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How to Store Pants in Closet

Row of dress pants folded on hangers in closet

Fold along the creases. Hang them by the cuff. Place on a shelf or in a drawer. There are numerous ideas on how to store pants in a closet. But which is best? And how do you make the most of limited space? Check out these strategies for answers.

Strategies for how to store pants in closet so that they stay crisp and wrinkle-free while making the best use of limited space.

Hang your dress pants and fold your jeans. This is the accepted best practice when it comes to how to store pants. But there are two ways to hang — from the cuff or folded over the crossbar of a hanger. Likewise, there are different ways to fold — on a shelf, in a drawer, or on a pants hanger. To complicate things even more, there are special pant racks available for use with closet systems that help maximize your storage space. Each has its advantages. Some of it will depend on your particular closet configuration. Most people find it is best to employ a combination of methods to get the most out of your storage space while protecting your wardrobe.

5 ways to store pants in a closet and when to use them:

1. Hang them from the cuff:

A very full drawer filled with underwear and kept organized with dividers
Dress pants hung from the cuff in a medium hang section of the closet. This method helps prevent and release wrinkles. Use hangers with clamps for this type of hanging.

Hang your dressy trousers by the cuff or bottom of the pant leg if there is no cuff. Place them in a medium hang section of your closet to ensure you have enough space to accommodate the length of the pants. A medium-hang closet section will usually feature a rod with two or three shelves above. You will need special pant hangers with clamps rather than clips. Fold the pants lengthwise along the creases to retain the sharpness of the crease while allowing any wrinkles to be released. Wrinkles are released by this hanging method because hanging from the cuffs puts most of the weight on the bottom of the garment. This, in turn, helps to pull out any minor wrinkles. Use the clamp to secure the cuff or the bottom of the pant legs to the hanger.

2. Hang them from the waistband:

Pants in closet hung by waistband from special pants hanger
Some pants are made from fabrics that are better stored by hanging them from the waistband, so they don’t stretch out. Use hangers with clips for this type of hanging.

Alternately, you can also hang your pants by the waistband. Some fabrics are better hung by the waist so that the weight of the garment is carried by the hanger. This way, there is less possibility of the garment stretching out of shape. Velvet is one such material. Your dressy velvet pants with the elastic waist should be hung by the waistband. Again, pants hung this way should be stored in a medium-hang section of the closet using special pant hangers. Use pant hangers with clips rather than clamps for this type of hanging.

Hanging a pant from the waistband will help ensure that the garment retains its shape and doesn’t sag, but it won’t help get rid of wrinkles. You can always touch up any wrinkles with a cool iron. Use an ironing board that is built into the closet if you need convenience with the ability to save space.

3. Fold and place on a shelf or in a drawer:

Organized underwear drawer with drawer dividers to keep clothes tidy
Jeans, casual pants made from sturdy fabrics, and stretchy knits can be stored folded on a shelf or drawer.

If your closet has more shelf space than hanging, use the extra shelves to store your jeans. Folding is a good way to store your casual pants as long as you have the shelves or drawers to put them in. This goes for both jeans and stretchy knit pants. In fact, folding is generally better for stretchy pants than hanging. However, you need to be careful how you fold. Make it look neat. Pants should be folded in half lengthwise by placing one leg over the other and then folded again in thirds so that you have a neat little rectangle of cloth to place on the shelf. This should render tidy shelves and drawers that look nice as well as being highly functional.

4. Fold over a hanger:

Pull-out wire closet baskets with folded baby clothes
Closet baskets can be just as effective as drawers.

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to store pants is to fold them over the cross bar of a hanger. In fact, there are hangers made especially for this purpose. Men’s suits usually come with a hanger where the center crossbar is on a hinge. This is so that you can fold the pants over the bar and then hinge it back in place. A metal wire over the crossbar keeps the pants from sliding off the crossbar. However, any type of hanger with a crossbar can be used. The advantage is that your pants can now be stored in the double-hang section of your closet along with your shirts and trousers. This allows for two rows of clothing hung one over the other, or basically, double the storage. This storage method works equally well for your dress pants and casual wear.

5. Use a pant rack:

Folded pants on pull-out pant rack in closet
Use a pull-out pant rack for maximum wrinkle-free storage of trousers and jeans in a small space.

The best way to store pants when limited space is a concern is by using a pull-out pant rack. Just slide the rack forward on its built-in drawer slides when you need access to your pants. When you’re done, it slips quietly back into the recesses of the closet. These racks store your pants folded over the non-slip crossbar of specially designed hangers and can be used in the double hang section of your closet. However, the racks are more convenient than regular hangers because of the ability to slide the whole rack in and out. Because of their efficient design, you can see all your pants at one time, even when space is crowded. It is also easier to get individual pairs of pants out of a crowded section of your closet as well.

So which is the best way to store pants in a closet?

The best way to store pants in your closet depends on the type of pants, the fabric they are made from, and the particular features of your closet. Do you have more shelves than hanging? Then fold all your casual pants and keep the hanging areas free for your dress slacks. Are wrinkles a concern? Then hang your trousers by the cuff so the wrinkles come out. Is your medium-hang section of the closet already crowded with dresses and jackets? Free up space by putting as many pairs of pants as possible into double-hang. That means folding them over a hanger or using a pull-out rack.

Each of the five storage methods for pants has its advantages. Use the solution (or solutions) that best fit your situation and wardrobe. And remember, by simply using a properly designed closet with organizers, you will be surprised at just how many more pants and other clothes your space will hold.