How To Fold Anything on a Hanger—Including Long Dresses, Sweaters, and More

Say goodbye to wrinkled clothes!


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Whether you like seeing a visual representation of your wardrobe, have a smaller dresser, or simply need to free up drawer space, folding clothing on hangers can be a smart way to store your favorite outfits. As it turns out, most clothing items you might fold in drawers or on shelves can also be folded on a hanger, according to Janelle Cohen—professional home organizer, interior decorator, and author of The Folding Book. This fantastic guide includes instructions and photos on how to fold everything from clothing to fitted sheets.

The key to best folding most items of clothing, according to Cohen, is using the correct hangers. Toss those wire hangers from the dry cleaner and invest in the right hangers so you can fold anything on them. This also creates a more visually-pleasing and organized look. “Hangers are definitely a personal preference, and the key is you want them to all be the same. Matching hangers create a streamlined aesthetic and help to maximize space,” Cohen explains. “The hangers I prefer are slim wooden hangers. If you are limited in space, a light-colored felt hanger is the best choice. The dark felt tends to shed, so a lighter color is preferable.” 

Here’s how Cohen suggests folding common wardrobe items on a hanger.

How To Fold Pants on a Hanger

Whether it's jeans or a timeless pair of black pants, folding pants on a hanger is an ideal way to store them. Start face up. “Fold [the pants] in half, bringing the right side over the left. Slide them over the hanger, making sure that the waistband meets the ankles,” explains Cohen. “You want them to be perfectly in half so that they are evenly weighted on the hanger. Then you’ll notice what I call the 'booty corner' sticking out on the hanger and one side is a crisp clean line. Put the booty corner to the back of the closet and have the straight edge facing out.” 

How To Fold a Skirt on a Hanger

If a skirt is wide, it’s best to fold it in half first, then slide it over the hanger. “If [the skirt] is about the width of the hanger, keep it flat and lay it over. Fold the skirt over perfectly in half with the waistband meeting the bottom of the skirt so that it is evenly weighted on the hanger,” Cohen advises. 

How To Fold a Long Dress on a Hanger

There are two ways to fold maxi or other types of long dresses on hangers. You can use the same method for folding skirts, or hang the dress as you normally would. “Then, take a second hanger and slide the bottom of the dress onto that hanger. Bring it up to the closet rod and it will gently drape the dress. This is the best option, but does require more hangers [and] take up more space. Still, [it] helps with wrinkles.” 

How To Fold a Sweater on a Hanger

Cohen suggests laying the sweater face down on a flat surface, and then folding it in half by bringing the right side over the left side. “Lay the hanger in the middle of the sweater, between the arms and bottom. The top of the hanger should be opposite the neckline. Tuck the sleeves into one side of the hanger. Tuck the bottom of the sweater into the other side of the hanger," Cohen says.

What You Shouldn't Fold on a Hanger

While Cohen recommends folding pants, skirts, sweaters, and even maxi dresses on a hanger, she suggests that tops and activewear should be hung and not folded. 

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