How Big Is A Closet?

How Big Is A Closet 1

Moving into a new living space is stressful, especially when you consider all the tasks you have to complete before you can truly settle in. decorating is similarly demanding, requiring a lot of your creative input and your effort.  During these trying times, you may overlook what type of closet you have, and you probably won’t figure out the dimensions as well until long after you’ve settled in. Whether you’re planning a move to a new place or you are simply looking to increase storage space for your belongings, it is important to be aware of different styles of closets and their dimensions.

How big is a closet? The size of a closet depends on its style and design.

Reach-in closets at least 24 inches3-8 feet
Single sided walk-in closets 4 feet4 feet
Double-sided walk-in closets4-5 feet6-6.5 feet
Wrap around walk-in closets5-6 feetL-shape 5 feet, U 7 feet
Split single sided walk-in closets 10 feet10 feet and 4 inches
Split double-sided walk-in closets 13 feet 12.5-14.5 feet
Peninsula walk-in closets 13 feet2-3 feet
Island walk-in closets13 feetat least 13 feet

Different closet types come in different sizes, so it is important to know what you are working with in order to determine how big it is. In some homes, due to the small space, you will find that the closet, if any is included, will be small in size as well. Consequently, the size of a closet increases with increasing square footage.

1. Reach-in closets

Reach-in closets are arguably the most common style of closets. They are space saving, functional, and easily accessible since you don’t have to enter the closet to retrieve items.

Reach-in closets should be set at a depth of 24 inches at the very least, but if you intend to store hanging bulky items such as heavy coats, then the depth may need to be an extra 4 inches deep or more. The width of the closet typically ranges anywhere from 3-8 feet. Another dimension to take into consideration in a reach-in closet is the length of the return walls. These are the short sections that usually extend from the side walls of the closer to the door opening. They should not be too long since it will be hard to reach into the far ends of the closet. Consequently, the return walls should be a maximum of 12 inches long.

Reach-in closets can include a wide variety of hanging rods, drawers, shelves, inserts, and many other space-saving options that can allow for organization and maximum storage. Reach-in closets are common in spaces such as children’s rooms, hallways, and in the bedrooms of an older house. Although they may be small, there are several ways you can position your belongings and custom solutions that allow you to take advantage of all the space available. You can use adjustable wire starter sets to make changes to the storage, or you can add drawer units and cube organizers for foldable items.

2. Walk-in closets

A walk-in closet generally takes up more space than a reach-in closet. It is considered to be a top tier option since it is a room on its own that is entirely dedicated to storing clothes, shoes, bags or any other stuff you may want to store in it.

There are various styles of walk-in closets with varying dimensions:

  • Single sided walk-in closets – This is the smallest type of walk-in closet that consists of a storage wall for an individual and an internal clearance space of 36 inches. The closet depth is 4 feet and the width is 4 feet as well.
  • Double-sided walk-in closets – This medium-sized closet consists of storage along two walls that are separated by an interior clearance space of 36 inches. The average depth of a double-sided walk0-in closet is 4-5 feet, while the average width for mixed storage ranges from 6-6.5 feet. The average width for double hanger storage is 7 feet.
  • Wrap around walk-in closets – This walk-in closet is designed to make the most of storage space by combining the back wall of the closet with the side walls. This results in either a U shape or L shape design so that you can have storage on two or three sides of a clearance space that is centralized. The average depth of the closet ranges from 5-6 feet. For an L-shaped design, the width should be an average of 5 feet, while that of a U-shaped one should be 7 feet.
  • Split single sided walk-in closets – The layout of this closet consists of paired closets that divide the space into two different zones sections with storage along one side.  Split single sided walk-in closets can often be found in master bedrooms. The average total depth of this closet is 10 feet, while the average combined width of both sides should be a minimum of 10 feet and 4 inches. The internal clearance space for this closet is 36 inches.
  • Split double-sided walk-in closets – This shared closet is divided into two separate double-sided storage spaces utilized by two people.
    The average total depth of this closet is 13 feet Since there is an extra row of storage, this style of the closet has an average width that ranges anywhere from 12.5-14.5 feet in total. The clearance space for this closet is 36 inches.
  • Peninsula walk-in closets – This is an open plan closet that utilizes a central peninsula to divide the closet space. It also includes a shared seat or a half height section for extra storage. The average depth of a peninsula walk-in closet is 13 feet, while the width should be a minimum of 13 inches. The average width of central peninsula ranges from 2-3 feet. The clearance space is 36 inches.
  • Island walk-in closets – These types of walk-in closets include a central island that may be a dresser, a bench, a work surface, a storage fixture, or a seat and plenty of space to move around. They are considered to be luxury closets and are most likely to be found in a master bedroom.

The average depth of this closet is 13 feet, while the total width should be at least 13 feet. The area of island walk-in closets vary from one home to another, but the average is 169 square feet. The clearance space for an island walk-in closet is 36 inches.

3. Wardrobes and armoires

Although wardrobes and armoires aren’t closets in the technical sense, they serve the same purpose. These storage spaces are especially useful if you don’t have closet space and your budget is too tight to build one or your unit simply can’t accommodate a closet.

There are many wardrobe designs that come in different shapes and sizes. There is the fitted wardrobe that you can incorporate above your work desk or study, the mirrored wardrobe that you allows you to install mirrors, and wardrobes with sliding doors that come with extra storage among others. The sizes and prices of wardrobes are wildly ranging. So you have a wide selection to choose from.

Armoires are generally smaller than wardrobes and they often have unique designs that make them stand out. They usually don’t extend all the way to the ceiling and they are limited in depth, which means that you may need to make some modifications according to your storage needs.

Guidelines on taking your closet’s measurements

Taking your closet’s measurements is important in helping you figure out the kind of shelving and any other extras you can add when you need to modify the closet. Use a measuring tape, and have a pen and paper nearby so that you can write down the measurements you are taking. You can then present this information to the retailer or online store. 

Some essential dimensions to keep in mind include:

  • The minimum depth of a clothes closet should be no less than 24 inches deep.
  • The shelves for folded clothes should be positioned about 12 inches apart.
  • As for shelves that store women’s shoes, they should be around 6-7 inches apart.
  • Shirts and blouses are estimated to take up 1 inch of space on the rod, while pants and skirts take up 1 ¼ inches. Suits, dressers, and jackets take around 2-3 inches of rod space.

Related Questions

  • How do you calculate square footage in your home? Although practices may vary from one market to another, closets areas and stairways are included during the calculation of square footage. For porches to be included, they have to be enclosed and heated using the same methods as the rest of the unit. Basements, dens, and any other below-grade spaces are not included in the square footage, along with pool houses, garages, or any other rooms that require you to leave the main house.
  • What are the legal requirements for the minimum size of a bedroom? In order for a room to be categorized as a bedroom, it has to be a minimum of 70 to 80 square feet, although this can vary from one state to another. In addition to this, the minimum horizontal footage in any direction of the room must be at least 7 feet, while at least 50% of the bedroom ceiling should be a minimum of 7 feet tall. The bedroom should also have a window opening that is a minimum size of 5.7 square feet. These are regulations put in place by the International Residential Code (IRC)

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author, and she enjoys traveling, reading, and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC.

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