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How To Fold Jeans: A Step-By-Step Guide

From folding techniques that save space (thanks, Marie Kondo!) to suitcase hacks, we’re covering it all.

However much we love jeans, we gotta admit: they take up a hefty amount of closet space. And while the easiest way to store ‘em may be to go with the hanger route, that doesn’t leave much space for things that actually NEED to be hung. Which leaves us with no other choice but to store our precious denim in shelves and dresser drawers

Below, we take a cue from the queen of organization herself, the one and only Marie Kondo, to show you how to fold a pair of jeans to save space — dubbed the “Konmari method.” And for all those frequent travelers who find themselves struggling to fit everything into a suitcase, we’ve got you covered with an easy-peasy tutorial.

How to fold jeans to save space

Step 1: Before you start folding, make sure the jeans are zipped up and properly buttoned. This is also the time to put your hand in the front and back pockets to 1) make sure there’s nothing hiding in there and 2) smooth ‘em out. 

Step 2: Lay the jeans on a flat surface facing up. The seams should be on the outside. 

Step 3: Fold one pant leg over the other (you’re essentially folding the jeans in half lengthwise…aka the hot dog way).

Step 4: Okay, this part is totally optional, but some people choose, at this point, to tuck in the crotch so you have one uniform rectangle without anything sticking out. Will this make it or break it? No. But by all means, go for it…

Step 5: Now comes the folding. According to the space-saving Konmari method (as detailed in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), you should be folding in thirds — but honestly, depending on how much space you have, halves can do the trick. You do you. 

Step 6: To store, either stand the folded jeans upright so you can easily access or stack in a drawer. If you opt for the latter, just be sure to alternate between waistbands/no waistbands since they have a different amount of material (and you want your stack of jeans to be level and stand upright, not topple over). 

Marie Kondo swears that storage solutions like these will spark joy — we’re inclined to agree.

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How to fold jeans for travel (the ultimate packing hack!)

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s clear the air around the folding vs rolling debate. Personally, we’re Switzerland here — both can work. Anyone who tells you to NOT, under any circumstance roll your jeans has probably never had to sit on their suitcase to zipper it up — sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! Denim isn’t 100% wrinkle-free, but it is sturdy and won’t wrinkle easily. So unlike some lighter fabrics, it can be rolled for more storage space in your suitcase. 

Steps 1-3: The first three steps are the same here as above. First, zip ‘em up, button ‘em up, and smooth ‘em out. (Future you will thank you for not skipping this step.) Then lay the jeans on a flat surface facing up with the seams on the outside and fold one leg over the other. 

Step 4: Start rolling! Just be sure to start at the waist. 

Step 5:  Roll, roll, roll — but don’t worry about it being so tight. In fact, looser is better since you’ll have fewer creases. 

Step 6: Stop once you reach the cuffs, then toss in your suitcase! (Actually, don’t toss…place gently, you don’t want to mess up your handiwork.)

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Any other folding hacks you swear by that we haven’t mentioned? Storage decluttering tips? Organization ideas? Let us know in the comments! Also, while we’re on the topic, if anyone wants to share tips for the right way to fold a fitted sheet, we’re all ears (just sayin’). Talk about the ultimate life hack.

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