Back Button

What to Do With the Open Space From the Closet Top to the Ceiling

Sylvia Cini

Poor organization can make a small house seem smaller. So make the most out of your storage space by utilizing every available inch. Finite spaces that have a set height and width, such as closets and wardrobes, tend to have wasted space between the top shelf and ceiling. You can reclaim this space and make it functional by installing additional shelves and rods, or by changing the purpose of the closet itself.

Leave It

Utilize the empty space between the closet rod and the ceiling.

You can leave the extra space at the top of the closet open to allow the storage of tall or oddly shaped items. This approach is most appropriate in a utility or sports equipment closet, where you store items such as dusters, extension poles and skis. If the closet in question is in the interior of the house, inside a bedroom or near a restroom, consider storing these tall seldom-used items in the back of the closet, behind linen or clothes. Do not let the location of the closet alone determine its purpose.

Second Closet Rod

Use this approach to organize a bedroom closet for a child or teenager.

Make use of the wasted space in the top of the closet by installing a second closet rod. A second rod for hanging storage doubles the width of the closet and not only makes use of the open space at the top of the unit, but also at the bottom. To install a second rod, move the original closet rod down 1 to 2 feet and then install a rod of equal length above the first.

Higher Rod

Raise the height of the existing closet rod to utilize the upper portion of a bedroom closet. A higher rod increases the accessible space in the lower portion of the closet so you can install drawers or shelves. Also, the increased rod height better accommodates the length of dresses, suits and other formal wear, allowing them to hang without wrinkling or touching the bottom of the closet.


Add two or three shelves in the open space. Keep in mind that some people will have difficulty accessing these shelves. Reserve the space for seasonal clothing, such as jackets and sweaters, which otherwise occupies space in the main part of the closet. Consider storing a small step ladder or stool in the bottom of the closet so you can reach the upper shelves when necessary.