When it comes to their closets, most people tend to get hung up on deciding how to organize it. And while having an organized closet is nice, it’s not the most important decision to make when it comes to your clothes. There’s a more important decision, which has a real impact on the lifespan of all your clothes. And as surprising as it might seem, that decision boils down to which clothes you hang up, and which clothes you fold.
Many people make the decision about which clothes to hang or fold based on personal preference. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it’s not the best way to protect your clothing. But if you want to extend the lifespan of your clothes as long as possible, you can do that by storing them the right way. And today I’ll tell you how to do just that! :-)
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Today’s post will answer that age-old clothing query: “Should I hang this or fold it?” I’ll identify 7 clothing items that are best hung in a closet, and 6 items that should be folded and stored on a shelf or in a drawer instead. If your upcoming spring cleaning efforts will include reorganizing your closet, these helpful lists will remove a lot of the guesswork! :-)
7 Things You Should Hang In Your Closet
- Hang up lightweight dresses using the straps that are sewn into the back. If an extra slippery dress is causing your problems, criss-cross the straps over the top of the hanger to secure it.
- Hang heavy dresses and dresses made from delicate materials on padded hangers.
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 your favorite sweater to get stretched out! That’s why I use the hang-fold method for my cardigans, which you can read all about at the link below.
- 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 any pesky 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.
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 you avoid that annoying crease you get from folding them over a hanger.
5. Jackets, Blazers, & Coats
Always hang up outerwear like jackets, blazers, and sport coats. They’ll do fine on a 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.
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 few clothespins! Get all the details on that at the link below (look for #4 in the list.)
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, depending 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 Things You Should Fold Instead
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, which is a way of folding your shirts so you can stack them 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.
2. Heavy Knitwear
Although I hang my light sweaters and cardigans, I always fold heavy knits and thick sweaters. I don’t have to worry about them wrinkling when folded, and it prevents them from stretching out like they often do on hangers.
If you only have long, open shelves in your closet, you can always install some simple closet dividers to keep your folded clothes more organized.
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!)
I’ve always been a sock roller, but it’s not the best method for your socks. All that extra stretching you do to roll them together can actually cause the elastic to wear out faster. Folding them in half is a safe alternative that will extend the life of your socks.
5. Casual Pants
Fold your jeans, corduroys, khakis, and all your other casual pants. Store them in a drawer or on a shelf.
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. And as an added precaution, it’s a good idea to wrap embellished items in tissue paper before putting them away.
Do you have a favorite tip or trick for storing your clothes?