These TikTok Folding Hacks Have Doubled the Space in My Drawers

published May 6, 2023
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someone folding a shirt in a room with a pile of folded clothes
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart

Living in a studio apartment means storage optimization needs to be front of mind. I have a small closet for hanging clothes and a dresser for the rest, but when a new season comes I love purchasing new pieces — all before factoring in my storage constraints. 

While a closet purge is always a good idea, sometimes there are reasons many people hang onto things, whether because the items have sentimental value, they’re investment pieces, or even the hope that they’ll come back into fashion. For myself, I’d done my donations run, but still my dresser was full to the point where a wooden slat even broke because I was trying to squeeze in more clothes than it could handle. So that’s when I turned to TikTok and came across these folding hacks that have doubled the space in the drawers. 

Folding T-Shirts and Sweatshirts 

A few years ago, I, along with the rest of the world, discovered Marie Kondo’s KonMari method. Her folding technique changed the way I take care of my clothes and helped keep things in my drawer easily accessible and tidier for longer. Today, I still use her method for my short-sleeve items: Lay your shirt out flat and fold one side toward the center, then fold the other side the same way, and finally, fold into half lengthwise before folding up into halves or thirds. But for my long-sleeve items like sweatshirts, however, I like to use Kaitlyn Strother’s (@kait_collective) technique.

How to Fold Long Sleeves and Sweatshirts Using the Kaitlyn Strother Method

  1. Lay your shirt out flat and fold one side toward the center, leaving the sleeve facing out toward its original direction.
  2. Fold the other side the same way (neither arm should be facing the center). 
  3. Fold down the top of the sweatshirt until the neckline reaches the armpit area.
  4. From the bottom, fold up the rest of the top into thirds or quarters — ensuring the size matches the first fold.
  5. Bring the right sleeve over to the left side and tuck the remaining length into the first fold.
  6. Bring the left sleeve over to the right, flip the top over, and tuck the remaining length under the bottom fold. 

Folding Shorts and Pants

Shorts and pants were another set of items I needed help with in the space department. Thankfully, TikTok’s “Folding Queen,” Lennia Carter (@lenniamc) had my back with both short and long pants. I like to use her methods for folding shorts and long pants.

How to Fold Shorts Using the Lennia Carter Method 

  1. Zip and button up shorts and lay them with the back facing up. 
  2. Fold the shorts in half from the bottom up and overlap the crotch area to stop any excess hanging out from the sides.
  3. Fold the right side into the middle and do the same with the left.
  4. Sandwich both sides together and store with the button and zip at the top. 

How to Fold Long Pants Using the Lennia Carter Method

  1. Lay your pants out flat with the front facing upwards.
  2. Fold the left leg up to the waistline and repeat with the right.
  3. Fold both the left and right legs up to be even with the crotch line.
  4. Fold the waistband down to meet the legs.
  5. Fold the right side a third towards the center and place the remaining left side into the created pocket of folds.