Q: Transform closet into into neat home office storage?

Hi, I’m Filomena and I am a teacher. I am Portuguese, living in Portugal, with my husband and 3 dogs in a 3 bedroom flat.

We turned one of our bedrooms into a home office because both my husband and I work a lot from home. (I am a teacher and he is a computer engineer). 

Our home office has two IKEA MATTEUS desks (discontinued), a beige sofa, and this week we are going to install METOD kitchen wall cabinets in white. And we are also hanging white curtains on the window and as a cover for the built-in closet.

We have this built-in closet in our home office. Because it hasn’t got shelves or upper drawers, it’s a mess, as you can see from the pictures.

home office storage problem
home office storage problem

Related: Shelving suggestions for corners of reach-in closet?

That’s where we need your help.

We don’t use it for clothes. And we would like to use it for hidden (but organized) home office storage (files, boxes, …).

We wouldn’t like to attach shelves to the walls of the closet, because there may be a hollow space between the inner wood panel and the actual wall, we are not sure.

built in closet

Maybe a shelving unit, KALLAX or BILLY, maybe? 

Home office storage space measurements:
  • Height: 144cm (from top of bottom drawers to upper shelf)
  • Width: 180cm
  • Depth: 50cm

I hope you can help me with some ideas.



Hi Filomena

Design wise, the KALLAX may be a bit bulky for the space and the fixed cubbies a little restrictive in its usage. BILLY is only 28cm deep, which would be too shallow for best use of the space you have.

Given the dimensions of the space, the IVAR would be a great fit for it. And since it’s made from real wood, the IVAR is easy to work with and customise to fit your home office storage needs.

Not to mention, it is great value for money.

Two sections of IVAR (with IVAR posts at 124cm tall, 50cm deep) and 83cm shelves will give you 174 cm wide storage unit.

IVAR two sections

IVAR 2 sections/shelves (174x50x124 cm) | IKEA.com

The next consideration would be how to get it into the closet? I hope the sliding closet doors are removable? If so, you can build the IVAR and then slot the entire unit into the cavity.

If not, then you will need to build two separate IVAR units and then place one in each section. Pictured below is the 30cm deep version. I’d go for the 50cm deep shelves to maximise storage. (There is also a shorter shelf, if you prefer.)


IVAR (89x30x124 cm) | IKEA.com

Best thing is, you can add accessories such as a clip-on basket or small drawers for stationery. You can also modify the IVAR chest of 3-drawers into a hanging file cabinet.

Lastly, stain or paint to match the IVAR pine to your built-in closet.

Hope this helps you determine the best solution for your problem.

Happy hacking,


Hacking may compromise the structural integrity of the item, so please be aware of the risks involved before modifying or altering any IKEA product. Alterations and modifications will also void any warranties or return policies you may have received from IKEA. IKEAhackers.net is not liable for any product failure, injury or damage resulting from the application of suggestions, ideas and hacks featured on this site.