The Hanger Situation


I’ve heard that closets in Europe are small, and by “small” I really mean “non-existent.” The base usually supplies you with a wardrobe (or two) for your clothes, but let’s be realistic for a minute: I clearly have more clothes than my husband (not including his uniforms, of course, because those will practically take up an entire wardrobe all on their own). So in the past few months I’ve been doing what everyone says they’ll do but never actually gets around to it. I’ve been purging my closet.

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Those jeans I wore five years ago that I swore I’d fit into again, but they still have tags on them? Garage sale pile. That shirt I wore once and forgot about, because some other top took its place?  Garage sale pile. Random shirts I've bought because they were on sale? Donate pile. The raggedy-old workout shirt I kept around because it’s comfy? Ah, who am I kidding? It’s stinky and I finally threw it away.

Last year I implemented a neat trick to help me get rid of about ½ the clothes in my closet. Here’s what I did: I turned all of my hangers (with the clothes on them) backwards. Then, every time I wore something I put the hangers back in the correct direction. After each season I looked in my closet and any hangers still turned the opposite way meant I hadn’t worn them—and probably wouldn’t wear them again anytime soon. It was a quick and easy way to re-evaluate the clothes in my closet.

Which leads me to my hanger situation. I have such a random collection of hangers that it actually stresses me out to look in my closet. They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and even decades—seriously, some of these are probably still around from my middle-school days—and I’ve grown to loathe them. Since we don’t know what kind of space we’ll have in Europe, I’ve decided to get rid of my old hangers along with my clothes.

According to my husband, this is where things get really silly. I have a lot of tank tops and wide-neck shirts so regular hangers just don’t do the trick anymore. I’ve tried the hangers with velvet on top to keep things from sliding, but then I have velvet pieces all over my clothes. I’ve also tried the kind with notches to keep straps from slipping, and while they worked, they’re just too bulky (probably because I was cheap and bought the least expensive notched hangers I could find!). Now you can see why I had such an array of hangers from over the years…and don’t even get me started on dozens of wire hangers that are hanging around.

Finally, a couple weeks ago I found the perfect hanger: long and thin with rubber in place of velvet. The only problem is that they’re pretty pricey. Luckily, this particular store that carries them sends out decent coupons once a week. I’ve been saving my coupons and buying a new 20-pack every week. I only need to make a couple more trips to the store before my closet makeover is done!

I realize this sounds a little over the top, but I know I’ll be happier in the long run, and I already have an instant sense of relief when I walk into my closet. Actually, if you think this is silly, you should see what we did with our CD collection!

Do you find yourself doing any sort of crazy cleaning before you move?

photo by: peverus

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