How to Pack Military Style

Moving into a new apartment is a great time to take inventory of your things. More specifically, it’s an excellent time for an “out with the old and in with the new” mindset when it comes to clothes. Sometimes it’s hard, but if you haven’t worn an article of clothing for weeks or months, you probably won’t start wearing it anytime soon. So get rid of it! Make things easy by hanging up all of your keepers and then bagging up what you can donate. If your clothes are ripped or stained (and not in a hip, ironic way), don’t donate them. These particular items are destined for either the trash or a crafty afternoon of upcycling. Either way, they don’t belong with the rest of your clothes. Now, onto packing!

Take a Cue From the Military
When my brother got home from basic training, he had a few new ways of doing things. One of the acquired traits that I particularly noticed was how he folded his clothes. He rolled them up, all of them, into these tiny little space-saving packages that could easily be stored inside a shoe if necessary. Intrigued, I had him teach me, and ever since then it has changed the way I pack and travel. Trying your hand at the military’s folding techniques can make your move easier. Set aside some time a few days before the move and get to rolling. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a fast and easy way to save space when packing!

For T-Shirts:

Start by laying the t-shirt face up on a flat surface and smooth out the wrinkles.

Now, fold the bottom hem of the shirt up to lay even with the armpits.

Next, fold the same hem back down to the newly created bottom of the shirt. This should have created an accordion like fold.

Now, grab the top folded part of the accordion fold and flip it down again. The result should be the bottom hem of the shirt flatly tucked underneath.

Now, starting with either the right or the left side, grab the shoulder seam where the shirt meets the sleeve and fold it in. The seam should meet the shirt’s tag. Do the same to both sides, folding the sleeve back on the outside of the shirt.

Fold each side in half once more.

With the neck of the shirt pointing towards you, tightly roll from the bottom (neck) up.

Find the hem and fold it backwards, to hold everything in place, and you’re finished!

This technique isn’t just space saving. It cuts back on wrinkles, transfers easily into the way you store your clothes at home, and it can be the difference between traveling with one light bag and several bulky ones. Look online for tutorials on similar techniques for socks, underwear, pants and shorts. Give this military-style folding technique a try! With all the dresser space you free up, who knows, a post-move shopping spree may be in order!