4 Space-Saving Ways to Fold a Long-Sleeve Shirt So It Easily Fits in a Drawer

published Jan 26, 2024
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Folding a long-sleeve shirt should be as easy as folding a T-shirt, but those longer sleeves get in the way. That’s no excuse for a messy drawer full of wrinkled shirts, though. With just a tiny bit of extra effort, you can fold your long-sleeve shirts just as smoothly and easily as all your shorter-sleeved shirts.

Below, four different ways to fold a long-sleeve shirt. All are rather simple, but the best option is the one you find easiest to execute.

Credit: Alex Lepe

How to Fold a Long-Sleeve Shirt Vertically

This method results in a compact fold that’s great for packing a suitcase or saving space in a crammed drawer.

  1. Place the shirt face-down on a flat surface.
  2. Fold it in half vertically backward by taking one side and folding it to meet the other so there’s a crease down the middle of the shirt. Be sure to line up the sleeves, collar, and hem of the shirt so they are all in neat alignment.
  3. Take the cuffs and fold both sleeves up and over, then back at the elbow to stay within the long rectangle that the shirt now forms. 
  4. Keeping the folded sleeves smoothly tucked into the rectangle, fold the shirt in half, then half again so it’s in a neat square or smaller rectangle. Depending on the length of the shirt, you might fold in thirds instead.
Credit: Alex Lepe

How to Fold a Long-Sleeve Shirt Horizontally

If you’ve ever worked in retail, this method might seem familiar. It results in a fold that allows you to see the shirt’s entire collar and shoulders. 

  1. Place the shirt face-down on a flat surface.
  2. Fold each sleeve back on an angle so it fits inside the border of the shirt, making it a long rectangle.
  3. Fold the bottom hem of the shirt so it meets the middle of the shirt, then fold that part up again so that the crease from the first fold meets the collar. If the shirt is longer, you may want to fold the hem up to the collar, then fold the shirt in half again.
Credit: Alex Lepe

How to Fold a Long-Sleeve Shirt in a Roll

This is a good space-saving option for both storing in a dresser drawer and packing in a suitcase. Rolling instead of folding also prevents wrinkles and creases, so it’s a win-win. 

  1. Place the shirt face-down on a flat surface.
  2. Fold each sleeve back on an angle, creating a long rectangle out of the shirt.
  3. Starting at the top (collar) of the shirt, roll the entire garment like a jelly roll, stopping when you have a few inches at the bottom.
  4. Tuck the shirt into the bottom.
Credit: Alex Lepe

How to Fold a Long-Sleeve Shirt Using the KonMari Method

The KonMari method of folding clothes not only saves space, but also encourages you to appreciate that you even have clothing to fold in the first place. Take time to smooth and feel the fabric so you can lean into that gratitude.

  1. Place the shirt on a flat surface, back down. (This is the opposite of Step 1 in the other three methods.)
  2. Form a long rectangle by folding one side of the shirt toward the center; repeat on the other side.
  3. Straighten and arrange each sleeve so they cross over the shirt. Fold one back at about the 3/4 mark, then forward again so it fits neatly within that side of the rectangle. Repeat with the other sleeve. 
  4. Fold the top of the shirt down to the bottom about halfway, but be sure to leave a 3-inch gap at the bottom.
  5. Fold the shirt in half again. 
  6. Stack the shirt like standing up like a file in your drawer or bin.

By mastering one or more of the techniques above, you’ll no longer be disappointed by a wrinkled long-sleeve shirt. Again, choose the one that seems easiest to you and you’ll be more inclined to keep your drawers organized.