7+ easy tips for clothes hanger storage

yellow (re)x hangers holding pants on a bottom closet shelf

image from the personal closet of the author 


After completing our own closet cleanout inspired by last month’s blog, we realized we completely left out a major source of stress — space gobbling hangers! 

We’re back with a guide/inspo/encouragement to hanger storage. It’s time to get organized and take your closet back with these tips to help you properly store your clothes hangers neatly and out of the way! 

why something needs to be done about all the plastic hangers

We use ~40 billion plastic hangers per year.

You see, before ( r e ) ˣ, Paulina was living her best life as a fashion designer making playwear (loved by celebrities) that was well-constructed and designed to last through a lifetime of washes. 

But an environmentalist at heart, she couldn’t stand the amount of hanger waste the fashion industry caused. Thanks to a supply chain strategy called “Garments on Hangers” every garment shipped to a retailer needed to do so on its own hanger.


Upon arrival, the hangers were/are replaced with the type of hanger the brand uses. But what happens to the original ones? 🤷

This is what Paulina set out to solve for with ( r e ) ˣ; hangers are something each one of us uses everyday, but why can’t it do good? Like taking plastic out of the oceans and preventing plastic from ending up in the oceans.

If one little hanger can do all of that, we hope it can inspire you to make other changes in your life.

trash responsibly (you got this)

We know it’s so much easier to toss your hangers in the garbage bin and forget about them as quickly as the emissions coming out of the truck. But fight the urge! 

We do not live in a world that was set up to be circular or sustainable. Anytime you make a better choice, you’re going against the status quo, against wasteful practices and against overconsumption (yay you!). 

So let’s talk about how you can wrangle your extra clothes hangers into storage and organize sustainably (in a judgment free zone).

general tips for storing clothes hangers

Hey there, before we get into our tips for organizing, let’s start with some general advice. It’ll be like a friend sitting on your bed to chat with while you organize. So keep scrolling! 

start over

  • Take alllll the hangers you’re working with and bring them out of their corners and tangles. 

sort & untangle

  • Sort and organize them by size, style, type, purpose, the ones you hate, and the ones you need to get rid of. And it’s really okay to admit that you hate some of them. Use this opportunity to move the hangers that are more suited for coats/bulky items to the coat closet. 

wire hangers be gone

  • We can’t imagine why but unless you really love wire hangers, say goodbye. Do not put them in the recycle bin even though they are metal, most facilities don’t accept them (they clog up the machines). 
  • Most dry cleaners will take them back!
  • If you can’t find a dry cleaner, the scrap metal place (should) work. 

responsibly rid yourself of repulsive hangers

  • We know there are just some hangers that rub you the wrong way. You don’t need that kind of energy in 2024 so it’s time to responsibly get rid of them. Here are some suggestions: 
    • Donate to community theater groups
    • Freecycle groups
    • Preschools 
    • Churchs
    • Nursing homes
    • Secondhand stores (unlikely but give it a try)

you cannot recycle hangers

Because the recycling system is kind of wacky, it varies county to county but generally speaking, you cannot recycle hangers in curbside recycling bins in the U.S. All of them — wood, plastic, metal, felt. Unless your municipality specifically says “we accept hangers”, avoid the bin

It’s not always ideal but maybe moving them to a box or bin in the garage, guest room, or utility closet really is the best option. Society is set up so that you use something a couple of times, get rid of it when you don’t need, then rebuy it when you do. 

But the whole reason we have a company is because there’s so much plastic dumped into the oceans.

With that advice in mind, let’s get into our best tips for storing extra clothes hangers. 

7 easy ways to store extra hangers

Tip: No matter how you plan on storing your hangers, bundle them neatly into groups and bind with a rubber band or twist tie. If you’re anything like us you have plenty laying around from your produce that you can’t bring yourself to throw away.

option 1: use a magazine file

Bigso Marten Linen Magazine holder in black from The Container Store.

Image from The Container Store

Does anyone still keep magazines around the house? Use any magazine file holder, bankers box, binder holder or any other similar device to keep your extras in. 

Since these are fairly narrow, it’s a great way to keep a handful of extras readily available in the corner of the floor or top shelf of your closet. 

option 2: hanger organizer

hanger organizer. Image from Staples NAHANCO 34 inch

Image from Staples

Obvious but we had to put it in here. If you want to solve the problem immediately, your best option might be to buy (or make) a hanger organizer. 

You’ve probably seen one of these lying around a clothing retailer. They’re great because there is no other way to use it besides neatly keeping your hangers stacked. The only downside is you need somewhere to put it. 

This is better for those who have a spare corner to dedicate to a hanger stand. If this seems like the best fit for you, you can also try your hand at DIYing one with a few dowels or PVC pipe. Pinterest is the place for you! 

option 3: over-the-door storage

Pinterest screenshot of two pieces of wood nailed into the wall to form a DIY hanger holder

Image from Pinterest

We’ve all lived in our fair share of homes without much storage space. Every centimeter is precious so the hangers that aren’t needed need to GTFO. We’ve got a few options for tight spaces. 


Grab your hanger, head over to the home improvement store and find a piece of chain that has holes big enough for the hanger hook to go through. Drill or use a 3M hook at the top of your door and at the bottom (optional). Hook the hangers into the chain! 


There are plenty of places you can purchase over the door shelving as well! Please make sure to measure the shelf to ensure the hangers will fit and select a 3+ shelving unit that will hold quite a few hangers. Wire baskets also work here.

DIY knob 

It can also be as simple as making your own knob/hook from scrap wood. This is best if you can screw into the door but you can screw or glue two pieces of wood (or dowels) together to almost make a capital T. 

The piece of wood sticking out should be angled up slightly to keep the hangers from sliding. And please be sure to attach it to the door way above head level! 

option 4: storage cubes

From the REX personal collection - a black storage tub neatly stacked with two piles of hangers both REX and non.

Image from the personal closet of the ( r e ) ˣ team

We’ve found that those square storage cubes make the perfect hanger storage. This is a better option if you have a lot of extra hangers you want to hold onto. Group them by type then size and secure them together with a rubber band or twist tie. 

Put them in the box hook side down and rod facing up. If you’re tight on space, you could even store small items like socks, tights, leggings inside the hanger gap. Just be sure to label it! 

These fit really well onto a shelf at the top of the closet or under the bed.

option 5: a perfectly sized Amazon box

Rectangle box with a slit cut down the middle that allows the hanger hooks to stick out for easy storage. This specific image is a product from Retail Resource but it can be DIYdd

Image from Retail Resource

We know you have your fair share of amazon boxes laying around (although we try not to, us too). Storing your hangers in a box is a really simple way of keeping them organized and out of the way. 

You can determine what sized box you’ll need based on how many hangers you need to store, making this a fairly custom solution. Make sure to secure the hangers together before stacking them in the box (with a label). 

If you’re not storing anything else in the box, you can even cut a slit for the hooks to hang out the top. 

option 6: plastic storage tub / pillowcase

If you have a handful of hangers you need to keep stored away for awhile, try storing a few in the plastic tubs you keep your clothes in. 

Having them in one place is the most ideal, but maybe you can split them up into groups of 5 or 10 and divide them amongst your seasonal/less-used clothes! 

Because of the empty gap once they’re bound together, they’re pretty easy to work around.

option 7: in your closet

add an additional rod

No screws needed for this option. Add a tension rod to the top of your closet out of sight or to the bottom underneath your clothes and you now have a whole extra rod to store your hangers. Add another tension rod behind/in front of it and you just made a shoe shelf.

designate a hanger area

From the REX team, we follow our own advice for hanger storage. Keep your extra hangers that are often in use or have use potential stacked at one end of the closet rod

Image from the personal closet of the REX team

It seems so simple but sometimes the best plan is to just keep it all together. You can be hyper organized and designate different spots for different types of hangers or keep one section of your rod strictly for extra hangers. 

We would advise you to separate it with something sturdy like a coat or a suit to make a very clear indication of where hanger-land begins.  

utilize vertical space 

A white chain has red hangers stacked through every few links on a hook on the back of the store as inspiration for hanger storage in small spaces

Image from Pinterest

Similar to the chain idea for the door, run a chain (or rope) the vertical length of your closet and insert the hooks along the length to keep them out of the way. 

One day we hope to have hanger space savers but for the meantime, there are a variety of things you can use to make your hangers cascade. 

  • binder hooks (medium-large if you’re using ( r e ) ˣ hangers)
  • Rubberbands
  • twist ties
  • pop tabs (too small for ( r e ) ˣ hangers)

To create the cascade effect, loop a binder clip over the hook, hook the hanger on the rod, and hook a new hanger onto the binder hook. Keep going as long as you need to! 

wall mounted pegs

If you like the idea of the extra space above or below but a tension rod won’t work for you, check out wall pegs. They look like drawer knobs but bigger and allow for some customization. There options for no drilling and wall pegs can be repurposed in a variety of ways in the future. 

We’ve seen people get creative by drilling two shelf brackets onto a wall and looping the bar of the hanger across the two. This works best at the top of a closet if you have room or on a wall elsewhere, perhaps in a closet or laundry room. 

Before we wrap it up, let’s cover some FAQs we often see. 

what are the best way to store hangers

  • It really depends on the space you have to work with and how many hangers you’re trying to store. Our favorite methods are a combination of:
    • Keeping 5-10 on the rod
    • Storage cubes at the top of the closet
    • Using shelf brackets to store extra hangers

can hangers be stored in small spaces

  • Absolutely! We’ve lived in our fair share of closet-challenged homes. When living in a small space our favorite options are over the door storage, cascading storage (like a chain or wire basket), and plastic bins under the bed with the seasonal clothes. 

What are the benefits of keeping hangers organized and properly stored

  • It can seem silly to take the extra time to organize something as trivial as hangers. But not only will it probably make you feel better, preventing the hangers from getting tangled or damaged keeps them in good condition for a long time. By keeping them organized and properly stored you’re making life for your future self easier. 

how many extra hangers do you really need?

  • While we were writing this post, we saw a lot of advice online to throw away everything you don’t need because hangers are cheap and accessible. Hangers are cheap enough that you could but those are habits that sustainable living is trying to get rid of. Living sustainably isn’t about the products you have, it’s about your relationship to your stuff. You need to determine how many extra hangers you need but think about more than your right now and consider your future plans and goals. 

hanging it up (for good)

There are a variety of ways you can store your extra clothes hangers, or even repurpose them, this is just a fraction of the ideas out there. But we hope this inspires you to finally tackle that tangle of hangers — for your mental health and for your closet. Find a storage option that works for you, dispose responsibly and think about your relationship with products (and hangers).

P.S. Remember that most people don’t have a beautifully organized, spacious and color-coordinated closet system. Some of these photos are from our team members to help you realize it’s all about doing the best you can. 

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