Optimizing an IKEA Wardrobe




Introduction: Optimizing an IKEA Wardrobe

About: So many things to learn and make, so little time! I like things that are cool, useful, efficient, well crafted.

I have bought an IKEA (PAX) wardrobe with doors. When it came about the drawers, a design fault showed off: some unwanted and irregular space between the drawers made us loose some precious room.

Well, it may be a small annoyance, or a big one if you are a perfectionist!

Read on to see how to hack and save space. It will require a hand saw for metal, and a router.

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Step 1: Using the IKEA Online Planner

They have an online planner on the web, which allows you to choose the wanted size, color, accessories.

After opting for doors, when placing the drawers, you may notice some unexpected spaces (marked "?!?" below), but the images are pretty small and faded, so you'll miss them easily.

The wasted space seems meaningless, but believe me, in practice, you'll notice it. The bad thing is that you cannot use that space at all.

Step 2: Why These Damn Extra Spaces?

But why, you ask, do these spaces exist? is there some sort of constraint?

The answer is: the door hinges are on the way!

Step 3: The Solution

Let's not be ruled by these hinges. The idea:
- make a cut into the bottom-most slide
- make a groove into the fourth drawer

Step 4: Bottom-Most Drawer

A hinge is on the way of the slide. use a metal handsaw to make a cut like illustrated.

Then, mount all four slide pairs, and place the three bottom-most drawers.

Gain: one space.

(There are still two spaces wasted at the very bottom.) But hold on, the best is yet to come.

Step 5: Fourth Drawer

A hinge is on the way of the fourth drawer. Mark the location on the drawer, and make a wide groove, using a router.

A router is a strange and dangerous power tool. Use a lot of caution and train on a piece of scrap wood! Wear protective glasses. Work slowly. Unplug the cord whenever tuning the tool.

Don't meet the screws: let at least 2mm of the thickness remain. The groove is quite wide, so make it in 3 passes, the center pass first.

Then place this drawer.

Gain: 5 spaces (almost the height of one drawer!)

Step 6: Done! Compact Layout

Enjoy the saved room, and the evenly spaced drawers.

Ambitious DIYers can even save the space at the bottom:
- make a longer cut into the slide
- you'll need to make a grove in the bottom drawer too
- be sure to do this first, as everything will be shifted downwards.

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    8 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 6

    Hi, amazing tutorial !
    Your drawers look like they're made of solid wood, and I can find them only made of particleboard. Do you think it would be sturdy enough ?
    Thank you !


    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    So HOW much space did you leave between the drawers? I'm ordering online and I have a choice to go 7/8" or 2 1/8"... What to do?! 7/8" I gain an extra drawer!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    cut about 10mm from the top of the draws and they fit a lot closer together!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    ok, good idea but I think is more simple use blum hinge nil protrusion


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi. This is smart.
    But instead of using a router, I would have put the door hinge 10cm higher.
    A little easier no?


    7 years ago on Step 5

    "A router is a strange and dangerous power tool"... very wise words!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Lose not Loose. Loose = not tight.

    Great fix.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    ...or waste, not waist.

    Fixed the fix. Thanks.