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Ask Maeve: My closet is a jumble of hangers. What do I do?

UntitledMy clothing closet drives me crazy! I have a lot of clothes, so I keep thinking the more hangers the merrier, but the more hangers I have, the messier it looks! Part of the problem is that I use wire hangers from the cleaners, then a variety of plastic and wooden hangers from different homes. Everything is a jumble and looks messy. I want a perfect-looking closet. What do I do?

Ah, the old closet hanger conundrum. One of my favorites to address. I’m glad you asked! Believe it or not, there is an art to having a perfect-looking closet, and you can achieve it, but it has to do with having fewer hangers, not more. And also, hangers all of the same type, not a variety. Let me explain.

Sure, more hangers means you can technically store more clothes, but this comes with a price. When clothes are smushed together it’s impossible to see what you have, and you end up wearing only a tiny percentage of what you actually own. I’ve seen far too many closets where people pull clothes from only a small section over and over as the rest of the closet is too stuffed to access.

And, using a variety of hangers means your clothes will hang at differing heights and distances from each other. For example, wire hangers are thin so clothes clump together in unrealistically tight bunches, and they also bend. And plastic tube hangers, while inexpensive and easy to come by, stretch over time, so before long your clothes hang at differing lengths.

I was in your shoes years ago, then one day I walked into a home goods store and found a box of inexpensive wooden hangers, 20 to a box. I bought two boxes, went home, emptied my closet, then began to hang clothes back up on the new hangers one item at a time, starting with my must-haves first. And when there were no more new hangers to use, I stopped. I had found my perfect closet!

I believe it’s important to live within our space means. This means, rather than stuff your closet to the gills, try keeping only as many clothes as can actually fit in the space that you have, and stored on the uniform hanger of your choice. As you do have a lot of clothes, you might want to try choosing a slim hanger, as it will allow you to fit more of your treasured clothes. But if you’re prone to overstuffing, then limit yourself with wider wooden hangers. As for wire hangers, it’s time to phase them out, so transfer your clothes onto your new, uniform hangers when you get them home and stop using them altogether.

With hanger Value Pack prices low these days, you can transform your closet for no more than the cost of a new dress, so give this a try for an instant closet makeover, and goodbye forever mismatched hangers – your clothes will thank you!

Have you transformed your closet with matching hangers? Drop us a note in the comments below!

Photo Credits: Bed Bath & Beyond,

Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at [email protected] or @MaeveRichmond.

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