Space Saving Folding Techniques for Cloths.




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In this instructable I will show you how to fold your cloths that will save space when traveling. These folding techniques will give a militarized appearance to your laundry.
Since I am equipped with male identifying features my cloths reflect this. Ladies could probably adapt these high speed folding techniques to their wardrobe accordingly.

This instructable will show how to fold the following:
Socks (knee length and crew cut)
Underwear (boxers, briefs and boxer-briefs)


Step 1: Step 1 Wash and Sort Cloths.

It's a good idea to wash your cloths. Dump the cloths onto a bed or something. We will need some space work.

Step 2: Socks!

1)Grab 2 socks and lay them down on the bed. Socks have a natural crease in them especially crew shaped socks. Fold them out the other way and lay them with the heals pointed up. Do this with both socks.
(2)Stack one sock on top of the other, with the heels pointed up.
(3)Fold pair in half making sure that the open end of the sock is laying against the surface, the foot part facing up.
(4)Grab one end of sock as an anchor and pull tight with the other end.
(5)Roll towards the open end of sock. With a beer can grip pick up the roll of socks with your dominate hand. Insert thumb of dominate hand into the sock opening.
(6)Pull elastic backwards on itself and around roll of sock. Adjust if necessary.

Step 3: Underwear!

Ladies basic principle is laid out. You can adjust if necessary.
Males, use what ever your mom buys you. I have included 3 popular American styles, briefs, boxers, and boxer-briefs. I didn't include a man-thong because I'm not a stripper or a body builder. (although I have the body to do both).

(1) Lay the underwear flat. (2) Fold the underwear band about 2 inches under. If your underwear is so big it can double as a parachute in wartime, then adjust measurments as needed. (3) Fold the left side so that it lines up with the seam on front.(4) Fold the right side so that it lines up with the left edge. (5) Like with the socks hold the top tight and roll from bottom up pulling tight as you go up. (6) Grasp the roll with a beer can grip with your thumb inside the elastic. (7) Roll the elastic backwards over the roll, moving your hand as you go. Adjust if necessary to achieve a tight roll.

Step 4: T-Shirts!

This is used for undershirts. It will leave small wrinkles depending on the fabric. If your in Junior High and still wear shirts that your mom bought at K-mart with fart jokes on them then this step is not for you. Your shirt might end up a little wrinkled.

(1) Grab the shirt by the upper seam that runs atop the shoulder on each side of the neck. Gently shake and lay the shirt flat on a flat surface.
(2) Smooth out any wrinkles and straighten the bottom seam (the part you tuck in your pants).
(3) Fold the bottom seam up and line up with the bottom of the armpits.
(4) Fold the seam back down to the new bottom line.
(5) Unfold this 1 time. You should end up with the bottom hem folded underneath the shirt about 2 inches.
(6) Grasp the top corner of the shirt and the bottom corner and lift and fold toward the center. The top corner will be touching the tag. The Sleeve should fold on the OUTSIDE of the shirt. (7) Repeat for the other side.
(8) Fold each side in half again.
(9) Grab the top of the shirt and grab the bottom. Rotate the shirt 180 so that the neck hole is pointing towards you.
(10) Grab the new top and pull tightly as you roll from bottom up. Like with the underwear grasp the roll with a beer can grip but with your 4 fingers inside the hem.
(11) Hold tightly and with the other hand flip the hem backwards while pushing the roll inside the fold with your thumb.
(12) Work the roll inside the hem and adjust as necessary.

Step 5: Finished!

There you have it. The rolls are small enough to be placed inside shoes, boots and also its easy to pack because you just have to grab 1 roll of socks, 1 underwear roll and 1 t-shirt for each day of travel.

Second Prize in the
Lonely Planet Travel Tips Contest



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    38 Discussions


    2 years ago

    you must have been military... exactly what I was taught for training.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is an interesting idea for sock storage. Honestly, it's easy enough to do, but what happens if you only have one sock after doing the laundry? What then? Haha!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    you can roll the one sock up by itself, or do like i do and throw it in the hamper and hope that you find its mate during the week.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Whoa this is really epic, dude. now I can prepare for my 2-week trip. But, still there is one question in my head: how do you handle your pants and shorts? I would appreciate it if you find a solutiong to the question. Anyway that was a Brilliant demo of how you fold your clothing. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    cargo pants are easier, and shorts.
    anything with a big pocket you can roll the legs, turn them inside out in the pocket and the pocket holds everything like a pillow.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Definitely works great for my socks, boxers, and gym shorts. Thanks!

    For gym shorts I started with them inside out (so that the drawstring stayed on the inside at the end) and then rolled them like the underwear.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic. I went ahead and refolded a number of my clothes and my draw looks really good.  Thanks for this!


    9 years ago on Step 5

    This is great, thanks for sharing. I often wondered what military techniques were employed for space-saving.

    So does ur face! (ha just kidding) They call them "sand panties" standard issue to Army. I don't wear them but I have to keep them because they are on my clothing record.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Are you or were you in the army or something? My friend is and when I was packing for vacation she taught me how to roll everything in my suitcase to save space. Worked out quite well!

    3 replies

    Yes. (notice everything is brown, tan, and green) They didnt teach us specifically how to roll things, they just showed us how it was supposed to look. If it was wrong, it got tossed across the bay, with about 23 other peoples stuff. Im not required to roll my laundry now, but i still do because its easier to grab things in the morning. And i can just toss them in a bag when i have to spend the night somewhere.


    I used a different method and still managed to pack for a full week's vacations in a small backpack (7 pairs of rolled pants, 7+spare boxer shorts, 10 pairs of socks, 7 t-shirts, a few regular shirts and some personal hygiene products elsewhere). It's great for you to post this because I'm about to go to the army myself and I've been practicing my organizational and space saving techniques (guys at the gym must be wondering why I fold my dirty clothes). Now you've just got to add some elastic bands to store all of your rolls neatly. Thanks!