Organizing a hat collection

I have a lot of hats. My hair began its exodus from my head when I was in my 30s, and now that I’m pushing 45, it’s all gone except for a few hangers-on that I shave down to nothing. I like the clean look actually, but I’ve also got a new enemy: the sun.

Get a sunburn on the top of your head just once and you’ll know a fun new experience of discomfort. A shower feels like tiny pins stabbing into your skull and forget trying to sleep with you head on a pillow. An even greater and more serious threat is skin cancer. The fair skin on the top of my head is an open invitation, now that the protective hair is gone. As a result, I own a lot of hats.

The following solutions are what I’ve done to corral them, as well as a few other ides you might consider for your own chapeau collection.

A hat in the car

I keep a neutral-colored baseball cap in each car. The color ensures it’ll go with whatever I’m wearing. Also, it’s kept neat and clean, so if I have to make a public appearance, I’ll look halfway decent. When storing things in your car, try your best to keep them in the trunk so they’re out of people’s way and if in an accident the item can’t become a projectile. A simple trunk organizer is a good way to keep the trunk of your car from being a mess, as a result.

The curtain/closet rod approach

Storing baseball hats on a simple curtain/closet rod works great. We’ve got a decent-sized closet in our bedroom. So, I put up two curtain rods spanning its length, and put a couple dozen shower curtain hooks on them. One hat hangs on each hook. (See image.) I love the temporary aspect of the hooks; since they’re not affixed, I can add/remove them as necessary. Plus, all of the hats are easy to see so I can grab exactly the one I want.


I’ve got several seasonal hats, like my beloved Stormy Kromer. I consider baseball caps to be all-season, but winter hats go into a plastic bin with a lid and a label. That way they’re out of sight yet easy to find when the seasons change.

While thinking about this post, I found a few other clever ideas I wanted to share. Here they are.

You can use a shoe rack on the back of a door. This solution is very clever, accessible, and tidy.

A “clothesline” of hats is pretty clever, as long as you have the room for it.

If a curtain rod will take up too much room, you can substitute a clothes hangar.

5 Comments for “Organizing a hat collection”

  1. posted by Liz on

    Interesting way to stash hats.

    I had a bunch of caps and t shirts which have specific artwork, related to my sailing club. As part of decluttering, I took them back out to the club and left them with a note that they were free. They now have new homes.

  2. posted by Judi on

    I took a deep breath and followed frequent Unclutter advice to pare down my hat collection. But I’d love to know how others organize hats such as fedoras, cloches, etc, many of which are somewhat rigid and should not be smooshed. For in-season hats I use a double shelf on a closet shelf and for the off-season hats I double them up in hat boxes. I’m not convinced this is the best I can do.

  3. posted by G. on

    Judi – could you do similar the the pictured rod/hook setup, except instead of the hooks, use the curtain rings that have clips on them? Or if the clips on those are too small, use plastic covered wire cloths pins and bend those around the rod.

  4. posted by Laetitia in Australia on

    We have a free-standing hat & coat stand near the front door. It’s not ideal – the things near the wall can be hard to access because things bump and fall off when the turnable section is spun around but while we rent and don’t have the option to put up extra rods and hooks without dramas of getting written permission, I wouldn’t do without it.

  5. posted by Dani on

    I move a lot so I’ve attached 3m hooks and hung a length of twine from it. I hang the family baseball caps from that twine using clothes pins.

    Now if I could just get the family to learn how to use clothes pins. :).

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