Folding efficiently can save space

As I looked at the two sacks of sheets at the bottom of our closet, I realized it wasn’t the best use of space. I don’t fold well and to get around this I simply shove sheets into a pillowcase. The fitted sheet is always the one that makes the whole process aggravating. Real Simple has a how-to guide on efficient ways to fold just about anything. Here’s their step-by-step instructions on how to conquer the dreaded fitted sheet. The whole “How to Fold Anything” page can be found here.

Properly folding sheets, towels, or clothing can save you quite a bit of space. Whether you are packing for a trip or just putting things away in your dresser or closet. Take a little time to fold things well and the space you save will be worth the time.

35 Comments for “Folding efficiently can save space”

  1. posted by Just ME on

    Youtube has many videos on folding. Check the one for underwear out.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYug-oV0LX4

  2. posted by Lola on

    My friend Sharkey has put together a photo tutorial on how to fold a fitted sheet, and how to fold your flat sheets with it.

  3. posted by Shanel Yang on

    Putting clothes/sheets or anything else you need daily/weekly in a drawer is a waste of precious time and usually results in messing up the folded stuff when you hunt through the stuff in the drawer to find what you need. Instead, stack them (top to bottom for big things like regular clothes, sheets, and towels and side by side for little things like socks and underwear) on shelves in your closets. You can find visually scan them without messing them up and just pull out the one or two items you need each time. Drawers and cabinets are great for storing unsightly office supplies, cables, toiletries, etc. You can find more tips on how to organize your closet at http://shanelyang.com/2008/04/.....ple-steps/

  4. posted by Ann - One Bag Nation on

    I’ve been looking for help with folding those fitted sheets! I’ll actually look forward to trying this method.

    The most ingenious folding system I’ve seen is at onebag.com. I couldn’t believe how much space I saved in my suitcase when I followed his packing method!

  5. posted by sharon on

    My husband said he liked how I folded sheets as he would put the sheet on the bed then unfold it and it worked out just right. I have no idea how I do it (I tried to think about it and messed it up), it’s something I learned from my boy scout older brother. ;)

  6. posted by pamela on

    Martha Stewarts method of folding fitted sheets makes much more sense, for me. I don’t have a link (it’s not MY website *cough*) but i’ll try to describe it anyway. Stand holding your sheet. Match up two of the corners, folding the sheet across the shorter distance, and place them over your hand. Fold the sheet into quarters, and place the last two corners over your hand as well. NOW lay it on a table. Place your already folded flat sheets, and pillow cases so that they fit neatly into the corner. Fold them into the fitted sheet, and now you have a neatly folded package with the matching sheet set neatly self-contained.

  7. posted by adora on

    This isn’t as easy as the way I do it. I learned my way of folding fitted sheets from Martha Stewart. You don’t need to lay it on the bed.
    If you look at the sheet, the 4 corners are symmetrical. Fold the sheet in half both ways, make sure to gather the 4 corners. You will end up with a rectangle with a dog ear on one corner. Then close it up along the part where it would go along the thickness of the mattress. Then fold it to eh size of the matching pillow case so you can put it inside one to keep them organized.
    hm… sounds confusing. Maybe I should make a video of it.

  8. posted by Kevin (ReturnToManliness) on

    Keeping your clothes in an organized manner is very manly. Just in case anyone was wondering if this trait is too metrosexual, it is not. One my core manliness traits is that A Man’s Appearance Always Matters.

    Thanks for bringing attention to this often overlooked skill that everyone can benefit. It is a perfect unclutterer topic and one that I will explore on my blog as well.

  9. posted by Mary on

    Or you could be extremely uncluttered and not have extra sheets – with a washer and dryer it doesn’t take long to strip the bed, launder the linens and remake the bed… save space and the hassle of folding. Might not work in a household with young children but it works well for our empty nest.

  10. posted by verily on

    I have got to try this. I think I’ve been doing a somewhat wrong version of Martha’s for years without realizing it.

  11. posted by Michele on

    Another fan of Martha’s method here for folding fitted sheets. Basically you “force” it into a rectangle, and then fold it as if it’s a flat sheet. That said, I think it’s the same principle as the Real Simple method described on the website there.

  12. posted by Bex! on

    It may not be an efficient use of space to skip the folding and bag extra sheets, but it is an efficient use of time!

    That being said, I am in the one set of sheets camp. I ahve an extra set of pillow cases only. They are small and it’s nice to be able to change them out if needed without doing laundry.

  13. posted by Christine on

    I think my proudest moment was, when folding a fitting sheet in front of my mother, she gasped and said “That’s so neat! Who taught you how to fold a fitted sheet?”

    My reply: “Martha Stewart”

    ;)

  14. posted by Jen on

    The Sharkey method rocks! Here’s another photo demonstration of the same method, but with adorable feline “helpers”.

  15. posted by ShopLittleGifts on

    Definitely. Yeah, the first time I saw Martha Stewart fold a fitted sheet on oprah I was so impressed. Neatly folded towels, t-shirts and soft clothes make them less wrinkly and so much nicer in the drawer.

  16. posted by becoming minimalist on

    another great space-saver with clothing is to roll them rather than folding – it allows less air.

    obviously, it’s too impractical for use at home, but i often use it traveling. especially when traveling home from a trip if i need extra suitcase room for souvenirs.

  17. posted by Allie Orange on

    Once you have decluttered and you are ready to store everything back in its place, try the book “The Beverly Hills Organizer’s Home Organizing Bible” by Linda Koopersmith
    http://www.amazon.com/Beverly-.....utterer-20

    Koopersmith is from the show “Clean House” and she teaches how to fold and store everything, including the supplies and equipment you need and the time it will take you.

    One thing she recommends: Fold your item to fit your shelves/space and try folding them into thirds and turning the folds out for a neat department store look. Some of that seems obvious but I finally was able to make use of our too narrow linen closet by folding the items the way she recommended.

  18. posted by KateNonymous on

    I think the Real Simple and the Martha Stewart methods are essentially pretty similar, but the Martha Stewart method seems to involve less fussing over the sheet. Which is ironic.

  19. posted by Maharani on

    Re fitted sheets and their problems, try buying 2 top sheets instead. I grew up in the UK-we didn’t have fitted sheets. We used 2 flats and learned how to tuck the bottom sheet under the mattress and fold them. Thats what I still do, though I live in the US. It works just as well, often better-I think fitted sheets are far more trouble than they are worth, particularly folding them, and if you roll around in bed the corners get loose.

  20. posted by consumer_q on

    About fifteen years ago I purchased a set of sheets with the fitted sheet having square corners. By that, I mean that when it was turned inside out, the square corners were still intact beyond the elastic band. It made folding ever so simple. Unfortunately, I have not come across a set since then with that same feature.

  21. posted by Hugh Mann on

    I agree with becoming minimalist. I like to roll my clothes too. In fact, I even roll my sheets and arrange it neatly in a box to minimize clutter.

  22. posted by Gillian on

    Although it may take extra time to fold the sheets and clothes, it is nice to open a neat drawer or cupboard. My surfaces are a problem area, but once I put things away, I do it properly. so my cupboards stay neat. I do try to make it easy to take things out.
    With dirty clothes, if it’s going to wait and you’ll have lots, it also saves space to fold the big stuff, even roughly. I grew up folding the dirty sheets.

  23. posted by Angie on

    After I fold my sheets, I put them in large ziplock bags in sets. I can squish them down, and the kids don’t pull them all out when looking for something else, like beach towels. I’d like fancy zip-up organizer bags, but ziplocks come in all sorts of sizes now.

  24. posted by Lisa on

    I agree with Maharani – why bother with fitted sheets? If you have a deeper-than-usual mattress or a mattress topper, fitted sheets are such a nightmare to get on the bed, plus I notice they come undone.

    I’m going to stick with using two top sheets from now on. Once they are tucked under, they stay! Hurrah.

  25. posted by Scott Roewer (declutteryou.com) on

    I’m also a fan of Martha’s Sheet folding method. There is a photo how-to on her website. Here’s a link.
    http://tinyurl.com/6cghmp

    Of course, if you use the method of putting the flat and fitted sheet, inside the pillow case having a perfectly folded sheet is not as much of a concern.

  26. posted by Angie on

    Satin sheets take up less than half the space of cotton sheets…and they feel soooo good!

  27. posted by Rob118 on

    I found a great product that really does make folding fitted sheets so easy! Fit and Fold’s 4 easy to use snaps attach to the corners, and folding takes seconds.

    You have to check this video out and you’ll understand!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe4mAF2N56g

  28. posted by Malcolm on

    Hmm. I like Sharkey Malarkeys method, must try it out. We actually roll our fitted sheets after folding them longitudinally to a narrow (but not neat) rectangle. Only problem is it takes 2 people to do it. The end result is quite neat though. We also roll all our towels rather than folding them. But rolling all clothes? I don’t know about that!
    Using all top sheets would be fine with me, but here in Australia it is very hard to buy sheets other than in sets of a top, a fitted, and 2 pillowcases. I agree that fitted sheets are probably more trouble than they are worth!

  29. posted by Katie on

    I think this T-shirt-folding method I saw the other day is just incredible. Does anyone know of any similar tricks?!

    http://www.videojug.com/film/h.....-2-seconds

    Here’s a step by step guide:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....eature=fvw

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  32. posted by DodaPedia » Learn to Fold a Dress Shirt Effectively [Clothing] on

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  35. posted by Learn to Fold a Dress Shirt Effectively « Crossing the Line on

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