Follow these steps to keep your clothes looking their best. Bonus: You'll also spend less time ironing!
marthas organized closet
Credit: Marcus Nilsson

If you're someone who only folds your shirts and pants, there's a good reason to start hanging them instead: "Hanging your shirts and pants prevents wrinkles, especially if you tend to stack these items or are less than a perfect folder," says Laura Johnson, consumer analyst at LG research and development lab. But you shouldn't simply slap your clothes on hangers; instead, read these insider tips from Johnson, which will help keep your clothes in tip-top shape.

Choose the right hangers.

Delicate items—such as silk shirts or spaghetti-strapped tops—tend to slip off hangers, says Johnson, and that's why she recommends using velvet, no-slip hangers for them. But those extra-delicate items—such as almost-weightless chiffon or lace-laden shirts—might benefit from padded hangers, Johnson explains, "because they help the prevent snagging of materials." Then, use wood hangers for your heaviest shirts. Whatever you do, never wire hangers, Johnson warns. "They can rust, and they also distort clothing more easily." When it comes to pants, Johnson says that whether you fold them over wooden hangers or clip them on clamped hangers mostly comes down to preference. But, "with clamps, there's virtually no chance of wrinkling," she says, while wood hangers might leave a crease at the pants' fold.

Pay attention to the buttons.

Shirts should always be buttoned on a hanger, Johnson says. Buttoning a shirt will "help keep it from wrinkling and distorting, and it will also prevent the shirt from falling off the hanger." (Button the shirt after hanging it, though, to prevent stretching the collar.) Pants, on the other hand, shouldn't be buttoned if you plan to fold them over a hanger, she says. "Your pants will fold and hang better without being buttoned."

Fold your pants the right way.

If you choose to fold your pants over a hanger, there are two ways to do it: If your pants have creases or pleats running down the front, "grab the pants by the cuffs and fold along the creases, then either drape over the hanger bar or clip the cuffs if using a clip hanger," Johnson says. If you're hanging pants that don't have creases or pleats, "simply fold the pants in half and drape over the hanger bar or clip by the cuffs," she says.

Know which items should and shouldn't be hung.

Not all shirts and pants are meant to be hung, however. Stretchy fabrics—including jersey and knitwear materials—shouldn't be hung, says Johnson. "They should be folded so they don't stretch," she explains. On the flip side, "linen should always be hung," even if you're used to folding it, because "repeated folding in the same spot can weaken the fibers," Johnson says.


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