How to Fold Shorts to Save Space

by Stacey
1 Material
5 Minutes

Do you spend way too much time digging through piles of clothing looking for your favorite pair of shorts? Do you have shorts that you “forget” to wear only because you can’t find them? Do you want to organize your shorts but don’t know where to start?

We are here to help. Keep reading for the best way to fold shorts and storage ideas that you can implement today.

Jean shorts

How to fold jean shorts

The flat-fold method works well for denim shorts, khaki shorts, and other shorts that have a bit more structure.

1. Lay the shorts out 

Place the shorts on a flat surface, with the front side facing up. The waistband should be at the top and the leg holes at the bottom. Use your hands to smooth out folds.

If your shorts have pockets, reach your hand in each pocket to stretch out the fabric as much as possible, so they lie flat. 

How to fold shorts

2. Fold the shorts in half 

Fold the shorts in half vertically at the seam from left to right.

How to fold shorts

3. Fold in the fly and crotch 

Now, take the fly and crotch section and fold it in toward the middle.

This will create a straight linear fold and ultimately a neat little rectangle that takes up less space. 

How to fold shorts

4. Fold the shorts in half again

Next, fold the shorts in half from top to bottom.

Now you have a neat rectangle that is easy to store in a drawer!

How to fold athletic shorts

Folding basketball shorts and other types of athletic shorts can reduce snags and pulls and help prevent wrinkles.

This method is similar to the one above, but it includes one more step to secure the drawstring. 

1. Lay the shorts out 

Place the athletic shorts out on a flat surface with the waistband at the top and leg holes at the bottom. Reach into the pockets and straighten them out so they lie flat. 

2. Tie the drawstring 

If your shorts have a drawstring, tie it in a loose knot so that it does not get lost inside the waistband. 

3. Fold the shorts in half 

Fold the athletic shorts in half from left to right. On some shorts, the crotch portion may be sticking out slightly to the left. 

4. Tuck in the crotch 

Next, fold the left side that includes the crotch portion over to the right so it will be neatly tucked-in when you make the next fold. If not, you will have an irregular shape that takes up extra space in your drawer. 

5. Fold the shorts again 

Next, fold the shorts in half again from top to bottom.

For longer basketball-style shorts, you can make one more fold from top to bottom to create a square-shaped bundle. 

How to fold bike shorts with padding 

You can also use the flat-fold method to fold bicycle shorts that do not have padding.

For bike shorts with padding, you’re going to make a slight adjustment on this method to protect the pad or chamois. 

1. Lay the bike shorts out 

Lay the shorts out with the front facing up, waistband at the stop and leg holes at the bottom. 

2. Fold the shorts in thirds

Instead of folding in half like we did with the other shorts, you will take the left side and fold it in to meet the middle seam.

Now, fold the right side in to meet the middle. This will keep you from bending the protective padding.

3. Fold the shorts in half 

Now, fold the shorts down in half, from top to bottom, taking care not to fold the padding. 

How to roll shorts for packing

Rolling is a good method to create smaller bundles of clothing if you are packing a suitcase or overnight bag.

Rolling shorts helps reduce wrinkles as well. After all, the last thing you probably want to do on a trip is iron your clothes.

There are a few roll methods you can use to roll clothing for packing. We prefer the “simple roll.” 


1. Lay the shorts out 

Lay your shorts out on an even surface with the front facing up.

Start with the waistband at the top and leg holes at the bottom as we did with the other methods. 


2. Flatten out the creases 

Run your hands over the shorts to flatten any folds and creases. 

Folded shorts

3. Fold the shorts in half 

Take the left side of the shorts and fold it over to meet the right edge. 

How to roll shorts for packing

4. Roll the shorts down 

Start at the top and slowly roll the shorts down to the end of the leg holes.

Now you have a neat cylinder that takes up very little real space in your bag or suitcase. That’s all there is to it! 

How to store shorts: Tips and tricks 

Now that we have folded and rolled your shorts, let’s talk about the best ways to store them.

Here are some of our favorite tips to maximize space and protect your clothing from wrinkles and damage:

  • Hang shorts that tend to wrinkle easily including items made of linen, silk, and rayon.
  • Stack folded shorts in neat piles or line them up side-by-side in rows depending on the shape and size of your drawers. 
  • Always place the open side of your rolled or folded garment facing down to keep your drawers neat and keep items from unraveling. 
  • Clothing organizers with compartments can be slipped right into a drawer or suitcase for instant organization. 
  • Toss, donate, or sell shorts you no longer wear to free up even more space. 

How to fold shorts

Whether you are switching over your winter clothing for warmer weather items, or just determined to finally get organized, these folding and rolling techniques will protect your favorite shorts, make items easy to find, and optimize your drawer and closet space. 

What do you think is the best way to fold shorts to save space? Share your tips below!

For more folding hacks, check out my Easy Hacks on How to Fold Underwear.

Military folding tips

Want to learn how to effectively fold your favorite garments? Check out this tutorial on How to Fold Clothes Military-style

Suggested materials:
  • Shorts

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