the strategist

This $50 Wall Ladder Is Like Having an Extra Closet

I live in a small apartment in New York, with limited closet space, that I share with another person. Until recently, I still had that “clothes chair” that everyone seems to have in their bedrooms: the place where clothes live that are in constant rotation or that have been worn but aren’t ready to be washed. I didn’t want to hang anything back in the closet because I wanted to have eyes on these garments, and also, it’s always an ordeal to put them on hangers at the end of the day. The pile would get higher and more precarious, crisp shirts would get wrinkled, dresses scrunched, pants lost.

On Pinterest one day, I saw something: a ladder that doubled as a place to hang clothes. Once you’ve been down the Pinterest K-hole of wall ladders, with extremely specific and minute detail differences between them (wood or metal? blond wood or dark pine? six rungs or five?), it may be hard to choose. It helped that I had specific parameters: Get my stuff off the ground and don’t take up a lot of space doing it and don’t look hideous and don’t cost too much. The Yamazaki home Tower Leaning Ladder Rack fit all these rules. It leans on the wall next to my dresser and it holds shirts I wear a lot, the three black dresses I wear again and again to work (the tower is helpful for “uniform dressing”), and, well, bras. Everything gets its own rung. Stuff is off the ground, off the chair, and I can see it all. The bras aren’t hanging on the bedroom doorknob like I’m still in college. I rotate things in and out of my closet and onto the tower as the seasons change: shorts and Eileen Fisher tanks in the summer, sweaters and wool pants in the colder months. It’s $50, and it hasn’t fallen on me yet. I have my bedroom chair back to actually sit on (or really, to stack books on: a problem for another day). I take this as a victory.

Buy It: $50 at Amazon and Domino

Here were some the other options I considered that weren’t right for me — but might work for you.

The Umbra Hub Ladder is popular and stylish and I might have gotten that one if I had more space. But I don’t — and it also is too flush to the wall at the top so there isn’t as much room for the clothes to hang. The Yamazaki tower is slanted in such a way that nothing is really smushed between the rungs and the wall.

$80 at Amazon

Then there’s the mDesign Free Standing Bath Towel Storage Ladder. It’s metallic with rubber ends but for me it felt a bit too “bathroom utilitarian.” Like it might belong in a hospital or in a corporate apartment, which is maybe your aesthetic, so no judgments.

$30 and up at Amazon

There’s also the very cool-looking Thing Industries Sacrificial Chair but it’s $280, and anything hanging on it is too low to the ground. And it still takes up as much room, width-wise, as a chair.

$280 at Spring

Welcome to the world of wall ladders.

The Strategist is a series of smart, obsessive shopping guides from the New York Magazine section of the same name. We’ve scoured the web to bring you the best of the best. Some of our latest conquests include a hair dryer, bandannas, body lotion, perfume, and a facial razor. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Please note that all prices are subject to change.

This $50 Wall Ladder Is Like Having an Extra Closet