Monthly Archives: January 2012

Good Hangers, Great Closet

Most people think hangers are insignificant—certainly nothing to get excited about. Chances are, your closet is filled with a motley collection of them, dominated by the flimsy wire hangers that come from the dry cleaner’s. And if that’s the case, I’m willing to bet that you don’t really like spending time looking through your clothes.

Here’s the problem: those wire hangers not only look cheap—they’re also bad for your clothing. Plus, they tend to get tangled as you move them, so reaching for one shirt is likely to result in a fight with five hangers and a good portion of your wardrobe landing on the floor. Before you know it, you’re slamming the closet door with no outfit in hand. You don’t want to get anything out of that sartorial black hole (or even put the laundry away), because your closet makes you absolutely crazy.

When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see how the little things in life can add up to create a lot of stress. If you’re able to control your environment by making a small change—like streamlining your closet—you’ll be amazed by how big your sense of relief is. Here are some of my tips for overhauling your hanger situation and giving yourself a little relief in a world of stress.

Commit to buying new hangers. Wanting your closet chaos to lessen is all well and good—but many people tend to balk when it comes to actually shelling out cash for something so mundane. In order to help you get over this mental block, consider that having sturdy, matching hangers will help you to get ready faster and will also be an aid to organization. As you’re re-hanging each item of clothing, you’ll be forced to consider how much you actually like and wear it, and you’ll find yourself getting rid of dead weight. Plus, matching hangers will give your closet more space and a much more peaceful vibe.

Choose the right hangers for you. Again, bear with me—putting some prior thought into the type of hanger you want to buy isn’t as silly as it sounds. Depending on the contents of your wardrobe, you’ll find some styles much more useful than others. Here’s a breakdown of three styles I love:

  • The shirt hanger. As the name suggests, these hangers are good for blouses with structured shoulders, dresses, and even some jackets (coat hangers tend to stretch smaller pieces too far). I suggest investing in a thin, velvet-lined style that will save you space.
  • The regular bar hanger. These are good for coats and jackets. I like to hang two pairs of pants on each one—pants fold nicely over the bar hanger.
  • The “special” bar hanger. I’m going to do some shameless promoting here. I absolutely love a special bar hanger that is made by Real Simple. (It’s sold by Bed, Bath & Beyond.) These bar hangers come with built-in clips so that you can use them to hang a pant or a top that is often worn with the garment on the bar hanger. They also hook onto one another so that they’ll cascade vertically, and they include an extra bar for hanging scarves or other small accessories.

Get creative. Once you’ve purchased your new hangers, think outside the box as you’re re-hanging all of your clothing. For example, you might put accessories that you predominantly wear with certain shirts or dresses (like scarves, necklaces, and belts) around the hanger’s hook, or clip them to the hanger with a clothespin. You might even consider cascading hangers vertically to store all the pieces of an outfit together. I love this method because it saves space, too!

Yes, overhauling your hanger situation will take a little money and a little time on the front end. But trust me—the time (and sanity) it will save you when you’re able to choose outfits stress-free will be more than worth it!