Looking for the best ways to fold and store your t-shirts? Here are 7 solid methods to choose from (or try them all!).
T-shirts are by far the most commonly worn type of shirt on the planet. That means that we often have a lot of them, making them hard to store.
In this article we’ll review 7 ways to fold a t-shirt. Then, after briefly talking about hanging t-shirts, we’ll give our recommendations for storing t-shirts in a drawer and packing t-shirts for travel.
Folding T-Shirts with the Basic Fold
This is the fold you probably already use unless you follow the “bachelor system”– clean clothes get piled on a chair and dirty clothes go on the floor. If that sounds like you, now’s a great time to change.
Lay your shirt on a flat surface.
Fold the shirt in half so that the sleeves overlap.
Fold both of the sleeves over on top of the shirt.
Starting from the bottom of the shirt and going to the collar, fold the tee in half.
Fold in half again.
A completed simple fold
This is perhaps the most basic way to fold a tee.
Ranger Roll a T-Shirt
The ranger roll is a folding method used by military units around the world. You can ranger roll just about any item of clothing. Here is how to ranger roll your t-shirts.
Lay your shirt on a flat surface.
Flip the bottom 3-4 inches of your shirt inside out to form a cuff.
Fold the shirt vertically until the end of the sleeve reaches the opposite shoulder seam.
Do the same thing with the other side.
Then fold the sleeve back on top of itself to make a neat vertical column shape.
Now, you’re ready to roll your shirt, starting from the top (the collar).
Keep the roll nice and tight to maximize the space saving effect of this method.
Flip it over, and tuck the shirt into the pouch you created in the first step.
A completed ranger roll. That wasn’t very hard!
Kondo Folding T-Shirts
Remember the Kondo sock fold we talked about in a previous article? Marie Kondo also devised a clever way to fold t-shirts. Here’s how t-shirts according to her method:
Lay the shirt on a flat surface.
Fold over the left right side of the shirt until the edge touches the middle.
Fold the right sleeve back on top of itself.
Repeat with the left side of the shirt.
Fold the shirt in half (top to bottom). Leave about 3 inches on the bottom exposed.
Now fold from the bottom to the middle of the shirt.
Fold the bottom up towards the collar.
A completed Kondo fold. The advantage of the Kondo fold is that shirts can stand on their sides.
This is a great space-saving technique!
How to Fold T-Shirts With a Panel
Ever wonder how to fold a tee shirt like a pro? This is how many clothing store clerks fold tee shirts before being displayed.
For this method you’ll need a cardboard or sturdy plastic panel that has roughly the same surface area as a sheet of paper. You can trace a sheet of paper on a cardboard box and cut out a template. Alternatively, you could use a plastic 2-pocket folder.
Lay the shirt on a flat surface.
Place the panel on top of the shirt centered just below the collar.
Fold the left side of the shirt to the right.
Fold the right side of the shirt to the left.
Fold the bottom of the shirt to the top as far as you can.
Slide out the panel.
A completed panel fold.
This method makes it easy to avoid wrinkles!
How to Quickly Fold T-Shirts
This is the fastest way to fold a t-shirt. I learned the quick fold method from a video created by Antonio Centeno over at RMRS.
Folding on a solid surface is especially helpful for this fold.
Start by laying your t-shirt on a hard, flat surface.
With your right hand, pinch the top left side of the shirt about 2 inches down from the collar.
Now with your left hand, pinch the middle left side of the shirt.
With your right hand still holding the top of the shirt, cross over your left hand and pinch the bottom hem of the shirt about 2 inches from the left side.
At this point, your arms should be crossed. While still holding the shirt in both hands, uncross your arms.
Turn the shirt over to the back side of the shirt.
Fold the shirt over to the front.
A finished “speedy folded” t-shirt.
While this method takes some practice initially, soon you’ll be able to fold a t-shirt in seconds!
How to Fold T-Shirts Standing Up
All of the folds we’ve talked about so far require a flat solid surface to perform properly.
What if you don’t have a flat place readily available to use for folding (e.g. you don’t want to clear off the top of your dresser)?
This is where our next fold comes in.
Pick up the t-shirt.
Turn the shirt horizontally.
Bring both hands together to fold the shirt in half.
With the shirt folded in half, rest the shirt on your chest.
Slide your hands halfway down the shirt.
Folding away from your body, fold the shirt in half again.
A completed standing fold.
The standing fold allows you to neatly fold your shirts anywhere.
After you’ve found the perfect t-shirt and have bought a few, you have to figure out how you’ll store them.
Hanging up your t-shirts is the easiest option if you have a lot of closet space.
Nothing complicated here. Just make sure you avoid using wire hangers if possible because they can damage your shirts.
Storing T-Shirts in a Drawer
If you don’t have a big closet (or if your closet is full) you’ll probably want to store your t-shirts in a drawer.
In my opinion, the Kondo fold is the best method for storing t-shirts in a drawer. It allows you to stand shirts up on their sides, allowing you to easily see all of your tees with one glance.
Unless you pack too many shirts in a drawer, this method also helps you to avoid wrinkles because it is a pretty loose fold. You can also ranger roll t-shirts for drawer storage, but this can make it more difficult to tell different shirts apart.
Packing T-Shirts for Travel
When packing t-shirts for a trip, the ranger roll should be your go-to option because it allows you to fold shirts compactly.
You’d be surprised how much space you can save with this method!
Final Words on Folding Tees
There are many different ways to fold t-shirts. Spend just a few minutes practicing these methods the next time you do your laundry and soon you’ll be folding like a pro!
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!
Personally, I prefer the panel/retail folding method, but I go a step further and fold the shirt in half to help economize storage space. You don’t need a panel/board for this method, but it does help to keep things neat and uniform.
I’m not a big fan of the quick-folding method, which I first discovered in a Japanese YouTube video circa 2006. Although you can fold a shirt quickly, and it makes an impressive YouTube video, in my personal experience, I’ve found the fold comes apart when moved and isn’t practical for daily use.
Another standing up folding method is one that’s similar to the panel/retail fold: You hold the T-shirt with the back facing you, the top at the top. Grip with both thumbs and index fingers the preferred width, and swing the other fingers on both hands towards you leading with the pinkies. Then, use one of the pinkies to clamp the folds as the shirt is rotated to face you. Re-grip and then shake the shirt a little to help set the fold and get any wrinkles out. With one hand holding the top of the shirt, fold the shirt up from the bottom to the top using your other hand (optional: fold the bottom 2-3 inches first before folding to the top). You can also hold the shirt with the top hand against the body if that’s easier. If desired, the shirt can be folded in half for more compact storage.