There used to be a time when having 8-foot ceilings in a home was considered a tall order. These days, though, 11- to 12-foot ceilings seem to be the new norm, especially in the DC metro area. It’s not hard to see why—not only do tall ceilings make a space feel bigger, they also offer a grander feel in condos and homes. And with regulations in DC zoning that require your ceilings to be at least 7 feet tall, a ceiling that is 10, 11, or even 12 feet tall doesn’t seem like that far of a stretch.
While higher ceilings in entryways and living rooms may be a perfect fit, having a tall ceiling in a closet can be a challenge. This is especially true when trying to determine the best closet design for the space. Unless you happen to be extremely vertically blessed, a tall closet could mean constantly having to use a step ladder to reach items on a regular basis, which quickly becomes quite inconvenient. Plus, tall closets have a bad tendency to become cluttered more easily than others, due to the hassle of putting away items normally stored at the higher levels.
However, even if you’re not the tallest person around, there’s hope for you yet—a few good tricks of the custom closet trade can help you make the most of your tall closet.
Extend Your Reach with Wardrobe Lifts
Our best weapon for dealing with a closet with tall ceilings is to incorporate wardrobe lifts into the closet design in all of the areas that you might normally include an upper rod. No more teetering at the top of a shaky step ladder! Our wardrobe lifts have never met a tall closet that they couldn’t handle, and because these lifts are built with a long handle for you to easily pull the rod down, it allows you to reach higher items with ease, regardless of your own height.
Adjustable Shelving Optimizes Tall Closet Organization
When designing your dream closet, it’s tempting to design all the way up to the top and imagine filling every inch of wall space with drawers, shelves, and rods. But with a tall closet, this sort of design can actually be a waste of space—shelving at the tippy-top of your closet often does little more than collect dust bunnies, due to the relative inaccessibility of the space.
With adjustable shelving, however, you can reach new heights—or, more accurately, you can bring items up high down to a level that’s convenient for you. The best part? Since they are adjustable, you can always shift them up or down later on as needed.
As for that underutilized space at the top of your closet, try to capitalize on it by storing items that require more vertical storage, like tall boots. Because they take up more room, the shelf they’ll be sitting on will have to be lower down—and thus, easier for you to reach.
Another option: reserve your uppermost storage for more rarely used items like off-season clothing and those things you don’t necessarily want out on full display but can’t quite bear to get rid of, like those old high school trophies or that big box of aging family photographs you keep putting off sorting through. The less often you use it, the less accessible it needs to be.
Prioritize as You Organize
As you organize your clothing in your new custom closet, you’ll want to take some time to reflect on what your clothing and accessory priorities are. Think about the types of items you use on a regular basis, and make sure to place them at “reachable” height—that is, at a level at which they are easily accessible (generally, without the use of a step ladder, though in some cases a step stool may still be necessary).
If you work on Capitol Hill, for instance, it probably makes sense to store suiting on lower rails, where you can easily grab your professional garb while hurrying to dress in those early weekday hours. This little touch of added convenience does wonders for both speeding up your morning routine and improving your mood—foregoing a frantic search for matching pieces first thing in the morning tends to go a long way toward starting the day on the right foot.
Though tall closets provide unique challenges, having this extra room can actually work to your advantage if you utilize your space wisely. Still confused on where to start? Closet America can help you create a custom closet design specifically for your tall closet. Schedule your free design consultation today and we’ll help you choose the best closet accessories to make your tall closet a perfect fit for your life.