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Rolled T-shirts

How to Fold T-Shirts & Other Clothing Storage Methods

By ShirtSpace | Oct 10, 2022 |  Updated Oct 10, 2022

You would think that everyone knows how to fold a shirt properly, but it’s not as easy as it looks! It’s a skill that takes practice to refine. Plus, there are many methods of folding shirts to master. When it’s that time of year again when you find the sunlight shining through the windows and every speck of dust is visible, and you wonder to yourself, “What have I been doing with my life?” Your clothes are stuffed into drawers, and putting laundry away has come to the point of taking one part creativity and one part physical strength. Well, have no fear because ShirtSpace is here to help you get your t-shirts and other apparel items in order so that you can finish out the year with a refreshed personal closet or inventory space for a decluttered and zen area to store your clothes. 

Hero Image Source: liveslow

Dresser drawer open with clothes falling out. Dresser drawer opened with neatly folded clothes.

Image Source: pixelshot

We will talk about three factors you must consider when it comes to clothing and apparel storage, particularly t-shirts. The first is the way you condense your clothing, the second is what you store your clothing in or on, and the third is the organizational strategy that you will use.

Space Condensing Storage Methods for T-Shirts

You have many options when it comes to the way you store your clothing. Often times we must work with the space we are given, but there are some ways to improve even the most limiting closets. Make sure you declutter and organize your wardrobe to add extra space, and donate anything that does not have a purpose to you anymore. These methods are great for t-shirts, but can be adapted to other types of clothing like sweatshirts and sweaters as well.

Girl holding up different apparel items and looking at them. Someone folding clothes and putting them in piles.

Image Source: Liza Summer & Sarah Brown

Hanging

The first way to store your clothes is by hanging them up in a closet or wardrobe. Many people choose to reserve their hanging storage for nicer items that are not easily brought back to life after wrinkling.

Bright color shirts hanging on a rack.

Image Source: magnetcreative

If you feel that you do not have enough storage space for hanging clothes, consider getting a freestanding wardrobe organizer or a rolling clothes rack. There are very trendy ones available that won’t throw off the aesthetic of your space. The upside to hanging your clothes is that they stay relatively wrinkle-free and are usually easy to find when hanging in a closet. The downside is that long items may not fit if you have items stored below waist level.

A clothing rack set up in a bedroom.

Image Source: pixelshot

Folding

There are a variety of ways that you can fold your clothes, as well as a few different ways to store them once they are folded. No method is the best way to fold shirts. It depends on your clothes, your space and your personal preference. We weren’t all taught folding methods, and unless you have worked in apparel retail or with clothing often, some of these folding methods may be quite foreign to you. Messy folding is better than no folding when learning how to fold shirts, but it’s definitely a skill that can be refined as it’s consistently put into practice. So practice how to fold a shirt, and with repetition, you will be a laundry-folding pro who knows how to properly fold a t-shirt.

Someone focusing on folding t-shirts.

Image Source: RODNAE

How to Fold T-Shirts to Save Space

How to Use a Shirt Folding Tool 

One way to easily learn how to fold shirts is to use a shirt-folding tool

  1. First, lay the shirt out flat on top of the unfolded plastic tool, front side down

  2. Next, flip either the left or right side inward and then back open

  3. Then flip the opposite side inward and then back open again

  4. Then flip the bottom portion up and back open again 

  5. Then flip your shirt from upside down, to the collar side facing up

Steps on how to fold a t-shirt using a shirt folding tool.

…and voila! A perfectly folded shirt!

Bright red blank shirt folded nicely on a green background.

Image Source: wichaiwi

How to Do The Marie Kondo Method

You can also easily learn how to fold shirts using this method that the entire world loves, used and made popular by Home Organization Guru, Marie Kondo:

  1. First, you lay your shirt out flat

  2. Then you fold the sides of the shirt in- about ⅓ of the shirt

  3. Repeat the other side

  4. Lastly, you fold the shirt up into thirds, for large items sometimes it works better to fold it in fourths

How to fold a shirt using the Marie Kondo method.

The upside to this method is that more clothes can be stored this way than traditional folding methods. And ease of access is a plus when clothes are stored in a “filing method”, which is when you store folded shirts vertically vs. horizontally stacked on top of each other. The downside of this technique of how to fold shirts is that you can’t always see the design or neckline of a shirt. So if you are one of those “all black everything” types – this form of t-shirt storage might not be the most efficient for you.

Someone holding a shirt about to fold it.

Image Source: vejaa

How to Fold a Shirt Using The Quick Fold Method

This method of how to fold shirts to save space looks complicated until you get it down, and then it’s superfast. 

  1. First, you should lay the shirt out flat

  2. Next, pinch between the shoulder seam and collar with your left hand

  3. Next, pinch at the same point, but halfway down the body of the shirt

  4. Then take the pinched fabric in your left hand and move it down to the bottom hem of the shirt, parallel to the point that is still pinched with your right hand

  5. Uncross your arms by lifting the shirt in the air

  6. Give the shirt a little shake to smooth out the material, but maintain your grasp

  7. Fold the loose sleeve in

  8. Fold this rectangle of fabric in half

  9. You can fold the shirt in half again to make it even smaller

How to fold a shirt using the quick fold method.

See, it’s like t-shirt magic or something, isn’t it? We love this method for a perfect fold and a cool party trick, but it can be more of a hindrance than a useful trick if you don’t become fairly quick at the sequence. Once you can do it without thinking, it’s a great folding technique, in our opinion.

Blank white shirts being folded.

Image Source: izusek

How to Fold a Collar Shirt

Learning how to fold a collar shirt is slightly different from how you would fold a standard t-shirt. A collar t-shirt is also referred to as a polo shirt. You can also use this folding style for button-up collared shirts, although we recommend hanging those if you can. Follow these easy steps to learn how to properly fold a t-shirt with a collar in the most efficient way.

  1. Making sure that there are no folds or wrinkles, lay the shirt flat and face down on a smooth surface that is larger than the garment

  2. Fold one arm inward diagonally, making sure the arm cuff at the end of the sleeve doesn’t extend past the body of the shirt

  3. Do this for the opposite arm. Your sleeves should cross across the back of the shirt

  4. Now fold the bottom third of the body of the shirt up and behind so that the hem is folded towards the back of the shirt

  5. If your shirt flares out on the sides, fold the side seams in to create a straight line

  6. Do this for both sides (if necessary)

  7. Fold the bottom third of the shirt again

  8. Flip the shirt over to reveal the shirt folded into third and the collar visible

How to fold a collared shirt.

How to Fold a Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

Folding a long sleeve shirt is similar to folding a short sleeve t-shirt, except there are extra steps taken to fold the longer sleeves neat and tidy. When learning how to fold a shirt with long sleeves, follow these steps:

  1. Lay the shirt down flat, forward side facing up

  2. Fold the body of the shirt in half lengthwise, lining the sleeves up on top of each other

  3. Take the double layer of sleeves and fold them back towards the body of the shirt

  4. Fold the sleeves in the opposite direction at the elbow, so that piece of fabric creates a slight triangle shape

  5. Fold the shirt up in to halves, thirds or quarters, folding up from the bottom hem

How to fold a long sleeve t-shirt, method number 1.

Alternative Method For How To Fold a Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

Try this method to fold long sleeve t-shirts and compare with the previous to see which technique is the best way to fold shirts for you! 

  1. Lay the shirt down flat, forward side facing up

  2. Fold about ⅓ of the body of the shirt in towards the middle, with the sleeve folded over the body of the shirt, laying perpendicular to the the rest of the material

  3. Repeat the same step with the other side of the shirt and sleeve

  4. Then fold the shirt up in to halves, thirds or quarters, folding up from the bottom hem

How to fold a long sleeve tee, method number 2.

Alternatively, you can also fold a long-sleeve t-shirt by using the Marie Kondo method and adjust it by folding the sleeves into triangles, like steps 4-5 listed above. The difference if you choose to do the Marie Kondo method with a long sleeve shirt is that you will fold both sleeves separately in this fashion, as opposed to both sleeves doubled-up together as described above. 

How to Roll T-Shirts

Burrito roll, Ranger roll, Army roll… who knew there were so many ways to roll a t-shirt? Well maybe you did, but many of us didn’t. And as it turns out, there are several advantages to knowing how to roll your t-shirt. From space-saving to time-saving, let’s break down how to roll a t-shirt. 

Army rolling your shirts and then tucking the roll in a pocket of fabric, also known as the “ranger roll”, is a process that military members made popular by military soldiers. It is used as a way of storing clothing to maximize the space available. Praised by many as a top method for travel, the ranger roll is a fun way to fold not only your clothes but also an interesting way to display them. When learning how to roll t-shirts, there are a handful of methods out there, but we chose to focus on two main ones.

Neutral, orange and blue shirts rolled neatly and stored on a shelve.

Image Source: pixbox77

Army Roll — A.K.A. "Ranger Roll"

The Ranger roll comes from, you guessed it, the Army Rangers. Although it’s probably widely used across most branches of the military, it’s known as the Ranger roll to most. The Ranger roll is a space-saving roll that will have you packing your t-shirts nice and tight. The essential step in doing the Ranger roll correctly is in the tightness of the roll. Now, let’s walk through the steps. We recommend this method when you want to roll shirts to conserve as much space as possible and wrinkles will not be bothersome to you. 

1. Lay the t-shirt out on a smooth surface, making sure it’s nice and flat 

2. Fold the bottom hem inside out to create about a three-inch pocket.  Make sure the corners are smooth and flat and both the front and the back of the shirt are folded upward equally 

3. Fold one side of the shirt about a third of the way towards the center and lay the sleeve back over the folded fabric

4. Fold the other side of the shirt the same way, but this time bringing it over the part we folded in the last step

5. Roll the shirt from the collar down

6. Stretch the fabric of the pocket tightly over the rolled shirt into the downward facing pocket

How to army roll (or ranger roll) a t-shirt.

Once you have the shirt rolled all the way to the top, simply grab the extra fabric from the fold at the bottom of the shirt and stretch tightly over the roll, holding it in place. Once you’ve done this, you’ve successfully performed the Ranger t-shirt roll, congrats! 

To recap, the upside to rolling your shirts this way is that they will save space and can easily be transported. The downside is that this method does create more wrinkles than a folded shirt, and you will likely need to iron it or throw it in the dryer for a few minutes before you would want to wear it out in public.

Bright colored shirts rolled and stored vertically.

Image Source: aodaodaod 

Burrito Roll

If you are wondering how to roll a shirt without wrinkles, the other way to roll your shirts is sometimes called the burrito roll and has fewer wrinkles than the ranger roll. The burrito roll is essentially the Ranger roll without step 2 of the Ranger roll above. It’s basically a looser, less formal t-shirt roll, without the fabric holding itself in place. 

Follow these steps to learn how to roll t-shirts into a burrito roll:

1. Lay the t-shirt out on a flat space, ensuring it is flush with the surface 

2. Fold one side of the shirt about a third of the way towards the center and lay the sleeve back over the folded fabric

4. Fold the other side of the shirt the same way, but this time bringing it over the part we folded in the last step

5. Roll the shirt from the collar down until you meet the bottom hem and have a complete burrito roll

How to burrito roll a t-shirt.

This style is handy for simple storage, when you’re in a hurry, or for when you need a shirt display that is aesthetically pleasing. Whichever style of t-shirt roll works best for you, we think you’ll find it a more efficient way to store your tees. And you know what they say about rolling t-shirts—once you roll, you never go back. No? They don’t say that? Sorry, we were on a roll! Happy rolling, people!

Shirt Storage Containers for Folded & Rolled Tees

Once you have your shirts folded or rolled, you need to decide how you want to store them in a tidy way. Where you are storing them can impact how you would like to store them. If you are storing them in a dresser or bin, you can either stack your folded shirts on top of one another, or file them if you folded your clothes smaller using the Marie Kondo method, or a similar strategy.

 Someone opening a dresser drawer and pulling out a nicely folded shirt out.

Image Sources: claudiio Doenitz & chalabalaphotos 

For rolled shirts, there are a variety of ways to store your rolls. You can stand them up right vertically or lay them down horizontally. 

Rolled shirts stored upright, vertically in a dresser drawer. Bright colored blank shirts rolled and stored horizontally on a shelve.

Image Sources: pixelshot & pitpilai

Organizational Strategy

The second most important thing you need to consider for a spring-cleaning-bonanza is not only how you will store your clothing, but under what organizational philosophy? 

 View of a closet being organized. Someone putting away folded clothes in a closet.

Image Sources: mmpile & LENblR

What we mean is that you could organize your clothing by:

  • Color

  • Season

  • Style/Cut

  • Brand

Folded apparel stored neatly and organized. Apparel folded, rolled and stored neatly in a closet. Shirts folded neatly and organized a stored.

Image Sources: Catherine Lane & pixelshot 

There is no saying what the best way to fold shirts is, but do what makes most sense to you and is best applied to the clothing in your closet. But whatever you do, having a methodology in place will help you avoid a crazy closet that evokes more feelings of stress than feelings of comfort. 

A Fresh Start in Your Newly Made Over Closet

Now that you know how to fold a shirt like a pro, and dare we say, the best way to fold shirts, it’s time to stock that newly sorted closest with the best blank apparel around! Treat your closet to the softest and most stylish t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies on the wholesale market today!

A dresser with a drawer open with clothes folded neatly and organized.

Comments

Carlos 09/20/2021 02:33 pm

Do army roll stretch out the bottom of your T-shirt’s?

Reply

ShirtSpace08/18/2022 05:09 pm

Hi, Carlos. To answer your question, it seems that with some research, we have concluded that you do not need to worry about your garments getting stretched out, especially if you roll them fairly loose. The only mention of clothing becoming stretched that we could find was in a Reddit feed, where someone expressed that if you stretch the arms around the rolled shirt, it will be more likely to stretch out. If you just roll it, then it will not. We have read and heard many praises of the “ranger roll” method for optimal efficiency of storage and travel and feel that it wouldn’t have gained such a positive reputation if it were a damaging way to store clothing. We also have some other clothing storage tips you might find helpful by reading this blog we wrote: https://www.shirtspace.com/blog/spring-cleaning If you have any more questions about rolling t-shirts, t-shirts storage, or blank apparel in general—feel free to reach out to our Customer Service Team, and we would be happy to assist further.

Reply

copel 04/01/2021 08:01 am

thank you for telling me the right way to fold the t-shirt, beCAUSE WHEN EVER I TRAVEL I ALWAYS KEEP SO MANY ARMY PRINT T-SHIRT AND EVEN THEY DON'T COME IN MY BAG BUT IG NOW ILL (LOL)

Reply

ShirtSpace10/10/2022 06:36 pm

Hi, Copel. Thanks so much for reading our blog. We are glad you found value in it! Here's to staying organized in our closets!

Reply

Carla Lattimer08/17/2020 12:06 am

Thank you for this. I always wanted to know how to fold shirts.

Reply

ShirtSpace10/10/2022 06:33 pm

Hi, Carla! We are glad that this article was helpful to you. Thanks for reading!

Reply

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