How deep should shelves be?
Closet shelves are NOT one size fits all. Ideally, they should be a variety of depths based on what each section needs to store. Builders commonly put in shelving that is 11 ¼” deep. This default measurement doesn’t work for all sections of a closet and certainly won’t fit every homeowner’s storage needs.
Custom closet designs typically allocate 12” for hanging sections and shoe shelves. Hanging rods are mounted near the front of these sections, extending 11” from the wall and allowing ample space for clothes to hang. Some people prefer to have their closet shelves extend all the way over clothing. In this case the shelf would need to be 24” deep.
Closet shelves can house things like folded clothing, linens, shoes and purses. Clothing, linens and purses require deeper shelves that measure between 14” and 16.” Just be careful not to make shelves too deep. Things can get hidden behind each other and lead to limited visibility and a frustrating hunt for those concealed possessions. When it comes to shoe shelves a 12” depth works perfectly, though some larger shoe sizes may require a little more room. When in doubt, measure the length of your shoes to get a perfect fit.
Like a good suit, shelving needs to be custom fitted to your exact liking and needs. One size does NOT fit all – there is no standard shelf measurement will guarantee efficient and effective closet storage for your various hanging clothes, folded clothes, purses, shoes and other storage.