towel folding

Is it better to fold or roll towels?

One trick that hotels and resorts (and likely many of you) have been doing for years to save space on towels and washcloths is to roll them tightly into tubes for storage instead of folding them flat. Folding them requires much more space than a rolled-up towel, and can be stashed in an out of the way basket or drawer, instead of consuming a whole shelf in a linen closet. Garage Smart – Top Garage Storage Solutions

If you’ve ever had to live in a space where storage is at a premium, you quickly learn that even the space required for your essentials can be minimized. Instead of folding your towels and washcloths into flat squares like you find at the bath and linen store, roll them up into spa-style tubes when you wash them next. They’ll need much less floor or shelf space, and they’ll stack just as tall. Stylist notes that you can even stash your rolled-up towels in different places, like in a pyramid-shape in a basket on the bathroom floor or a re-purposed window-box. Is this something you do already, or do you have a different way to save space on your bathroom linens? 

Rolled towels take up significantly less space than flat folded towels. Rolled towels can be stored easily in other places if you have limited storage space. Hand towels can be folded in the same manner as bath towels. Since they are smaller, the bifold or spa-style roll may be the best way to go.

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Rolling Towels

Rolled towels take up less space than folded ones, and a pyramid of fresh towels make you feel like you’re at the spa. Fold towels in half lengthwise and then roll them up. Determine where you have extra space in the bathroom and store towels accordingly. Rolled towels can be stored in a basket on the floor or in a pyramid on a shelf. Re-purpose a window box, which takes up very little space and, depending on the size, can store rolled bath towels or hand towels.

Rolling your bath towels and placing them on display is a great way to save space while simultaneously creating a visually interesting bathroom. Towel displays save your storage space for less eye-catching items such as shampoo and razors. Rolled towels look more appealing than a set of stacked towels. Organize towels by colour, then place them in fun bins and baskets for a fabulous bathroom display.

Simple roll towels

Lay your towel out on a countertop. Fold the towel lengthwise in thirds. Fold the towel widthwise in half. Roll the folded edge toward the open edge, holding the towel taut and flat to keep the rolled towel looking as neat and clean as possible.

On a roll

Instead of folding your towels, roll and stack them on the shelf in a pyramid. Now you can easily grab a towel for a shower or trip to the gym without disturbing the others. You’ll also have more room for beach towels.

The Rewind

Start by spreading your desired bath towel over a flat surface. A table is a suitable choice here to lay it out. Next, once the towel lays horizontally across the table, grab one of the sides, and fold it in half. Now, go back to the left side and fold it once again. Not entirely to the opposite side, but only to the middle. Repeat this process with the right side as well. Then, position the towel horizontally once again in front of you over the table, and fold it one more time. Try to leave the brand’s logo on the top side for a better finish. Last, if you consider it necessary, tuck the corner edges left hanging. Then you’ll have a cleaner folding.

The Rueben

It is the same as the previous method. Start by laying your towel flat over the surface of a table. Again, do it just like before folding the towel’s long side in half. Next, reach over to the left side of the towel, and continue folding it to the center. Repeat the step with the right side too. Now, reposition the towel over the table horizontally. Grab one of the edges, and start folding to the other side. Make sure to fold the towel twice during this step.

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Ribbon or Wrap

Rolled towels usually stay rolled if they are stored properly. However, you can prevent unrolling by wrapping the rolled towel with a decorative ribbon. Alternatively, you can take a smaller towel, such as a hand towel, and tie it around the rolled towel to hold it together. Use a ribbon or hand towel that either match the colour of the rolled towel complements it, or goes with the colour scheme of your final display.

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Rolled towels like in a spa

Start by folding the towel in half. Next, grab one of the corners and bring it across until it is parallel to the far edge. And flip the towel. Then fold the corners in thirds and flip the towel again. And begin tightly rolling.

There you have it! A luxury towel roll that saves space and looks great at the same time. Now you can have all of your best towels rolled like spa towels, and your bathroom will look great! Give your guests the “spa experience” right in your own home!

To roll your towels, follow these steps:

Fold the towel in half lengthwise. Smooth out the fold and make sure the edges line up. Then, roll the towel, starting at one short end. Keep the towel tight as you roll. Next, adjust the fold as you roll to keep the towel even and the edges aligned. Lastly, place the rolled towel with the exposed seam down, so it doesn’t unroll.

Rolled towels work well for a variety of display options within your bathroom. Try displaying your rolled towels in these ways:

Wine Rack: Place the one rolled towel in each slot on a tabletop wine rack.

Basket: Stack the rolled towels in a decorative basket that coordinates with the bathroom’s overall style. Choose a wicker or wire basket.

Stacked: If you have an open shelf in the bathroom, make a stack of the rolled towels on the shelf. A pyramid design works well to support the towels, so they don’t roll off the shelf.

The roll method

Many hotels and spas use the roll method because it looks cleaner than the fold method discussed above.

The basic steps for how to roll towels for display are as follows:


Begin by folding one of your corners over so that the short end of the towel is aligned with the long opposite side.


Next, fold the towel in half the long way, being careful to keep your prior fold in place.


After your towel is folded in half, turn the entire towel over.


Starting at the straight end, roll the towel up tightly.


Lastly, tuck the “pointed end” into the end of your roll to hold it tight.

You should end up with a nicely rolled towel with two seams that cross decoratively on the side of the roll.

Roll towel in a basket

If you’re using baskets to hold your towels in your closet, cupboard, or directly in your bathroom, rolling your towels will be the ideal way to fit more in the basket and keep them looking neat and organized.

Lay your towel out flat on a workspace (a table or counter will do). Then, Tri-fold the towel the long way. Now, fold the length of the towel in half. Next, roll the towel into a tube-shape, starting at the folded end. Lastly, place your finished work in a basket or cloth drawer. If you want to display your rolled towels, secure them with a ribbon to ensure they don’t unroll.

example of towel rolls

Folding Towels

Why should you bother honing your towel-folding skills? A fold is a fold, right? You don’t need to give too much attention to your towels, but consistent and proper folding comes with some benefits. Advantages of consistent towel folding include: 

Attractive Storage and Display: Neatly folded and stacked towels look much better than randomly folded ones that don’t line up. Even if you don’t often have guests peeking into your linen closet, it’s a refreshing feeling when you reach for a towel and see the neat stacks.

Space Saving: Smooth, consistent towels fit into your linen closet better, which helps maximize your storage space. When the stacks are equal in width from top to bottom, you can place them closer together, without wasted space.

Reduced Wrinkles: Taking time to fold and smooth your towels keeps them looking great without wrinkles. This won’t affect the absorbency, but it’s a nice treat to step out of the shower to a smooth, wrinkle-free towel.

Asy Hanging: When you fold the towel with hanging in mind, you can easily put your towels on the towel bar. This cuts downtime straightening up the bathroom or preparing for your shower.

Faster Drying: Neatly folded towels dry faster after use. Refold the towels in the same way after you use them.

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The Deep Fold

The deep fold is the ideal way to fold towels when you have a linen closet. It ensures they fill the shelf from front to back, but also allows space for more than one row of towels, and even leaves room for washcloths to fit in between.

You’ll want to place your stacks of deep-folded towels against the walls of your linen closet, so they stay standing tall. This is not an ideal fold for open shelves. Save the next option, the narrow fold, for that type of shelf.

Begin by laying your towel out on the clean floor or a table. This fold needs support from a surface of some kind. Then, fold the long sides of the towel a third of the way, toward the middle. The hems will meet at the center of the towel. Now fold the towel in half, still working with the long side. This is how wide your towel will be, but you’ll be doing a couple more steps to shorten it to fit in the cupboard. And, fold your short ends toward the centre, but leave a gap in the middle. The gap prevents bulging. Finally, fold the two halves together and put the fold to the front.

The Narrow Fold

Not a lot of room on the shelf, you’ll probably want to try a narrow fold with your towels. This type of fold will ensure your towels aren’t hanging off the shelf and will ensure your space looks neat and tidy.

The narrow fold is easy enough to do that you don’t even have to have a table to do it on. You can create this narrow fold standing up.

Here are the steps:

Start by holding the towel (or spreading it on a table) by an end. Fold the towel in half along the long side (like you’re hanging it over the towel rack to dry). Then, fold again, this time the opposite way (which should now be the long side). Next, bring the side with the hemmed corner edges about a third of the way across; it’ll be sitting nearly in the center of the towel. And fold the other half over so it matches with the folded edge of the side you previously worked with (a tri-fold). Lastly, place on the shelf with the fold site neatly facing out.

The Konmari Method

If you’re one of the many people addicted to the decluttering ways of Marie Kondo, you can use her tips on towel folding. With her method, you can easily fit your towels in a drawer or a basket on a shelf.

The KonMari method consists of gathering together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy” ( tokimeku, the word in Japanese, means “flutter, throb, palpitate”), and choosing a place for everything from then on. 

Here are the steps:

First step is to lay your towel flat. Next, fold the towel in half, along the long part. Now, fold the towel in half again, the other way. Then, fold, or roll, the towel into thirds, starting with the folded end. Lastly, stand it up. Now it’s ready to go in a drawer!

Folding Hand Towels

Hand towels are slightly larger than washcloths, but they are still fairly easy to fold. The small size makes them easy to maneuver, whether you choose to fold them in your hands or on a flat surface.

Here are the steps to fold a hand towel:

Hold the towel in your hand or place it on a flat surface. Smooth the unfolded towel to remove wrinkles. Then, fold one third of the towel toward the middle lengthwise. Smooth the fold. Next, fold the other edge in toward the middle, so it lines up with the fold you just made. This leaves the towel about one-third of its original width with two lengthwise folds. Smooth the towel again. And fold the towel in half the opposite direction, so it becomes half its original length. Lastly, stack the hand towels in the linen closet, so the final fold points outward. This allows you to grab just one towel at a time easily.

Folding Bath Towels for Storage in a Linen Closet

Bath towels use a similar method as hand towels, but they often require a few more folds, especially when you place them on a shelf or in a linen closet for storage. The size of the towel determines how many folds you need. A large bath sheet may need a few more folds to become small enough to fit on a shelf, for example.

Here is a basic folding method for towels that will eventually hang on a towel rack:

Hold the towel by the top corners of one short side with the finished side facing toward you, or place the towel on a flat surface with the finished side facing downward. Then, shake or smooth the towel gently to release any wrinkles and bumps. Now, fold one corner toward the middle to about the two-thirds point of the width. This should leave about one-third of the width unfolded. Shake or smooth any wrinkles. And fold the other corner toward the middle, so it overlaps the section you just folded in and its edge lines up with the folded edge you just created. Shake or smooth out any wrinkles. Next, hold the top edge under your chin. Move your hands to the middle of the towel’s length. Release the towel from your chin, so it falls to fold in half. Then, line up the bottom edges of the towel for a flat fold and fold the towel in half again the same way to create a compact size. Last, stack the folded bath towels with the folded seam pointing outward before placing on a shelf or in a linen closet.

This basic bath towel folding method works for most storage areas, but there are other ways to fold the towels, depending on your space. Try one of these alternative towel folding options:

Instead of overlapping the two lengthwise folds, make the folds meet in the middle. Fold the first long side to the middle of the towel. Then, fold the other long side toward the middle, so the edges line up instead of overlapping. Fold the entire towel lengthwise at the middle point, so both edges are sandwiched inside the towel. Fold the two ends toward the middle, leaving a slight gap in the middle to prevent a bulge. Fold the towel in half again.

For a narrow space, fold the towel in half to bring the two short sides together first. Fold the towel in half the opposite way, lining up the edges. Fold the open hemmed edge toward the middle, so it takes about one-third of the width. Fold the other edge to line up with the newly folded side. Check out garage cabinet storage solutions

Fancy Pocket Fold for Hanging

A few extra steps when folding your hand towels creates a little pocket ideal for displaying a washcloth. This setup works well on a towel bar with a folded bath towel as the base, the pocket-folded hand towel centre on top, and an accordion-folded washcloth tucked into the pocket.

Follow these steps to create the pocket in the hand towel:

Lay the hand towel on a flat surface with the raw edges up. Next, fold one of the short edges toward the middle about one-quarter of the way. Then, turn the towel over, making sure the fold stays straight. And, fold one long edge toward the centre to about one-third of the way. Now, fold the other long edge down, overlapping the other section and lining up the edge with the fold you just made. And position the towel, so the pocket edge is closest to you. Then, tuck the outer edge of the pocket inside the top layer. Last, flip the towel over and hang it on the towel bar.


The third-fold method (as I like to call it) is great for towels that will be stored on open shelves or in a linen closet.

Towels folded this way don’t take up much room, and it can be easily modified to fit on smaller or more narrow shelves too.

The basic steps are as follows:


The first step is to hold the towel in front of you by pinching two of the short side corners. Next, fold one side in a third of the way (“hot-dog” style). Then take the other side and fold it over a third as well.

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After it’s folded in thirds, use one hand to scoop up the bottom end and grab it at the top with the other hand. Lastly, fold it in half a second time.

Always remember that it is always best to organize according to your space and what you have available. Organizing is not a straightjacket; neither is it a one-size-fits-all situation. Look at your space, what you have available to you, and work towards that result that would make you happy and satisfied. You can use the basic techniques available, but you can always tweak them to suit your needs and your space.

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