Where to put used-but-usable clothes (a.k.a. alternative to "The Chair")?



We all know The Chair. The Chair where you put the clothes clean enough not to go in the laundry, but not enough to go back in the wardrobe. The Chair that looks like this:


It exists because you plan to wear those clothes again tomorrow, or after tomorrow, so you want them to be easily accessible. And you don't want to mix them with the 100% clean, folded and ironed clothes in your wardrobe.
But aesthetically this is not satisfying. Is there a better-looking alternative?
Where to put used, but still usable clothes to make them easily accessable and hidden, or at least not looking messy?


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 875

35You use a chair!? Mine just go on the floor... – geometrikal – 2017-09-23T21:36:37.960

2Back in the wardrobe. – djechlin – 2017-09-24T16:59:54.177

In my house we call the clothes in question "worn once". We don't have a "the chair" but we call the area(s) in which we put these clothes "worn once areas." – stannius – 2017-09-24T19:45:32.907

11Surely no-one folds their shirts like that so they can be thrown onto the chair...? – Shadow – 2017-09-25T00:34:13.353

you need a second wardrobe for those clothes – user17915 – 2017-09-26T02:43:10.873

@Shadow I do. If I'm going to wear them again I don't want wrinkles. – Jasmine – 2017-09-26T20:48:17.500

This is the post where Foul Bachelor Frog earns best answer... – Harper – 2017-09-26T21:41:57.407


I don't have enough rep to answer, and it's typically for suits and British people, but how about a valet: https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/sb1/coat-racks-umbrella-stands-c415919-a7119~152337.html. (I am not associated with Wayfair, btw. :)

– hBrent – 2017-09-26T22:37:05.597

I personally use a hanger ( https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2013/07/12/14/31/hanger-148398_960_720.png ) for this purpose. I put my shirt on it and hang it on a wall clip ( https://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTEwMFgxMTAw/z/9iEAAOSwjDZYa3RF/$_12.JPG ) . Hanger is also more useful than wall clips because it doesn't make crease on the shirt.

– Rolen Koh – 2017-09-27T07:31:03.160


Tangentially relevant: the act of sorting through slightly-used-but-useable clothes has been called "dry gleaning" (from The Atlantic IIRC). You need a "dry gleaning rack". Update: see this which suggests Barbara Walraff's book "Word Fugitives" (from the column with the same name) might be the origin of the word.

– Floris – 2017-09-27T13:23:16.723

8My wife would like to extend curses to you all for validating my clothes-storage methods.Thanks guys! – palswim – 2017-09-28T18:50:49.370

1My built-in wardrobe contains a chest of drawers (containing underwear and T-shirts, mainly). My "chair" is the top of that chest of drawers. Which is inside the wardrobe, so is not visibly untidy. I loosely fold "worn once" clothes and sit them on top. I clear through them frequently. – Owen Blacker – 2017-09-29T13:16:17.817



I use an IVAR side panel from IKEA (any similar thing, for example a small ladder, or screwing together a few wooden bars yourself will do as well). Lean it agains a wall at a slight angle and throw clothes over the horizontal bars. Done.

Stands almost entirely flat against the wall if you don't use it, comes in different sizes, is cheap and most people who have seen it in my room thought it looked kinda cool.

If you truly want to hide it, this usually fits behind a door pretty well.



Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 774

3This is great. It even somewhat makes tidiness from mess, as it's purposely set up for this function, unlike the chair. – Neinstein – 2017-09-22T15:20:31.910

1Only costs $7 also! – maxathousand – 2017-09-22T20:59:47.133

Yes - tho depending on how many clothes you usually have on The Chair, you might wanna go with a bigger one than the one you linked - I recommend using the wider ones if you have the space (less piling, easier access). I also find myself rarely using the topmost bar of mine, since I'd have to pull it from the wall to throw something over that, and that just doesn't have The Chair feeling - so I'd also go for a higher one so you have at least two bars in the middle. – mvuajua – 2017-09-22T21:13:06.333

-1 for being a product endorsement. This is Life Hacks. – Carl – 2017-09-22T21:53:35.287

19@Carl if using a product that is 100% not intended to be used this way (you're supposed to build a shelf with it) isn't a life hack, I don't know what is. – mvuajua – 2017-09-22T21:59:44.320

Also, an extra IVAR side panel comes standard issue with EVERY cluttered basement, have you checked? – rackandboneman – 2017-09-23T18:14:12.443

2"Deliver me from Swedish Furniture." – Alex L – 2017-09-25T17:38:41.180

3I find this much more useful than the accepted answer of a storage ottoman. With this bar method the clothes are allowed to hang free and air out, while stuffing them into some kind of container will trap bacteria and stew them together. – Darren – 2017-09-26T19:00:28.063


A similar solution is to use just half a chair as depicted here.

– Ivana – 2017-09-28T12:43:43.977

2"If you don't use it..." Funny guy! – Beejamin – 2017-09-30T21:07:41.133

@maxathousand It has increased to $8 since then. Rough days :( – Gras Double – 2018-11-29T23:23:46.530


I always install a hanging rod or hook in the laundry area for just this occasion. They're great for hanging those damp towels you'd use again if the occasion arises, or that out-and-about shirt you just threw on to run to the corner grocery… but seems wasteful to throw in the laundry if you may need it again shortly.

The advantage of using the laundry area is it reminds you to wash those items if you don't need them again, and it gives you something to top off the laundry if you need to do a load but don't have quite enough items to justify running a full cycle.

Robert Cartaino

Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 6 294

1Practical and pretty-looking idea, also a great way to fill up the space above the machines if you have any. I really like it. – Neinstein – 2017-09-22T18:46:07.157


You can use clothes hanging wall mount inside your wardrobe door. I do the same thing with my two wardrobe. You can use both the doors according to your need.

You can buy this kind of wall mount which is easy to remove from your wardrobe.

Easy removable wall mount 1 Easy removable wall mount 2

If you want to permanently use the wall mount then use this kind of wall mounts.

permanent wall mount

Now, the below image shows how to use the wall mount inside wardrobe. You can use both the doors according to your need.

enter image description here

If you are using Horizontal wardrobe or your wardrobe is having sliding door then you can use foldable wardrobe which consume less space. If you don't want to use then you can easily fold it and put it anywhere. Foldable wardrobe are available with different different varieties and sizes you can choose according to your need. Foldable wardrobe looks beautiful and all your clothes are hide inside it.

There are so many advantages of foldable wardrobe one of them is if guest come to your home and you have less space to put guest clothes then you just open foldable wardrobe and its done.

foldable wardrobe

Andy Developer

Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 469

2+1, it's a really great idea. Unfortunately not the solution for me as my wardrobe is "horizontal", i.e. I keep all my clean clothes folded, laying on shelves. No room for hooked clothes on the door. – Neinstein – 2017-09-22T13:14:05.907

@Neinstein thank you sir. See my updated answer. I hope this will help you out. – Andy Developer – 2017-09-22T13:26:34.727

1A folding wardrobe is a bit overkill for me as my room is rather small. mvuajua's answer is more suitable for me, but I really like your hook idea, and many people aggree based on your vote count. – Neinstein – 2017-09-22T15:19:14.507

1@Neinstein The hooks could also go on the back of the bedroom door or - if you have one - the private bath. – Engineer Toast – 2017-09-22T16:26:52.857

-1 for being a product endorsement, this is Life Hacks. – Carl – 2017-09-22T21:54:18.933

4@Carl What is exactly your problem with this (and the other) answer? It didn't "endorse" any specific product, and it provided a good answer to the question. If a lifehack makes use of any object obtainable in shops, do you automatically have a problem with it? – Neinstein – 2017-09-22T22:11:44.013

1@Carl ...and the product isn't generally sold as a solution to [author's problem], so it is a legitimate life hack in every sense of the word. – Robert Cartaino – 2017-09-23T03:43:40.317

@RobertCartaino I don't see anything life hacky about buying something, but I'll unvote. – Carl – 2017-09-23T04:03:49.127

I guess I have to wait until morning to do that. – Carl – 2017-09-23T04:04:14.323

2@Carl Your vote is your own of course, but did you know you can buy a blowdryer to loosen up a frozen car lock? Same concept <wink> – Robert Cartaino – 2017-09-23T04:07:57.460

@Carl I am a developer not a salesman who endorse the product sir. – Andy Developer – 2017-09-25T05:01:53.193

We use the stick-on hooks commonly available from companies like 3M. They can only hold maybe one or two items at a time, thus discouraging you from hanging tons of stuff up (unless you put up tons of hooks, of course). Plus they are pretty unobtrusive, can even go behind doors, etc. Then again we also have at least two of "the chairs". Maybe we need to wear clothes more often. Ah the realities of working from home... ;) – Jonathan van Clute – 2017-09-26T18:30:59.947

You can also get a rod that attaches to the sides or top of your cabinet or wall and either slides out or swings out to hang a few items over...it is called a "valet rod". – user3067860 – 2017-09-26T20:48:53.883


I use a storage ottoman in my bedroom for this purpose, something like this:

enter image description here Pic credit walmart

The lid remains off most of the time and I usually don't mind it being open.
If I have guests over, I can easily cover the lid and then it's just an ottoman.
It doesn't look like laundry and functions as an extra seat if required.
I find that the size is large enough to fit my in-between clothes, but small enough to (1) not take up too much space and (2) force me to not put my entire wardrobe in there.


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577


12I prefer my slightly-used clothes to be able to breathe. This looks a bit too hermetic, with the potential for stinky. – Floris – 2017-09-27T13:26:56.287

1@Floris I do usually leave the box open. It only gets covered while I have guests. Been using this method for years and never had any smell issues! – None – 2017-09-27T14:10:05.393

This kind of defeats the purpose of the chair. As the chair allows you the ability to drape your clothes without wrinkles, plus despite how clean you think your clothes R sticking them in a box is not a good idea for worn clothes. While the chair offers an air it put situation – Himarm – 2017-10-08T10:45:25.320

@Himarm the question specified hidden as a criteria. In any case, as soon as the clothing pile becomes significant (2 shirts stacked on top of each other or more, etc) the bottom one isn't going to be aired no matter what the clothing is on . This is just for temporary storage. There are plenty of other answers to choose from to suit your clothing-air needs. – None – 2017-10-08T12:47:53.763


I use a clothes tree in the corner of my bedroom. It might also be called a coat tree or coat rack.

I guess that it is still as ugly as "the chair", but it takes up less room.

enter image description here


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 1 614

This is what we use. It lets you hang clothing to a better extent than a chair does, and provides some degree of organization. – MPW – 2017-09-28T16:26:17.113


I put worn-once-but-not-dirty back in the wardrobe but change the direction of the hanger hooks so that they can be immediately identified as "half-way." Facing forward vs. facing backward.

In addition, the left-half of the wardrobe is "reserved" for these articles. Once worn hoodies, sweaters, and folded outer-wear sits on the shelf above hanging clothes.

Fresh stuff enters the wardrobe on the right-hand side and moves leftward on its way to be cleaned.

Suits that have been worn once (or twice) are brought to be "sponged-and-pressed" between being "dry-cleaned." This is a less wear-and-tear treatment for structured outer-wear.

Confession: I also have and "use" a "chair."


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 5 307


Door hooks

I use door hooks. They are similar to the wall mounted ones, but require no drilling and can hold more weight than the sticky version.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes ranging from the simple S-shape (left) to full hangers (right)

single door hook door hanger


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 201


I have a laundry basket I keep next to my dirty laundry baskets specifically designated for this (the little one on the left, below). It's also a convenient place to dump clothing instead of the floor when I'm too tired to deal with putting it away when getting undressed, so outer layers often end up there for a day or two. Whenever I do laundry (or sometimes sooner if it starts to overflow and look messy), I go through it and anything left in there either gets added to the wash if it's actually dirty (field/workout/gardening clothes, etc), or hung back in the closet if it really isn't dirty enough to worry about (usually sweaters, jeans, etc).

laundry baskets


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 261

3This is very similar to existing answers but IMO still adds a new option to the given problem. Especially the picture demonstrates nicely how your solution fits in with your clean and dirty laundry and looks good. Also it provides a lazy but tidy option to dispose of clothes quickly at the end of an exhausting day. – Flint – 2017-09-23T06:30:33.557

I used to do this, except I was using a dufflebag/sack for my worn but still good cloths, and then another for the dirty cloths. – Lyndon White – 2017-09-28T15:21:58.643


When I first met the guy who is now the spousal unit he didn't have a lot of furniture.

In fact in the bedroom he had a bed and a step ladder. He used the stepladder as a wardrobe till he got a real cupboard later on. In fact a stepladder is very handy. He had a torch clipped onto it as a bedside light.

And of course the stepladder doubled as a stepladder sometimes.


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 1 133

At first glance this looks very much like a duplicate of mvuajua's answer. But +1 for 'the stepladder doubled as a stepladder sometimes'

– Flint – 2017-09-30T11:11:48.670


This is not particularly discreet but it is neater than The Chair and offers excellent ventilation for the clothes. I used it when I was in college for Yesterday's Clothes To Throw On If There Is A Fire Alarm.

  1. Get a set of 6 wire mesh storage cubes (the kind that are assembled from flat mesh panels and plastic corner connectors, and sold to students for dorm rooms).
  2. Assemble them 2 wide by 3 high so that the topmost sections are open on top instead of in front.

This offers you four possible edges to drape items over and 6 shelves to lay smaller ones on.

(No picture of the cubes because I couldn't find one suitably licensed and I don't have any myself at the moment.)

Kevin Reid

Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 351

Where would you get these mesh cubes? – Trajan Espelien – 2018-05-22T16:04:21.767

@TrajanEspelien That's going to be regional, but I expect to see them in a big-box store particularly during “back to school” season. – Kevin Reid – 2018-05-22T18:10:17.523


The truth is that, if your clothes are not clean enough to go back in your wardrobe, they really need to go in the wash, not on your chair for wearing again.

If you've warn them and they're even slightly smelly or dirty, then you really don't want to wear them again, do you? So, wash them!

On the other hand, if they're neither of those things, they won't contaminate other things if they go back in with the clean stuff, so do that. It really is OK to put worn but clean stuff back in the 'drobe.

Similarly, if your garments are too crumpled to go back with the tidy stuff, they're too crumpled to wear, so press them again before putting them back.

Now, you might argue that some clothes will never get washed following this principle. In practice, this simply doesn't happen; you can tell when clothes need washing.

I gave up my own chair about 2 years ago, and can attest that the wash-or-wardrobe method works well in practice.

In summary, then, I'd say your challenge isn't to find a different resting place for half-worn clothes, but to see the problem differently. Clothes go back in the wardrobe or they go in the wash. There really is no middle ground.


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 214

8I think this really depends on how active a person is. There is definitely middle ground for me, I tend to have "inside clothes" and "outside clothes". I only wear inside clothes around the house, when I am clean, so the inside clothes just don't get as dirty as quickly. The vast majority of the time, the inside clothes are the in between ones. I'd prefer to separate out the current set to wear multiple times and then wash it, rather than put it back with the other clothes and remember the state of all of them. – None – 2017-09-23T21:21:35.563

4And if you have some clothes that you put on intending to go and do "outside stuff" but you got distracted by your most recent Netflix binge, presumably you don't mind putting the outside clothes back on before you go mow the lawn. It's not like you need the cleanest clothes to go get dirty and sweaty in. – Wayne Werner – 2017-09-25T12:17:12.617


More suited to the male and more formal wardrobe, but a good alternative is a trouser press. They typically have a hanger for a jacket and shirt if you wish (though if you can reserve a section of your closet for shirts it's better to air them out). Corby is one famous maker, though there are knock-offs available I can vouch for the quality of the original (and lack of quality of at least one knock-off). There is a timer and the press delivers electric heat to the trousers so you have freshly pressed trousers in the morning.

corby trouser press

Spehro Pefhany

Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 361


A great life hack in this situation is to set things up so that your clothes actually have a place to go that isn't the chair already. The way I look at it is this: stained clothes I can spot wash and if the clothes are smelly in the first place I definitely don't want to wear them again until they're washed. So I spot wash anything with a stain and at this point I can't tell the difference from clean clothes, so I exploit this so the clothes can actually be put back with the clean clothes in the first place.

Wrinkles are a problem, and since an iron is too much work another great life hack is to use a hand-steamer, which is easy to store and operate and works just as well. Again at this point the clothes have reached a state where they able to go into the wardrobe without any confusion or unsightliness.

I've found this system is a really huge improvement on the state of my room and my wardrobe because it's a backdoor approach to avoiding having another category of storage that I had difficulty getting to really work out right. Plus I always have more good clothes to wear and I have to do laundry less because I've found the trick to keeping clothes ready-to-wear clean and wrinkle-free.

Hope this helps.


Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 939


I use a cloth dryer for this purpose.

  • It has lot of room and is space-efficient.
  • Clothes are ventilated.
  • You can also use it, partially or totally, to actually dry clothes
  • If you are receiving guests, it looks tidier than The Chair.

Just pick the model that best suits your needs :)

Gras Double

Posted 2017-09-22T10:41:38.577

Reputation: 329