Fold, Then File (Clothes Organization)

My first real introduction to folding clothes was through my husband’s military training. Back then, precise folding just seemed like a ridiculous pastime, mostly meant to train the new recruits that the military had a say over everything, even your underwear. Flash forward a couple of decades, and I now find folding oddly soothing, but realize that this isn’t true for most people. I get it. But if you are squeezed for space, there is one folding hack for clothes organization that you’ve gotta know about, because it could improve and increase your storage space instantly.

How many shirts do you see?

fold then file shirts to organize your home- before

If you are like most people, you see about four shirts. The rest may as well be on another planet. We wear what we see and can get to. The bottom of the pile? Not so much. It’s the old 80/20 rule at work again, which means we could use some clothes organization ideas. See those stacks on the floor in front of the drawer? The client told me, “They are never going to fit.”

If you can fold just a teensy bit differently, then you can stack and see all of the shirts in this drawer. Every. Single. One.

fold then file shirts to organize your home -after

Not only that, but because we are using more of the vertical space, we can actually fit more shirts in the drawer. That’s the real beauty of clothes organization…more space.

Yes, by golly, they did fit.

This isn’t for everyone. You have to have enough shirts in this drawer to make them stand up, but not toooooo many. If you need to get rid of a few shirts to make this work, well, then maybe that’s the push you needed. And you also have to have drawers that are deep enough to stand your folded clothes up in. You might need to play around with a few folds to find what works best for you.

The folding technique? It doesn’t matter if you fold with the big seam down the middle like they teach new military recruits, or if you fold both arms in to keep the middle crease free like you see in retail stores. In both cases, fold how you normally do, then fold your shirt one more time so it’s a small rectangle that allows you to see some of the shirt’s design, then file in your drawer.

Yes, I said file your t-shirts. 🙂

These are t-shirts, folks, so I am not going to advocate buying a special folding gadget or ironing them to be wrinkle free. If you do what I’ve suggested, your shirts will be mostly wrinkle free. They will be a LOT better than they would be if you were picking them out of the pile on the floor or from inside the dryer.

Even kids can do this. In fact, kids think it’s neat. Below, you can see a row of yoga pants/leggings on the left, then two rows of t-shirts on the right. This little girl was impressed that she could see everything at a glance in one drawer, instead of two.

fold then file shirts to organize your home

You don’t have to use it for all your drawers and clothes, but sometimes it’s nice to see what you have, like in my organized sock drawer. When things are all the same, I tend to stack them. When they aren’t all the same, this folding hack for your laundry let’s you see them all at once.

sock drawer organizing

If you decide to try this, just load your clean laundry from the back of the drawer, which will rotate all of your clothes forward over time, just like the one little closet organizing hack that I showed you earlier this month.

FOLD, then FILE, clothes organization, organizing your home