Closet Works
Closet Works Logo

Subscribe to this BLOG

Pants Storage Ideas

Pants storage in a closet
Hanging trousers or jeans by folding them over a hanger is the most popular ways to store all kinds of pants.

Looking for pants storage ideas that combine ease of use with best closet organization techniques plus long-term care of your dress slacks and jeans? Well look no further. We know all the ways how to store pants in your closet. Read on to find the best solution for your wardrobe and lifestyle.

Storing pants in the closet is as easy as 1-2-3: organize, hang, fold.

There are numerous ways to neatly store pants in the closet. But which is best? Well, that depends on you. The type of pants you have in conjunction with the available storage in your home will dictate your optimal storage solutions. However, although there is no single best way to store all pants, there are recommendations based on the type of pants and your particular storage situation. The goal is to keep them organized so that they're easy to access and maintain.

Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you have a lot of clothes, closet space is probably at a premium in your home. You'll need to store your slacks in the most efficient manner possible that uses the least amount of physical real estate. That means no wasted space. Your pants can be hung from hangers or racks. They can also be folded and placed on shelves or inside drawers. But keep in mind that when it comes to pants storage, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. What's best for you may not be best for someone else.

Organize pants by color and type in your closet:

The one thing everyone needs is organization. It's always good practice to organize the clothes in your closet by type and color. You'll be amazed at how much easier it is to find what you are looking for and maintain the closet when it is organized first by type and secondarily by color.

Organizing by Type

Pants can be divided into two basic types — dressy or casual. Sort your pants according to these two categories. That's because dressy trousers have different storage requirements than jeans and leggings. Casual items can be folded and placed on shelves or inside drawers. This includes jeans, athletic pants, sweats, leggings, and other "weekend wear" pants. Dress slacks, on the other hand, should always be hung on a hanger. That means you should never fold trousers worn with suits or blazers. And don't fold any other type of "dressy" pants either. Most importantly, never ever hang them from a hook by the belt loop. This is okay for jeans. But your nicer woolens, linens, silks, and lighter cottons will stretch and wrinkle if left on a hook in the closet.

Sorting Pants by Color

First arrange your clothes in the closet by type. Then further organize each of the resulting sections by color. You will find that your entire closet remains neater when it is organized in this manner. This goes for both hanging and clothing stored on shelves or drawers. Not only is it easier to find what you need in a pinch, but it also looks nice, presenting a neat and unified look.

Pants sorted by color in closet
Pants sorted by color in closet. The left side is all tan and white pants followed by blacks, grays, greens, and blues.

4 different techniques for hanging pants and trousers in the closet:

Everyone will probably have at least one pair of dress pants in their closet. These need to be hung rather than folded. Either of these four methods will store the pants nicely. The difference is in the amount/type of storage space they require.

1. Hanging by the cuff

Hanging pants by the cuff is the one of the best ways to hold the crease while minimizing wrinkles. That's why it is frequently used with dress slacks. Cuff hanging is also referred to as the "bottoms up" method for hanging pants because they hang downward from the bottom of the pant leg. Always use a clamping type pants hanger when using this method of storing your trousers. Fold the pants in half vertically, lining the pant legs up by their creases. The zipper should face the inside of the fold. Clamp the hanger to the bottom of the pant leg — ideally to a cuff, although uncuffed pants can hang this way also. Pants hung by the cuff require a medium or "long-hang" closet section. This refers to the amount of open space beneath the closet rod. In this case it means there will be a clothes rod with two or three shelves above it. The space between the clothes rod and the floor should be between 52.5-inches and 64.5-inches. This way the pants don't drag on the floor.

Dress pants hung by cuff in closet
These dress pants are hung by the cuff in this closet. This will often reduce wrinkles and retains the crease better than other methods of hanging pants. Use wood or other pant hangers specifically designed for hang pants when hanging by the cuff.

2. Hanging by the waistband

These types of hangers are sometimes called "skirt hangers," but they work equally well for trousers. To hang pants by the waistband, use a hanger with two clips attached. Make sure to purchase hangers where the clips are adjustable, meaning they must be able to slide along the bar of the hanger. This way you can move them to accommodate any size waistband. Fold you pants in half lengthwise so that the creases on the legs line up. Then secure each clip to the waist band. The waistband will be thicker than the cuffs of the pants. That is why a clothes hanger with clips is better than a clamp when hanging by the waistband. This type of hanger also requires a medium or long-hang closet section.

Dress pants hung by the waistband in closet
This homeowner prefers his pants hung by the waistband in the closet. This helps ensure that the pants won't sag or lose their shape. But it doesn't prevent wrinkles. Use pant hangers with clips specifically designed for hanging pants by the waistband. These are the same hangers often used for hanging skirts by the waistband.

3. Folding over a hanger

Perhaps the most common way of storing pants is by folding them carefully over the bar of a clothes hanger. There are special pants hangers with movable bars made for just this purpose. These types of pant hangers are often provided with a new suit purchase. But an ordinary hanger works fine as well. The only advantage of the specialty hangers with the movable bar is that the trousers can't slip off as easily. As a premium hangr, they are also usually made of wood. However, velvet hangers and those with anti-slip bars work just as well. To hang your pants by folded over a hanger, start by folding them in half lengthwise just like the cuff and waistband methods mentioned above. After it is folded in half lengthwise, drape the pant across the bar of the hanger so that is equal length on either side. The big advantage to hanging your pants this way is that they will now fit in a double hang closet section. Many people don't have very much long-hang or medium-hang areas in their closets. Double-hang where one rod is installed over another is popular because it literally doubles the amount of hanging space in the closet. If you have a lot of pants that need to be hung rather than folded, this may work better for you.

Pants hung folded over a hanger is a common pants storage technique
The owners of this closet fold their pants and hang them over a hanger. This method of pants storage works for both casual and dress slacks.

4. Using a pant rack

The final method for hanging pants in a closet is by using a pant rack. The pant rack doesn't really save any horizontal space in the closet over traditional clothes hangers. However, it is a convenient way to store any type of pant in a crowded closet because the racks slide forward when needed. This way you can easily find and select the garment you need. It retracts back into the interior of the closet when not in use. To properly use a pants rack, fold your pants over the rack just as you would when folding over a hanger. This type of storage works just as well for dress slacks as it does for jeans or leggings.

Pants storage ideas include this slide-out rack for the closet
These pants are hung on a slide-out pant rack inside the closet.

Best practices when folding pants for drawers or shelves.

Drawers are not just for pajama pants! If you have very little hanging space but lots of shelves and drawers, this may be the best method of pants storage for you. After all, most of us can always find room for another shelf if need be. The same is not always true of hanging space in the closet. Casual pants like jeans, leggings, or other "stretchy" pants are often better stored folded on shelves or inside drawers anyway. The knits retain their shape better when folded than when hung. The best way to fold jeans or leggings is to fold the pant in half lengthwise, then fold the length in thirds. This should turn your pants into a neat little rectangle of cloth. Place it in your drawer or on a shelf just like the pants at the clothing store. If using shelves, don't let your stacks get more than 12-inches high or they will topple over. It's better to have many short stacks than a few giant ones. You can also use shelf dividers or drawer dividers to keep your stacks of pants neat and tidy.

Jeans folded on shelves is a favorite casual pants storage idea
These casual pants and jeans are neatly folded on closet shelves. The stacks, all less than 12-inches high to ensure nothing falls over, are labeled on the front of the shelves. Nothing gets misplaced in this closet!

Use these pants storage ideas to get your closet better organized.

You can often tell how organized a person is by looking at their closet. A messy closet tends to equal a disorderly mind. Why not try these tips. You may be surprised by the results. Getting your pants organized could be the start of a less stressful, more organized life overall. Try it out and use the comment field below to let us know your results. We'd love to hear from you.