The art of rolling clothes

Has anyone ever told you that packing rolled clothes in your luggage is the best space-saving way when you are travelling? The first time I heard about it was from a friend with whom I was travelling from Macau to Malaysia back in 2010. Well, don’t blame me for being a katak di bawah tempurung (literal translation: frog underneath a coconut shell which simply means ignorant). I hadn’t travelled much back then and hadn’t had much experience in packing. Honestly, I am not a fan of rolling my clothes and I think the best space-saving way is actually to vacuum seal your clothes. But then again, who brings a vacuum cleaner with them when travelling?

Since I am in Bulgaria, I’ve been chucking my clothes in my luggage. The room I’m currently staying was previously occupied by Mr. Hubby and Mr. Bro-in-law. I would say that these two brothers don’t really have so many clothes but winter jackets actually take up a lot of space in the drawers and wardrobes because these jackets are big and thick and fluffy. As I can’t accept the fact that my luggage (filled with my clothes) is still lying on the floor after a month here, I’ve decided to get a chest of drawers for myself.

Last week, I finally bought a chest of 3 drawers with dimensions 70cm x 38cm x 73cm, after considering  that the chest should neither be too high to block the window nor too wide to block the balcony door. Here comes the challenge. How can I stuff all the clothes from 2 big suitcases into a chest which probably is a little bigger than a big suitcase? What did I do? Yes, you are right. I started rolling my clothes.

**Topic shifting for a while: Did you know that luggages  is not the plural form of luggage?  Luggage is a collective noun that refers to all your suitcases you are carrying.**

Back to the story. Well, because Mr. Hubby’s collection of shirts expanded during the time he was in Malaysia, I agreed to share the chest with him. After all, he was the one who assembled the chest. So, I agreed to spare him one drawer. I started with rolling Mr. Hubby’s shirts because his shirts are mostly of similar thickness and sizes. I excluded his pants in this chest because his pants were difficult to be rolled and I realised that the rolled ones actually take as much space as the folded one. So where did his pants go? To the existing wardrobe which he shared with Mr. Bro-in-law after some major rearranging.

Then, I started rolling my tops. I was happy because my tops were mostly thin and small. So, they looked really cute after being folded. And, it was really space-saving. After that, I started rolling my pants. Similarly to the problems I had with Mr. Hubby’s pants, both my long and short pants were not exactly “roll-able”. As they were not as thick as Mr. Hubby’s pants, I managed to fold the pants to the smallest size possible. And luckily, I didn’t really have so many pairs of pants with me. I must be really stupid to start with the easiest task. After organising my tops and pants, I had to roll the dresses. And guess what? Rolling didn’t work so well with the dresses because all my dresses were in different shapes and thickness – some with inner lining, some with laces, some with thick and fluffy sleeves, some with thick zippers, some were padded etc. Seriously?! But, I didn’t give up and continued to roll them. I managed to roll some of them into the smallest possible manner, but the ones with linings and zippers were almost impossible to be rolled. But, I managed to roll and stuff them all in the second drawer anyway. I just hope that I don’t have to open that particular drawer so often.

So, what’s my verdict on clothes-rolling?

1. It works well with t-shirts, thin tops, really thin pants, scarves, and pyjamas.
2. It really saves space if the rolled clothes are any of these: t-shirts, thin tops, really thin pants, scarves, and pyjamas.
3. It works well if you are using a hanging clothes organiser.

1. It doesn’t work well with thicker clothes like cardigans or sweater, pants, and dresses that comes in different thickness and designs.
2. It doesn’t save that much space if your clothes are thick.
3. It is very time taking.
4. If you don’t roll them properly, there’s a high chance that they will unroll by themselves.
5. It doesn’t work well with wardrobes or drawers because you will have a hard time taking out the clothes that were placed at the bottom.

My conclusion for rolling clothes?
I think rolling clothes works well when you are packing for a trip, unless you are taking some extremely exaggerated clothes. It definitely doesn’t work well if you are organising your clothes in a drawer or wardrobe. It works better if you organise your clothes in a hanging clothes organiser. If your clothes are thick, it is not going to save you much space. But if you yearn for that extra tiny little space (like what I’m desperate for right now), you can definitely try this method.

The art of rolling clothes

1. My chest of 3 drawers.
2. Each drawer can stack up to 3 layers of clothes.
3. Small, thin tops can be rolled into such small size.
4. Rolled dresses with inner linings or laces don’t help much in space-saving.

Have you tried rolling your clothes, whether packing them for a trip or organising them in your wardrobe? Share your thoughts with me! 😀

Jenny Zhekova