- Closet shelf dividers are the easiest and most cost-effective way to instantly organize and separate clothing, accessories, and linens.
- The Lynk Tall White Solid Shelf Divider is the best closet shelf divider because it’s sturdy, slim and affordable.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve watched in awe as organization-sensation Marie Kondo gracefully transforms cluttered homes into organized masterpieces on her Netflix Show.
Everyone I know has read her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and been busily purging or tidying up their spaces using her KonMari method, which offers a simple system for getting and staying organized at home.
Ridding your space of clutter can be so therapeutic, but it’s challenging as well, because once you’ve decided what will stay (all together now, “does it spark joy?”) and what will go, you’ve got to put everything back where it belongs.
I’m generally a neat person, but observing Kondo navigate these bursting-at-the-seams spaces, I realized it was time to tackle my own, and in particular, my closet. Her method is exhausting but strangely exhilarating, and I was able to transform my closet into an organized, tidy oasis in relatively short order. One of the most helpful pieces of advice was her recommendation to fold pants and sweaters and store them (along with my bags) on closet shelves with shelf dividers.
There are a couple of reasons why a shelf divider is an absolute must-have for every closet. First and foremost, they are way less expensive than a closet renovation or hiring a professional organizer. They also take up less space than bins or boxes, while still keeping everything visible and within reach, and they can be easily installed and removed.
Most people also have limited closet space and shelf dividers indisputably help you make the most of every precious inch. There are lots of options out there, but we focused on the most important categories to consider; your shelving style (wooden or wire), the divider size (especially height and depth), the design or style (solid vs open) and the cost.
Here are the best closet shelf dividers in 2019:
- Best shelf divider overall: Lynk Tall White Solid Shelf Divider
- Best solid divider: Container Store Clear Shelf Divider
- Best budget dividers: mDesign Metal Wire Closet Shelf Divider
- Best dividers for wire shelves: Evelots Closet Wire Shelf Divider
- Best cloth dividers: Lynk Vela Shelf Divider
Keep scrolling to check out our top picks.
The best overall
Transform your cluttered closet shelves into a streamlined, tidy space with a few sets of Lynk tall shelf dividers.
According to our research and hundreds of satisfied customers on Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Target, these durable metal dividers are the way to go if you’re trying to create a better storage solution in your closet. With a sturdy, sleek and unobtrusive design, they are simply the best option for most people. Wirecutter also thinks they’re the top pick, and the testers included a team of professional organizers who spent hours researching and installing the products recommended in their review.
Each divider clips easily onto wooden shelves up to 7/8 inches thick, and almost every review states they are easy to install, with no tools required. Once in place, the Lynk tall shelf divider stays put. A stabilizing crossbar on the bottom of the divider helps hold it securely on the shelf, ready to keep anything from pants, sweaters, and accessories in place. Reviewers mention they are also strong enough to handle leaning items like bags, thanks to the grips which attach them to the shelf.
At 13 inches, they are taller than most dividers, which means you can fold higher stacks and save even more space. A few reviews do suggest measuring your closet height to ensure they will fit, but in most cases, this height works for the average closet. At 8.4 inches deep, they will fit on both deep and narrow shelves.
The minimalist, open design is available in white and chrome and sold in a set of two for a very affordable price.
Pros: Easy to install, simple design, affordable, taller than most dividers
Cons: Not compatible with wire shelving
The best budget dividers
If keeping costs down is your primary concern, the mDesign Metal Wire Closet Shelf Divider set comes with eight pieces and prices out to less than $4 per divider.
Our research showed that the cheapest, most popular shelf divider is the mDesign Metal Wire Closet Shelf Divider. Promising an easy, tool-free installation, a polished steel finish that is rust-resistant, and a stable, sleek design, this is the perfect choice for a rental or dorm closet. With eight per set, you’ll have extras to keep as replacements or to set up in multiple closets.
At just over 9 inches tall, it’s pretty decent for maximizing vertical space, but it does measure a bit short in depth at only 8 inches. You need to stretch it a bit to attach it to a standard 1-inch thick shelf, but many reviewers assure that the wide stabilizer on the bottom keeps the divider securely in place.
The clean, metal design, available in chrome or bronze, matches perfectly with any décor, which is helpful if you’re thinking about using this divider in a pantry, linen, or bathroom closet.
The mDesign Metal Wire Closet Shelf Divider earns high praise from lots of customers, especially for its sturdy design.
The company also suggests flipping the divider upside down and hanging it under the shelf, which gives you seven bars of hanging storage for things like scarves, belts or bags. It’s also suggested that you use this divider in other closets in your house, and the mDesign gets many positive reviews for multipurpose use, with many people mentioning that they used it in pantries and linen closets as well.
“These spruced up my closet and helped to keep my towels and other linens organized,” reports a recent review, while another mentions, “I love these things on every shelf in the house so I can categorize. They also work in the freezer I have now.”
Pros: Super-affordable, simple design, easy installation, multipurpose
Cons: Not as tall or deep as other dividers
The best solid divider
- The Container Store
If design is especially important to you, opt for the sleek modern look of the acrylic Container Store Clear Shelf Divider.
The Container Store Clear Shelf Divider measures 9.5 inches high and a healthy 12.5 inches deep, so it’s able to fully separate your stacks of neatly folded clothes.
Reviewers on the Container store site say it’s easy to install on thicker shelves, between ¾ inches to 1.5 inches, with one happy customer claiming this product is an “organizational dream; this shelf divider is sturdy, the perfect size, and slides onto shelves very easily!! Organizes any closet!!”
There’s also a handy extra with this divider, a space-saving valet hook which you can use to hang items like bags, belts or a robe in front of your shelves. The experts at HGTV even call out this feature in a recent article on closet organization, and the Wirecutter recommends these dividers.
Although some reviews mention that it’s not quite as sturdy as they would have hoped, the Container Store Clear Shelf Divider is still a great bet and is an upscale, aesthetically pleasing choice that’s perfect for interior design buffs or anyone looking to upgrade the look of their closet.
Pros: Great looking from a design perspective, easy to install, fairly sturdy
Cons: A little pricey
The best for wire shelves
Wire shelving is incredibly popular since it’s easy to install, affordable and durable. With that in mind, we recommend the Evelots Closet Wire Shelf Divider.
Durable, affordable, and specially designed to clip on to wire shelving closet systems, their plastic coated steel design won’t rust or get dingy over time. With a substantial 12-inch x 12-inch frame, consider these as a practical solution for a rental property, where most closets have wire shelving.
The Amazon description mentions they have a new and improved design that offers more stability, and many recent reviews are filled with sentiments similar to these, “Having closet shelf dividers that don’t stand up straight is not the biggest problem in the world but it has been a minor annoyance for years. These dividers took no time to install and required no tools, they fit my wire shelves perfectly, and they stand up straight.”
One criticism, however, is that the open sides don’t keep certain items securely inside. But overall, reviewers looking for dividers for wire shelving seem to be most pleased with this design.
Pros: Durable, sturdy, inexpensive
Cons: Design of open space in each divider may make it hard to keep some items from spilling over
The best cloth dividers
If you’re looking for the full divide of a solid material but don’t want to splurge on acrylic, try the Lynk Vela Shelf Divider.
There are lots of reasons why people like the Lynk Vela Shelf Divider. The simple, durable fabric is available in two colors: platinum and bronze. The soft material also means that there’s no risk of snagging your clothes on a metal design.
Reviews say they look nice, are good and tall at 13 inches, and are easy to install by sliding onto standard size wooden shelves. You’re getting a great deal, too, as the price is fairly low.
This solid style of shelf divider is recommended because solid dividers create a visual definition of your space and keep everything neat.
One reviewer points out, “Have had just open, wire jobs until now but this design, with fabric, keeps your shelf piles where ya want ’em, not spilling over into the next space.”
Cloth dividers also work particularly well in linen closets, where they can keep folded towels, blankets, and other linens neatly organized.
Pros: Visually appealing for those who want a solid divider, items won’t snag or get scratched by the cloth material
Cons: Material may scuff or tear over time