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7 Clothing Items You Should Always Hang (And 6 To Fold Instead)

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

Many people get hung up (pun intended) on how to organize their closets, but while having a neatly organized closet is nice, it’s not the most important consideration when it comes to your clothes. There’s another decision that can have a real impact on the lifespan of all your clothes, making it more important that any decision about sorting and organizing—it’s the decision of which of your clothes you’ll hang or fold.

Why Deciding Whether To Hang Or Fold Something Is So Important

A lot of us decide which clothes to hang or fold based on our preference, and while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it’s not the best way to protect your clothing. But if you want keep your clothes looking nice for as long as possible, one way to do that is by storing them the right way. And today’s post is all about doing just that! :-)

Today’s post will provide answers to that age-old clothing query: “Should I hang this in my closet or fold it and put it in my dresser?” We’ll go over 7 clothing items that are better to hang and 6 that are better to fold. If you’ve been meaning to do some closet decluttering and reorganizing, the lists below will help eliminate a lot of guesswork about where to put what!

Scroll down to see videos of two of my favorite clothing folding hacks in action!

Related: Want A More Functional Closet? Try These 6 Simple Solutions

7 Types Of Clothes You Should Hang In Your Closet

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

1. Dresses

For lightweight dresses, hang them with the help of the straps that are sewn into the back. If an extra-slippery dress is causing problems, criss-cross the straps over the top of the hanger to secure it. For heavy dresses and dresses made from delicate materials, hang them on padded hangers.

Related: This One Simple Hack Solves Every Problem With Collared Shirts

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

2. Light Sweaters & Cardigans

Hang sweaters and cardigans in your closet too. However, gravity can prove problematic in these situations, and you don’t want the sleeves of your favorite sweaters to get stretched out. That’s why I use the hang-fold method for my cardigans, which you can read about at the link below.

Read More: How To Hang Your Sweaters So They Won’t Get Stretched Out

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

3. Blouses

Hang collared blouses in your closet with the top button fastened to help preserve the shape of the collar. (This is particularly important when dealing with delicate materials like silk, satin, and lace.)

For blouses without collars, just make sure you aren’t accidentally stretching the neckline out when you hang them up. Inserting your hanger through the bottom of the blouse is a great way to avoid stretching.

If you have blouses that won’t stay on hangers, I have just the solution! Check out the post at the link below to learn three easy DIY methods for turning a plastic hanger into a non-slip hanger.

Read More: The Cheap And Easy Way To Make Any Hanger Non-Slip

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

4. Trousers & Dress Pants

Hang trousers, dress pants, and slacks from skirt hangers. It’s a great way to save space in your closet, and to avoid that annoying crease that often forms when you fold them over a hanger.

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

5. Jackets, Blazers, & Coats

Always hang outerwear like jackets, blazers, and sport coats. They’ll do fine on a standard plastic hanger, but ideally you’d hang them on a curved suit hanger. If dust is an issue in your closet, you may want to invest in a few shoulder covers to protect your nicest jackets and shirts.

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

6. Skirts

Hang skirts from skirt hangers, or from hanging straps if your skirt has them. You can also DIY a skirt hanger using a plastic hanger and a couple of clothespins or clips. Get all the details on that at the link below (look for #4 in the list.)

Read More: 8 Brilliant Closet Hacks That Will Actually Help You Get Organized

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

7. Scarves

The best way to keep your scarves nice is to hang them up in your closet. There are a lot of options for where to hang them, but it largely depends on how much space you have. If space isn’t an issue, just hang them over a regular plastic hanger. If you need a space-saving solution, try a scarf hanger with slots for multiple scarves.

6 Types Of Clothes You Should Fold

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

1. T-Shirts

Many t-shirts are a bit stretchy, and that can cause them to stretch out on a hanger. Instead, fold your t-shirts and store them on a shelf or in a drawer. Many people swear by Marie Kondo’s KonMari method because once your shirts are folded that way, you can stack them neatly upright in a drawer.

This method saves a significant amount of space and makes it so you can see all the shirts in your drawer at once. Learn how to fold shirts the KonMari way from this Elbow Room article.

Here’s my favorite way to fold a t-shirt FAST:

YouTube video
Practice makes perfect!
What to Hang vs. What to Fold

2. Heavy Knitwear

Although I hang my light sweaters and cardigans, I know you should always fold heavy knits and thick sweaters. That way you don’t have to worry about them getting stretched out like they often do when they’re hung on hangers.

If you only have long, open shelves in your closet and need a way to divide them up to make them more functional, install some simple closet dividers to keep your folded clothes more organized.

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

3. Bras & Underwear

Everyday bras and underwear are best stored in a drawer. (As for whether or not you should actually fold your underwear, that’s up to you! I always do, but I’ve heard from plenty of people who don’t see the point in doing it. To each their own!)

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

4. Socks

I admit that I’ve always been a sock roller, despite the fact that it’s not great for your socks. All that extra stretching you do while rolling them together can wear out the elastic, but folding them in half is a safe alternative that will extend the life of your socks.

What to Hang vs. What to Fold

5. Casual Pants

Fold your jeans, corduroys, khakis, and all your other casual pants and store them in a drawer or on a shelf.

YouTube video
Make sure your pants are always presentable by folding them.
What to Hang vs. What to Fold

6. Embellished Items

It’s a good idea to fold any of your clothes that are significantly embellished with sequins, beadwork, etc. These items tend to be heavy, so hanging them can distort their shape. For an added layer of protection for both the embellished items and the items around them, you may want to wrap embellished items in tissue paper before storing them.

Do you have a favorite tip or trick for storing your clothes?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • I hang my scarves from a DIY scarf hanger: put a set of plastic shower curtain rings onto the bar of a wooden hanger. Presto! I hang my slacks over the bar of wooden hangers (8 for $5 @ Ikea), and they don’t seem to get a mark at the hanging fold.

  • I put one sock inside the other so all we have to do is find one sock in the drawer and the match is already inside! I hang my bras (black, white, nude) on a hook in my closet for easy access and wash all 3 once per week. I hang 2 similar pants on one pant hanger, such as 2 dress pants or 2 sweat pants, and I do the same with skirts or skorts. I hang all my t-shirts. I keep all my shoes in 2 plastic boxes under my bed (I don’t have a lot). I store blankets in SpaceSaver vacuum storage bags in the top of my closet because it takes up way less room. I store all my suitcases within each other to save space. I roll my underwear and store them the KonMarie way in a drawer. I have several purses on drawer knobs my husband installed on one wall in my closet up high so out of the way but on display!

  • Unique way to hang scarves is to take one scarf that you don’t use, hot glue it along the length of a padded hanger leaving loope. Let dry and you have a scarf hanger. I saw this on a TV program. You can also do this for your husband’s ties.
    I bought a sweater hanger – the one that has shelves and use it for my purses. This makes me age my purses so I never have any I don’t use (theoretically speaking, of course).

  • I put my unused purses in my carry-on bag that sits on the closet floor. Easy to pull out when I want to change purses. It takes up less space than hanging them and keeps everything dust free

  • All my life I have stored my bras in my drawer (folding one cup into the other), but I noticed that they were getting deformed – the edges flipping the wrong way leading to odd bulges under my shirts. A year ago I started hanging them on an old tie rack my husband doesn’t use anymore. No more distortion.

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