Mission 2 Organize

How to Choose the Right Hanger


When it comes to caring for your clothing, which hanger you choose for each type of clothing makes a big difference in achieving a functional closet. Not all hangers are created equal. After over 7 years in the organizing business, we have learned that differences in clothing size, hanger design, client budget and personal preference call for different types of hangers. In this article, we are going to share our hanger wisdom with you.




Non-slip hangers are ideal for many types of clothing. They work perfectly for hanging silky blouses, dresses and shirts with a wide neck.  Since these hangers are very thin in design and are made of non-slip material, they are ideal for saving space in your closet while holding on to most fabrics. To avoid those annoying bumps in the shoulders of your sweaters, use non-slip hangers.


Happily, non-slip hangers fit closely together so you can fit even more clothes on a rod. Just make sure you buy the kind without a notch in the front. These notches are designed to cascade clothing, but this makes the clothes too difficult to retrieve and so we don’t recommend the cascade technique with any type of hanger. You can modify non-slip hangers with add-on clips to hang your skirts, shorts or strapless garments. If you are lucky enough to have unused long space in your closet, consider hanging your dress pants from the waistband or ankles using skirt hangers.


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Wooden hangers come in a variety of styles; some good, some bad and some plain ugly. Let’s start with the least desirable option: the wooden shoulder suit hanger. They are ideal for heavy suits or coats but the curved design takes up an enormous amount of space. Consider if you even need any at all, and if you do, limit the amount of them that you use. will maintain the shape of the garment.


The thick wooden hangers that are not curved are extremely strong and are ideal for suits, coats and formal dresses. Some wooden hangers have a non-slip bar for hanging dress pants or clamps for skirts, shorts or strapless garments. Cedar hangers are a great pick if you have a pest or moisture problem. Keep in mind that wooden hangers will take away some space from your closet so if you don’t have enough room in your closet, use them sparingly and only for selected items that really need the support that wooden hangers provide.


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Good old fashioned wire hangers are slim, however, due to their slippery nature, we do not suggest them for your wide neck or silky shirts. They are perfect for round neck shirts including t-shirts. Thicker half-inch metal hangers can be a great addition to a small coat closet. By far, our favorite of the metal hangers is the swing bar 4-tier metal hanger. It’s the ideal solution for hanging scarves and dress pants especially if you are looking to maximize your closet’s vertical space. The bars swing out for easy access to each layer of clothing, making it the perfect tiered solution.


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Plastic hangers are a cheaper substitute for wooden and non-slip hangers but they have their pros and their cons. Plastic hangers can hold anything from women’s blouses to men’s dress shirts and sport shirts to dresses. Some plastic hangers have notches across the top of the hanger which makes them perfect for strappy shirts like tank tops and strappy dresses too. The variety of colors they come in make them good for kids closets. If you find it useful, color code your clothing using these colorful hangers. The downside of these hangers is their thickness, the amount of space they take up in your closet, their inability to hold onto silky clothing and the fact that they sometimes snag your clothes.


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Acrylic hangers almost always come with large notches on the top. Use them to hang your fancy tank tops and strappy dresses. They often come with additional hooks at the bottom of the hanger which can come in handy for hanging things like backless dresses. If you’ve invested in a good quality acrylic hanger, try doubling up and putting two pieces of clothing on each hanger. Be aware that they are pricey and if you’re not careful with them, these hangers will snap in half.


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These hangers are specialized for delicate knits. Although you can use them for formal wear and lingerie, we do not really suggest them for most other types of garments. Padded hangers have many disadvantages including taking up too much extra space in the closet, not being functional for slippery items and not being wide enough to hang onto most shirts.


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There are plenty of specialty hangers on the market designed for belts, ties, scarves or even necklaces. Determining the functionality of these hangers goes back to the amount of space you have in your closet. If you have the space, you can try out some of these products. Loop scarf hangers are an example of an imperfect option, though, because the scarves are impossible to get out without tangling and it ends up being way too bulky, taking up valuable hanging space. Try hangers with multiple hooks to store belts or necklaces. If hanging space is an issue (especially when it comes to scarves and belts) think instead of baskets, wall hooks or boxes to store these items inside of a drawer or on a shelf.


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When hunting for the right hanger, it is a good idea to take inventory of your closet and the types of clothing you have. Make note of how many hangers of each type you need and try to unify your hangers as much as possible to maximize your space. It is a good idea to get a few more hangers than what you think you might need. You can use a basket or this hanger caddy to store your extra hangers inside your closet. If you have a laundry room, keep some extra hangers in there as well for air drying items. All the hangers above are available at The Container Store, most home stores and online in a variety of quality and price points. Have a question or need any tips about hangers or your closet? Post them below and we will share with you our best organizing solutions.

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