As a professional organizer and personal stylist I deal with clothes and closets. A LOT of clothes and closets. This means I'm always running into hangers. All kinds of hangers.
Velvet HangersMy favorite hangers (for adults) are the velvet/flocked slim line hangers you can buy at Costco or Bed Bath and Beyond type stores. First of all these slim hangers come in a variety of colors. Secondly they take up less space in your closet. Furthermore they help maintain uniformity which gives an overall sense of "like-with-like," the ultimate goal for an organizer. My kids closets get plastic hangers for ease of use. Depending on the brand velvet hangers can be quite flimsy. Mine come from Costco and if I drop one the right way the metal hook part will snap right off. Yesterday we drove up to Phoenix for a conference. As a result it was easier to keep our clothes on the hangers in a garment bag than pack them. Consequently when my husband took the garment bags out of the car one of the metal hooks snapped off. This is why the big boxes are handy, you just pull another one out and throw the broken one away.
What Now?But, what happens to it after you toss it? This Ditto article states, "An estimated 85% of hangers find their way into landfills. With 30-40 billion garments coming in already on hangers, that’s up to 30 billion plastic retail hangers being landfilled every year, enough to fill 11.5 Empire State Buildings." That number shocked me! Even more it makes me wonder how to help solve this problem as a professional in both fields. I did some research and came across some good suggestions by other NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing) organizers.
- Return metal hangers to dry cleaners
- Contribute hangers to a "Dress For Success" or "My Sister's Closet" type local organization
- Donate to a local shelter/transitional housing who provide clothing (call ahead and as about dropping things off, not all post their locations)
- Give hangers to a local thrift store like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Value Village that accepts plastic hangers (another organizer noted: "One Goodwill location has their own unit to melt plastics, and they would take my client's plastic hangers and melt them.")
- Check with local consignment shops or alterations and tailoring establishments and see which hangers they accept (maybe you'll earn a discount too!)
- Post bundles of like-with-like hangers for free on sites (Nextdoor.com, Craigslist, Buy Nothing on Facebook, etc.) to "market" them to those who need them
- Check with your friends and family to see if anyone needs more hangers
Shipping & Plastic Hangers: A Bad CombinationSource: Ditto | Sustainable Brand Solutions | News