A step-by-step guide: how to plan your IKEA PAX wardrobe (2023)

We recently renovated our apartment (oops!) and one of my favorite additions is the new closet we built. we went through onelanguageIn the process of considering different options for this closet, from high-end custom options (California Closets) to cheaper pre-made options, we finally decided to build our own using the IKEA Pax closet system.This is a very popular product and you can find a lot of information on how to build and organize it, but less information on how to plan the system before you buy and build it. We were ready to tear our hair out buying the cabinet because, to be honest, IKEA does a pretty lousy job of teaching us how to buy and build this cabinet.

This is where I come in.

You may think that the first step in planning your wardrobe is to take a trip to the nearest IKEA, right?

Incorrect!You will simply be overwhelmed by the options and options. This happened to us. (Exception: if you want to be inspired or see if you fit in in person, then go ahead.)

Otherwise, save yourself the trip and read on: In this post, I'll show you exactly how we planned our IKEA PAX wardrobe from scratch and what tips and tricks will help you when planning your IKEA PAX wardrobe.

table of Contents

(Video) How to plan an IKEA Pax Wardrobe *Watch this before you buy!* #ikeapaxwardrobe

Paso 1: Take an inventory of your belongings

What do you need:

  • pencil and paper
  • Or download this handy "How to Plan Your Perfect Wardrobe" worksheet

If you've always wanted to get Mari Kondo out of your closet, this is your chance! If you are new to the Mari Kondo Method, watch the Netflix show, orRead the book!

You're basically going through all your clothes, accessories, bags, and shoes and really deciding whether to keep them or thank them and let them go. Donate or give away everything in your let go stack and organize the rest into categories.

Now write how many pieces of each category you have. In this way you will have a complete inventory of items to store in your new closet and you will be able to assemble it exactly according to your needs.

Pro tip:Need help? My How to Plan Your Perfect Wardrobe worksheet can help you with that! Receive it in your inbox.

Step 2: Measure your space

What do you need:

(Video) IKEA PAX WARDROBE SYSTEM | Design Online Step by Step

  • measuring tape
  • pencil and paper

Next,Measure the space where you want your closet. It could be a dressing room or a wall to one side of your bedroom. measure this area: Write down and record the length, width, and height of the room.

Once you have the dimensions, draw a sketch of the room; It doesn't have to be perfect, just close enough to help you visualize the dimensions and shape of the area in which you want to build the closet. This will help you determine how much hanging space you need versus drawer space and small accessory storage options.

Here is an example of what my sketch looked like. I used an iPad and the "Grid" paper setting in GoodNotes 5. As you can see, my space was 112 inches wide, 165 inches long, and 96 inches tall.

A step-by-step guide: how to plan your IKEA PAX wardrobe (1)

Helpful Hint:If you live in the USA, measure itboth foot inchYtotal Customs, if you live anywhere else in the world, usecentimeter. believe me this time

Step 3: Understanding the IKEA PAX system

This is the key between a smooth planning experience and the hair-raising experience we had. If you just look at the IKEA website or visit the store, you'll be blown away by the endless options and odd sizes.

Here is a simplified and easy way to understand the system:The IKEA PAX system is available in 3 different widths, 2 different heights and 2 different depths. They also offer corner cabinets, but I haven't used any.

  • Heightit is easy to choose, it depends on the height of your ceiling. If you have 8-foot (96-inch) ceilings and want your closet to extend to the top, choose the 92 7/8″ option here. If you have lower ceilings or don't want to extend the cabinet up, you can choose the shorter 79 1/4" option.
  • depthIt depends on how deep you want your closet to be and how much space you have. My space allows me to go with the deeper 22 7/8″ option, which gives you more storage space for your drawers and clothes. If you are short on space or installing this in a tighter space, consider the 13 3/4″ option. My recommendation is to go with 23 inches if it can help maximize your space and not make your clothes stand out.
  • Broadthe unit is where you have some space to play. The exact dimensions to choose from are: 39 3/8″, 29 1/2″ and 19 5/8″. Do yourself a favor and just round up: 40″, 30″ and 20″. Well, doesn't that make it easier? How you assemble these units depends on your space and the amount of clothing you want to store.
Broad39 3/8″29 1/2″19 5/8″
Height92 7/8″79 1/4″
depth22 7/8″13 3/4″

Step 4: Plan your wardrobe on paper

Now that you have a basic understanding of the options available to you, the PAX system doesn't seem so scary, does it? The key for me was when I realized that once you've reduced the height and depth, all you have to do is play with the width.

(Video) IKEA PAX WARDROBE GUIDE & HOW TO PLAN | Lucy Jessica Carter

Here is the updated sketch of the room we drew with the PAX frame width dimensions added:

A step-by-step guide: how to plan your IKEA PAX wardrobe (2)

You can see that we use all three border widths, so a combination of widths would suit our needs. It's okay if you change your mind later during planning, as long as they fit into the space you have.

Step 5: Using the IKEA PAX planning tool

Arguably one of the most useful tools when designing this closet is the (free)IKEA Pax Design Tool. The tool is very useful and knowing a few tips and tricks can make the planning process much easier.

What do you need:

  • The finished sketch of your closet space (from step 3)
  • Your completed inventory closet planning worksheet (from step 1)
  • oneLaptop or desktop computer with an Internet browser capable of running Adobe Flash (if you don't have a computer and only have an iPad or a phone, you can always go to an IKEA in person. They have computers there that you can use)

Once you get to the planner page, click 'Create PAX from scratch'; choose the shape of your room; in my case, I chose square and entered the dimensions of the room. This is where the feet/inches measurement you took earlier comes in handy! I put mine up: 9 foot 4 inches wide and 13 foot 9 inches long.

Once you set up your room, the fun begins! Click on "Frame" and use the filter tool to shortlist:

  • the height you want
  • the desired depth
  • The color of your choice

You should now only have a few options to choose from based on width. I suggest you play around with the different widths, as frames of different widths have different drawer/organization options to choose from. When planning, use your inventory list to decide how many rails, drawers, shelves, trays, and baskets you'll need.


Pro Tips:

  • The planner tool uses "drag and drop" functionality. It's a little fun to get used to, but you'll get the hang of it.
  • To add accessories/drawers to a frame, click on the frame and the "Interior" button.
  • Filter, filter, filter! The secret to not getting overwhelmed is to use the filter tool whenever possible to show only the options you want.
  • Save and print your plan. The tool provides you with a unique code that you can return to so your hard work doesn't get lost. Starting from scratch is a pain. Trust me, I would know.
  • You can add any item you have used in the planner to your shopping cart. When you select your store, you can also see what items are in stock and where you can find them.
A step-by-step guide: how to plan your IKEA PAX wardrobe (3)

Step 6: Take a trip to IKEA (Finally!)

After you've played around with the planning tool a bit and have a pretty good idea of ​​the closet you want to build, you should take a trip to IKEA and bring your sketch, clothing inventory, saved code from your plan, and your own to-do list. shopping cart.

While you're there, here's what to do:

  • Ask the staff for help if you have trouble using your scheduling tool.
  • Personally inspect all fixtures and drawers: It can be difficult to see the details of fixtures in the planning tool, so it's a good idea to personally inspect all of them beforehand.Do you like the look and feel of glass drawers? What type of pull-out tray and dividers fit your needs?
  • Make adjustments to your shopping cart list as needed
  • Use your shopping cart list and go to the pickup area and see how big/heavy the boxes are for your items to decide if you want to shop in person and take it home yourself or use the paid delivery service.

Step 7: Buy your IKEA PAX system

Hurrah! Now that you've made it this far, it's time to shop for your wardrobe! You can order online and have IKEA deliver it to you, or (my recommended option) pick it up yourself.

I've had pretty bad experiences with IKEA furniture delivery in the past, so I pick it up myself whenever I can. For a large project like this we hired our contractors for 3 hours to pick it up for us. Because the frames are pretty big, you need a truck that can fit everything.

Whats Next?

Do you feel inspired? What are you waiting for? Grab this worksheet and start planning your dream closet today! This worksheet not only works well for IKEA PAX, it will also work with any closet system you choose. The process is what California Closets and other custom closet makers use to determine what to build: They first inventory all of your stuff.

Once you figure out this step, you'll be way ahead of the game!

(Video) IKEA PAX Hack. My DIY Step-by-step wardrobe guide to customising - UNDER £500

If you have any questions about the cabinet extension please send me a message. I will be happy to help you!


1. IKEA PAX planner
(IKEA Singapore)
2. How to Assemble the IKEA Pax Closet System | Step-by-Step Instructions & Tips
(Field Guide to DIY with Eddie Field)
3. How to create IKEA PAX wardrobe, setup guide 2022
4. Ikea PAX Wardrobe System Guide: basics, tips & tricks, lessons learned
(Stephanie Shen)
5. IKEA PAX WARDROBE I How to design and plan
(Sarah & Rhys)
6. How to Design Your IKEA Closet (wardrobe) Online | IKEA PAX Planner | IKEA PAX Closet System
(Travel Eat Lifestyle)
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