Storing T-shirts a New Way… File Them Away!

You know how T-shirt drawers are.  They’re not doing your t-shirt collection any favors.

  • You only wear the stuff on the top of the pile.

  • You rarely hunt for other things in your collection.

  • You forget what you own, and have lost sight of a few shirts along the way.

  • You probably have less room than you really need, so some of the shirts get a bit jammed into there, making the drawer a pain to close sometimes.

Inspired by a trend seen on some organizing sites, two men decided to try something new. They went through their t-shirt drawers and tried out the “Fold and FIle” method for storing t-shirts. Fold-and-File means that, instead of stacking one on top of each other, you file them length-wise, one next to each other, with the smooth end of a fold along the top of the drawer.   For most shirts, folding the way you normally fold a shirt, then folding it in half one more time, you’ll reach the right height to fit in the drawer.  For shallower drawers or deeper drawers, you may have to experiment with other folds (like in thirds, then in half).


One person, who wears a size mens large t-shirt, had 2 drawers full (but not jam-packed so he couldn’t open them).  He had 30 tshirts evenly distributed in two drawers.


Another, who wears a size mens 3XL/Tall, obviously has larger shirts to deal with. These shirts have a lot of material to them, so they take up room in a drawer quickly.  He had 2 medium-sized drawers that were packed full, holding 26 shirts, no room for any more.


The results, after the new fold and file system:

  • The size 3XL/T T-shirts, when folded-and-filed, created capacity for 6 more shirts, or 23% more room.

  • The size large shirts, when folded-and-filed, created capacity for 10 more shirt, or 50% more room.

More room is only ONE of the benefits of filing shirts.  Some other improvements that came with the change:

  • Able to see, at a glance, what everything is. You save time looking for what you want.

  • Found some ‘lost’ shirts that had been hidden by the old way.

  • No longer have to dig through things, which can be uncomfortable or painful if you’re dealing with back pain or other limitations, trying to hunt through lower dresser drawers.

  • Much better chance that your wardrobe gets more fully utilized.  You’ve heard the saying, “We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time?”  That’s partly we can’t see what we already have. It’s a better use of the investment you’ve already made in your wardrobe.



size large t-shirts




3xl shirts



Love the look but hate folding shirts?

There are tools that can help:



This device, (typically referred to as a Flip and Fold) or others like it, helps to fold shirts or other items uniformly, but just folding the different parts of the board in the right order (those of you who watch “Big Bang Theory” will know how much Sheldon loves his!):

tshirt folder

Pliio filers – these are forms you put inside your shirts when you fold them and keep them there.

pliio pics




  1. Rebecca Stapler

    Oh, nice!! I am definitely trying this with my husband’s t-shirts.

  2. Kayla @ Home Coming

    This is how I store my shirts too! I get almost 1/4 more shirts in the drawers than if I folded them normally. Awesome!

    • Clever Girl Organizing

      It’s crazy, isn’t it? I mean… more space AND get to see what we actually own? Bonus!



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