2 Smart, Free Ways to Store Blankets When You’re Short on Space

published Jun 21, 2023
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I’ll be the first to say that maybe the world doesn’t need another way to fold things. Maybe. But when I saw Natasha Swingler’s (@effectivespaces) TikTok illustrating how, through the magic of folding, I could turn my throw blankets into pillows, I knew I had to give it a go. 

In the video, Swingler makes it look easy — therapeutic, even. “I’m Good (Blue),” plays in the background as two blankets become a lumbar pillow and a knot cushion. I was officially influenced, so I gathered all the blankets in my home (which took a minute) and cued up the video. 

To make the lumbar pillow, Swingler places a blanket folded in half on a bed. Then she folds the blanket by thirds lengthwise, creating a long, skinny rectangle. (The short width of this rectangle will be the length of the lumbar pillow, so keep that in mind when you’re folding.) Then she folds the left short side in, less than a foot, just once. She moves to the right short side and rolls that end toward the folded edge. Once she nears the left side, she tucks the “roll” she created inside the top layer of the short fold. Then she places the tidy lumbar pillow on the bed. 

When I reached this point in the video, I had to do some adjusting to make the corners of my blanket pillow sharp, but for the most part, this worked on the first try. Some of my thicker blankets required finagling to get the optimal length of a rectangle, but I could make a pillow out of them all using this method. 

To make the knot cushion, Swingler folds a blanket in half, as before, but this time she rolls the longer length until she has a long, skinny roll. Then she ties a basic knot, nothing fancy. To finish, she tucks the tails into the center of the knot. 

Credit: Meg Asby

My results with the knot weren’t perfect on the first pass, but they were perfectly acceptable. I couldn’t throw my knot cushion in the air like Swingler does in the TikTok, but I could place it carefully on a bed and count on it to keep its shape. This method is a little more finicky than the lumbar, though, and finding the Goldilocks length of the roll may take a couple of tries. For my small, thick blankets, I just didn’t have enough length to do more than the first knot.

The blankets I needed this solution for were the homely ones I pull out of my closet every night because they are warm and cozy. Unfortunately, they didn’t look much nicer as pillows, although they take up considerably less space in my closet this way. For that reason, these folding hacks are still definitely worth learning, whatever your blankets look like. And for apartment dwellers with display-worthy blankets, this method is a game-changer. 

Now excuse me while I try the lumbar folding method on my sheet sets

What’s your favorite folding hack?