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How to Design a Teenager's Closet

teenagers closet
This teen closet is set to bridge the time span between adolescence and young adulthood. A jewelry drawer with space for perfume above occupies one side of the closet. A basket for small electronics, game controllers, and mementos from childhood sits on a neighboring shelf.

When it comes to closet design, teens have special requirements of their own. Even though they're probably pretty close to being finished growing physically, they are still changing. Their needs will continue to evolve over the next few years. That's why flexibility is so important when embarking on a teenager's closet design.

There's an old saying that "kids grow like weeds", but no one changes faster than a teenager. To most parents, it seems like they were just babies a short while ago. Yet, by adolescence, they are on the cusp of becoming independent adults. Needs and tastes a change very quickly during this time. Peer pressure can be intense. Many will express themselves through their clothing. And these clothing choices definitely effect closet needs. However, it won't be long before they mature out of their teen wardrobe. They'll soon need professional clothes suitable for a young, working adult. Knowing this, how do you design the closet, so it lasts until they leave the nest?

5 Closet Ideas to Help Teens Stay Organized:

  1. Adjustable Shelves and Rods:

    If you do nothing else to your teen's new closet, make sure it is flexible. Closets with selective drilling look nice, but this is not a good idea for the teenager. Always go with full-bore. Having a bunch of holes running up the sides of the closet panels will provide the greatest ability to move things around in the future. With the possible exception of a couple of prom dresses, most of your teen's clothing will be best suited for double hang clothing racks. Hoodies and graphic tees dominate many teen closets. They simply aren't very long. Even dresses rarely need long or medium-hang. Adolescent girls tend to prefer casual skirts and dresses above the knee. A lot of that will change, however, when they start their careers. Sweatshirts and fast-food uniforms will be replaced by professional clothing suitable for a business environment. As long as the shelves and rods are moveable, this shouldn't present a problem for a well-designed closet.
    closet shelves and rod with full bore panels
    This teenager's closet uses full-bore drilling on the closet panels. Notice the line of holes. This allows shelves, rods, and accessories to easily be added or moved into a different slot. This flexibility will come in very handy as needs change.
  2. Baskets & Valet Poles:

    It's a fact. many teens have trouble keeping their rooms tidy. If you notice clothing left on the chair or floor, it's time to take action. Make it convenient for your child to put things away. The right closet accessories can help with that. Valet poles and baskets are especially useful. The valet pole is much easier and therefore more likely to be used than a hanger. Baskets provide a place to stash clothes without having to necessarily fold them neatly before putting things away.
    close-up of teenagers closet with valet pole and basket
  3. Built-In Cabinets:

    Putting things away when you're finished with them can be a challenge for many teens. That's why their rooms can easily become messy. But a good organization system can help with that. Extra built-ins in the child's bedroom provide extra storage and are super convenient. And they're not just for clothing. The extra drawers and cabinets can hold pretty much anything your kid collects. Use them for books, video game components, and small electronics as well as wardrobe accessories. For the teen with a lot of "stuff," this can be a godsend.
    wardrobe style closet for a teenage girl
    This teen bedroom includes a wall of extra built-ins for storage. The added drawers and cabinets can hold a lot of possessions while giving the room a neat and tidy appearance.
  4. Shoe Storage:

    There is a lot of peer pressure on having the right shoes. Girls especially seem to want/have a lot of shoes. Whether your teen wants Uggs, the latest Air Jordans, or some other type of shoe that is all the rage, plan for a place to keep them in the closet. Your child's feet have probably stopped growing by now. Instead of replacing outgrown shoes, they just add on to a growing collection of footwear. Generally, the larger the shoe organizer you can manage to fit, the better.
    walk-in closet for teenage girl
    This walk-in closet for teenage girl includes hanging storage that is covered by large doors with pull-ring handles, a built-in dresser for folded items, and a set of rotating shoe shelves in the corner. The 360 Organizer® spinning shelves are also used to hold decorative boxes and other personal mementos important to the young owner.
  5. A Mirror:

    Whether boy or girl, appearance becomes very important during the adolescent years. If you can, include a mirror in the closet. At the very least, it will keep the bathroom free and able to be used by other family members. There are a lot of different types of mirrors for closets, but try and get a full-length mirror for your teenager if possible. That way they can see their clothes as well as hair and make-up.
    Teen closet with pull-out mirror
    This closet includes a full-length pull-out mirror that pivots to show different angles. The advantage of this type of mirror is that it stores vertically inside the closet. It is one of the few full-length mirrors suitable for either a reach-in or walk-in closet that doesn't require installation on the front or back of a door.

Flexibility, convenience, and extra storage is the key to a successful teenager's closet design!

If you are frustrated by your messy teen's room, a new closet may be the answer. But make sure you include plenty of organized storage, so they have room for all the "stuff" that accompanies their ever-changing interests. Flexibility in the design is also important. Always use full-bore panels so that you can move shelves rods, and accessories around. And having the right accessories and closet organizers will help your teenagers stay organized without having to nag them to clean their rooms.