Some Tricks Wouldn’t Work for Me

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There are some seriously smart organizing tricks that I don’t bother trying.

It’s my developed-from-experience opinion that each person has a unique brain and must find what works for her in her home. Knowing/accepting this helps me not give up completely when expert advice fails miserably for me.

It also helps me not waste time on certain things.

This . . . is how the hangers in my closet generally look. It’s why I’m pretty sure the Turn All Your Hangers Around Until You Wear Something and After a Year You Can See What You Haven’t Worn trick wouldn’t be worth my time.

It’s why I believe a better technique for my personality is to purge. Purge like a crazy woman. Purge like my life depends on it.

I’m working on purging my own clothing right now. Perhaps one day the turned-around-hanger trick will be worth my time, but not yet.

Oh, and I do have dreams of grown-up hangers, but I’ve always been paralyzed by the expense . . . knowing how many I would need.

Perhaps that can be my reward for getting rid of clothes!






  1. 1

    I am interested in getting new hangers in my closet as well. I’ve heard it can really help save space by having all the hangers uniform… But the sheer volume of clothing in my closet would make getting new hangers a costly and time consuming task. Maybe after I get rid of some clothes, but then I won’t need the extra space created by having uniform hangers… We’ll see, but I am still planning on purging some clothes!

  2. 3

    How about getting about 10-20 new hangers a month. Any clothes you wore and wash (and put away) get upgraded to the new hanger. At the end of each season, see what you didn’t bother with and purge!

  3. 10
    Andrea @ the distracted housewife says:

    I’ve tried this method before abd it doesn’t work for me either. If I’m going out somewhere other than taking my daughter to school or the grocery store( that’s right I lead an exciting life, be jealous) I take out a trillion things before I finally settle on something. Now a smart person would hang clothes up after they’ve nixed them. Not me, I leave em in a pile to be hung up another day. Therefore the backwards hanger thing was a huge fail for me. Maybe one day I’ll figure it all out.

  4. 12

    I’ve found with clothes that having the right place to donate them makes it easier to clear stuff out. I found a local domestic violence shelter that needs donations of items that women can wear to interviews to get jobs and a few items to get them through until they can purchase work clothes. Knowing that I can help someone push a reset button on their life like that is way more powerful to me than just dropping stuff off at a thrift store. I’m actually looking forward to donating the majority of my office type clothes to them since I’m now home full time and really only need a few items for church or other nicer functions.

  5. 14

    Nice hangers are very much worth the $$$! I tend to be like you in my “organizing” ways, but buying nice hangers really did make a difference for me. Definitely wait til you’ve purged though – they are pricey!!!
    If all your hangers are the same, then your clothes don’t get nearly as messy or tangled up. Uniform hangers automatically create a neater, tidier closet.

  6. 15

    I totally agree. Mine would end up on the FLOOR of the closet if I tried turning them around. I was feeling good when I got similar kinds of clothes hanging next to each other! LOL

  7. 16

    I actually find great hangers at garage sales all the time… people are AMAZED that you will take them off their hands!

  8. 17

    I’m so glad that I am not alone. I have a small (tiny) 1950s closet. I did buy some of those huggable hangers. They save SOME space, but are not the miracle that TV would make them seem. They do, however, keep my clothes from sliding off the hanger. That, that makes them worth it. I still need more, or I need to purge, or both!

    • 18

      I completely agree, investing in the huggable hangers has saved my closet from looking like a disaster since the moment I bought them. You can buy cheap plastic hangers for $1 for a ten pack, or buy huggables for $1 or less each, but they look better than plastic even if they do not save a tone of room. AND your clothes stay of them. Out local TJMaxx store sells similar hangers 10 for $4. So worth it!

      • 19

        Huggables is the brand? (SO not a hanger expert, obviously!)

        • 20

          Huggable Hanger are a brand but any of the hangers that are flocked (Ebay, TJ Maxx, etc,) will work the same. I agree that they grossly over estimate the space they save in your closet. However their real worth is in keeping things on the hangers and not on the floor. You can also keep outfits together on one hanger if you like. Say for instance… jeans with the belt you need to keep them up. 😉

          • 21
            ErinsAvon says:

            Huggable Hangers are sold on Home Shopping Network. Hey come in different Configurations and colors, the have a velvety coating on a hanger that looks like someone too and iron to and flattened it out. I like gettign them through HSN because I can mix and Match the type, Shirt, pant, skirt clips ETC. when you go to the discount stores you get whatever they have which is usually just the full pant hangers. My mother invested in the wood hangers for her and my father’s closets, and while they look fabulous, they take up way more room, are crazy expensive, and the clothes still slide off. I suggest even if your not a place to buy you go the the HSn site, and check them out. I really thought it was a gimmick until I read the reviews. and now after having my own set am a believer, lol.

  9. 22

    I so agree. You have to do what works for you. Forget about Martha Stewart. (Pep talk for me.) I do have to say that I struggle with this, also, and have a closet that has two safes in it and a dresser and a file cabinet. So space is obviously limited. Having nicer hangers actually make it easier to maintain the space. Let me say it again. Nicer hangers make it easier. And quicker. And all I mean by “nicer” is (mostly) uniform size plastic hangers. BAM. They are slick, easy to hang, and take up a little bit more space, which seems counterintuitive, but it’s better for the clothes not to be so jammed up. I purge often, also, but what is harder for me is drawer space. I am out and end up leaving stuff sitting around in piles. Need to take a serious look at that. Any suggestions, besides more purging? I just need to purge.Ooh thanks for letting me talk it through…have some ideas for rearranging AND purging. Thanks! 😀

  10. 23

    I have tons of extra hangers and I’ve been meaning to ask you what to do with them! LOL!!

  11. 25

    Look at it differently…Buy a set number of hangers that seems appropriate for how much clothing you should have (x# of shirts, x# of pants, x# of dresses…) then say “I can only keep what I have a hanger for”. Start with your favorite “wear all the time” clothing and put them on a hanger…whats left over after the hangers are gone goes to the donation box.

    And really Nonny no matter how bad your closet has ever looked I promise you mine is worse. And the backwards hanger trick really does work because it isn’t dependent on the hangers that are flying every which way because you have yanked things violently off them…It only requires you to deal with the hangers that are still backward after a certain period of time. I love it because it’s completely non screw up able (and so many things are for my slob brain) And it forces me to dress nicer because if I really don’t want to get rid of something I will wear it Just to justify not getting rid of it (even if’ it’s only once).

    • 26
      Gwen Gallen says:

      YES!!!! I like the “number of items” idea. Lucky for me, I don’t have a whole lot of things that fit, but that tells me I should box up the things that are a size too small, label and get it out of the closet. I’m working on weight loss, and can donate clothes as they become too large, and go “shopping” in the boxes and move them back into the closet. I’m thinking positively, as this is not my first go-round with the multi-size clothes issue, but your words have inspired me. Now… let’s get to the gym.

  12. 27

    Let’s not even talk about the giant stash of maternity clothes still hanging in my closet … Baby is now 14 months old, so I’m not even using the maternity-into-nursing wear anymore. Plus there are the two pairs of maternity pants I ordered and then didn’t like, but didn’t get sent back … sigh.

    But, I’m three down on my daily list today – dishwasher is going, counters wiped down and floors swept AND mopped. (And that with a two-hour snow delay for the big kid this morning) So, in the words of Dori, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming … “

    • 28
      gettinbizzy says:

      that hanging stuff backwards would not work for me either as I tend to rip things off the hangers- leaving the hangers in the closet and tend to make a pile that needs to be put back in the closet.
      I will say that good hangers have made a difference- have a teeny closet.
      And thanks for the whole container idea- Realize that my closet is a container and can only hold what can fit in it!.. Have gained weight in the last two years and realized probably am never going to get as small as I was- and if I lose a little weight- well i can always get things I need from thrift stores- or buy a few new things. Getting rid of things that are not right- such a relief…………. donating them to thrift store works the best for me.. Realizing there are only a certain amount of clothing I truly use so tossing the rest.
      Now I need to do the same to my dressers!

  13. 29

    This is assuming I could get into my walk-in closet to even see the hangers. I’m still at the stage where I can’t even get close to my closet door because so much stuff is piled in the doorway. As for walking in? Forget about it! I’m seriously thinking about doing your 7 days of clothing only and packing everything else up to donate. Well, okay, so I will just pack it away just in case, but I’m thinking if I can get myself into a routine where I go to the laundromat (no laundry facilities in our apartments) once a week, I can really purge and get my closet under control.
    I’ve been doing good with the daily tasks. Kitchen is spotless nightly. I love waking up to a clean kitchen so much! The bathroom is under control and I find I like that too. It is so great to be able to get the kitchen and bathroom cleaned up in less than half an hour. Now I just need to get the clothing and the containers (closet and dressers) under control. Then I can move on to the major job of the storage room. You know the one that everyone else calls a living room.

  14. 30

    I bought some a little at a time. I use mostly wood hangers. I bought mine at Ikea. Much cheaper than other places and they are nicely made.

  15. 33
    Karen Ennenga says:

    lol, grown-up hangers! Love it 🙂

  16. 34

    AMEN! This is SO me! I just purged over half my closet and I still had 5 loads of laundry to do. TOO MUCH CRAP!!

  17. 35

    What’s the backward hanger rule? I missed that one.

    • 36

      You put every hanger in your closet backwards. As you wear an item, you move that hanger so it hangs the right way. At the end of defined period (6 months or a year), anything you haven’t worn is easy to identify (hanger still backwards) and you get rid of it.

  18. 37

    I totally agree. You so remind me of myself with your struggles. I have just accepted that everyone is different and what might work for them does not always work for someone else. For example, instead of carving out an hour or two for cleaning during the week, I do just a little a day in order to keep up with the work to avoid “sensory over-load.” It has beeen working well. It is not perfect and I have my less productive days. But, for the most part housework is getting done and I am “enjoying the process” rather than racing to the finish line only to find out I have missed little details along the way…”slow and steady wins the race!”

  19. 38

    wire hangers are bad for your clothes!! container store sells cases of 72 plastic tubular hangers for less than $30–so so worth it!!

  20. 39

    I did the hanger thing. Except I switched colors. I’ve had the same white hangers since college so… I got black. Added as I needed them.

    And proved to myself that no matter how much I like that pink top, I ONLY like it on the hanger. And that super cute sweater set? I don’t actually WEAR it. It was easy to see that despite my fondness and intent to wear, I never did.

    I’m pretty good at closet purging. I like buying new clothes and physics requires me to purge to make room.

    Now…. If only I was that good about my DRESSER.

  21. 40

    This is something that really helped my and my two boys’ closets: WalMart and Target, and probably other stores, sell a bar that hooks on to your closet rod. It hangs lower than the regular rod. Shirts, blouses, etc. can be hung on one level and pants or skirts can be hung on the other level. Really saves space! And promotes independence when a child is too small to reach the upper rod. Also, purchasing plastic hangers makes a world of difference over using wire hangers! As someone else said, they can be found very inexpensively. A hanging shoe bag used for socks in a boy’s closet lets pairs be stored together and less messy than in a drawer. We have enough pockets for underwear in ours. We screwed a few cup hooks into the inside of the door for belts. Used the larger cup hooks to make hanging and removing the belts easier. They are screwed in near the edge right next to the pocket sock/underwear bag. Easy for young boys to find things and easy for them to put their things away.

  22. 41

    Even though I do throw clothes on the floor when I decide not to wear them, I still turned my hangers around. I mean if after a year I didn’t even like it enough to throw it on the floor, it’s a definite goner.

    Definitely do what works for you. I’d love to be able to manage paperwork effectively. I’ve struggled with that for years.

  23. 42
    Gwen Gallen says:

    I didn’t read all the replies, but Costco had a box of hangers – about 36 of black cloth covered for about $12 last month. TJ Maxx had some too, but a little pricier. My daughter asked for some to keep her clothes from falling off the slick plastic kind. You can toss (or recycle by taking to the dry cleaners) the metals ones. I do like the plastic ones for most things. I also bought heavy duty wooden ones a few years ago for the coat closet. Heavy coats need strong hangers. I think I’m going to purge just a little today before work. Thanks for your inspiration!

  24. 43

    Nony – I used to have enough clothes that I could go almost a month without doing laundry – the joys of having worked at a second hand clothing store! Trying to keep it all organized was TOUGH! (add in a tiny closet into the mix and you can imagine the disaster… some days the laundry was piled so high I had to wade through to the washing machine)

    Beyond only keeping items I loved, I was introduced to the rule of three to help purge things:

    1 – I needed to be able to wear it for more than three months of the year (It’s cold enough here that I can even ski more than three months of the year)

    2 – It needed to ‘go’ with at least three other things in my wardrobe

    3 – I needed to be able to wear it at least three different ways (kindof goes with the three different ways above: dress it up with piece A, dress it down with piece B, or dress it way up with piece A and jewelery B)

    I’m still struggling, but it’s helped stop me from insisting to keep that really cute top that only goes with the jeans that go with everything, so they’re never clean.

  25. 45

    I picked up a 25 pack of those slim velvet hangers.Took everything out of my closet and only put back 20 items. Donated everything I knew I wouldn’t ever wear and packed the rest in a vacuum bag. If its worth opening and resealing the bag for an article of clothing it gets one of the 5 leftover hangers. When I run out of hangers I have to ditch something else. Working so far.

  26. 46

    If you have any clothes that you purge that are in near-new shape (I usually don’t, I wear mine until they fall off in rags or don’t wear them, but keep them until they are 5 years out of style) you can send them to ThredUp and get money to spend there. I find great kids clothes there.
    Just an idea.
    Meanwhile, I’m having a charity pick up 2 big boxes from me on Saturday! Go me!

  27. 47

    My mother is a born organized person. Not only did she buy nice plastic hangers, but everyone had their own color. She didn’t do this while I still lived at home, but she did after I moved out. I’m just okay with clothes that are hanging up, lol

    But yes…purging is the only way to organize a closet…no matter what kind of hangers you have. Yeah, now I need to do mine.

  28. 48

    My “trick” for the closet is this: clothes that I just wore or just washed (which means I’ve worn it) are hung on the far right side of the closet (or far right of the category area, like skirts). So, just by looking at what is on the furthest to the left, I can see what I don’t wear. I do this for my girls’ dresses too. This also helps me see when they want to wear the same thing several Sundays in a row. I start on the left when they ask for my help picking out a dress. Out of season things naturally end up on the left too, but that changes itself in the new season.

  29. 49

    Disclaimer: I don’t struggle with excessive clothing. I am actually very organized in that area. Kids’ stuff and paper, not so much. So here is my thought on nice hangers: use them like containers. I purchased two sets of hangers, plus a nice wooden set for hanging pants at ikea. It is exactly the right amount of hangers that can hang nicely in my closet without getting tangled up. Every time I purchase or receive a new shirt/dress/pants, I remove an old one. This is another use of the ol’ one-in-one-out rule that I naturally did as a result of being too cheap to go out and buy a new set of hangers. Another way to look at it is the rod can hold (contain) so many hangers nicely. I have to keep only the amount of clothing that can be contained in that space.

  30. 51

    I agree. This method wouldn’t work for me either. I already don’t have many clothes and I do save some for “dressing nice” but that only happens every other year or so.

  31. 52
    Linda W says:

    I have been following the KonMarie method of purging and it is working for me. I had clothes that made me look fatter. Those had to go. I was so proud when I took a large box and large bag to Goodwill. I look better since my clothing choices are simpler.

  32. 53

    The only reason I have “nice” hanger is that when I left my parents’ house in 2005, I left with my hangers from my closet (that where nice because my mome refused to have those dry cleaner or flimsy plastic hangers). I bought some new ones over the years but I didn’t had to buy a whole lot of them at once

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