How Big Should Cubbies in a Closet Be?

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If you want more room in your closet, building cubbies is a good idea. These small shelves store loose items into their own organized compartments so everything is easy to find. They also reduce clutter at the bottom of your shelves and on the floor. Cubbies come in a variety of sizes depending on the type of items you'll store.


Shoe Cubbies

A shoe cubby is an accessory for the bedroom closet. It stores shoes, boots and high heels, so it must be built to these specifications. Each cubby is about 8 inches tall and at least 5 inches wide. Generally speaking, 8-inch by 8-inch cubbies are the norm here. This allows plenty of room for storing winter boots, shoes or sneakers. You may also measure your shoes and design your cubbies with these dimensions in mind. However, be wary as you may purchase larger shoes down the road.

Cubby Heights

A shoe cubby in your closet usually is at least two rows high, and five to six cubby holes long. Start by figuring out how large your cubby hole will be, then count up the number of shoes you plan to store. Add a few cubby holes to allow for expansion of your shoe collection, then design your overall cubby size to fit these needs. Also add space for the sidewalls on each cubby hole. If you're using 3/4-inch boards, tack on another 3/4 inch of width for each cubby along the row, and 3/4 inch of height for each cubby row.


Other Cubbies

You can also use cubbies to store loose items or toys in a child's closet. In this case a cubby that's anywhere from 6 to 12 inches square is suitable. Take measurements of the items you want to store, and find an average size on which to base your design. A knickknack cubby is another type of cubby shelf. This is smaller than other types of cubby holes. Typically, these cubbies range from 1 to 12 inches square, depending on which types of knickknacks you're storing. Statues tend to take up more space, whereas crystal marbles, for instance, require only about an inch of space.


Shoe Cubby Depth

The depth of the cubby is another consideration. Usually, the cubby is made from either 12- or 16-inch boards, as these are the standard sizes most lumber yards carry. You'll also find 10-inch widths on boards, however this is a little small for a cubby. Since shoes are about 12 inches long, making your shelves at least 12 inches deep is necessary. Making your cubby deeper creates additional storage space, but will take up more floor space. Consider your space needs and the availability of space inside your closet before making your decision.


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Steve Smith

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.