My husband’s family members have been generational ranchers in the panhandle…
To the hat lovers and collectors out there: you might not have ever asked yourself if you have too many hats, but I can almost guarantee that someone you know and love has wondered. In fact, that person may have even contemplated staging an intervention on your behalf after seeing the stacks and piles and bins full-to-overflowing with headgear. Believe me – I have experienced that emotion first hand.
My husband’s family are generational ranchers in the panhandle of Texas, and he spent as much time as possible helping his granddad out in the summer sun with the cattle. Couple that with his participation in 4-H and rodeo during high school, and it seemed like he was always sporting some kind of headwear. In fact, there is scarcely a picture of him growing up without a cowboy hat or ball cap perched on his handsome head.
What I would call his obsession with hats (which he would correct me by saying the practicality of hats) didn’t end with high school, either. Just looking around our house from where I’m sitting, and I count no less than 10 different hats waiting – nay, yearning – to be worn.
Add to that the fact that he now works in the construction industry where promotional custom hats are a dime a dozen – especially when you’re buying several thousand dollars worth of construction material in one go. Baseball caps, fitted caps, trucker hats, dad hats – you name it, and we’ve got at least one lying around the house.
Every so often, I have to put my foot down and make him choose favorites between all of his “children,” because we simply don’t have the space—not that a baseball cap takes up a lot of valuable real estate, but enough of them together do!
If you find yourself in a similar situation, the good news is that there are some pretty slick solutions to your hat storage problems. Here’s our top four list:
1. Donate Them
You may be surprised to learn that you can donate your new or gently used ball caps to support some great causes. Of course, there’s always Salvation Army or Goodwill, but some good people have also dreamed up some incredible non-profits.
Heavenly Hats and Caps for Kids are two charities that accept hats in new condition and deliver them to people battling cancer. Another charity, Let’s Play It Forward, accepts all new and used sporting equipment – including baseball caps – to help underprivileged kids. Managers on a Mission (MOAM) also accepts all new and used sporting equipment to help disadvantaged people across the globe.
If you don’t want to go through a specific charity, contact your local hospital and ask them if they can use your gently used hats in the cancer ward. Oftentimes they are happy to take your donations.
2. Store Them (Better)
If you can’t seem to part with any of your beloved hats, you may just need to think smarter and not harder when it comes to storage. It is pretty universally agreed upon that the stacking method doesn’t work. Just folding the hat in on itself and stacking often leads to a tumbling tower of baseball hats that does both the hats and the cleanliness of your house a disservice.
If you don’t have enough space outside of your closet to house your hats, consider the inside of your closet. Install a shower curtain rod inside your closet, and hang your hats using the shower curtain rings threaded through the open portion in back. If you have a lot of fitted caps, look for the shower curtain rings that have a small clip at the bottom or clip your hat to a ring using a black binder clip. That will keep your hats out of the way while making sure they’re protected.
3. Sell Them
Depending on the quality and design of your hats, you could make a tidy profit by selling them. Collectors are always looking for autographed or vintage hats, so be sure to consider Amazon or eBay if you’re looking to sell. Additionally, consignment stores like Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor often buy back name-brand hats and ball caps that have popular sports team logos and are in good condition.
4. Repurpose Them
If you are looking to embrace your crafty side, you can always repurpose your hats to get some additional use. A combination t-shirt and hat quilt is a fantastic way to honor and highlight some of your favorite teams and events. The very nature of the reinforced front panel might make your quilt a little stiffer than some other blankets you own, but what a neat way to upcycle! You can also cut out the section with your favorite logo to make a drink cozy for game day or rustic patch for your favorite pair of holey jeans.
You (and your loved ones) don’t have to feel overwhelmed by caps cluttering up your living space. Use one of the above strategies to get your (practical) obsession under control.