Making use of shelf space to store t-shirts is a great way to utilize your business or home storage space, but to do it properly, you need to be able to fold your t-shirts in such a way as to fit within the dimensions of your shelves. There are a number of ways of doing this.
In the rest of the article, we are going to look at some folding methods as well as ways to maximize your shelf space for t-shirts.
How Should You Fold a T-Shirt for Shelf Storage?
Storing t-shirts on shelves is all about making the best use of the space you have available while at the same time being able to find your items of clothing when you need them. To make this work, you need to be able to fold your t-shirts in ways that work with the environment that they will be living in.
We are going to look at a number of methods below. Which one you will choose to use depends on the dimensions of the shelves in your business or home. These three folding methods (not counting the bonus technique) should cover most types of shelves.
We all know this one. Lay your t-shirt flat on a surface, fold one side of it over the back with the sleeve out, do the same on the other side, fold a portion of the bottom upward, then fold the top half of it downward.
You should have a roughly square shape at this point. If this is fine, stop here. If you want it to take up less depth on your shelves at the expense of more height, you can fold it in half once more.
Using a Folding Board
This is not a specialized piece of t-shirt folding equipment. Even a chopping board from your kitchen will work (just make sure to clean it fully first). This method just allows you to fold your t-shirts faster because we all know how much of a slog it can seem like packing a full set of fresh laundry.
Essentially, you follow most of the steps as the standard fold, but you place the board on the back of the shirt after the shirt is placed. By folding around it, it leaves your t-shirts less creased and less likely to crumple along the way. Just remember to modify the process to leave a gap on one side, or else your board will be trapped within the shirt.
If your shelves are very shallow but you cannot sacrifice height either, the wide fold will allow you to fit a great number of t-shirts on these kinds of shelves.
You start with the t-shirt flat again, but this time fold it in half such that the collar is touching the bottom. Then fold the sleeves toward one another and keep on folding it in half in the same way until you reach the desired balance of shallowness and height.
If none of the other folding methods work well with your shelves, try rolling your t-shirts instead.
To do this, we will once again start with a standard fold, but this time, when both of the sleeve sides are folded in, rather than folding it from top to bottom, we simply roll the t-shirt into a cylinder shape.
How Can You Maximize Shelf Space for T-Shirts?
Sometimes being a master at folding simply is not enough to fit every item of clothing you have onto your shelves. Maybe your shelf is too high, and you are left with a whole lot of space underneath it that remains completely and frustratingly unutilized.
Or maybe you have the opposite problem, where your shelf clearance height is so extreme that when you use it to its maximum potential, your t-shirts just topple over from the sheer height of the towers, let alone when you decide you want to grab that perfect t-shirt from the bottom of the pile.
We are going to look at two quick ways to deal with both kinds of height issues with your shelves. Between these, you should be able to get the most out of your shelves, even if they are not necessarily built for that.
Wire Storage Cubes
If you are no carpenter and do not want to shell out the stacks of cash to pay someone to install more shelves in your home, you can make your own mini shelves on your existing shelves with a bit of wire mesh and some connectors.
The concept is simple. You can purchase pre-made squares of wire of the type that you may have seen used for small animal enclosures, for example. They go by many names, but a search for “wire grid” should bring them up in most retailers that stock them.
Combine these squares with the connectors in such a way that they make cube shapes – with an open side facing you, of course – and stack these faux shelves onto your existing shelves. Now not only will you not have unfeasible t-shirt towers, but the high number of individual cubes will help you organize your clothing in more granular ways.
Hanging Baskets or Organizers
If you need to make use of the space underneath your shelves rather than on top of them, then hanging baskets or storage cubes from the bottoms of your existing shelves is a nice, elegant, low-cost solution.
If the baskets you use have existing flat hooks along with one of the edges, then it is a simple matter of sliding them onto the bottom of your shelf.
If you are not that lucky, a little bit of DIY will come into play, but it will be worth it. Attaching some small metal hooks along the bottom of your shelf will allow for the baskets to be hung from them. Remember to keep this solution for lightweight clothing in small quantities. A few t-shirts are fine. A stack of denim might not work as well.
There are many ways to maximize your space by storing t-shirts on shelves. By combining multiple folding methods and a wide selection of storage options, you can display your t-shirts with elegance and efficiency.
Bryan E. Robinson is the former owner of TshirtGrowth. He has sold t-shirts since 2006 through dropshipping, screen printing, vinyl printing, DTG, Print on Demand, and more. Bryan has created his own t-shirt designs through Photoshop, Canva, and other platforms, as well as worked with freelancers to create many of his designs. Besides t-shirts, Bryan has over 18 years of experience in online marketing with eCommerce, B2B SaaS, B2C products, and more.