I’ve been professionally organizing hangers and closets for over 10 years now. Of course, most of us have been doing something with our closets for decades. Even with tons of experience, there’s always a chance to learn something new.
At first, hangers seem to be an unnecessary expense. I mean, don’t you get free ones from the store and the dry cleaner? Y’all know I love free.
Several years ago, I worked with a teenager who loved purple. We asked what would motivate her to keep her closet organized, and she said purple hangers. Mom authorized 50 purple hangers, and the teen kept her promise. Plus, she always had the right number of hangers in her closet. Neither of her brothers wanted to be caught dead with purple hangers.
Then a funny thing started happening. I started finding unopened packs of these Thin Velvet Hangers
in closets. Unopened. TV shopping channels were winning women over with luxury hangers, but buyers were waiting for the “right time” to break out the “good hangers”. This before and after is pretty stunning, and we didn’t purchase anything new at all.
Occasionally we need the few vertical inches that regular hangers eat up, so we bring in pants hangers. They hang a little higher, and let us effectively use more space, which you can see at the bottom, below.
I noticed that clothes look nicer when they’re all on the same type of hanger, whatever kind it is. That’s because the hangers don’t fight with each other, and the clothes hang instead of bunching.
Some people love wooden hangers, which take up a lot of room in a clothes closet, but provide the strength that we need for coats. Wire hangers and plastic hangers don’t do that.
Just this week you saw the sweetest little closet makeover for a little girl and her giraffe friends. How sweet are these pink polka dot hangers? The hangers that kids clothes come on are notoriously hard to use, and sometimes are too small to even fit on the clothes rod. Grrr. Getting kids ready in the morning is hard enough. Let’s not do battle with the hardware, too!
Really, my favorite thing about fancy hangers is not their ease of use, but the way they do math for me. I don’t really want to calculate in my closet. But if I have a pack of 50 fancy hangers, and they all fit, it’s going to mess me up to add a flimsy wire hanger. So I know I have 50 or 100 garments, and they fit nicely. If something new comes in, something old has to go. Nice hangers keep me honest on the “one in, one out” rule. You’ve heard that rule, and you’ve probably promised yourself that you’d try it, but it’s harder to cheat when you run out of hangers. I actually work it in my organized closet, which has a mix of plastic and velvet hangers (I like plastic hangers for t-shirts).
So, somewhat reluctantly, I’ve become a hanger snob. But you don’t have to buy all new hangers to get all of these benefits. Look around in your own home, and try just matching up hangers. Do you have wire, tubular, clear plastic, metal and wooden hangers? Try separating them out between closets, or his side of the closet versus hers. You’ll instantly feel more organized if they all match, even if they aren’t the luxury hangers.
Of course, if you, too, have a pack of the velvet hangers, unopened, waiting for the right time, the time is now! 31 Days of Clutter-Free Living folks, tell me what you’ve got, or show me over on our Facebook Group.
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Do you know any narrower hangers? We’ve been thinking about buying an older home and many of them have very narrow closets. If we take the plunge, I see matched hangers in our future.
All adult hangers are all roughly the same 12″ width. But I have known people to use youth hangers to save space. Honestly, though, I would frame in a new closet in an older house in a heart beat. It can cost between $200-$500, and will always be an amazing ROI (return on investment).
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