Caring for clothes on hangers

How many of us have lain in bed planning an outfit, only to get to the wardrobe and find a) the favourite shirt has a stain in clear sight, right at the front, b) the favourite pair of jeans are missing, to be found NOWHERE, and therefore must have been stolen, c) nothing fits because the washing machine has shrunk everything or d) all of the above.

Yes. I feel most of us have experienced these brief yet cheerless scenarios and moved on to the rest of the day feeling at best slightly ‘off’ and at worst just thrown, feeling that the day cannot succeed.

Selecting clothes starts our day off. It’s one of the tasks that we don’t really consider as a task – it just ‘is’. But how smoothly this part of the morning (or night before if you’re a plan-ahead type) goes can have an effect on the rest of your day, on your mood and productivity.

Luckily, as you may have gathered, there are ways to reduce the chance of this happening. You do need to act before opening the wardrobe on a Monday morning though – but the results should help to create more zen and less rage! Today I’m focusing only on clothes that are hung as opposed to those that are folded. Most principles are key to the KonMariTM Method, which I specialise in.

 

Be discerning about what you choose to hang

Very few clothes actually need to be hung at all. Those that do benefit include very floaty fabrics, or items with particular embellishments that cannot in themselves be folded due to their size. In my wardrobe I have perhaps 12 hung items – three are sheer beach cover ups that just won’t stay put when folded, one is a dress that could be folded if I had space to do so, four are coats and jackets that would take up a drawer each if folded, and the remaining four are shirts that are made of some mysterious fabric that does not fold well, yet at the same time needs to be ironed for simply ages to look halfway decent. My nemesis – but I do feel great in them!

 

Leave space for your clothes to breathe

A densely packed wardrobe can be a stressful experience – raking through hangers, clothes and accessories falling to the bottom of the wardrobe and not being picked up, double-hanging shirts and never noticing (therefore never wearing) the ‘bottom’ one are some of the issues that clients have faced with their hanging wardrobes. The solution, where space allows, is to fold more and hang less, thus keeping more items immediately visible with less effort.

Additionally, cramming clothes in makes it difficult for any damp air (typical of our Maltese winters) to escape and could encourage the growth of mould or the degradation of fabrics. Not quite the surprise we want to find at the back of the closet!

 

Remove dry-cleaning bags and tags as soon as you get home

It’s another task, yes. But better to do it as you’re hanging those items back into your wardrobe than when you come to need them next. Unpacking immediately allows you to inspect the items for damage and successful stain removal. Running around for stain remover and scissors to remove dry cleaning labels ten minutes before you depart for the theatre is certainly NOT zen!

Think how you feel when you look into the wardrobe and see items still in their dry-cleaning bags. Do you feel it’s easy to wear them? Many people comment that it keeps ‘best’ items feeling and looking at their ‘best’. In actual fact, when I’ve spoken more to these people, they do want to wear these clothes more often but feel as though they’re somehow off limits. I understand the need to save certain items such as a dress or suit for job interviews, but on the whole, if you love the item, make it accessible and wear it more!

If you want to protect valuable or sentimental items, purchase specific clothing storage bags that are constructed with preservation in mind, rather than relying on a piece of plastic that is fairly flimsy in comparison.

 

Hang clothes on sturdy hangers

Wire hangers, I’m coming for you. They are used in dry-cleaners because they take up little space and are easily recyclable. They’re not actually intended to support a garment for weeks or months at a time in the wardrobe. A few months ago I bought a beautiful grass-green Kin sweater from John Lewis. Goodness knows why but it had been hung on a wire hanger. Of course the sweater had slipped over time, so when I tried it on I realised the shoulders had become lumpy and misshapen. It was the only one in my size so I took it and risked the stretching being permanent (thankfully a wash on the recommended temperature returned it to normal, non power-shoulder status).

Your hangers do not need to match. They don’t even need to be wood, or velvet covered. But do your clothes a favour and return those wire hangers to your dry cleaner. And next time you collect your clothes, ask if you forego the bags and hangers altogether if possible.

 

Rise and shine!

This is one of my favourite parts of KonMariTM Method.  When ordering your clothes in the wardrobe, place longer items to the left and shorter items to the right. It’s up to you whether you then sub-organise by colour or item type or frequency of use. But creating this sweep from left to right can actually enhance feelings of contentment when looking into your wardrobe.

 

Consider scent

You may love the smell of freshly washed clothes, or you may prefer you garments to smell of ‘nothing’. Adding lavender bags (bonus points if you’ve grown and dried the lavender yourself though nobody’s judging if you take the easy route and support a craftsperson by buying from them at a Christmas fair or similar), moth repellent scents or other fragrance items can really perk up your ‘getting dressed’ experience. Of course, be careful that oils and perfumes do not come into direct contact with textiles. Nobody likes a stain.

 

What are your wardrobe wins? Share below!

 

TL;DR?

  • Crammed wardrobes create stress.
  • Only hang what cannot be folded.
  • Remove tags, bags and labels to make clothes your own.
  • Order from longest at the left to shortest at the right.
  • Sub categorise to your liking.
  • Make it smell lovely and you’ll enjoy keeping it nice.
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