My wife and I are the proverbial “empty nesters” and that has brought about some exciting changes with how we utilize our living spaces. One of the biggest changes we have made is to transform our spare bedroom into a giant walk in closet, or “dressing room”. We opened up the wall to make it an adjoining part of our master bedroom and finally almost have enough room for all of our clothes. I say almost because we have a LOT of clothes. My life of haberdashery used to be so easy – clothes for going out in and clothes for not going out in. Done. However thanks to career changes, hobby upgrades and some mild lifestyle tweaks I now find myself in a state of awe every time I walk into the “dressing room”. There are clothes for work, clothes for yard work, clothes for going out for dinner, clothes for going out for a fancier dinner, clothes to go to the beach, clothes to snowshoe in, clothes to dirtbike in, clothes to streetbike in, clothes to snowmobile in, clothes to sleep in, clothes to work out in… you get the idea.
Armed with a slight understanding of our clothes situation, one can clearly see that there is a need for some organization and planning for storage. Bins, shelves, drawers, high racks, low racks; all have their place and they all make perfect sense, but there is one little detail that I never envisioned would become so important in my life: the simple clothes hanger.
Up to this point in my life I had put zero thought into the mighty clothes hanger. It had two purposes: Hold a shirt from falling on the floor and opening a car door after you lock your keys inside. That’s it; the industrious hanger was simple and effective for its intended uses. So perhaps you can imagine my surprise the first time I was told I was using the WRONG HANGER while helping my wife with laundry. I was shocked in fact. I turned and quickly looked for a glaring mistake – the shirt was clearly off of the floor so the hanger was doing its job to perfection – what could possibly be wrong? Little did I know that this was only lesson 1 of what was to become a bachelor’s degree in hangerology.
The error was a grave one; I had mistakenly hung up one of my t-shirts on a wooden hanger. I had obviously missed the memo wherein the declaration was stated that wooden hangers were for the sole purpose of hanging the fancy dress clothes; T-shirts were relegated to the white dollar store plastic hanging devices. Ok, fair enough, the wooden hangers are nicer so it makes sense for the “good” clothes to be on them. I corrected my mistake. Uh oh, not so fast – apparently I was still in breach of hanger regulations. Did you know that there was more than one size of plain white plastic hanger available? Neither did I but ignorance is not a defense of the law so I very quickly learned that the thicker and heavier white plastic hangers were reserved for use in the closet with the heavier jackets – they were not to be wasted on the menial task of t-shirt suspension.
I proceeded to finish hanging my t-shirts with the approved hangers and moved on to the new laundry. Things were about to get more interesting. I pulled out one of my nice work shirts and hung it to dry. I carefully did up the top button so that the collar would lay flat (read about the top button here) and hooked the hanger on the nice bar we had installed for the sole purpose of drying clothes before they were put away. I was quite proud of myself until I heard a voice behind me say “what exactly are you doing??” I froze. Holding back the panic I did a quick run through of what I knew: The shirt was hung nicely, button done up, nice clothes so nice wooden hanger – what was I missing?? With an eyeroll she informed me that WET clothes could absolutely not go on the wooden hangers to dry. I had failed, obviously missing another part of the lesson somewhere along the way. Wet clothes needed to be on plastic hangers. Dang I thought I had nailed that one. Back to the drawing board.
As she followed along redoing my hard work I began to wonder if I was actually helping at all, or just creating more work for her as we went. I was informed that I had incorrectly used the black plastic hangers throughout my side of the dressing room as well. To be fair, the black hanger is absolutely identical in every way to the white hanger with the exception of its colour. I did not realize that apartheid is alive and well in our dressing room as the black hangers are solely for use on her side of the closet. Supposedly it’s to differentiate her clothing from mine which makes perfect sense – I can clearly see how I might grab a pink “women who sled” t-shirt when I clearly wanted my black “AC/DC” t-shirt. I promised to be more careful.
There are many other hanger styles scattered throughout our new-found clothes storage space: Some have clips, some have multiple levels, some are straight, some have hooks for straps, some have swivels – it’s actually quite intense. I now realize that I do not have a hope of correctly memorizing all of these different hangers and their correct usages so I am resolved to sticking with what I know: I get the skinny white hangers for most of my things and a few wooden ones for some of my other things. Anything else is reserved for her specialty clothing department on the other side of the room. Unless it’s not.
Next week I may tackle lesson 2: Direction. I have just found out that shirts should go on a hanger facing a certain way so statistically I have just hung up 50% of my clothes incorrectly. At least they are off of the floor.