Folding clothes quickly and correctly is an easy skill to learn that pays off big, helping save time, cut down on wrinkles and maximize drawer space. Getting the job done fast starts as soon as you unload. Before beginning to fold, follow these guidelines to speed up the process:
 

  • Create a designated folding space that’s flat, clean and large enough to fit a pair of pants. This will make folding faster and easier.
  • Start folding as soon as you can, while the clothes are still warm. They will be more pliable so you’ll spend less time smoothing out bumps and wrinkles.
  • Separate what needs to be hung and what needs to be folded so you can power through your pile.
  • Fold similar clothing types together, like tops and bottoms, so you can get in a groove. Stack them in piles as you go on your folding surface.

Keep reading to learn how to fold common clothing items as quickly as possible.

How to fold t-shirts 

T-shirt with dryer background

The classic t-shirt fold

T-shirt laid face-down

Step 1: Lay the t-shirt flat and smooth it out

Lay your t-shirt face-down. Pull on the edges with both hands and smooth out any bumps or wrinkles.

T-shirt with sleeves folded inward

Step 2: Fold in the sides

On the left side, create a vertical fold halfway between the neckline and the start of the sleeve. Repeat on the right side. The sleeves may overlap somewhat. Pull and smooth out the fabric as needed.

T-shirt folded in a square

Step 3: Fold the t-shirt in half

Fold the t-shirt in half by bringing the bottom hem up to the top. Flip it over and admire your work.

Maytag tip with lightbulb

Go KonMari

If you’re feeling ambitious, try a popular Japanese folding technique called KonMari, which simply adds more folds to the final step. For instance, in Step 3 of the classic t-shirt method, fold the shirt in thirds or fourths instead of in half. You’ll end up with a small, compact shirt you can then prop up vertically in your drawer, like a file folder, to maximize space.

The 2-Second T-Shirt Fold

T-shirt laid face-up with dots at the top, middle and bottom

Step 1: Lay the t-shirt flat and pinch it with both hands

Lay your t-shirt face-up. Smooth out any bumps or wrinkles. On the left side of the shirt, use your right hand to pinch the top of the sleeve near the neckline. Move your left hand halfway down the shirt and pinch again. Use your right hand to pull the top of the shirt down to the bottom hem, keeping in line with your original pinch, and grip it.

T-shirt sleeve folded towards hem

Step 2: Lift and Untwist Your Arms

The fabric should now be draped over your left hand with your arms twisted over each other. Now, lift up the shirt and untwist your arms. The shirt should hang naturally in a square shape with one sleeve hanging down.

T-shirt folded in a square

Step 3: Fold the sleeve under

As you place the shirt back down, fold the loose sleeve underneath it. If your t-shirt has a design, it should be face up.

How to Fold a long sleeve Dress Shirt

Dress shirt with a dryer background
Long sleeve dress shirt laid flat

Step 1: Lay the shirt flat and smooth it out

If your shirt has buttons, button it up in the way you would usually wear it. Lay it face-down and pull on the edges to smooth out any bumps or wrinkles. Iron the shirt if necessary before folding, or select a wrinkle prevent or steam option on your dryer the next time. 

Long sleeve dress shirt with sleeves folded across shirt

Step 2: Fold one sleeve across the back of the shirt

Pull the right sleeve across the back of the shirt, creating a fold halfway between the neckline and the start of the sleeve. Run your hand along the inside of the fold to smooth it out. 

 

Long sleeve dress shirt with sleeve folded down

Step 3: Fold the sleeve down

Fold the sleeve down so it lines up lengthwise with the edge of the shirt, creating a diagonal fold. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the other sleeve. When you're finished, the sleeves may or may not overlap.

Shirt folded in half

Step 4: Fold the shirt in half

If your shirt has a tail, fold it up and tuck it in under the sleeves. Fold the shirt in half by bringing the bottom hem up to the top.

Fast Folding for Casual & Dress Pants

Jeans with a dryer background

How to Fold Casual Pants and Jeans

Pants folded in half

Step 1: Lay the pants flat and fold them in half

Lay your pants face-up. Fold one leg on top of the other. Make sure the hems and seams line up, and smooth out any bumps or wrinkles. Tuck the crotch in or fold it over if you’re looking for a perfectly square fold.

Pants folded in two-thirds

Step 2: Fold the pant legs up

Fold by pulling the bottom hem of the pants up to the top of the back pocket. Place your hand in the fold as you go to prevent bunching.

Pants folded in a square

Step 3: Fold them in half

Fold again by pulling the bottom of the pants (the fold you just made) up to the top of the waistband, lining up all the hems and seams. If you’re storing them in a pile, stack them with the pockets down to help keep it from falling over.

How to Fold Dress Pants with Creases

Circles on waistband of pants showing where to pinch for fold

Step 1: Lay the pants flat and pinch the waistband

Lay your pants face-up. Use two hands to pinch the waistband in the two spots directly above the creases. 

How to fold dress pants like a paper bag

Step 2: Pull the waistband together and repeat

Pull the pinched spots together, pushing the zipper inward to create a triangle fold. Hold the pants up with one hand and use the other to create a triangle fold in the back of the pants, mirroring the one in the front. Shake out the pants to prevent bunching. Lay them down, making sure all hems and seams line up. 

Pants folded in a square

Step 3: Fold the pants in half twice

Smooth out the pants and make sure all the folds and seams are aligned. Fold them in half horizontally, then repeat once more.

MORE WAYS TO KEEP CLOTHES LOOKING THEIR BEST

 

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