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How to Fold Jeans

Jeans folded on closet shelves
This walk-in men's closet features many custom built-ins and closet organizers. A built-in dresser sits opposite a custom framed mirror and storage chest. The far wall includes a lot of organized storage, including the Engage line of closet accessories.

Are you a double denim aficionado? Do you have a lot of jeans? Either way, a lot of your closet is probably devoted to your denim collection. Most of us have multiple pairs of blue jeans, often in different styles. But the heavy cloth can be bulky to store and takes up precious space in the closet. Learn how to fold jeans so that they take up less room. Free up space in your closets, drawers, and shelves with these denim folding tricks.

Why Jeans?

Styles of clothing come and go, but blue jeans are the world’s most enduring fashion trend. In fact, jeans are the most popular type of pant ever to hit western culture. Everyone wears jeans. It doesn’t matter if you’re young, old, urban, rural, white collar, or blue collar. Denim pants represents the universal uniform of modern western culture. Chances are, you’ve got quite a few pairs in your closet.

closeup of people wering jeans crossing the street
Take a look next time you cross the street and count how many people are wearing blue jeans. Chances are, it will be nearly everyone.

Denim Folding & Storage Techniques

Since we need jeans, we must figure out how to store them. There are several options:

  • Hang them in the closet on a hanger or pants rack.
  • Folding them for placement in stacks on a shelf or inside a drawer.
  • Roll them into neat cylinders. Many military veterans learn the rolling technique and swear by it.

How to Hang Jeans

Hanging jeans is simple. Simply fold them over the hanger bar. No need to buy specialty trouser hangers for jeans. Since jeans aren’t the type of pants to receive a crease, you don’t have to hang them by the waistband or cuff. In fact, traditional jeans never have a cuff or crease. If yours do, they’re probably more of a trouser. In that case, hang them with your other dress pants. However, hanging the jeans uses up considerable space in the closet due to the weight of the cloth. If you are trying to maximize storage, you’re better off folding your jeans.

Closeup of jeans on hangers in custom closet

How to Fold Jeans for Placement on Closet Shelves

Jeans, sweatpants, and casual slacks without a crease can be stored folded on closet shelves. The process is similar to folding knit shirts and sweaters.

  1. First, fold the pants in half at the fly. Seams in the legs should be parallel.
  2. Tuck in the crotch with another small fold if it sticks out. Repeat this for any flares or bell bottoms. The goal is to have the pants folded like a long, straight rectangle.
  3. Next, fold the bottom of the pants about one-third of the way up.
  4. Then fold that over again up to the waist. This creates a neat square shape like those used in clothing stores.
  5. If you are tall or have long legs, you may find that folding in fourths works better.
A pair of jeans folded into thirds

Because the dungaree cloth is very sturdy and easy to work with, you probably won’t need a folding board. However, folding boards are available to make the process easier. And they do ensure every pair of jeans is folded identically. Either way, you can easily create neat stacks of jeans like those found at your favorite clothing store.

Stacks of jeans on shelf with shelf divider to keep them neat

Try not to stack your jeans more than 12-inches high. Use acrylic shelf dividers to help keep your stacks separated and tidy. They make it easy to keep your jeans in order and are a great finishing touch to your newly organized closet. These versatile dividers work well for organizing handbags on shelves as well. If your shelves are high up or over your head, a lightweight step ladder can also be a good addition to the closet. The best ones come with hooks designed for storing them folded away within the closet so that they are easily accessed and always handy.

The Konmarie Fold: How to Fold Jeans for a Drawer

Another option is to learn how to fold jeans for storage in a drawer. You’ll need a relatively deep drawer for this because you want a drawer box that is as high as a pair of folded jeans standing upright. Drawer boxes are the part of the drawer used for storage. The drawer face is the decorative front that you see when the drawer is closed. Be sure your drawer box is seven to nine-inches deep for best results.

The best way to keep your blue jeans in a drawer is to stack them horizontally or “file them.” The filing method for clothing storage was first popularized by Marie Kondo. That’s why it’s called the Konmarie method. File your jeans in the drawer rather than stacking one on top the other so that you can see every pair at once without digging.

Folding jeans for drawer storage is easy. Follow the steps outlined above describing how to fold jeans for placement on shelves. Then just fold them in half one more time! The thickness allows the folded pants to stand upright in a drawer. Place them with the fold side towards the bottom.

Jeans folded and stacked vertically in drawer Konmarie style
These jeans are folded Marie Kondo style for storage in a deep drawer. Notice how each pair is visible at once.

The Military Fold: How and When to Roll Jeans

Rolling your clothes is the military method for wrinkle-free storage. It’s known as the Ranger Roll in the US army. Use it to save space in your closet or dresser. It’s also a great way to pack when traveling because it was designed for troops on the go. This storage method is not suitable for bulky sweaters, suits, dresses, or delicate garments. But it works well for jeans and, of course, military fatigues. Follow these steps to Ranger Roll your denim pants and trousers army style:

  1. Lay your jeans flat on the floor or a table.
  2. Close the fly and smooth the jeans out as best you can.
  3. Create a four-inch cuff at the waist band by folding the waist over the pant inside out. Pay special attention to keeping your pockets smooth.
  4. Next, take one pant leg and fold it toward the center. Repeat with the other pant leg.
  5. Then begin your roll with a one-inch fold, starting at the ankle.
  6. When you get up to the seat of the jeans, fold each half of the pant over to continue a neat roll.
  7. After finishing your roll, keep it from coming apart. Do this by folding the cuffed waist band back over the jeans to hold them.
Jeans laid out to begin the military roll folding system

Folding the waistband back over the rolled pants is the trickiest part. Do one half of the pant at a time for best success. Take your time because it’s worth it. In the end, you’ll be left with a tight pant roll that doesn’t wrinkle and doesn’t fall apart. Use it when packing a suitcase, for keeping pants in a dresser drawer, or for storing on shelves.

Jeans folded into a military roll
Fold your jeans military style into a Ranger roll.

Declutter and increase your storage space when you try these tips on how to fold jeans!

You’ll be amazed at how much space is gained by proper folding of clothes. And each pair of jeans will be easy to spot when you’re in a hurry. Try these techniques in your own home. They’re a great way to maximize your storage. Once you’ve got them in place, you may discover that you have more space than you think!