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How to Fold Pajamas and Organize Them

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Originally published April 15, 2013 and updated May 8, 2023.

Learn how to fold pajamas with these quick and easy steps I’ve been using for years. This tutorial works for the top and bottom folded separately or together as a set. It works to fold the pajamas for adults and children, so you only need this one technique.

blue and red plaid pajama pants folded next to navy blue top.

As a professional organizer, I know that your pajama drawer may seem like the least of your organizing worries.  But once in a while we need to tackle an easy organizing job for immediate gratification. And this one is it.  Follow these easy tips on folding pajamas and organize them in just minutes.

I like to tackle chores and tasks while watching a movie or favorite TV show so that it doesn’t seem so much like a chore. I call this couch potato organizing. In the span of one 30 minute show you can easily fold pajamas and organize one drawer of pajamas.

All you need to do is grab your entire pajama drawer, turn on your favorite TV show, sit down and let’s get to work. These tips work for children’s sleepwear and adult-sized sleepwear, too.

How to Fold Pajamas

Sort out any pj’s that don’t fit, are damaged, are stained or you don’t love.  Put those to the side.  Later you can go through and separate out the clothes to donate.

This pajama folding technique that I’ve been using for years is similar to the Marie Kondo method. It works well for all sizes of pajamas and also for folding sets or individual items.

We’ll start with the steps for folding a set together and then we’ll talk about folding pieces separately.

How to fold a pajama set?

Let’s start with a pajama set. 

Step one

Lay the pants out and smooth out wrinkles.

Step Two

Fold them in half with one leg on top of the other.  Line up the waistband and the edge of the legs.

overhead view of navy and white stripe pants folded in half with one leg on top of the other.

Step Three

Then fold the pants in half so that the hem of the pant legs meets the waist band.  Set the pants to the side. 

neatly folded navy and white striped pants on wood table.

Step Four

Grab the pajama top.  Lay the shirt out flat and smooth any wrinkles out of the fabric.

Step FIve

Fold one arm into the center and about 1/4 of the shirt.

overhead view of one sleeve of blue shirt folded in and other spread out on wood table.

Step Six

Then fold the other arm and the other 1/4 of the shirt in. 

overhead view of partially folded blue shirt on wood table.

Step Seven

Fold the top of the shirt to line up with the bottom so that the shirt is folded in half.

overhead view of neatly folded blue shirt on wood table.

Step Eight

 Place the folded shirt on top of the folded pants.  

neatly folded blue shirt stacked on neatly folded navy and white striped pants on wood table.

Step Nine

Take the waist band side of the pants and fold them in 1/3 of the way. 

overhead view of neatly folded blue shirt on top of neatly folded navy and white stripe pajama pants with one end folded inward.

Step Ten

Then fold it again so that it makes a neat roll. 

Now the pjs are folded together in a neat compact roll.  You won’t lose the top from the pants in the drawer.  No digging through the drawer to find 2 pieces that match. 

neatly folded navy and white striped pajama pants on wood table.

Hack

When you make the final fold, you can tuck the bundle into the waistband so the bundle says wrapped together in a bundle. This is a great idea for children’s pajamas to keep everything folded neatly in the dresser.

To Store 

Simply file the pajama sets in your drawer so that the folded side is up.  Keeping the neat, folded side up makes sure they’re neat looking. You can easily see everything you have and your drawer will stay neatly organized. 

overhead view of colorful, neatly folded pajamas in drawer.

My son prefers to have his pants folded separately from his shirts.  We’ve been folding and filing his pajamas for 6 years (since he was 7 years old). My son is responsible for putting his clean clothes away in his drawer and he’s been able to keep his drawer this neat all the time.   Really.  It works. 

overhead view of neatly folded clothes in drawer.

Knowing how to fold pajamas and organizing them by filing keeps your drawers neatly organized. You’ll also be surprised by how much more room you’ll have by filing instead of stacking.

Now you’ve been able to organize your pajama drawer during the time it took for you to watch your favorite TV show.   So you weren’t wasting time watching TV, you were working.  Want to watch another show?  Go put this drawer away and grab another one on the commercial.  Hurry. 

Folding Resources

My Favorite
 
Description:

USED IN RETAIL STORES (but are also perfect for laundry!): EzPacking folding boards are used in retail stores to help workers fold tee shirts, long sleeves, dress shirts, and sweaters into neat piles for retail display; This shirt folding device can also be used at home to help fold laundry into neat piles for storage in drawers; While packing for a trip, use the folding boards to help you neatly pack clothing items into packing cubes or directly into a suitcase


Description:
  • Easily fold thin, medium and thick clothing such as dresses, pants, trousers, shorts, pajamas, short-sleeved and long-sleeved T-shirts, towels, uniforms, duvet covers, sheets, etc.
  • Simple steps can quickly make the clothes flatter and neater, and fold all the clothes into a perfect uniform size 9.44"x11.42". unfolded size is 27.56''x22.44''.
  • The shirt folding board is easily folded up, of which folded size is 9.5''x11.6'', which will not take up much storage space.
3.5
3.5
$17.99
$14.44
My Favorite
Description:

USED IN RETAIL STORES (but are also perfect for laundry!): EzPacking folding boards are used in retail stores to help workers fold tee shirts, long sleeves, dress shirts, and sweaters into neat piles for retail display; This shirt folding device can also be used at home to help fold laundry into neat piles for storage in drawers; While packing for a trip, use the folding boards to help you neatly pack clothing items into packing cubes or directly into a suitcase


3.5
$17.99
Description:
  • Easily fold thin, medium and thick clothing such as dresses, pants, trousers, shorts, pajamas, short-sleeved and long-sleeved T-shirts, towels, uniforms, duvet covers, sheets, etc.
  • Simple steps can quickly make the clothes flatter and neater, and fold all the clothes into a perfect uniform size 9.44"x11.42". unfolded size is 27.56''x22.44''.
  • The shirt folding board is easily folded up, of which folded size is 9.5''x11.6'', which will not take up much storage space.
3.5
$14.44
02/23/2024 04:08 pm GMT
Yield: 1

How to Fold Pajamas Tutorial

blue and red plaid pajama pants folded next to navy blue top.

Simple steps to fold pajamas neatly

Prep Time 1 minute
Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost free

Materials

  • Pajama Set or Individual top or bottoms

Tools

  • Flat clean surface, like a table or bed

Instructions

  1. Lay out the pj pants flat.
  2. Fold them in half lengthwise with one leg on top of the other.
  3. Fold the pants in half by bring the hem of the pants up to the waistband. Set the pants aside.
  4. Lay the pajama top out flat.
  5. Fold one sleeve towards the center with about 1/4 of the shirt.
  6. Fold the other sleeve in the same way.
  7. Fold the shirt in half bringing the top of the next up to the bottom of the hem.
  8. Place the pj top on the folded pants.
  9. Fold the waistband one-third of the way towards the center.
  10. Fold the pants the rest of the way into a comact bundle.

Notes

Each pajama piece can be folded separately with these steps.

This tutorial works for children's pj's. If the clothes are for young children, you may just fold them in half rather than thirds in the last two steps.

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Did you make this project?

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Looking for More Clothes Folding Ideas?

  • How to Fold Clothes and More – Knowing how to fold clothes properly to keep them neat and organized makes all the difference in reducing stress and mess. These tips on how to fold clothes and how to fold linens are field-tested in my family of five. 
  • How to Fold Jeans – Learn how to fold & organize jeans like a professional to save space & make your drawer or closet tidy. Works for pants, too.
  • How to Fold a Sweatshirt – A simple tutorial for the best way to fold a sweatshirt so that it stays neatly organized in a closet or drawer. Works for all sizes.
overhead view of black pajama top with white buttons and piping on white comforter.

FAQs About Folding Pajamas

How to fold pajama pants?

See the images above.
1. Lay the pants out and smooth out wrinkles.
2 Fold them in half with one leg on top of the other.  Line up the waistband and the edge of the legs.
3. Fold the pants in half so that the hem of the pant legs meets the waist band. 
4. Then fold the pants in thirds by bringing the waistband to the middle and folding it again to the hem of the pants legs.

How to fold pajama shorts?

See the images above for folding pajama pants.
1. Lay the shorts out on a flat surface. Line up the edges of the waistband and the short legs.
2. Fold the shorts in half, bringing one leg on top of the other.
3. Fold the shorts in half or in thirds so they’ll fit in your drawer, depending on the size of the shorts, by bringing the waistband towards the hem of the legs of the shorts.

How to fold baby pajamas?

If the pajamas are a 2-piece set, use the same steps above except in Step 5 and 6 you can fold the shirt in half and then fold the sleeves in. For steps 9 and 10, you can simply fold the bundle in half rather than in thirds.
If the pajamas are a one-piece:
1. Lay the pajamas out flat on a clean surface, with the legs to the right.
2. Fold one side of the pajamas across the middle, so that one sleeve meets the opposite sleeve and the legs line up, with one on top of the other, also.
3. Next, fold the bottom of the pajamas up towards the top, so that the feet or hem of the legs are now on top of the rest of the garment.
4. Fold the sleeves inwards, so that they are laying flat against the rest of the pajamas.
5. Finally, fold the pajamas in half, bringing the top of the garment down to meet the bottom.
6. You can fold the bundle in half again to make a smaller bundle.

How to fold toddler pajamas?

Use the same steps above except in Step 5 and 6 you can fold the shirt in half and then fold the sleeves in. For steps 9 and 10, you can simply fold the bundle in half rather than in thirds.

How to fold footie pajamas?

1. Start by laying the pajamas out flat on a clean surface, with the feet facing to your right and the neck facing to the left.
2. Fold one side of the pajamas across the middle, so that one sleeve meets the opposite sleeve and one leg lays on top of the other leg. Line up the the edges of each.
3. Next, fold the bottom of the pajamas up towards the top, so that the feet are now on top of the rest of the garment.
4. Fold the sleeves inwards, so that they are laying flat against the rest of the pajamas.
5. Finally, fold the pajamas in half, bringing the top of the garment down to meet the bottom.
6. You can now fold the bundle in thirds or in half so that it fits filed in your drawer.
Tip – If the footie pajamas have a hood, you can either fold it down before beginning the folding process or fold it up and tuck it into the folded garment.

See all my best clothes folding and organizing tutorials in the table below. You can scroll through the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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25 Comments

  1. This is a great idea! Never knew there was a good way to fold PJ’s. I usually just shove them in a drawer!

    Thanks for linking up to the In and Out of the Kitchen link party! You are great!

    Cynthia

  2. Hi Susan, I think I had to refold and restack the girls clothes in their dresser drawers a few times a week because they like to pull items out and shove them back in again. (they are four and five years old) About two weeks ago, I started filing their clothes and I’ve found their drawers stay tidy longer than when they were stacked. I love this way of organizing their clothes. And yes there seems to be more room too.

    1. Darlene, isn’t it amazing, that filing tee’s and pj’s makes such a difference in keeping everything nice and neat? I’m glad that it’s working well for you. If it helps my 10-year old son keep his clothes neat, then it really must work :).

  3. Meanwhile, over here in Israel, I don’t have drawers – I have closets with cavernous shelves. They hold a lot and it is hard to find anything. If you can think of a way to put away clothing on a shelf that is about 2 1/2 feet wide and a foot and a half deep (take your time!) I’d be grateful. Right now I manage by having stacks of different types of clothing and taking what is on top… 🙂

    1. Judith, I’m dreaming of a “business trip” to come help with your shelves. 🙂 But now you’ve got me thinking. Stay tuned for some ideas I have cooking to help in your shelf situation.

    2. Boxes covered in wallpaper or contact paper to make ‘drawers’ and then use the file method? You can even make your own boxes to fit the space if necessary. How much space between shelves? That would also be an issue.

    3. Narrow boxes covered in wallpaper or contact paper – made to fit the space if necessary and you’re crafty – then use the ‘filing system’? I would suggest tailoring the box width to the clothes. You could get several on one shelf. Depending on how much room there is between the shelves you might want to make two rows. That would necessitate picking up one and setting it somewhere while you get stuff from the bottom box, but there are trade-offs for about everything, I suppose. Good luck! Hope this gets you to thinking of a solution.

  4. You won me over with couch potato, great idea, I fold my washing in front of the tv 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again! Cheers,Kathy Shea MorminoThe Chicken Chick

  6. Now THAT is organized– wow, nicely done! PJs can get to be such a mess…Visiting from The Chicken Chick’s linky party today.Smiles, Suz@ MaytagnMom in N.W. Illinois

  7. Thank you for participating in the Linky Home Organization Blog Hop.
    Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop of when the blog roundup will go live and come back and share the blog comment love to the others who’ve linked up. We all need a little love….:)
    />xoxo,
    Khloe

  8. Great idea…. now I’ve gotta tackle my Tshirt gown drawer….lol… but at least I know what to do with it now.
    Thanks

  9. Love this idea…but…. now I have to redo my t-shirt gown drawer!! But at least I think I’ll have more room.
    Thanks

    1. Many of my friends roll their clothing, towels, etc. I’ve found that there are folders and there are rollers. I won’t hold it against you, Wolfie. 🙂

  10. Pingback: How to Organize Your Home with these Organizing Hacks - Christy's Cozy Corners
  11. Thank you for your helpful suggestions……..One question though How do you get grown children (girls) to take their “stuff”? The girls are over 30 years old and they want to store childhood, high school and college stuff in my attic! ( it is overflowing! )

    1. I hear you, Tica! I’ve been working with my own teen and 20-something children. One thing that has worked well is when they’re home we pull out one tub or category and have a walk down memory lane party. We pull everything out and relive the memories and have a great time. As we go through it they choose what they want to keep. I’ve given them a 2 year timeframe. If they don’t take those items they choose to keep in that time, I’m going to donate it.

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