How to Fold a Shirt, from the Pinch Method to the Chest Fold

We're OBSESSED with these simple tricks!

How to Fold a Shirt - How to Fold a Shirt, Marie Kondo Style
izusekGetty Images

With summer officially here, t-shirts, tank tops, and the occasional dress shirt (for a night out) will be staples of your seasonal wardrobe. Of course, the rising temperatures will encourage you to stay away from irons and steamers as much as possible, and instead find the best way to avoid wrinkles. And honestly, who can blame you?

Before you start tackling that massive pile of clothes your next laundry day, check out these five different techniques to make this chore—Dare I say it?—actually enjoyable. Or, at least, help you get through it faster. Once you've mastered that, we've even got some ideas to organize the closet of your dreams—even if you don't have the square footage for a walk-in.


How to Fold a T-Shirt

Folding a t-shirt is as easy as pinching three points on the fabric and giving it a shake. Known as the Pinch and Fold Method, magically fold a t-shirt in two seconds following these steps:

  • Lay a shirt sideways with the collar on your right side.
  • Point A will be located at chest level and point B will be at the top right of the shirt.
  • Keep in mind that point C is at the bottom hem on your left side.
  • In one motion, pinch both A and B points, then cross your arms to pinch point C.
  • Uncross your arms, shake the shirt into place, and fold.

    How to Fold a T-Shirt Standing Up

    Perfectly folding a t-shirt while standing up may seem like a myth, but it’s possible using the Chest Fold. With your shirt’s front facing you, fold the top side down, then fold the shirt’s top and bottom together to create a square, and bring it onto your chest. Flatten it and finish off by folding the entire shirt over!


    How to Fold a Shirt, Marie Kondo-Style

    Since making her official Netflix debut, Marie Kondo has been sparking joy in homes around the world with her KonMari method. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo inspired viewers to get up off the couch and thoughtfully tidy their homes—including shirt drawers.

    To fold a shirt the Marie-Kondo way, you'll need to fold outwards instead of inwards and then fold in thirds, forming a little rectangle or packet of sorts. The finishing touch is having shirts standup on their own to store upward in drawers, almost like you've created a clothing filing cabinet. This method's the best for seeing all of your clothes at a glance, so you're not wearing the same thing over and over.


    How to Fold a Shirt Without Wrinkles

    Getting ahead of wrinkles is a win in the mornings when you don’t have time to pop out the iron or steamer before heading out the door. Master folding a shirt (with rolling incorporated!) to avoid the worst of wrinkles at home or while traveling.

    • Lay a shirt flat and fold the bottom hem upwards once.
    • Fold each side towards the middle.
    • Fold once more creating a rectangle and roll.
    • Pull the bottom hem all around the shirt until everything is tucked in.

      How to Fold a Collared Shirt

      Dress shirts with collars look their best hung up, but when it comes time to travel, folding them is inevitable. Folding a collared shirt starts off with laying the buttons face down and folding in the long-sleeves one at a time. Then fold in both sides of the shirt towards the center, followed by the bottom in thirds.

      Your collared shirt will be tightly folded and most importantly, the collar will stay in shape!


      How to Store Shirts on Shelves

      Now, that you’ve mastered one or more ways to fold a t-shirt, it’s time to store them on shelves. Thanks to shelf dividers, placing shirts on top of one another becomes incredibly easy without worrying about piles falling over.

      Whether you decided to do a Chest Fold or the Marie-Kondo Style, fabric storage bins are a great alternative to keeping t-shirts together on a shelf. And if you love the folding-slash- rolling method, you can place your burrito-shaped shirts in a wire basket for the ultimate tidy look. Of course, shelves aren’t always within reach or can be totally absent in closets, but that’s why storage shelf cubes exist. Choose the style that works best for your lifestyle, so you can move onto bigger and better things: Like where you're headed in that fresh, wrinkle-free tee.


      Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

      More From Organizing