heights. They are often a good choice for lofts. A less expensive solution is the common step stool. When choosing this route, it is important to select one that is lightweight and folds for easy storage. Aluminum step ladders work well for this purpose. Three steps should be high enough for closets with ceilings up to 10 feet.

Closet Works closet design for high ceiling storage space using a rolling ladder installation
Closet design for high ceiling storage space using a rolling ladder installation. See Project >
Closet Works closet step stool for accessing high ceiling storage
Closet step stool used for accessing high ceiling storage shelves and cabinets. See Project >

Whether you are in a vintage building constructed when high ceilings were the best way to ensure good air flow or a newer building with a modern, vaulted space, closet systems specifically designed for high ceilings could make your life a lot easier while increasing your available real estate for storage. This is also a good solution for handicapped or shorter homeowners who have lower ceiling heights, where accessing items stored in the upper areas of the closet might be difficult — it all comes down to increasing the accessibility of the closet in order to take advantage of the most storage space.

Request an appointment today!

Browse our online catalog!

 Back to Blog