The 5 Things That Define an “Adult” Closet, According to Home Stagers

updated Jul 20, 2021
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You know what a dream closet looks like. You saw it on Instagram, and it was the size of a bedroom (!) with tufted ottomans and a conspicuous inch of space between each hanger. But what does a more practical adult closet look like—one that has a good system to keep things organized and excels at doing so in a small space? We posed this exact question to home stagers. 

Whether you’re working with a walk-in or a reach-in or something in between, here’s what these design pros love to see in closets.

1. A step ladder

A foldable step ladder will make it easy to access all of the available vertical space in your closet, says Amy Bloomer, with Let Your Space Bloom in Baltimore. “The top third of most closets aren’t used efficiently because it’s often so difficult to reach,” she says. “This tip will literally and figuratively elevate your space.”

2. Matching hangers

A collection of wire and plastic hangers in mismatched colors and shapes translates to chaos, says Jena Tack, a professional home stager with Kris Lindahl Real Estate, which serves areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“The number one item to make your close more adult-like is matching hangers,” Tack says.

Wooden! Velvet! Plastic! It doesn’t matter—just make sure they match, she explains. Some people prefer velvet hangers because clothes don’t slip off them easily. She does suggest wooden hangers for entryway or coat closets. “They support heavy coats better and look more inviting,” she says.  

Credit: Liz Calka

3. Hooks 

Using the door or the back side of your closet is a great way to reduce clutter, says Nitu Patel, the founder of New York City-based Phoenix and Rose Feng Shui. Patel stages, organizes, and designs homes with feng shui principles in mind.

“I recommend over-the-door hooks for all of my clients to hang robes, frequently used handbags, or scarves,” she says. For the bonus round, you could put a hook on the outside of the door to style and outfit and have it at the ready. You can find decorative and fun hook options at home stores or on Amazon.

4. Storage bins

Storage bins are a must for closets, and come in all different shapes, colors and patterns, says Nicole Graff, the co-owner and principal designer for Los Angeles-based residential interior design firm Hamsa Home.

“You can go more natural with wood or rattan bins, go a little bolder with colorful prints or stripes, or keep it clear with lucite,” she says. The bins will help keep your closet neat, allowing you to stash everything from swimsuits to scarves, while also adding a little personality to your closet. 

5. Wallpaper

For a wild card, amp up those boring white walls in your closet with a fun wallpaper makeover, Graff says. “This is a fun DIY project, with so many peel and stick wallpaper options to choose from,” she says. “Wallpaper is another inexpensive way to show off your personality, especially in a space that many of us never consider giving character.” Plus, your closet can be a great place to give this trend a test run.

Thinking about giving your closet a good clean-out? Start with this checklist