Closet corners can be tricky no matter what type of storage you put in them. But when the corner is all shelves it presents unique challenges. What type of shelves works best? How do you make sure they line up? No one wants dead corners with storage you can’t reach or use. Maximize the potential of your closet corners with these practical shelving solutions.
Types of Corner Shelves for Closets
There are several ways of handling corner shelves in a closet. They can be a bit difficult to get right. Therefore, closets.com only offers these shelves through our professional we-design service. The most common and least expensive type of corner shelving is to use standard rectangular adjustable closet shelves with a butt joint where the shelves meet on the two perpendicular walls. You will need to use a shelf connector at the joint with this solution. Alternately, curved shelves create nice inside corners and eliminate the joint, but are more expensive. Triangular shelves that fit the corner are also a custom possibility that requires no joint. Lastly, corners are a good place to use rotating shelves that turn on a Lazy Susan principle. That way, there is no possibility of items getting lost in the back of the shelves.
Standard Closet Shelves with Shelf Connectors
The most popular way to connect two perpendicular walls of closet shelving in the corner is with standard rectangular shelves. These are the same adjustable shelves used on your flat walls. They simply meet in the corner with a butt joint.
You must use a shelf connector at the joint. A shelf connector is a kind of plastic sleeve that slips over the edge of both sections of shelving at the joint. It provides a smooth transition between the shelves and extra support at the joint. It comes in seven different colors to blend with the color of your closet. This is the simplest and least expensive way to join shelves from adjoining walls in the corner of the closet.
There’s a trick to corner shelves and they require some basic carpentry skills to install. No home has floors and walls that are perfectly straight and there is no place that this is more evident than in the corners. Therefore, one side of the closet corner shelves will always be shipped oversized. This is so that you can cut them to size on-site. We recommend using a table saw. Rent one for the day if you don’t own one. Cutting on-site provides just enough wiggle room so that you can get clean, professional results with your corner installation.
Curved Corner Shelves
If you don’t want to see the plastic shelf connector in the corners of your closet, use curved shelves instead. A curved shelf is a custom item. Therefore, it costs a little more than the straight shelves with connectors. Use them when your shelf corners will be highly visible, such as an open pantry. You’ll need to make a custom order request with a closet company to have these made for your home, but the look is worth it. Installation is a little less work than the straight shelves because there is no cutting involved. They install with a shelf pin in each corner just like a regular adjustable shelf. The only difference is that the vertical panels are perpendicular to each other. However, you need to be very precise in your measurements and installation practices with these shelves. They will be shipped to size and there is no room for error.
Angled corner shelves are always custom. It’s actually a five-sided shelf even though it looks like a triangle at first glance. They also use more material than other types of shelves. For these reasons, they are more expensive. They do offer a lot of storage, however. Angled shelves are deep. In fact, small items can get lost in the back if you’re not careful. Use them when you need deep shelves and want the angled look in a corner. They can work well for audio/video equipment, the cable box, Blue Ray, etc. They also look nice with a door on the front as a custom built-in corner cabinet. Add a glass panel insert on the door and they’re great in the dining room as part of a corner hutch.
There are all sorts of organizers based on the Lazy Susan principle guaranteed to help with corner organization. The best for closets, however, is the 360 Organizer Rotating Closet System. There are several models of this closet organizer, but they all operate on the same principle. A set of shelves, drawers, or other types of closet components turn manually so that you have access to four separate sides of storage.
Different 360 Organizer® models specializing in storage for pantries, shoes, hanging racks, drawers and other needs are available. Some attach to the wall as built-in storage. Others are freestanding. The best one for you depends on your needs. They work best inside walk-in closets or set up as a separate closet in the corner of a room. The models with cabinets can accept a door to hide the closet contents. The advantage of this type of closet organizer is that you gain easier visibility and access to all items stored in the corner. Nothing remains hidden. Nothing gets lost in the dark recesses of your closet. A definite benefit if you have a lot of stuff.
Ready to Install Your Corner Shelves?
No matter which type of corner shelves you use, follow the proper installation procedures for each. Most corner shelves will be part of a larger custom closet system. Make sure you review your drawings and installation instructions that come with the closet before you begin. Many people like to install their closet organizers starting in a clockwise direction. This means start with one side, then move on to the adjacent perpendicular wall. Work on each corner after assembling the two adjacent sides. Then move on to the next two walls. Closet built-ins, whether they’re shelving, hanging, or something else, always install first. Then accessories like drawers and pull-outs. Freestanding components, like the 360 Organizer® FS units, are last.
Take the plunge into designing and installing your very own custom closets. The additional storage you gain can’t be beaten. And they look nice as well. Chances are you’ll be happy you gave it a try.