How to divide the cube WITHOUT the KALLAX shelf insert

Foolproof method to add a shelf and door to the KALLAX cube.

Here at IKEAhackers, we love the IKEA KALLAX storage unit for its unmatched hackability. And even when it was in its former incarnation — the EXPEDIT — it was an all-time fave. 

The only peeve: more options to section the cubes.

Storage baskets occupying entire cubes were good for larger toys. But when it comes to more organised storage, they fail miserably. 

Of course, there are genius IKEA hacks to address this — such as these fantastic half shelves for the EXPEDIT. Unfortunately, the 2-cube insert needed to make it is no longer available. 

Nevertheless, IKEA heard us and has, over the years, delivered many styles and options for the 13″x13″ (33cmx33cm) cube. You can now add on doors, drawers, inserts for bottles, even a fancy X-insert.

What’s most useful in our books are these half cube dividers, which can be inserted horizontally or vertically.

KALLAX shelf insert in two versions - half shelf and 4 shelves
Photo: IKEA.com

But that leads to another issue: You can’t fit a door AND a shelf insert in the same cube. Which is a bummer if you have a preference for closed shelving to hide the clutter.

Alternative KALLAX shelf insert with door

Zlatko stumbled upon this smart and affordable solution to add a shelf within the KALLAX door insert. It’s a simple KALLAX hack and such a fantastic idea.

The 3-step instructions:

You’ll need the KALLAX shelving units and KALLAX door inserts (optional). As many VARIERA shelf inserts as needed.

1. Remove door

If you already installed the door inserts on your KALLAX, just remove the door and place the assembled VARIERA shelf within the space.

2. Place shelf inside

The VARIERA shelf insert fits right in.

At 12 5/8 inches wide, the VARIERA shelf insert has just enough clearance for the side panels of the KALLAX door insert.

Two small (5 1/8″ deep) or one large (11″ deep) VARIERA insert fits the depth of the KALLAX unit. 

3. Re-install door

Once placed, return the door back to its previous position. Easy peasy.

If you’re using the VARIERA shelf insert without the KALLAX door, spray paint the VARIERA to match your IKEA KALLAX shelf unit.

And you’re done.

See also:

The VARIERA shelf insert as an EKET cube storage divider

5 unique ways to create IKEA KALLAX TV Stands

A KALLAX storage bench for 400 vinyls

KALLAX shelf unit transformed into a media console

Click for more IKEA KALLAX hacks