16 Dec 2011

Closet Rules for Hanging Clothes


The way a day starts is often the way it continues, and nothing can ruin your day faster than not being able to find what you need in your closet, or worse, find that the outfit you were planning to wear is stained, missing a button or doesn’t fit. Everything in the closet should be ready to wear. That’s why the bedroom closet is one of the areas I’m most frequently called in to help with. So, let’s get your day going on a positive note.

Everyday clothes belong in your everyday closet – special occasion clothes belong somewhere else, if you decide to keep them. There is no reason to take up valuable space in your every-day closet with clothing only worn once or twice a year unless you have no other places to store them. You can always bring out the holiday clothing for a month or two then put them back in storage, but the rest of the year you don’t need to have them jamming up your closet.

OK, now we’re going to go step by step through the process of how to sort the contents of your closet.

Hanging clothing

Set up boxes for “Donate”, “Toss”, “Repair and Clean”.

Take EVERYTHING out of the closet. As you remove them, take anything you don’t like, know you won’t wear, or know doesn’t fit and put it in the donation or throw boxes. It does not matter if the price tags are still on them, how much you paid for them or if they were a gift. If you don’t like them, you won’t wear them anyway. Let’s get them to someone who will love and wear them NOW. If you have clothes with dust on the shoulders, they are a candidate for donation too.

Do a quick wipe down of all the shelves, the closet rod and vacuum the floor. You won’t ever have an easier time for doing this than when it’s completely empty.

Try on all the items left after the quick sort. Pick a category and try on all of that group. For example do all the pants at once, and then move on to the next group. Even if you know it fits, still put it on and go through all the steps.

Here are the questions you have to answer for EVERY item going back in the closet:

1. Does it fit NOW? Not “When I lose those last 5 pounds”, etc.

2. Does it look good on you? Does the color and cut compliment your figure and skin tone?

3. Do you feel fabulous in it?

4. Does it fit the life you are living NOW? If you used to be an executive but are now a stay at home mom, it’s time to let go of most of the suits – if not all.

5. Does it need repair? Inspect every item carefully. You don’t want to pull out a shirt to wear and then find out it needs a button or there is a problem with a seam pulling out. Put it in the repair box. Commit to getting it repaired in the next week or donate it or throw it out.

6. Does it need to be cleaned? If so, clean it or take it to the dry cleaners during this week. If it is still stained, it goes into the trash. You won’t want to wear clothes that are stained, so why let them take up valuable space in your closet?

One exception to this rule is one or two “grubby” outfits for painting, etc. These outfits can be folded and put in a drawer, but they DON’T belong in the closet.

If an item qualifies on ALL questions, hang it back up with the hanger facing backwards. Since you are trying them on in groups, they will automatically be sorted by type on your rod. If you didn’t already do this, sort them as they go back in the closet. This way, you can see you have 10 pairs of black pants, etc. You can pick which ones you like the best then donate the extras. It will also make it easier to choose your outfit without having to look thru all the clothes on the rod.

Now go through your remaining clothes and make sure that you have other items that coordinate with each item. There is no point hanging on to a skirt or pair of pants if you don’t have anything that you can wear with it.

Once you wear something, face the hanger forward when you are returning it to your closet. This way, one year from now, you will know what you have not worn during the year. Anything on a backwards facing hanger should go for donation – no matter how cute it is. If it has not been worn at all in a year, it won’t be.


© 2011 – Maria Spetalnik

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15 Responses to Closet Rules for Hanging Clothes
  1. It is actually hard to find educated individuals within this topic, you sound like you know what you are writing about! Thank you

  2. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.

  3. Okay well a description of my clsoet is as goes.One side is his and one side is hers . Her side starts on the left, all the clothing items are organized first by fancy, then semi-fancy, then casual and by color darkest to lightest. Everything on the left side is long, starting with long dresses, short dresses, skirts, pants, and tops. All organized according to the above. His Is still organized by the over rules..(fancy, semi-fancy, casual and darkest to lightest)On his left side starts with tops, then pants, then into his work pants, then work tops, then work coveralls.Shoes have a rack under each of our sections and the are organized the same way only the fancy ones are put into a large container that we slide under our bed.Now all this will change because we will be expanding our clsoet soon but thats how it is now.Hope this helped!

    • My wife and I have a fairly large walk in clsoet. I installed several additional wire shelves and some robe hooks to maximize it’s size. Clothing I can wear a 2nd time is hung on hangars on robe hooks. Sweaters, sweats, pajamas and fold-able items are stacked on the shelves. Shirts and blouses are separated but hung on a lower rod than dresses and pants. I use jean hangers for Levis and shoe rack for shoes, his & hers. We never hang worn clothing beside freshly laundered and dry cleaning bags are hung on the wall.

  4. Try to find another place to store off seosan items, like sweaters in the summer. Also remove anything that doesn’t belong in a closet and put it somewhere else. If you are short on room in general, there are great pull out drawers you can buy to store items underneath the bed.Also make sure that you are storing things you truly use. Your husband may have clothing that doesn’t fit or he doesn’t wear that could be given away.You can try a shoe rack if you don’t have one, but never use plastic boxes with lids to store shoes or clothes. You can find out more information by looking at the attached article.

    • Your closet sunods like mine I keep all my sheets there are about6 sets of those 5 different spreads 5 blankets duvets quilts shams my clothes, jackets and winter coats every time I say Im going to clean I look at the mess and just shut the door my shoes are burried some of them I keep those plastic rollng things under the bed with winter/summer clothes but I have at leasts 30 pairs of jeans I have a bar loaded with shirts dress pants a few dresses and a shelf .full too.I have already taken huge bags to the clothing drop off some clothes had tags on them,they say if you have,nt worn jeans or things in 6 months get rid of them.,

    • For the blankets get those stoarge bags that you can vacuum them smaller in the bag. Then get a shoe rack and put it on the door and hang your shoes on there. Take all the clothes out of the closet and put them in piles. One pile for pants, one for shirts, etc. Then hang them up one pile at a time. Use different colour hangers so you know what is what. Also, get some baskets and put them on the bottom of the closet and put in Nick naks like scarves, hats, and whatever. Good luck

      • If you have work clothes and cauasl clothes the first thing to do is to separate them into two piles. Next, put seasonal items together within those two categories, starting with heavy sweaters on one end of the rack and working your way down to light-weight t-shirts. Finally, arrange your items by color so you will be able to find what you need at-a-glance.Of course, the best way to organize any cluttered space is to declutter. If you have too many clothes than what will comfortably fit into your closet you might want to consider purging the clothing that you no longer wear.Here is a great way to test yourself. When you organize your closet, put all of the hangers on the rod so that the hooks are facing toward the back of the closet.As you wear an item and then return it to the closet, turn the hanger so that the hook is facing toward the front of the closet.After six months, any hangers with hooks still facing toward the back will indicate clothing you have not worn in six months. If you don’t wear it in six months, get rid of it it is just cluttering up your closet.

    • Remove everything, while doing that group like tighns together, separate dated/not worn etc.Group seasonal clothing. Use bins (plastic/baskets) put seasonal in bins to switch out your closets according to seasons.Shoes: you can use a over the door organizer. There are also other organizer that can be hung from the rod (for t-shirts, small items).Hangers: there are slim hangers, they do make a difference.Keep in mind Downsizing, if you have not used or seen it in the last 12 months.

  5. When my closet is organized I organize according to use — “black tie”, special occasion, office, casual rules above. Part of my closet is two levels, so the ones that need dry cleaning are always on top, and the more rugged clothes on the bottom where (gasp!) dust does collect.

    For suit jackets, I use curved wood hangers, all in the same direction. Thrift stores like the Salvation Army often receive donations from clothing stores — including hangers. Old fashioned pants hangers are useful again for the newer, skinnier legs. Skirt racks really do work if space is tight. Stores like Home Goods and Target have the suede hangers for reasonable prices — where were these when I was wearing spaghetti straps!

    Closet systems — a careful analysis of my builder grade shelves in my walk in closet (5×13 with two doors) showed me that I would not be gaining more storage space with a system costing thousands. I just needed to use my existing space better.

    For the laundry room on the main floor, we did spend more than $100 on a”closet system” floor to ceiling adjustable rack of shelves for shoes — close to the door to the garage, because we do not wear outdoor shoes in the house. These shoes are in plastic boxes, but with the lids ajar to let the leather breathe. Better to have the lids dusty than the shoes. If you have the boxes with slanted sides, you can alternate them on the shelf, one with the lid up, one with the lid up, one down, if space is really tight. The 12″ shelves are big enough for size 14 shoes — an issue with many of the shoe systems sold just for shoes — not big enough for all shoes and boots. And the rubber soled shoes don’t stay put, the boots don’t fit — the lowest shelf is 18″ off the floor to store boots. The floor is tile, so the nice leather boots can slowly dry out in an enclosed space and I don’t worry about the rubber ones either..

    After 20 years, my MDF shelves are doing okay, and I prefer them to the plastic shelving system that needs a thorough, and time consuming cleaning periodically — more than once a year without an air cleaner. And they do not stay put in the walls for more than two or three years — always need to be reinforced with more plastic, new molly bolts. MDF does not warp like solid wood, but if I were building a house I would use solid wood 1×12 boards in the closets, 1/2 ” to 1″ thick – oak is widely available because it is used for stair treads. A light natural finish is preferable to the paint on the MDF.

  6. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It’s the little changes which will make the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  7. I am glad that I discovered this website, precisely the right info that I was searching for! .

  8. Keep up the good work! Thanks.

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