Reader question: Best way to organize baseball caps?

We at Unclutterer hope that all of our readers had a wonderful Labor Day holiday and didn’t miss hearing from us while we also took a few days off from work. To get back into the swing of things, I thought that we would tackle a question from a reader. Christian asks:

Dear Unclutterer, I have quite a few baseball caps. There are some that I could toss or donate right now. Others I might want to store away for really messy work days when I don’t want to ruin a good hat. But do you have any tips for organizing the rest of my hats that I wear occasionally?

Christian, I hope that since you wrote your e-mail to us that you have tossed or donated the hats that you didn’t wear on a regular basis. If you haven’t, then let me recommend getting rid of your extra hats as your first step in your hat organization process.

I grew up in a farming community where most of the men wore a single baseball hat for years at a time. I’m also fairly certain that most of them only had one baseball hat. Maybe there was a hat “on deck” in case something happened to their favorite one, but they definitely didn’t have enough baseball hats to need a hat organizer. Noting this, my second piece of advice is to evaluate why you want to own many hats that you only wear occasionally? Can you part with more than you initially thought possible?

Maybe you will ultimately decide that you want to keep two cotton hats for summer wear and two wool ones for winter. Or, maybe you want two with logos of your favorite baseball team and two with logos of your favorite football team. Regardless of your choosing method, I can’t see why you would ever need more than four baseball hats. If someone can explain to me a valid reason, I may change my tune, but my experience shows me otherwise.

I have two baseball hats (a fitted wool one and an adjustable cotton one), and I keep both of them in a single, clear, plastic, shoe box. The plastic box keeps dust from collecting on them, and my husband stores his hats in the same bin. If, however, you decide that collecting baseball hats is your obsession and find my four-hat maximum laughable, then I suggest buying something like a cap rack. A cap rack attaches over the top of a door and allows you to view the front panel of each of your hats. You’ll need to dust your hats every once in a while, but this method seems to be the most efficient use of space for a large baseball hat collection.

Christian, we wish you much success in your hat organization pursuits. Let us know what you end up doing with your hats, and check the comments section to see if other readers have suggestions for alternate storage solutions.

13 Comments for “Reader question: Best way to organize baseball caps?”

  1. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    It has been my experience that people collect baseball caps as souvenirs. It would be much better (i.e. less cluttered, and even cheaper) to collect lapel pins, stickers or cloth badges. They can be sewn (or stuck) onto a display board which takes up much less space and actually DISPLAYS the souvenirs.
    My husband has the most hats in our house. He has 2 for triathlon training (one of them is always in the wash), 1 very colourful one that he wears to the mall so the kids can find him if they get lost, 1 for the sun (with a bandanna that tucks inside) and 1 for the winter.
    He who has the most toys when he dies leaves a mess for his executor!

  2. posted by Chris on

    I have the same fetish with hats and I understand why someone would want more than 2 or 3. Some are definitely for warmer weather and some for cooler. Some are for work and some are for play. Some are light and some are dark depending on what you are wearing. And that brown wool one? I just like it, OK?

    So, I’ve found the best way to store them is just to fold them in on themselves and store them exactly like you would see them at a cap store. You can store 8-10 (depending on material) like this on a shelf in the closet in about the same amount of space that a pair of shoes would take up. Limit yourself to whatever you can store in one row. Any that do not make the cut…well, they don’t make the cut and they should be trashed or donated.

  3. posted by Raisin on

    I have what most would call to many hats. Two black wool skullcaps, one with the nintendo logo, and one with the triforce logo from zelda. Two knit yankees beanies, one is black with a navy logo, and the other is grey with a white logo.

    I also have several fitted yankees caps in the following colors; Black w/black logo, black w/white logo, navy, baby blue, red, grey and tan. In addition, I have a light green mountain dew cap, and a dark green Fox cap, both fitted.

    Then I have a couple of retired caps that I use for woodworking and gardening.

    I agree with storing them like a cap store would. I have them all sitting on top of each other on a shelf in my closet. They take up about as much room as a breadbox. Seriously, one plastic box per cap is like storing each fork in its own plastic case.

    So anyway, why so many caps? Well, I color coordinate my clothes, and I have caps that match. I don’t wear them that often, but I don’t want to have my team colors clash with my t-shirt when I do. In a similar fashion, I have a collection of ties that allows me to choose a tie that matches my wife’s dress whenever we have to go to a dinner, banquet or family function (graduation, wedding, etc).

    I think the small section in my closet is worth the ability to be dapper.

  4. posted by Jasi on

    Hang them on a blank wall and take down only when you use them. Keep only 3 favorites. Any more would be more tacky than artsy. Donate the rest.

    One head, one type hat. That’s my thinking anyway.

    I have one fishing hat (travel tradition), one straw hat (for gardening), a snow cap (when it’s cold), ski hat (for skiing or bankrobbing, whatever I’m doing that weekend).

  5. posted by Bob on

    I agree with Chris and Raisin. As a child, I hung my hats on the wall from small nails before graduating to an over the door hat hanger similar to the one recommended above , and some hats were deformed by the hanging. After some trial and error, I figured out you don’t ever want to hand pro model hats, nor hang any hat that is wet with sweat or recently washed, as the weight of the brim will stretch the hat lengthwise.

    Now, I fold the hats in on themselves and store on a shelf. Nice and easy, and no deformities.

  6. posted by Betsy on

    My husband wears a baseball hat every day to protect his shaved head from the sun. A system that we found worked well was to put an over-the-door shoe rack (the kind with clear plastic pockets) on the door of the hall closet. All hats were visible and accessible, and the remaining pockets we used for winter hats, gloves, etc.

  7. posted by Jeff on

    Betsy, I like that idea. I, too, have multiple baseball caps. I wear them in the summer to protect my bald head from the sun and in the winter to keep it nice and toasty (you lose a huge amount of body heat via your head).

    My wife doesn’t understand why I need so many hats. Well, there’s my alma mater and my alma mater’s arch rival (the logo is very cool). Then there are the souvenirs as Jacki pointed out (the greasy spoon in Lee Vining, CA). And then there are my special hats like this one (http://www.thinkgeek.com/apparel/hats-ties/7817/). I’m a Web designer and I couldn’t pass it up. Even my wife liked it.

  8. posted by Jesse on

    My grandfather, a retired farmer, is the only one in my family that keeps more than one hat – though he wears a hat every day. He has 2 dress hats for church and then he has a stack of “ball caps” that he keeps and rotates when the everyday one gets out of shape or ragged. He folds them (like in the stores) and stores them on top of the refrigerator. He keeps his two dress hats in a container in his closet.

    Considering that my grandmother is a stickler for cleanliness (you can use a white glove!), the ball caps never get dustier than a week’s worth. The hat that my grandfather has chosen to wear daily hangs by the adjuster (he gets the adjustable ones) on his chair in the dining room. He puts in on when he wakes up for coffee (always dressed!) and he takes it off for meals and after dinner. He is, in my opinion, quite efficient and organized, and their house has minimal clutter.

  9. posted by Monica Ricci on

    I reviewed the Cap Rack on my blog a few weeks ago and gave it a bunch-o-stars. Between my husband and myself, we have about fifteen baseball caps and the Cap Rack stores ‘em all nicely.
    ~Monica

  10. posted by Jeri Dansky on

    I’ve written about four ways to store baseball caps on my blog.

    http://jdorganizer.blogspot.com/2007/04/4-ways-to-hang-baseball-caps.html

  11. posted by Pablo on

    If you’re not getting rid of them because they have memories attached to them you should check http://unclutterer.com/archives/2007/05/photographing_your_memories.php for ideas.

  12. posted by Gayle on

    My husband loves all the hats he’s collected over the years–many represent something he did both as a Marine or an Army Ranger. Then again some just have sentimental value and he only gets rid of those that mean nothing. We’re talking about 200 caps–too many to hang on the back of a door or on the wall to have collecting dust. He had cap boxes that he’d acquired YEARS ago & thru the moving over the years, they’ve gradually fallen apart. Now I’m trying to find something to replace those boxes inexpensively yet let us store them neatly in less space. Those boxes were approximately 30″L X 7″W X 7″D. I’d appreciate it if someone knows where to find them.

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