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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?


 

 

Table Of Contents

 

 

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!

 

 

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Shop Sizes XS-3X: Short-Sleeve Crewneck Pima Cotton Tee

 

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!

 

 

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Compass Rose Compression Packing Cubes

 

Packing Cubes

 

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?

 

 

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FREETOO Portable Digital Luggage Scale

 

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.

 

 

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Away The Carry-On Luggage

 

Organization Preferences

 

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.”

 

 

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It’s easy to roll your merino wool tops, for example

 

The Benefits of Rolling Your Clothing

 

Choosing between rolling and folding partly depends on the fabric of the items you’re packing. 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’ve heard that it’s better to fold bulky items and roll less bulky ones,” while another adds, “I rolled all my clothes for my 16-day Italy trip, and it worked well! I did have access to a wardrobe where the more wrinkle prone were hung.”

Additionally, many travelers say it’s much easier to roll their clothing for keeping their suitcase tidy and easy to access. One reader says, “I roll now, but I used to pack flat. I can get more in my carry-on by rolling. I even roll a lot of my clothes at home.”

Another adds, “I use a hybrid of the Konmari (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) method and roll clothing to put things in my drawers now. It’s nice because it is compact, and I can see everything at a glance.”

 

 

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Readers say they fold certain items, such as jeans, since they’re a bit thicker to roll

 

While many of our readers roll their clothing or use packing cubes, an overwhelming number do both. A reader says, “I have always rolled and put in Ziploc travel compression bags. I switched to packing cubes after learning about them from this group. Love them!”

Many readers love rolling and using cubes to save the most space. One reader says, “I tried packing flat in the packing cubes, and it really made no improvement to just packing flat without cubes. Rolling is the key.” Another adds, “The trick is the combo attack of rolling and using packing cubes. Even when I was plus sized I could fit four to five shirts rolled up in one slim cube.”

Rolling really allows you to squeeze as much clothing as you can fit into a cube, yet without causing extreme wrinkling. Packing cubes also help you organize your items better than just packing them all in a suitcase. You can use different cubes for different items, like pants and tops, or use them for each outfit, depending on how organized you like to be.

However, there are occasions when you might have to fold certain items, so often I end up combining rolling and folding, and can fit all I need in either compression bags or packing cubes

Tip: You can even use a packing cube in your day bag for an outfit change after a long flight or to pack a scarf and cardigan for warm days and chilly nights.

 

Here’s how to choose the best luggage for travel!

 

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!


 

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