Storing specialty hangers?

Reader Iris wrote us an e-mail the other day that sincerely left me baffled. I struggle with a very similar issue in my home. Her question:

I always put away hangers in a cardboard box sitting at the bottom of the wardrobe when the hangers are not in use. However, the hangers are of different size tend to tangle up and it looks very messy. I just wonder whether there’s a neat way of storing them?

Okay, I can help out with the first part of this question and suggest that Iris ditch the cardboard box and exchange it for a hanger holder. I have one very similar to the one in the picture, and I recommend it highly. It is extremely convenient and transports easily to the laundry room when I’m pulling clothes out of the dryer.

HOWEVER (and this is a mighty big however), it only works for standard clothes hangers similar to the ones in the picture. Large suit and coat hangers are too big and get tangled, any hanger with a curve to it doesn’t stack well, skirt hangers never fit, and plain shirt hangers that don’t have bottom rods slide right off of it. I have to leave an empty space at the end of my closet rod to hold all of these non-standard hangers when they’re not in use. And, I always end up making a couple trips back and forth between the laundry room and the closet to grab the specialty hangers when I need them.

Admitting complete and utter defeat, I open the floor to you our readers. How do you keep the non-standard hangers organized when they aren’t in use? Please, fill the comments with your wonderful ideas — Iris and I need your help!

72 Comments for “Storing specialty hangers?”

  1. posted by Sandra on

    I, too, am having trouble imagining why you’d need to put them anywhere besides on the rod until the dirty clothes are clean again…

    However, I do have some pants/skirt hangers that tend to tangle with one another if left next to each other. I’m planning to get rid of them when I find an alternative I like, but until then, it works best to take the empties away. I can stick them into my hanging shoe holder.

  2. posted by Joyful Abode: Domesticity by Trial and Error on

    This question baffles me.

    When I take a piece of clothing off of a hanger to wear it, the hanger goes back on the closet rod (at the end, so they’re grouped together).

    When my laundry is done, I grab the hangers off the end of the rod and put my clothes back on them.

    Why would you need a separate empty-hanger storage space?

    I honestly thought this was your unitasker post for the day.

  3. posted by Sue on

    I try something different. I keep a laundry basket in the alcove outside my bedroom, and toss empty hangers into it. On laundry day, all the dirty clothes have gone down the chute to the basement, and I carry the basket down. As hangables come out of the dryer, they immediately get hung up on the rack (minimizes wrinkles), and are carried up when completely dry and cool. Only foldables go in the baskets.

  4. posted by Tammy on

    Hmmm…agreed with a majority of the comments. This is a baffling question because there’s no reason to have to do this at all.

    If no have no extra space on your clothing rod (to group temporarily-unused hangers), just leave the hanger where it was originally. I mean, the shirt will go right back in its spot after it’s washed, right?

  5. posted by Victoria on

    I swear I thought this question was part of the Wednesday spoof until I read the comments. For heavens sake, just leave the darned hangers in the closet . . . If the thought of a few stray hangers is making you uncomfortable enough to cause stress and devise a storage system, professional help’s available. I mean, l love a clean, organized house as much as the next person, but there’s a line, folks!

  6. posted by Sally on

    As a frustrated renter this is a question I face everytime we move apartments. I have, like fellow Aussie Thom, used a braket in the laundry. At present I hang any spare hangers on the end of the towel racks – our bathroom is also out laundry. I am one of those people who use coathangers to get everything dry.

    I found sorting through the coathangers very helpful. I decided on a style that was not too naughty (as coathangers are want to be), and slowly donated the surplus to op shops. Any ‘special’ coathangers, eg crocheted by grandies, are used by clothes that dont come out of the cupboard, so I dont have to deal with them. And same goes for suit hangers, and one’s my boyfriend wont let me toss.

    I love that coat hanger gadget. I’m always fighting for space on the end of the towel racks with my partner who favors these for his belts!

  7. posted by Clare K. R. Miller on

    Like at least one other person said, at my house we have a rod above the washer and dryer. It’s useful for both hanging clothes that need to hang dry or stay unwrinkled and for storing hangers that aren’t currently in use.

    I totally understand not wanting to keep empty hangers in the closet–they can get tangled together! Especially in my closet, since I mostly store skirts there, and those hangers with clips come in all different shapes and sizes. I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about hangers getting tangled that so many people can’t understand it.

  8. posted by Linda on

    I’m with Deb…hang the empty hangers by the door, grab them with the dirty laundry…hang up the clean on them so (and don’t gag here) if you iron, they’re all ready for yah!

  9. posted by CCherry on

    I need this- well, I thought I did and I bought one and it wasn’t big enough for me so I created one using PVC pipe and phlanges- I do not put most of my shirts in the dryer- In the summer they are hung outside and in the winter they are hung in the basement. This means my hangers need to be where I am hanging clothes up, either in the basement or on the back patio. This means the hangers need to get from point A to point B. Those who are organized and do laundry on a regular basis probably only have a handful of hangers at a time. Those of us who honestly forget to do laundry or avoid the basement in the winter can have weeks worth hangers stacking up.

    The goal of this blog and community is for us all to get a better handle on being organized and clutter free. Congratulations to those of you who are already there, but help, don’t condemn, those of us who are still struggling.

  10. posted by Katie on

    I keep my hangers stacked at the edge of the ironing basket. We don’t have a dryer but we have a pulley-rack which lowers up and down from the kitchen ceiling. When clothes are dry, they get folded and sorted between people and ironing, then the ironing goes into the ironing basket for later and everyone gets a stack of folded clothes for their drawers. We figure, if you don’t need to iron it, then you don’t need to hang it in the wardrobe!

  11. posted by Nat on

    I also move my empty hangers to the end of the rod. We also have a rod in the laundry room for hangers we use there. However, back to the original problem: if you must store them off the rod, why not get a free hanger recycling box from the dry cleaner. It’s more organized than a rectangular box, and it might be big enough for the specialty hangers.

  12. posted by Michele on

    I leave the empty hanger exactly where it was on the rod, because the number of empty hangers is my visual cue of when to run a load of wash.

  13. posted by Claire on

    At some point I decided to have no more hangers than clothes. When I buy something new, I take an older piece of clothing out of the closet to donate or fold for storage, and put the new piece on the hanger in its place. The only empty hangers in my closet are for clothes in the hamper.

  14. posted by Denise on

    Chalk me up as another failure of imagination, because I can’t quite understand the problem. I use a chrome laundry butler ( ), and empty hangers go there. In the days before I had that, empty hangers stayed in the closet, on the rod, and if I needed to bring them to the laundry room, I’d scoop them off the the rod and put them on top of the basket of clothes.

    The one thing I will say, though, is that I do my wash in a communal laundry room in the apartment building. And when I had a washer and dryer, it was in a single-floor apartment. My parents (whose laundry is washed in the basement and put away two floors up) may well have a different take on this. Except… No, not really. Everything goes into baskets, and gets put on hangers upstairs. That’s where the ironing board is.

    So yeah, imagination failure here.

  15. posted by Jay on

    From the original post: “I always end up making a couple trips back and forth between the laundry room and the closet to grab the specialty hangers when I need them.”

    There are two possibilities to avoiding traipsing back and forth from the laundry area to the closet to grab these hangers: 1) carry all the hangers to the laundry area with you, or 2) bring the clothes back to the closet, and put the clothes on the hangers that are already there.

    As to (1), an easy way to do this is to slip a rope into the corner of the hangers, and carry the hangers together. A rope takes up little room and is the ultimate multi-tasker.

  16. posted by Ellen on

    I did buy one of those hanger consolidation gadgets, but it didn’t work on all our shapes of plastic hanger (it’s nice that so many of your commenters are able to keep identical hangers in their closets, but whenever I acquire hangers I find they’re a slightly different size and shape from the last set!), so I abandoned it.

    Right now we use a cubby in the closet for one shape of empty hanger, plastic bins (aka a wastebasket, though never used for trash) for the others.

    I’m also a little baffled by the folks who manage to keep exactly as many hangers as they have hanging clothes. We have a fair bit of wardrobe turnover, even for the adults in our family — get “new” clothes at a tag sale or clothing swap, clear our closets of things we’re not wearing — so the numbers fluctuate quite a bit. It helps to have a place to stick extra hangers!

  17. posted by Anya on

    While many of you seem to be baffled by the question of what to do with extra hangers, for me this is an almost daily problem and I never thought that there even might exist something like a storage item for hangers.

    I am a renter and although there is enough space for a washer in my very very tiny (less than 4 square foot) bathroom, I dont own a dryer and there is also no space for hanging the laundry out to dry. there is also no public laundromat in my city, since this is uncommon in my country.
    So, if I want to dry my clothes, I have to do this either in my living room or the bedroom. I own a foldable drying rack, which stays behind the door while not in use. I never hang any t-shirts (the type of clothing that I wear most)on this rack simply because there is not enough space on laundry day. so all T-Shirts go on extra hangers an then on the sides of the rack for drying (not sure if you can imagine that, but its the way it works for me). When they are dry, I fold them and put them back into the closet. This is so small, that there is also not enough space on the rod to hang all T-Shirts (need the space for skirts, dresses etc).
    So, after laundry day, I need to store about 10-15 hangers. And the laundry basket bears the same problem as does the bag in which I store the hangers at the moment: they get caught and it looks messy.

    I hope I could clarify the problem a bit & maybe there will come a time in which I have all the space I need tho put up the hangers on a rod. Until then, I really need a solution to store extra hangers on the bottom of my closet. So as well as I understand that for most of you this seems to be an unnecessary question, for me its an interesting one.

  18. posted by susan on

    I am having a tough time trying to figure out why everyone is having a tough time trying to figure out why this is an issue for some.

    The people who posted their disbelief in this simple and very valid question…I assume they all have exactly the number of hangers that they have clothing. If one of the hangers breaks they are pretty much screwed and have to run to a store and buy another. That is not cost effective and is a time waster to have to make a spare trip to the store everytime you break a hanger.

    When I shop at some outlet stores, I ask them for extra hangers. Liz Clairborne (moving stores) once gave me two boxes of nice plastic hangers. I used them to change all the hangers in my closet to be the same, which looks great. The spares I keep on a clothing line in the third spare shower, which I use to hang dry clothing. The hang dry clothes and the extra hangers hang out there.

    For my coat closet, when I have a major party I clear out all the coats, and leave nice empty wooden hangers awaiting my guest coats. Am I going to leave 40 extra heavy wooden hangers hanging there 365 days a year? Um no…so I appreciate the few suggestions that have been placed about this topic. I like the idea of the hanger holder, and the wall mounted holder, and the rod over the dryer.

    Thanks to everyone who shared their useful tips, and boo to everyone who couldn’t think past their own lifestyles to share anything other than criticism.

  19. posted by Mel on

    This isn’t something I currently have a problem with (I’m in a small flat where the washer is just steps away from the bedroom) but I recently spotted this: which seems like a better-designed hanger holder, both in terms of practicality (it can hold most styles & shapes of hangers) and aesthetics. It’s made by a British company, but the description does reference an American version that it’s based on – and if it came to it, it looks easy enough to make your own version from heavy card.


  20. posted by Janine on

    We take hangers to the laundry room to wait for the clean clothes from the dryer. Under the shelves we have a plastic papertowel holder screwed in. It holds the hangers neat and easy until needed. Cheap and perfect. I also have a flip up clothes rack that holds the clean hanging clothes until the owners ( all my children & husband ) come and claim them. Beside that I have put 2 modular shelving units of cubbies – 6 cubbies to hold the folded clothes ready for pick up. It only holds about 2 loads so everyone must put away fairly quick or no more clean clothes.

  21. posted by ER on

    When my dirty clothing goes into the laundry hamper, so does the hanger. When I get to the laundry room, the clothes go into the washer and the hanger gets hung on a wire shelf situated just above the washer and dryer. It is there and ready for use when the clothing comes out of the dryer.

  22. posted by Leah on

    I leave empty space at the end of the bar. when I take a piece of clothing off the hanger, the empty hanger gets moved to the end of the bar. Then, I re-hang the clothes when I take them off. If I do wash something, then I can throw hangers into a laundry basket to take to the laundry room. I often hang dry clothes, so I just bring the hangers to wherever the rack is.

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