My 3 Favorite IKEA Storage Systems and How We Use Them In Our House
IKEA storage systems have help us organize and decorate our houses and get the look of custom closets and built-ins on a budget! My favorites– the ALGOT, BESTA, and PAX storage systems– have helped us to make the most of every inch of space in our homes!
It’s no secret that I love IKEA. In fact, I may be just a little bit obsessed. 😉 Though there are many reasons why IKEA has become one of my go-tos when I’m organizing and decorating, one of the biggest reasons is because they give me the ability to take their pieces and arrange them or adapt them to fit my exact needs.
In rooms that would otherwise require expensive custom cabinetry or shelving, for example, I am able to put together IKEA pieces to create the exact look and functionality that I’m looking for. (And Donnie has even gotten really good at trimming them out to make them look custom, which is a bonus!)
Part of the struggle with IKEA can be that with so many options, it can be hard to figure out exactly how best to use and configure their storage systems, so I thought I’d talk about my three favorites–ALGOT (now called BOAXEL), BESTA, and PAX–and show how we’ve used them in our house(s) to give some ideas of how they might work well for your space too.
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My 3 Favorite IKEA Storage Systems and How We Use Them in Our House
1. IKEA ALGOT Closet System
Let’s start with the one I’ve used the most: IKEA’s ALGOT closet system. Between our former townhouse and our current house, we’ve installed the ALGOT system in six (!!!) closets, and we have been thrilled with how it has helped us get organized and maximize our space.
[FYI… IKEA recently discontinued their ALGOT system and replaced it with BOAXEL, which is very similar.]
ALGOT uses a rail system, which attaches to the wall, and then we are able to use brackets to add shelves, baskets, rails, and specialty organizers like racks for pants and shoes. The brackets are easily movable, so if we decide we want to reconfigure the arrangement, we can easily do so.
I wrote a detailed explanation of how we measure and plan for an IKEA ALGOT system in this post, and you can also use their online ALGOT planner tool here.
We used the ALGOT system in the master bedroom closet in our townhouse…
In our boys’ shared bedroom closet in our current house…
In our current house’s pantry…
And in our townhouse pantry…
In my office closet in our townhouse…
And in our boys’ current playroom closet to display their finished LEGO sets…
I love how Liz at Life in Yellow used ALGOT for her kids’ big toy closet as well.
Can you tell that ALGOT is my favorite?! 🙂 Even our smallest closets became so organized and functional thanks to their smart and easy-to-install system!
I’ve often had people ask me about the quality of the ALGOT system and whether or not it has held up for us. I can honestly say that I haven’t ever had to replace even one piece in any of the closets where we’ve used it between our two houses. It has been extremely sturdy and has held up well over time (even with being used in some spaces that are primarily our crazy boys’ territory)!
2. IKEA BESTA
IKEA BESTA is a modular storage system that could be used to create any number of pieces, from an entertainment unit to a sideboard to a bookshelf and more. They can be used as open shelves or there are a ton of door options to choose from for closed off storage, and there are even glass door choices for a the best of both worlds!
We explained how we designed our BESTA system in this post, and IKEA also has an online BESTA planner tool here.
We first used BESTA to create a “built-in” entertainment system in our living room…
Donnie added baseboards to the bottom as well as crown molding to the top of the unit to give it a more custom look. You can find that tutorial in this post.
We also created a storage sideboard/bookshelf of sorts in my office with the BESTA system…
Again, Donnie added moldings and a heftier surface on top to make it look like a custom piece. He walked through the process step by step in this post.
We have typically turned to the BESTA system when we needed storage that was particular dimensions and we weren’t able to find a standard piece of furniture that was the right fit and looked great in the space. The combinations of things you can do with the BESTA pieces are nearly endless, making it really easy to customize to fit a specific spot.
A bunch of other bloggers have done brilliant things with BESTA too!
Aniko from Place of My Taste created a beautiful reclaimed wood buffet using BESTA pieces as the base.
Sarah at Life on Virginia Street created an entertainment and organization unit for her home office.
And Ashley at Sugar & Cloth put together a pretty floating credenza.
3. IKEA PAX Wardrobe System
My most recent IKEA storage system discovery was their PAX wardrobe system, and I love it so much that I’m looking for other places to put it in our house! PAX can be installed in an existing closet for a custom closet look or it can stand alone as a wardrobe with either sliding doors or traditional hinged doors.
I should note: PAX and ALGOT can both be used to create closet systems, and each have their individual strengths. I would use PAX in a larger or “fancier” closet if you wanted to have a more custom, upscale looking space or if you were looking for a closed in wardrobe option. ALGOT is more “nimble” because it has more movable parts, so it is perfect for a smaller closet space or for a minimal-looking open concept wall of storage.
I talked about how we planned out our PAX system in this post, and IKEA also has an online PAX planning tool here.
PAX storage unit with GRIMO doors
PAX was the absolute perfect solution for my closet-less home office, giving me tons of vertical storage space while blending right into the room and looking like it belonged there.
Donnie added custom molding to the top to make it look like it was built in (similar to this tutorial where we added crown molding to the top of our IKEA SEKTION kitchen cabinets in the townhouse), and I cannot believe how much storage it added to my space!
I also love this pretty PAX wardrobe from Gemma at The Sweetest Digs.
Jenna at Jenna Sue Design Co. even customized the doors of her PAX unit for a farmhouse/cottage vibe.
Jess from Bright Green Door made a statement in her bedroom with PAX wardrobes framing the bed.
And Krista at The Happy Housie upgraded her master closet with a beautiful built-in PAX system.
So that’s a quick rundown of my 3 favorite IKEA storage systems! If you’re looking for even more info on any of the three systems, you can check out the posts below:
How to Organize a Small Closet
How to Organize a Kitchen Pantry
How to Organize a Craft Closet
How to Create an Organized Kids’ Closet
Transforming Our Living Room with IKEA BESTA Built-Ins
How to Design, Install, and Add Trim to an IKEA BESTA Built-In System
How to Create Home Office Storage with the IKEA BESTA System
Creating an Organized Office with the IKEA PAX System
IKEA PAX Office Organization: A Tour
A Beautiful and Organized Home Office Tour
Bonus: IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets
We totally gutted our kitchen in the townhouse and put in an IKEA SEKTION kitchen, which we loved! The following posts talk about our experience with it…
How to Design and Install IKEA SEKTION Kitchen Cabinets
How to Add Crown Molding to Kitchen Cabinets
Our DIY White Kitchen Renovation: The Reveal
How to Organize a Small Kitchen
And if you’re looking for a smaller organizing solution, don’t miss all of the ways you can organize with an IKEA RASKOG rolling cart!
Have a wonderful day!
Very helpful information! Thank you!
I am a professional organizer and use this type
of information with my clients. Love your blog!
So glad it was helpful for you, Jenny! Have a great day! <3
IKEA pieces really shine if you can put some creativity and extra work into making them fit for your space. Your husband is a pro at adding the finishing touches. Go Donnie! I really love your office PAX system – it totally looks like it belongs there! You’ve left me inspired to go customize all my closets now 😀
Aw, thanks so much, Ashley! He really is the best! 🙂 Haha. Have a great day!
I love the PAX system. Although I am a huge Ikea fan myself, I have never noticed it. Maybe I just didn’t see a use for it and that is why. Thanks for sharing the great info. As usual, you have inspired me to go and take a good look at it.
Aw, good! So glad it was helpful for you, Audrey! <3
I also bought the PAX wardrobe system. We use it for my sewing supplies and Kitchen appliances that I do not use everyday. One section is for Hubby’s tools. I don’t know what I would do without it! Totally keeps the clutter away.
Great post Abby!
Yes! Isn’t it the best?!? We love it!
Do you think the PAX system could be used as a drop off spot for backpacks, purses and coats in a home with no mudroom?
Yes, for sure! You could definitely make an open locker-type system out of it. The only thing to watch would be that the shelves are only designed to hold about 26 pounds each, so you might need to be careful if you were going to be storing heavier items on them. I hope this helps!
I LOVE Ikea! I recently purchased two bookshelves to store DVD’s and mine and my partners belongings. I really love the PAX storage unit – definitely a must by for my new home.
It is the BEST! You will love it! 🙂
All of these solutions are so great!! IKEA makes it so easy to have an amazing storage system that also looks beautiful. I love all the different ways you used their Algot system – brilliant.
Thanks for the shout-out on our Pax wardrobe, lady. XO!!!
Thank YOU for sharing your gorgeous closet with us, sweet girl! Hope you’re having a great week! <3
Hi Abby, love this use of the pax system. Curious to know, did Donnie cut the baseboard so that that unit could sit flush against the wall? And did you decide to sit the unit directly onto the existing carpet or cut the carpet? Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. You are truly an inspiration!
Thank you so much, Sharon! He did cut out the baseboard so that the unit sat right up against the wall, and we set it on top of the carpeting. I hope this helps! Have a great day!
Is boaxel compatible with algot? I have a few leftover pieces.
I wouldn’t think they would be compatible with one another, but I have not tried it myself. Sorry I don’t have more info!