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How to Maximize Your Closet Space- Folding and Hanging Shirts, Pants and More

Jan 12,2024 | Hey Shelly

The change of seasons could spark the need to make more room in your closet or maybe you’re looking to re-organizing your space by learning how to fold shirts and pants properly so you can quickly spot your favorite top or bottom, without tearing your closet apart.

We get it. Those precious minutes in the morning can make a big difference, and by maximizing the use of your closet space, you’ll be able to quickly see and grab the clothing you’re most excited to style into an outfit.

Ready to get the most out of your closet space? Let’s start with essential steps on how to make more room in your closet.

How to Maximize Closet Space

The first step in maximizing your closet space is to pull out everything so you can see what you’re working with. You’ll save time and space by getting rid of items you no longer need or care for, to make more room or better visibility and access to the styles you are excited to wear.

1. Evaluate Your Clothing

As you pull out the items from your closet, organize them into three separate piles:

  1. Styles you want to keep and wear in the current season.
  2. Clothing and accessories you want to save for next season.
  3. Styles that are ready to go to a new home (donation, hand-me-down, or re-sell).

A helpful way to evaluate the style is by asking yourself the following questions for each piece:

  • Does this style fit or feel good when I wear it? 
  • Is it stained or damaged? How likely will you clean it or get it repaired?
  • Does the style serve a purpose in my current lifestyle? (for work, socializing attire, the gym) Is it seasonally appropriate?    

Quick Tip: Designate three different areas for your piles, so they don’t get mixed up. If you have the space, use the hallway outside of your bedroom for your donations and resell items. Placing this pile outside of your bedroom can help the temptation of adding any styles back into the “keep” pile.

2. Move Seasonal Styles

To make sure you have quick access to the clothes you want to wear in-season, you’ll need to store the previous season’s clothes away or hang them where they’re not in front of you or accessible. Here are a few ways to store away season specific clothing.

  • Make use of your empty luggage by storing seasonal clothing and accessories inside.
  • Take advantage of the vertical space in your closet by storing your seasonal clothing in cloth boxes or clear containers with lids and stack them on top of one another on the shelves.
  • Have an extra closet in a hallway or spare room? Store seasonal clothing by hanging or folding them into a box.

3. Re-Fold or Re-Hang Styles

Now that you have sorted your clothing, it’s time to place the styles you want to keep back into the closet. A way to maximize the hanging or shelf space is to fold and hang your clothes properly.

We share step-by-step instructions on how to fold and hang clothes with helpful short videos.

How to Fold a T-Shirt in a Rectangle

A basic folding method for short-sleeve t-shirts is to fold them in a rectangular shape.

How to Fold Long Sleeve Shirts in Rectangle Shape

Folding long sleeve shirts can get a little challenging with the sleeves, but folding the sleeves in a simple “V” shape can help keep the fold smooth and neat.

Step-by-step instructions on how to fold long sleeve shirts.

  1. Lay the shirt front facing down and smooth out any wrinkles.
  2. Take the right sleeve and fold it diagonally towards the bottom left corner of the shirt. 
  3. Repeat with the left sleeve, making a “V” shape when the corners of the sleeve touch (if the sleeve length is longer than the top, take the sleeve hem and fold it horizontally). 
  4. Take the bottom of the shirt and fold it halfway up, and then fold it again to line up with the top of the neckline. 
  5. Flip the shirt over and adjust the collar and smooth out any wrinkles that may have formed while folding.

How to Fold Sweaters and Sweatshirts

We recommend folding sweaters and sweatshirts versus hanging them to prevent them from stretching out, but they can naturally take up more space on your closet shelves or in drawers because of the thickness of the yarns or fabric. A way to optimize the space is by properly folding them.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to fold sweaters and sweatshirts in a rectangular shape.

  1. On a clean surface, lay the sweater front facing down and smooth out any creases.
  2. Take the hem of the right sleeve and fold the sleeve in half by placing the sleeve hem right beneath the seam where the sleeve and body meet.
  3. Fold ¼ of right side of the sweater.
  4. Repeat the same sleeve fold with the left side and fold ¼ of the side- creating a straight edge on both sides. 
  5. Grab the bottom hem and fold a 1/3 of the way. Then, fold again so the fold lines up with the top of the neckline.
  6. Turn over the sweater and smooth out any wrinkles that may have formed while folding.

Quick Tip: If you’re storing your sweaters for the season, use a cloth box for breathability, and it should be stored in a cool, dry space. If you need to store your sweaters in an area where there could be moisture, like an attic or basement, make sure to place your sweaters in an airtight plastic container with a lid or vacuum-sealed bag.

How to Fold Jeans

Denim jeans are a fashion staple that most people own in several styles and washes. The amount of denim styles can easily take up a lot of shelf space in a closet. There are two ways to fold jeans neatly into a pile, so they don’t topple over.

We share two different ways to fold your jeans— one with your front pockets facing up and the other with the back pocket showing.

Folding Jeans with Front Pocket Facing Up

Step-by-step instructions on how to fold denim jeans with the front pocket facing up:

  1. On a flat and clean surface, lay the jeans facing down and smooth out any creases.
  2. Take the right bottom hem and fold it in half.
  3. Repeat the same fold on the left side.
  4. Take the right side and fold it on top of the left.
  5. Take the top of the waistband and fold the jeans in half.

Quick Tip: Try stacking your jeans from the darkest to lightest wash, so you can easily spot the pair of jeans you want to use in your outfit. 

Folding Jeans with Back Pocket Facing Up

Step-by-step instructions on how to fold denim jeans with the back pocket facing up:

  1. Lay the front side facing up on a flat surface and smooth out any wrinkles.
  2. Fold the jeans lengthwise.
  3. Take the bottom hem and fold the leg in half.
  4. Fold the leg one more time where the bottom of the fold meets the top of the waistband.

How to Hang Dress Pants

The best way to store dress pants is by hanging them to prevent them from getting wrinkled. There are two basic ways to hang dress pants- with a pant hanger or with a basic hanger with a bottom bar.

Hanging Dress Pants by the Hanger

1.With a hanger with clips or a pant hanger, fold the pants lengthwise.

2.Attach the clips at the top of the waistband. 

3.Make sure the height of the closet rod is high enough where the bottom of the pants is not touching the ground.

Folding Dress Pants Over The Hanger

  1. Fold the pants in half, lengthwise.
  2. Using a basic hanger with a bottom bar, thread the waistband through the middle of the hanger and hang half of the pants on top of the bar. 
  3. You can use a thin velvet hanger to help save hanging space, and the texture of the hanger prevents the dress pants from slipping off. 

How to Hang Long Dresses

Long maxi dresses are a fashion fave, but when it comes to hanging them in your closet, it could be challenging if the rod height isn’t high enough or if you have a short closet. There are two simple and easy ways to hang a long dress.

Hanging a Long Dress Over the Hanger

  1. With a basic hanger that has a bottom bar, thread a 1/3 of the dress over the bar.
  2. Take the straps of the dress and loop them around the neck of the hanger. 
  3. If your dress has sleeves; thread the sleeves of the dress through the angles of the hanger.

Two Hanger Method for Hanging a Long Dress

  1. Hang the dress on a hanger. 
  2. Take a second hanger and thread it through the first hanger with the dress until ⅓ of the way down the dress. 
  3. You’ll hang both hangers together, using the second hanger to hang the bottom half of the dress.

So there you have it! We hope these helpful tips and tricks on organizing your closet to help you maximize the space by properly hanging and folding your clothes.