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Thread: How to: Pack dress shirts in a packing cube

  1. #1
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    How to: Pack dress shirts in a packing cube

    I thought I would share how I pack my dress shirts into a Packing cube so they won't wrinkle.

    I have used this with great success for quite a while and find it works much better than a packing folder, also much lighter. The air trapped in the ziplock bag prevents wrinkles while the socks in the collar prevents the collar from collapsing and creasing. In my entire time traveling like this I have never had to iron a shirt and have actually been accused of buying a new shirt upon arrival because it looked a bit too crisp for a packed shirt!

    For this I use the packing cube backpack, a thin plastic cutting board from the dollar store that I cut a little smaller than the packing cube, a large ziplock bag at least an inch bigger than the cutting board, a pair of socks (thin undershirts and underwear also work well) and of course the shirt.
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    Step 1. Lay shirt front side down on a flat surface making sure buttons are going down center and place cutting board on back, making sure collar is entirely on the front face of shirt.
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    Step 2. Using cutting board as a guide fold in side of shirt then fold in sleeve. Try to minimize folds here, one is usually enough. Repeat for next side.
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    Step 3. Fold shirt over and tuck in tails and cuffs.
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    Step 4. Insert into ziplock bag, place rolled up socks in collar and seal bag with enough air to pad the shirt but not be too bulky. Place in packing cube.
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  2. #2
    Registered User PaulT00's Avatar
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    This is neat. I used a similar method to pack dress shirts for several years, but without the ziplock bag and additional finesse of filling the collar with something to prevent crushing. My shirts were folded in this way, then interleaved with disposable plastic carrier bags (from the supermarket - some people have been known to use tissue paper the same way) to prevent wrinkling, before being packed in a small Samsonite wheeled suitcase. That was before I discovered travelling light, or the joy of packing cubes...

    Do you find that padding the collar has much effect on the density of packing or the number of shirts you can fit in the cube, or do they all compress down? Do you e.g. put one shirt 'collar pointing up' and the next 'collar pointing down' to even out the stack?

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    I will normally alternate collars just for the sake of being anal retentive but even with an odd number of shirts it isn't to the point that it is really noticeable once it's all zipped up.

    I don't often travel with more than two, I wear undershirts and barely sweat so I can get away with it.

    I usually aim for shirts that will work with a tie or I can roll up the sleeves and unbutton the top button and pull off an "edgier" formal (if that makes any sense) look, or wear with jeans for a dressy casual look. Plus my ussual business attire is dark wash Levi's and a Motörhead t-shirt and I thank my lucky stars every day for that!

    Now it's slowly getting better, but if we can only convince somebody to make a shirt in travel friendly fabric that doesn't make it look like you are on safari or in some 1990s music video I would be happy!

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    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    IS THAT A WASABI PACKING CUBE?!?!?!? I don't see it listed in the Packing Cube page!!
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    IS THAT A WASABI PACKING CUBE?!?!?!? I don't see it listed in the Packing Cube page!!
    That's actually the aeronaut packing cube backpack. Although I wish I could get the rest of the packing cubes in wasabi too!

  6. #6
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    Thank you for this tutorial and photo outline, do you leave the cutting board in for travel, and therefore have multiples, or remove it before slipping the shirt into the bag?
    I have been looking at folder devices for my 9 and 8 years old sons to aid them in learning how to properly fold their shirts and pants for their drawers. I wonder could I just use this method and make them each one?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorayme View Post
    Thank you for this tutorial and photo outline, do you leave the cutting board in for travel, and therefore have multiples, or remove it before slipping the shirt into the bag?
    I have been looking at folder devices for my 9 and 8 years old sons to aid them in learning how to properly fold their shirts and pants for their drawers. I wonder could I just use this method and make them each one?
    Yes I leave the cutting board in the shirt, it makes it so much more manageable for shoving it in the bag. And the ones I use for this are so thin their weight is negligible, they also came in a pack of four for a dollar. If you are making ones for home use I would use a much heavier board and make sure it doesn't have a grippy texture or it will have the tendency to unfurl the neat folding job when you pull it out.

  8. #8
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorayme View Post
    Thank you for this tutorial and photo outline, do you leave the cutting board in for travel, and therefore have multiples, or remove it before slipping the shirt into the bag?
    I have been looking at folder devices for my 9 and 8 years old sons to aid them in learning how to properly fold their shirts and pants for their drawers. I wonder could I just use this method and make them each one?
    dorayme - maybe the first few seconds of this video would help ;-)


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    Me and her have the same laundry technique!!! I just made a DIY "flip fold" for my T-Shirts out of cardboard and gaffer tape, Sized to perfectly fold t-shirts to fit into the smaller aeronaut packing cubes. I might head down to the store tomorrow and pick up some foam core presentation board and post some pictures of Packing Cube Flip-Fold 2.0 DIY edition!

  10. #10
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    This is really cool, going to give it a try!


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