How to make use of blocked space above PAX wardrobe?

IKEAhackers readers help solve PAX wardrobe in old wall closet space problem.

Linda B sent in a question, “How can I access the space between the PAX system put into a wall closet with non-standard higher ceilings? The PAX is blocking the top. (Shall I) hinge the top? Put in trap door in the top of the PAX?”

Here are two shots of the PAX and closet in question. The space is currently hard to access and use effectively.

how to access storage space above PAX wardrobes
how to access storage space above PAX wardrobes

I posted this question on @ikeahackersofficial on Instagram and IH readers chimed in with many helpful suggestions.

Some agreed with Linda on adding a secret hatch to the top of the PAX. But I think the space above is still hard to access via a trapdoor.

#1 Raise the PAX wardrobe

The most popular suggestion involve raising the PAX. Butting the top of the PAX frame against the ceiling flips the void around — the space goes under the PAX instead.

Kelsie suggests, “Build a base as high as possible and use the space under the PAX.” V.wiltebo says to “add a shelf/ drawer under (the PAX). The hangers are easier to access than box above.”

Emma echoes the same sentiment to attach extra “legs” under the cabinet so that the wasted space (above) fills up and gives more space under.”

PAX wardrobe on DIY legs
Credit: Lauren Chorpening Day via Design*Sponge

The space beneath can be easily filled up with the baskets and bins.

Besides legs, the IKEA kitchen fridge top cabinet may fit under the shallower 13″ deep PAX. (The fridge cabinet may not be deep enough for the 22″ deep PAX.)

IKEA kitchen cabinets

The only problem I foresee is trying to build the PAX wardrobe in place. There probably isn’t quite enough room to slide the PAX with legs attached or drawers into the closet space. If you have a workaround for that, do let us know in the comments below.

Which leads us to the second possibility.

#2 Widen the closet opening

Rachelle’s recommendation is to remove the drywall and frame the closet opening wider. This is probably the neatest, most effective but more expensive and time consuming solution.

Krista did a great job widening the opening of the old reach-in closet and inserting two PAX frames into the closet space. Read her post for lots of useful DIY information.

#3 Make an access door

The last idea is to add a door above the closet.

Koqui says “make a door on the wall right above the closet door frame. I did the same on mine.” Cutting an opening on the drywall, framing it out and then adding a push-open door is very doable. And it solves the problem effectively.

This video may offer some handy tips on how to make an access door in a drywall.

What other suggestions do you have for Linda, do let us know in the comments below.