Closet shelves can be so much more than just a board or section of wire with stuff on top of it. Practical and functional, closet shelves are often the best solution to your storage needs. But have you ever considered that they can also be used as a design element? Or even the focal point of your closet? There are many different kinds of shelves. Discover which ones will work best for your needs here. Use these closet shelving ideas to enjoy getting organized with style!


Clever and practical closet shelving ideas to help you get organized.

We’ve all seen the ugly wire closet shelf. Made from vinyl-covered metal, it’s the usual solution provided by most home builders. Most of us are also familiar with the standard adjustable laminate shelf as well. This type of shelf is the backbone of most high-end custom closet systems. But did you know that there are other types of shelving available for your closet? Various types of pull-out shelves, cubbies, cubes, slanted, and glass or mirrored shelving can be used inside the closet with great success. The trick is knowing how and where to use them.

Pull-Out Shelves:

There are three types of pull-out shelves that can be used in the closet. There are regular, sweater, and pantry pull-out shelves. They all slide in and out like drawers. Be sure to use the right one for your storage needs.

  • Regular pull-out shelves are similar to a printer shelf or the shelves you might see in a kitchen base cabinet. They’re simply a piece of wood or laminate with side mount drawer slides along the edges. For this reason, the shelves must be at least 3/4-inches thick in order to work. Otherwise, there isn’t enough surface area to attach the drawer slides securely. Use this closet shelving idea for improving access to items stored along the bottom of your closet or inside a cabinet. That way, you can easily access what you need without having to bend over because the shelves slide out. They are especially useful for deep shelving and shoe shelving. Recommended width for this type of shelf should not exceed 30-inches. Otherwise, they may sag under a too-heavy load, or the slides may break.
    Wardrobe closet with pull-out shelves to organize shoes in lower cabinet
    This wardrobe closet is equipped with pull-out shelves to organize shoes in the lower cabinet. That way the owner can easily see and retrieve the pairs stored in the back.

  • Pull-out sweater shelves are like regular pull-out shelves and have drawer slides attached to the sides of the shelf. However, they include low, tapered panels with rounded edges along the top left, right, and back of the shelf. This is best for your high-quality sweaters because they prevent snagging in addition to keeping items from toppling off the shelf during movement. The convenience provided by the sliding function definitely adds an element of luxury to any closet. And they’re good for more than just sweaters. Use them for any type of folded clothing or even linens. This type of shelf can keep your sheet sets together and organized.
    Slide-out sweater shelves for custom closets
    Use slide-out sweater shelves as part of a custom closet design to help organize your sweaters. They also work well in the linen closet for sheets and towels.

  • Pantry pull-out shelves are useful in more places than pantries. Install this kind of pull-out shelf in your bedroom closet if you have numerous small accessories that might get lost in the back of a regular shelf. Pantry pull-outs are similar to sweater pull-out shelves. They have low sides, but the sides are not rounded and cover left, right, back, and front of the shelf. Use them as a drawer in your closet for belts, scarves, and more. The advantage of a regular closet drawer is that you can see what’s on them before pulling them out.
    Pantry pull-out shelves used for small purses
    These traditional pantry pull-out shelves are being used in a bedroom closet to organize small purses.

Cubbies and Cube Shelving:

Cubbies are another type of shelf with built-in vertical dividers. This makes them extremely practical for many uses. Use small cubbies to organize shoes, handbags, and rolled belts. Try them in your bedroom closet. However, they are also useful in other areas of the home. Put them in your mudroom or rear entryway to keep shoe clutter at bay. They protect the shoes from rubbing against each other. That’s why they are one of the preferred types of shelving for expensive, designer footwear.

Bedroom closet with shoe cubby shelves for footwear next to hanging clothes
Organize your bedroom closet with shoe cubby shelves for footwear. They protect the shoes from damage in addition to the clothing from any dirt left on the bottom of the shoe.

Slanted Shoe Shelves with Shoe Fences:

Use slanted shoe shelves when you want to store footwear on overhead shelves. They improve visibility because the tilt of the shelf makes it easier to see items above eye level. Slanted shelves are best used for shoes only. That’s because other items will tend to slide off. Keep footwear in place through the use of shoe fences along the front of the shelf. The fences are low enough to be able to see the shoes but high enough to keep them from falling off. Don’t use them for other types of clothing storage. They don’t work for folded clothing because the clothes on the bottom of a stack end up hidden by the fence. The clothes on the top of the stack will fall off the shelf due to the angle.

Shoes on slanted shelves with shoe fences to keep footwear in place.
To improve visibility from below, set the back of the shelf one hole higher than the front of the shelf. Then keep the shoes in place with shoe fences like these.

Glass and Mirror Display Shelves:

Have you ever considered glass shelves for your closet? If not, you’re missing out on a great secret of the trade. Glass shelves add a sense of luxury to the mundane. But not every closet can handle or needs them. Wondering when to use glass shelves?

  • Try glass shelves in your closet when you want to increase the flow of light.
  • Use a glass shelving section backed with mirrors to reflect additional illumination and make a small, dark space feel brighter and larger.
  • Use glass shelves for display when you want to draw attention to favorite accessories or footwear.
  • Place glass shelves inside the upper cabinet of a closet hutch or above a closet dresser.

Install a wall of glass shelves. Then, draw attention to your glass closet shelves by adding an LED closet lighting system. The overall effect will be one of luxury without sacrificing any of the practical storage the shelving provides.

Wall of glass shelves with lady's shoes inside a walk-in closet
This large, walk-in closet keeps all the shoes organized on glass shelves.

Standard Adjustable Closet Shelves Covered by Glass Doors:

Get creative with your standard closet shelves by covering them with glass doors! Shelves covered by glass doors are one of the secrets to success when converting a closet into a dressing room. That’s because this closet shelving idea does more than keep dust out of a closet. Use glass doors over a set of shelves to achieve a sense of luxury akin to glass shelving. And glass doors will reduce the feeling of clutter in the closet. Make your closet look more open and organized by using glass doors over the shelves.

They work best on sections of floor-to-ceiling closet shelving or the upper cabinets of a closet hutch. Use them in conjunction with LED strip lighting to boost visibility behind closed doors. Cover closet sections for hung clothes as well. Keep your fancy evening clothes behind glass cabinet doors. Think of it as putting all your favorite wardrobe items on display.

Shoes on shelves and encased in glass cabinets
Add a bit of luxury to your closet. Cover your standard adjustable closet shelves with glass doors like these.

Rotating Shelves are Unique and Practical Closet Shelving Ideas:

Did you know rotating shelves make items more accessible because everything has the opportunity to be front and center? All you need to do is turn the shelf. And they look good too. Try rotating shelves in the corners of your walk-in closets when you want to maximize storage. Build them from floor-to-ceiling to gain the most shelf space in the smallest area. You can’t go wrong with a set of high-quality rotating shelves. Try them. You’re bound to be happy with the results.

Add rotating shelves to the corner of your walk-in closet or dressing room. Use them for shoes, folded clothing, and more.

Make your closet beautiful as well as practical. Try these closet shelving ideas to bring order and style to your closet.


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