How to Organize Hats

Having a hat collection can be a fun hobby and a great way to express your personal style. However, as your collection grows, keeping all those hats organized can become a challenge. Proper storage is essential to keeping your hats in good condition and easily accessible when you want to wear them. Follow these tips to create a hat organization system that works for your needs.

Assess Your Hat Collection

The first step is taking stock of what hats you actually own. This allows you to see how much space you need for storage and identify any problem areas in your current organization system.

  • Count and categorize: Do a tally of how many baseball caps, winter knit hats, dress hats, straw hats, etc. you own. Divide them into basic categories.
  • Evaluate condition: Assess the condition of each hat. Set aside any that need cleaning or repairs.
  • Purge as needed: If hats are damaged beyond repair or you just don’t wear them anymore, get rid of them to free up storage space.

Once you have a handle on your collection, you can start optimizing the storage setup.

Choose the Right Storage Location

Hats require some specific storage conditions to keep them looking their best.

  • Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading and damage.
  • Avoid excessive moisture that can lead to mold, mildew, and warped brims.
  • Protect from dust and dirt that can soil the material.

Ideal hat storage spots:

  • Closets
  • Shelves
  • Drawers
  • Basements
  • Underbed storage containers

Make sure the space has adequate ventilation and is easy for you to access when retrieving hats.

Use Appropriate Hat Storage Containers

The containers you choose should suit the type of hats being stored.

For Stiff Hats:

  • Hat boxes: Cardboard hat boxes are ideal for formal dress hats. Make sure they are large enough to avoid crushing the crown.
  • Wide brim hat racks: Store fedoras, panama hats, and other wide brimmed styles on racks specifically shaped to hold the brims securely without bending them.

For Soft/Collapsible Hats:

  • Canvas hat bags: Protect baseball caps, sun hats and other soft hats in breathable cotton canvas bags.
  • Plastic totes or bins: Use lidded plastic bins to corral and stack multiple soft hats together without misshaping them.

For Winter Hats:

  • Shelves or drawer organizers: Knit winter beanies and other cold weather hats can be neatly folded on shelves or in divided drawers.

No matter the container, make sure it keeps dust and dirt away from your hats.

Use Strategic Placement

Once you have the storage containers, place them in your chosen storage spot in a strategic way.

  • For closet storage, install sturdy shelving at different heights to double your storage capacity. Place taller hat boxes or racks on higher shelves. Use lower shelves for lower-profile lidded containers.
  • If using open shelves or rack, arrange by style or color so you can easily find what you want. Label any closed containers.
  • Store less frequently worn special occasion hats in harder to reach areas like upper shelves or under the bed. Keep your go-to favorites handy.
  • Drawer dividers create dedicated sections for different types of folds like baseball caps, winter knits and rolled brim hats.

experiment with arrangements until you find a system that fits your space and needs.

Follow Proper Hat Care Practices

Keeping your hats in top shape for long-term storage requires some maintenance.

  • Clean hats before storing according to material type. Brush wool dry, hand wash cottons and spot treat stains on felt.
  • Insert hat shapers inside structured hats like top hats or cowboy hats to retain the shape of the crown over time.
  • Let sweat-stained hats fully dry before storage to avoid mold or mildew.
  • Use acid-free tissue or archival hat paper to line insides and absorb moisture.
  • Check periodically for insect damage, dampness or bent brims. Refold, replace liners or reshape as needed.

Proper prep before storage and occasional maintenance keeps your hat collection looking fresh.

Extra Tips for Organizing Hats

  • Categorize hats by occasion – work, casual, dressy, etc – and store accordingly for easy grabbing.
  • Downsize bulky hat boxes by removing internal packaging and collapsing partially when not in use.
  • Use hanging shoe organizers on the back of closet doors to store rolled, packed hats.
  • Add hat accessories like scarves, gloves or sunglasses inside hat boxes for complete outfits.
  • Wrap delicate embellished hatbands in tissue or small bags before storing to prevent snags and damage.
  • Store summer hats like straw fedoras upside down to help maintain brim shape between seasons.
  • Display select favorite hats on hat stands or busts as decor. Rotate periodically.
  • Take photos of your full hat collection and keep as a visual catalogue to track what you own.

With some creativite thinking and strategic planning, even the most extensive hat collection can be neatly stored and kept pristine for seasons to come. Find an organization method that suits your personal needs and style.

How to Organize Baseball Caps

Baseball caps are the most casual and ubiquitous hat style. With their curved brims and adjustible backs, they don’t require much special attention for storage. Here are some tips for keeping your ballcap collection organized and accessible.

Fold and File

  • Fold caps neatly in half, matching the brim edges.
  • Stack the folded caps together in lidded plastic bins or cardboard file boxes. Place them brim side down to avoid warping the brims.
  • Label each container by cap color/style or team logo for easy identification of what’s inside.
  • For frequent-use caps, use open racks or hanging clips to access without unstacking.

Stack by Color

  • Fold and stack caps in solid color groups – reds together, blues together, black caps together etc.
  • Arrange the color groups side-by-side for a visually organized system.
  • Alternate the brim directions of the caps for tighter stacking.
  • Wrap bands around same-colored caps to keep the stacks compressed together neatly.

Store by Use/Team

  • Devote individual containers or shelf cubes to different activity types like baseball practice, hiking, swimming etc.
  • Have a dedicated spot for caps from each of your favorite sports teams.
  • Rotate caps in and out of temporary accessible storage based on season – swim caps in summer, ski caps in winter.

Sorting by use or team makes finding the right hat quick and easy.

Display Favorites

  • Keep 5-10 cherished caps out on open shelving or wall-mounted holders as part of your décor.
  • Choose a visually balanced arrangement of your top go-to caps for grabbing on your way out.
  • Rotate the on-display caps periodically if you have more faves than space allows.

Quick access to your most used caps means getting out the door faster.

Extra Baseball Cap Storage Tips

  • Use shower caddies or over-the-door clear pouches to store and see rolled caps.
  • Insert a pipe cut to width or rolled magazine in the sweatband to retain cap shape when storing folded.
  • For wet/dirty caps, let air dry fully before folding to avoid mildew.

Keeping your go-to baseball caps neatly accessible means always having a hat handy when you need one. Try out different folding, stacking and sorting methods to find your ideal system.

How to Store Cowboy Hats

Cowboy hats require special care due to their bold shapes and long brims. Follow these storage steps to keep stetsons, ten gallon hats and other cowboy styles looking great.

Use a Wide Brim Hat Rack

An open rack allows the long oval brims to hang freely without bending.

  • Select a rack at least 18″-24″ wide to accommodate cowboy hat brims.
  • Felt and straw styles can be stored on the same type of rack.
  • Position racks out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Racks display hats attractively while supporting the crown and brim properly.

Pad the Crown

The high peaked crowns need added support to hold their shape.

  • Stuff crown lightly with acid-free tissue paper. Don’t overpack.
  • Or use a rigid hat block or cone specifically sized for cowboy hat crowns.

Even padding distribution retains the hat’s structure between wears.

Store in Hat Boxes

  • Choose rigid boxes just wide enough for hat to lay flat. Avoid jamming.
  • Line bottom of box with tissue and place hat crown down. Add more tissue on top.
  • Loosely tape or tie box closed, leaving sides unpressed.

Hat boxes protect from dust and damage while supporting the crown.

Use Hat Bags for Travel

  • Pack cowboy hats in breathable hat bag when traveling.
  • Pad crown with tissue before placing in bag secured with drawstring closure.
  • Pack in carry on or pad suitcase sides to prevent crushing.

Proper travel protection prevents dents and damage in transit.

Maintain Shape

  • Reshape curl in brim and peaks in crown periodically. Re-crease with fingers then pat stiffly.
  • Steam crowns lightly with a garment steamer to relax dents. Don’t steam brims.
  • Store on rack or in box between wears – not sitting on crown or brim.

Lightly re-creasing and steaming retains the hat’s distinctive silhouette.

With some TLC, you can keep your cowboy hats looking sharp for all your western adventures.

How to Organize Winter Knit Hats

During cold weather, warm knit hats get constant use. Keep them well maintained and accessible with these tips:

Store on Shelves

  • Neatly fold beanies and other caps into compact bundles.
  • Arrange them on open closet shelves vertically like books on a shelf.
  • Alternate the direction of the rolled brimming for tight fit.

Upright shelf storage displays hats in an organized fashion.

File in Drawers

  • Assign each family member a divided organizer drawer.
  • Roll and place smaller knit caps in the divided compartments.
  • Use larger divided sections for slouchy styles and earflap hats.

Divided drawers keep each person’s hats separated and wrinkle-free.

Use Stacking Bins

  • For large collections, use lidded plastic stacking bins.
  • Fold and pack hats in with tissue paper lining each bin.
  • Label bins by hat type like “Earflap”, “Beanie” etc.

Bins protect the hats while keeping them accessible as needed.

Store by Color

  • Roll same-colored hats together with strips of fabric tying each stack.
  • Arrange the color-coded bundles side by side in bins or on shelves.
  • Alternate roll direction for compact stacking.

Color-coding helps locate specific hues at a glance.

Maintain Shape

  • Wash pilled or stained knit caps according to yarn type before storing.
  • Reshape misshapen hats by steaming lightly then stretching back into form.
  • Let damp hats fully air dry before rolling up to avoid mildew odor.

Proper washing and steaming keeps winter hats looking their best.

Follow these simple methods to keep all your cold weather hats neat, clean and ready to wear.

How to Organize Formal Hats

Extra care is required to properly store delicate formal hat styles like fascinators, top hats and large brimmed dress hats.

Use Hat Boxes

  • Line bottom of box with acid-free tissue paper.
  • Place hat inside, resting on crown rather than brim if structured. Add tissue atop.
  • Choose hat box sizes that fit each hat like a glove. Avoid overstuffing.

Hat boxes protect fine fabrics and prevent dust buildup.

Pad Structured Crowns

  • Loosely stuff hat crowns with tissue to retain shape. Remove any hat inserts first.
  • Alternatively, use a hat block or cone in matching size for superior crown support.

Even padding prevents dents and flattened peaks.

Support Brims

  • For structured brim hats, brace the underside with archival foam or brim paper cut to size.
  • Rest hat on crown, never directly on wide flat brims.

Added brim support prevents bent and misshapen brims.

Store Upside Down

  • Invert hats before placing in box so brim edges don’t get crushed by crown weight.
  • Use additional tissue supports under brim edges if needed.

Storing upside down offers better protection for delicate brims.

Keep Hat Bands Safe

  • Wrap ribbon hatbands in tissue or small acid-free bags before storage.
  • Pad pin-on hatbands before nestling hats inside boxes.

Tissue wraps and padding prevent embellished trims from being damaged.

Properly storing fine dress hats preserves their splendor for many special occasions. Follow these tips to keep top hats, fascinators and Sunday best fedoras looking their elegant best while packed away.

How to Store Straw Hats

The lightweight straw construction of boater hats, panama hats and beach sun hats requires careful handling and storage to avoid damage.

Allow to Fully Dry

  • If hat gets wet, let air dry completely before storing to prevent mildew.
  • Stuff crown loosely with tissue to absorb residual moisture and maintain shape as dries.
  • Dry slowly out of direct sunlight to avoid brittle straw.

Drying prevents brittleness that can lead to cracking.

Use Breathable Storage

  • Place straw hats in cotton hat bags or archival boxes. Avoid plastic.
  • Make sure crowns are not crushed tightly against brims in storage. Allow airflow.
  • Add cedar chips or sachets to repel insects in warmer climates.

Breathable storage deters potential mold and insect damage.

Support Brim Shape

  • For structured brims, brace underside with brim paper or foam cut to size before packing.
  • Rest hats upside down so brim edges don’t get crushed by crown weight.

Proper brim supports retain original curved silhouette.

Pad Sharp Creases

  • For boater hats, place small bits of tissue at fold creases on crown before storage.
  • Check periodically and reshape any flattened creases by steaming and pinching fold back into place.

Tissue padding helps minimize flattening of signature hat creases.

Store Off-Season Hats

  • Rotate vulnerable straw out of storage once a year to air out before repacking.
  • Refold along existing creases before replacing in hat bag or box.

Occasional air circulation refreshes unused hats.

With some careful attention, your straw hats will maintain their warm weather allure for seasons to come.

Hat Organization FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about organizing different types of hats:

How should I store cowboy hats?

Store cowboy hats on wide brim hat racks at least 18″-24” wide. Stuff the crown lightly with acid-free tissue to maintain the shape. You can also store in a sturdy hat box with tissue padding. Never sit anything on top of the crown, as it will dent the peak.

What’s the best way to store baseball caps?

Fold the caps in half brim-to-brim and stack them in plastic bins or cardboard boxes, placing brim side down. Layer the caps in alternating directions for compact stacking. You can also use clear over-the-door shoe holders to store rolled caps.

How do I keep knit winter hats from getting misshapen?

Gently roll up knit hats and store them upright like books on closet shelves. Use divider drawers or lidded bins for a neater look. Reshape hats by steaming lightly as needed. Let damp hats fully air dry before storing to avoid mildew.

Should I use hat boxes for formal hats?

Yes, sturdy hat boxes are essential for protecting delicate materials like silk, satin, and embellished trims. Line the boxes with acid-free tissue. Support structured brims with added shaping inserts. Store hats upside down so crown weight doesn’t crush brims.

How can I keep straw hats from getting damaged?

Allow damp straw hats to fully air dry before storage. Pack in breathable cotton hat bags or archival boxes – avoid plastic. Place shaping supports under brims and loosely stuff crowns with acid-free tissue. Store off the floor to protect from bugs.

What are good ways to store hats under a bed?

Underbed storage is ideal for hats you don’t need daily access to. Place them in protective rigid plastic containers or sturdy hat boxes. Label the containers so you know which hats are inside. Make sure the containers aren’t crushed under the bed weight by leaving a gap between the edges and bed frame.

Should I use plastic or cardboard hat boxes?

For structured hats, rigid cardboard hat boxes retain the shape better long-term. For collapsible hats, clear plastic bins allow you to see contents easily. Use acid-free tissue to line either box type, and make sure the fit isn’t too tight.

How often should I reshap hats that are in storage?

Periodically check the shape of structured hats every 2-3 months. Lightly steam to relax dents, then reshape by hand. Felt and straw hats may need new shaping supports added. Rotate inventory from back of stack to front to ensure even wear.

I’m running out of closet space. Where else can I store hats?

If your collection has outgrown closet storage, consider adding hat racks, shelves or banker’s boxes in the bedroom, basement or garage for the overflow. Make sure the space stays climate controlled and avoid exposing