the 40 hanger project {how i got rid of a lot of clothes}.

the 40 hanger project graphic

As I mentioned last week, I recently took on the challenge of completing the 40 hanger project.  I was inspired by a couple of women on the Knoxville Moms Blog team.  Laura is completing a 50 hanger project herself and Natalie, knowing I was on an organizing mission, thought it would be a good one for me to tackle.  I love a good challenge, my closet was a huge mess, and I love organizing my spaces.  So challenge accepted!


If you saw the clip on the news last week or saw me mention it on here, here is the detailed post about it.



the 40 hanger project


When I first heard of this challenge I heard that you get 40 hangers and that’s it.  I built my own rules to fill in the gaps, so if you decide to try a challenge this like feel free to use my rules or substitute your own.



closet before full picturecloset before

the befores [yikes!!]



1st step:  Go buy hangers.

You can definitely do this project without spending any money on hangers!  I went ahead and took the plunge to buy new hangers because I have wanted matching hangers for a very long time but could never justify spending the money on them.  I’ve heard so many fantastic things about velvet hangers, and really 40 hangers is not all that many, so I went to Target and bought them.  You can also find similar ones like these on Amazon. Closet Complete Ultra Thin No Slip Velvet Hangers for Shirts and Dresses, Black, Set of 50


I found that having nice hangers — and a limited number of them — really helped with the motivation of the whole project.


These were on clearance at Target because of the color.  They were 50% off, so I snagged up all the turquoise ones they had.  I have no problem having brightly colors hangers, especially when I can pay half for them.  I did still buy Tommy the plain white ones, though, for his side.



2nd step:  Pull everything out.

I pulled every clothing item out of my closet until it was empty.  Then I sorted and started deciding what to get rid of and what to keep.


closet during


closet cleanout

3rd step:  Get rid of clothes!

I started with 124 hanging clothing items.  I did my first round thinking I had to be close to 40 and found that I was at 100.  Whew, it was a lot of work to dwindle down to 40.  But I loved it.  I had so many clothes I hadn’t worn in a very long time.  I had some things I kept holding on to just in case I needed them.  But if I had never needed them before, why would I need them now?  It felt really good to just get rid of stuff!


4th step:  Get rid of hangers.

I got rid of all of my old hangers.  Plastic, wire, fabric, my total mismatched, chaotic collection got bagged up and taken to the local thrift shop to donate.  There is no point keeping extra hangers around.  If I keep a stash of hangers around, that is only setting myself up for failure down the road to add more clothes.  Plus no one needs the clutter of all those extra hangers.


5th step:  Sort clothes to get rid of.

Some of my clothes got donated and some are going to be consigned and sold.  I separated them into piles and took the stuff to be donated right away before it got stashed somewhere and forgotten about.  The clothes to consign needed to be hung nicely and taken to the store or put online.


6th step:  Hang clothes to keep on new hangers.

This is a fun part.  It’s exciting to get stuff back in the closet and make it look really nice.


7th step:  Put clothes back in closet and organize.

Some people organize their closet by color, but that stressed me out.  I organize mine by type of shirt — starting with tank tops, then short sleeve, 3/4 length, long sleeves, sweaters, skirts, and dresses.  However you organize your closet doesn’t matter, just make it neat and systematic in a way that works for you.


closet clean out during


8th step:  Step back and admire your work!

It’s a really good feeling to see a project get completed.  This is one that you could do for free — and in fact, could even make money on if you sell some of your old clothes!

clean closet



closet organized
[I don’t usually keep Junior Mints in my closet, but since it is right next to my bathroom and we are in the throes of potty training, this is a good, high place for them.]


I know this seems extreme, and it kind of is.  But I have felt for a long time that we just have too much stuff.  There is no reason I need a closet busting at the seems with clothes.  It is just plain excessive.  But knowing that and doing something about it are two different things.  So I am glad that I was encouraged to go ahead and take on this project.  If you are interested in this but don’t want to do 40 hangers, that is fine!  Just cut down to a number that works for you — 50, 75, 100, whatever.



A few practical tips —

~ I kept a lot of staple shirts, meaning shirts that I can wear year round with different pants, skirts, sweaters, etc. to get a different look

~ I used a long 5 in 1 pant hanger for my pants and I don’t count that as one of my forty hanger

~ I folded some sweaters and sweatshirts and keep them in a bin on a shelf

~ My blue jeans and t shirts are in drawers in my chest

~ I bought new hangers for Tommy’s side of the closet too.  He decided to get rid of a lot of his shirts as well.



I also bought these organizational shelves at Target, knowing it would help us to put things up there and keep our closet better organized.


I definitely encourage you to try to par down your closet.  It feels great to walk into a clean, closet and not have to part the seas to get a shirt out to wear.  I also don’t have as hard of a time getting dressed in the morning because since I only have 40 items, I like everything I have!  I used to stand in my closet thinking I had nothing to wear, but now I can walk right in and quickly pick something out because they’re all my favorites.



Another project down in #healthyandorganized2014 and I am loving the way it feels to get rid of stuff and be more organized!



the 40 hanger project


Have you done any big organizing projects lately?  Have you gotten rid of a lot of clothes before?  How many clothes are in your closet?  I want to hear!