The “science” behind folding clothes

The “science” behind folding clothes

Now that you have had a few weeks to start purging (see 5 Tips to Tidying Made Easy), the next step is how to fold your clothes so that you can wear all that you have left. Until a year ago, I would have sworn that the most efficient way to put clothes in a drawer was to fold them neatly and stack them. I even employed the method that I learned when I worked for a retail store. Of course, I knew it made sense to have a T-shirt drawer and another drawer for jeans so I thought I had it all under control. It wasn’t until I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo did I realize that I still had a lot to learn.

The difference with this folding method is that everything stays neat, and more importantly, you can see everything you own! I always wore whatever was on top. Anything on the bottom of my drawers was often missed. With this new method, I can now see all of my clothes when I open my drawers. To be honest, I thought I would never keep it up. However, I have officially been folding my clothes with this method for one year! With my busy lifestyle, this has not been a burden. Instead, I am finding that it doesn’t add time to putting laundry away, and I am now wearing all of my clothes since I can see them.

How to Fold

The key is to store clothes standing up rather than laying them flat. Using this method, you will have more folds, but this does not equate to more wrinkles. According to Kondo, “Every piece of clothing has its own “sweet spot” where it feels just right – a folded state that best suits that item.” Each item may need a different amount of folds depending on the material. Another words, the summer t-shirt will need to be folded more tightly than the winter sweater because of the thickness of the material. The important piece is to have the clothes standing before placing in the drawer.

Steps to fold clothes
  1. “Fold each lengthwise side of the garment toward the center and tuck the sleeves in to make a long rectangular shape.”  It is not important how you fold the sleeves.
  2. “Pick up one short end of the rectangle and fold it toward the other short end.”
  3. “Fold again in the same manner, in halves or in thirds. The number of folds should be adjusted so that the folded clothing is standing on edge.”

Steps to fold socks

Kondo is very adamant about socks, and she states in her book, “Never, ever ball up your socks.” When balled up, they will lose their elasticity, and the fabric is stretched. I now have so much more room in my drawers using this method, and I am now wearing all of my socks rather than the ones that end up on top. To fold socks, follow the steps below.

  1. “Place one sock on top of the other.”
  2. “For low-cut socks that just cover the feet, folding twice is enough.”
  3. “For ankle socks, fold three times.”
  4. “For knee socks and over-knee socks, fold four to six times.”
  5. “Store the socks on edge.” This is the same as clothing.

Using this easy method for your clothes, you will begin to know what you own. I used to buy a clothing item not knowing that I already owned it or had something similar simply because the clothing item was at the bottom of the pile for years.

The folding technique is just the beginning of how this book can change your life. Kondo’s tips on tidying are a must read, and they continue to make a difference in our house.  We now have a place for our items and putting things away is easy. I keep this book handy so that I can refer back to it at anytime. Check it out here: 

Feel free to comment if you have questions or have tried this method. If I can keep it up after all of this time, I promise that it is easy to do!

Happy folding!

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