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How to Fold Shirts to Save Space: 3 Easy Tricks That Keep Them Wrinkle-Free Too

Check out these videos for the simple step-by-steps

Of course, haphazardly throwing your shirts into a drawer, suitcase or any other form of storage can save time, but it’s going to make those spaces messy and a lot more crowded. Rather than just tossing them in, it’s easier to learn how to fold your shirts depending on the style and where exactly you’re storing them. “When you have limited closet space, folding t-shirts and placing them in a drawer or bin can free up room,” says organizer Katie Barton, head of cleaning for the HomeEdit. Now, how to to fold shirts to save space (3 ways!) and leave room for even more clothing and accessories.

How to fold shirts to save space: 3 best tricks

1. The rectangle fold (mainly for t-shirts)

This folding method is the most traditional way, and it works for either short sleeve or long sleeve options. “For long-sleeve shirts, you can follow a similar process, but you may need to adjust the sleeve length to ensure a tidy fold,” explains Shantae Duckworth, professional organizer and founder of Shantaeize Your Space. You can also “experiment with different techniques to find what works best for your wardrobe and storage preferences.”

  1. Place the shirt on a flat, clean surface, with the front side facing up, and smooth out any wrinkles or creases. 
  2. Fold one side of the shirt inward, about one-third of the way towards the center, and fold the sleeve back along the shoulder seam, creating a diagonal line.
  3. Repeat the same folding process on the other side of the shirt, folding it inward towards the center. 
  4. Take the sleeve back along the shoulder seam on this side as well, which will create a similar diagonal line. 
  5. Fold the bottom of the shirt up towards the neckline, creating a neat rectangle. 

Duckworth adds that you can adjust folds as needed to make all the shirts uniform. “Stand the folded shirt upright in a drawer or stack it neatly with other folded shirts.”

See social media content creator and author Natasha Swingler of Creating Effective Spaces demonstrate the rectangle fold in this video:

2. The file fold or KonMari method

When you fold shirts like this, it not only keeps your shirts organized, but you’ll also have more space. “File folding shirts with the Marie Kondo [method] helps them stand up, making them easier to sort through and organize in a drawer,” says Barton. The steps are simple, and similar to the first way to save space, the shirts will be folded in a rectangular fashion.

  1. Lay the shirt on a flat surface, with the front side facing up.
  2. Gather both sleeves back toward the center of the shirt.
  3. Take the shirt (almost) in half lengthwise, but leave a small gap at the very end.
  4. Fold the shirt in halves or thirds. Barton says you can go more compact “depending on the size of the space you’ll be storing it in.”

Ultimately, the shirt will still be rectangular, and be able to stand upright in a drawer or storage bin, making it less of a hassle to find the shirt you’re hoping to wear.

Related: The File Folder Hack That Keeps Your Linen Closet Organized + More Brilliant Tips

Check out the demonstration of the file fold from Joni and Kitt, the founders of Practically Perfect in the video below:

3. The rolling method instead of folding

Rolling your shirts is a simple alternative to folding. It “can make a significant difference in maximizing storage efficiency,” says Duckworth. When you’re looking to save space, especially when packing, rolling will do the trick.

  1. Lay the shirt on a flat surface.
  2. Fold the arms toward the back.
  3. Roll it tightly from the bottom.

Take a look at Scotty of Travel Hacks showcasing how to roll shirts in this video:

Bonus: These methods can also keep your shirts wrinkle-free

Nothing is worse than going to pick out a shirt and not being able to wear it thanks to wrinkles. To avoid this, Barton suggests folding your shirts properly and not jamming too many into one space. “If your drawer is overloaded with T-shirts, they’ll get messy and cause wrinkles,” she says. Instead, use one of these methods and “stack them on top of each other to save space and help keep items wrinkle-free.”

For more clothing organization tips, check out the links below!

How to Fold Towels to Save Space: 8 Genius Tricks for Bathrooms and Closets

The Brilliant TikTok Sweater Folding Tip That Outsmarts Wrinkles Once and For All

How to Wash Linen Garments + The Simple Step to Avoiding Wrinkles

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