Updated: Apr 20
If you've tackled organizing your closet recently, you may be wondering what to do with different clothes. Should you hang or fold your sweaters? Jeans? Skirts? Here's how I usually handle hanging vs folding when I reset a closet.
The easiest task in a closet is tackling the hanging clothes situation, so that's what we are going to cover first. Editing and sorting your hanging clothes makes the biggest transformation in the shortest amount of time. I love instant gratification and it is so motivating to feel successful at a project. Before we talk about what clothes to hang, let's talk about hangers. Having consistent hangers will make such a difference in your closet for not much cost. Here's everything you need to know about different hangers.
The Best Clothes Hangers
Plastic hangers - most affordable option, I recommend sticking to white or black!
Velvet hangers - a great mid-priced option that doesn't take up much closet space.
Wood Hangers. - these have a super classic look but do take up more space, so only use if you have closet space to spare.
Slim Wood hangers - my new favorite product! They are classy, thin, and just so beautiful.
Rubberized hangers - thin like velvet hangers so they definitely maximize closet space.
Acrylic hangers - a cool look. They are more pricey but provide a super sleek and modern feel.
What Clothes to Hang in the Closet
Every space and closet size is different. If you don't have a lot of hanging space, focus on hanging tops (blouses and thick sweaters), skirts, and dresses. If you have more room to hang, you can hang pants, jeans, and t-shirts.
When deciding which direction to hang your clothes, think about where you stand when you are thumbing through your clothes. Go in your closet and see what feels natural and then consistently hang all your clothes the same way.
When hanging skirts, extend the hanger clips as wide as they can go (if adjustable), or center on the hanger if the skirts are smaller than the clips when fully extended. Make sure the edge of the skirt that is facing out is directly under the clip.
When hanging pants, fold the front (zipper) in so the back pockets are facing out. Then hang the pants so the pockets hang in the same direction as the front of your shirts, this makes it easier to identify what pants are what when thumbing through.
When hanging super long dresses, you can place an additional hanger in your closet (one that has a bar) and hang the bottom of the dress on the second hanger. If using velvet hangers, there are cascading hanger hooks that will allow you to attach a second hanger to the first so they are one piece.
Now that we've covered your hanging clothes, let's tackle what clothes to fold.
Like hangers, there are certain products that make folding clothes and organizing them in a closet or dresser much easier.
The Best Shelf and Drawer Dividers
Acrylic shelf dividers - create division between folded piles in a closet. If your shelf is extra thick, here is an option for a shelf divider that sticks on the shelf instead of needing to slide onto it.
Bamboo expandable drawer dividers - get these to match the interior of your bamboo drawers. There are a few sizes and heights available, so make sure to measure your drawers before you order.
White wood expandable drawer dividers - these will match the interior of white dresser drawers. Make sure to measure before you order.
White plastic expandable drawer - a cheaper option than wood dividers.
Acrylic expandable drawer dividers - if you have something less traditional, acrylic expandable drawer dividers are a great option.
The Best Bins for Folded Clothes
Kiva - I love the look of these lately, my favorite color is cream.
Montauk - I love that there is a liner that you could potentially take off and clean if something gets dirty.
Felt - great in closets and linen closets, beautifully neutral, extra tall for holding more items.
Rope bins - love the variety of sizes and the look. They are not super angular if you are wanting to perfectly fold items.
Bin clips - as always, the system won’t stick without a label and all of these bins need bin clips in order to be labeled.
What Clothes to Fold
Like hanging clothes, the clothes you fold will greatly depend on the size of your closet and dresser. These are the clothes I generally fold when resetting a dresser or closet: undergarments, athletic wear, pajamas, jeans, casual wear, shorts, t-shirts, bulk sweaters, sweatshirts, and swimwear. A good rule of thumb to follow when hanging vs. folding is the fabric of the clothing item and the occasion for wearing it. If something wrinkles easily, hang it up. But for things like pajamas, it doesn't matter if they are a little wrinkled or creased when you wear them to bed.
How do I decide what goes on a shelf, in a drawer, or in a bin?
This largely depends on your space and your preferences. Bins can act as drawers, so something I like to take into consideration is where are you getting dressed for the day. I like to have everything needed to get ready for the day right by each other.
Folding items on shelves in the closet
If you prefer to have items folded on a shelf so there is no question as to what you have, the items I typically fold and have displayed on a shelf are jeans, thick sweaters, and t-shirts. Folding tops and jeans so there is only one rounded edge facing out makes a big difference in creating a consistent look.
Dresser or drawers in the closet
I love using expandable drawer dividers to create separation in drawers. You can decide what separation you want: white vs. dark socks, athletic vs. trouser socks, intimates vs. everyday bras, etc. If file folding clothing, expandable drawer dividers are a great way to keep your rows of clothing tidy.
Bins on shelves in closet
Bins are a great solution for so many items. If you have a shortage of drawers, a long shelf spanning your closet above your hanging rod, or shelves anywhere else in your closet, buying consistent-looking bins that will maximize the shelf space and also contain each category of clothing makes all the difference.
How to fold clothes
My favorite method of folding clothes in a drawer or bin is file folding. File folding is when you fold your clothes in such a way that they are stored vertically like files in a folder. I like it because it creates a space where you can see everything at once, no digging through drawers or bins.
Did any of these tips make you want to go reorganize your wardrobe? You can do it! Or better yet, we can help. Click here to book your free consultation now!
Jen Martin is the founder of Reset Your Nest, Utah's premier home organization business. At Reset Your Nest we believe pantries should be just as beautiful as living spaces, and living spaces just as functional as pantries. To schedule a free consultation with Reset Your Nest, click HERE. Make sure to subscribe to the Reset Your Nest blog for new posts in your inbox, and follow Reset Your Nest on Instagram for organizational tips and tricks.