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What’s the best way to pack your clothing: folding or rolling? Some people swear by rolling because it allows them pack more and eliminates unused space and others fold because it’s faster and prevents clothing from wrinkling. If you’re unsure if you should be folding or rolling clothes for packing, here are a few things to consider.
Should You Roll or Fold Clothes When Packing?
Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:
Is it really more space effective to roll your clothes when packing? How many of you roll your clothes and how much space do you actually save with this method?
A common debate between travelers is whether or not one should roll or fold clothing in luggage. Every traveler wants to save space, but not at the cost of wrinkled clothing or too messy of organization.
The video below demonstrates rolling vs. folding methods with actual clothing items and ways to gain space and remain organized while packing. Take a look:
See this video for examples of rolling vs. folding packing methods
Overall, there isn’t one right or wrong answer. It can depend on a few things, including the type of fabrics and what items you’re bringing which we’ll cover more of in greater detail here.
The secret to traveling light is to create a functional but minimalist capsule wardrobe. Learn more in my guide!
The Clothing Material
Choosing between rolling and folding partly depends on the fabric of the items. Consider folding clothes that are very light (like silk or rayon), very heavy (like wool), or wrinkle easily. Medium weight fabrics, like cotton and polyester, benefit more from the rolling method.
One reader says, “I roll things that are wrinkle-resistant to begin with. I hate wearing wrinkly clothing so I tend to fold those clothes over my rolled clothes in the same packing cube so they only have normal amounts of creasing.”
Make sure to test your clothing out before you pack it to see how it reacts to being rolled.
Discover our readers’ classic picks for the best t-shirts for women!
Packing cubes are a great way to keep your stuff organized and compact and determine whether or not you should fold or roll. Rolling allows you to squeeze as much clothing as you can fit into a cube.
I put together a five-part YouTube series showing you the different methods to use packing cubes. If you use this specific packing strategy, they can also compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carryon only!
One reader says, “Rolled clothes for me work best when packed into a packing cube. Otherwise, they just unroll and create a huge mess.”
If you don’t use packing cubes, folding may be a better way to arrange your clothing, depending on what you are bringing. However, if you plan to use packing cubes and want a more thorough example of how to pack a full capsule wardrobe, see the video below:
Watch this video to see how to use packing cubes with a capsule wardrobe
A rule of thumb when I use packing cubes is to pack bigger, heavier items first and then use smaller, more flexible clothing to fill in any gaps. Depending on the size of the gap, I either fold or roll my clothes in order to keep the items from moving too much. Don’t be afraid to fold your clothes if it works better when you pack.
A reader shares, “I’ve been packing lots of chiffon tops that don’t wrinkle, and rolling works well. I agree with using them in packing cubes. I rolled two sundresses, two chiffon tops, and two cotton tank tops in a cube for a weekend getaway and it was really efficient. I folded my shorts at the bottom of the cube since it wasn’t necessary to roll those.”
Take a look at these luggage accessories that will help you pack light?
Luggage Weight Restrictions
Rolling clothes for packing is so efficient that it allows you to bring more clothing in less space. One reader says, “I find that rolling smaller items like shirts, tank tops, and other blouses works well, and definitely saves space.”
However, this can create some weight issues. Countries and airlines have different weight restrictions for both carry-on and check-in luggage so make sure to do your research before you pack. Make sure to weigh your baggage with a Digital Scale!
Just because your stuff fits into a carry-on doesn’t mean it doesn’t weigh as much as a regular suitcase.
Lastly, the decision between rolling and folding clothes comes down to how you prefer to organize your luggage. Some readers say it’s much easier to roll their clothing for keeping their suitcase tidy and easy to access. One reader says, “I roll and then put everything in packing cubes. Keeps them rolled and organized.”
Another reader who loves rolling says, “I have started rolling my son’s clothes in his drawers. He has limited drawer space and rolling (then laying the rolled clothes in the drawers in rows) not only saves space, but it also allows him to see and find what he wants at a glance, and helps keep the drawers neat since he’s not rummaging around to find things.”
However, other readers swear by folding. One says, “I fold mine. I bring way too much and don’t wear a few of the things I bring and really don’t need half of it.”
In the never-ending debate of whether you should be folding or rolling clothes for packing, there is no one-size-fits all answer. Remember, the goal is to efficiently use your suitcase space in a way that’s most organized for your needs. After all, the whole point of packing well is to make sure you make the most out of your trip.
What do you prefer: folding or rolling clothes for packing? Comment below!
For more tips on travel gear, please read:
- How to Choose a Suitcase
- How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack
- Top Packing Organizers
- Top 10 Toiletry Bags
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