How To Fold & Store Extra Bed Sheets

storing bedding


I have one small linen closet in my house and last April I actually gave it a “makeover” that made a  HUGE difference in its’ functionality. I added shelves and cleaned out anything that wasn’t truly useful. (Hall Closet Makeover In Six Easy Steps.)


hall closet makeover

Hall Closet Makeover – April 2012

However, I must admit that sometimes even my best efforts to keep things organized tend to slide a little after the initial enthusiasm has waned. Which would explain why when I opened the hall closet this week the shelf that holds all our bedding looked like this. (See picture below and try to ignore the large stuffed animal on the shelf below the sheets…he somehow snuck in there and has since been “retired”. Nobody tell Sten though!)

storing bedding


Actually, as you can tell from the “before and after” photos of the closet makeover, this closet has looked a LOT worse! However, looking at this shelf I realized a couple of things: I have more extra bedding than I need, and I could be using this shelf for something else entirely. How? Well, I’ll share with you a little “secret” I learned reading comments on a website awhile back that I’ve been meaning to give a try.


Storing your extra sheets under your mattress.


This is one of those ideas that sounds a little crazy when you first read it, but try it! You’ll be surprised! It just makes so much sense.

First of all it forced me to get rid of all but one set of extra sheets for each bed in the house, and then it completely freed up one whole shelf in the closet! (Valuable real estate in this house!)

After I narrowed down the one set of bedding per bed, I then folded all the bedding before stowing it in its new “secret hiding place.”

I really don’t have any special way of folding sheets…just the way my mama taught me…but as long as I was doing it, I figured I’d take a few pictures for those who have been asking me how to fold those pesky FITTED SHEETS.


storing bedding 2

Fold the fitted sheet in half, tucking one set of corners into the other set in a sort of envelope position, like pictured above. (Some people are talented enough to do this standing up, but I’m not one of them. I prefer to lay it out on the bed.)


storing bedding

Then make two folds – left to right & right to left, that meet in the middle.


storing bedding

Fold one more time down the middle.


storing bedding

Now fold from the bottom up & the top down until these meet in the middle as well.


storing bedding

Fold one more time down the middle again and you are done.


folding sheets

Then do basically the same thing with the flat sheet (except you don’t have to mess with the elastic  edging.)


storing bedding

After I finished folding the individual pieces of the set, I stacked them together and tucked them in between the mattress and the box spring. I unfortunately didn’t have enough arm strength to hold our king-sized mattress up with one hand while snapping a photograph with the other, so you’re going to have to take my word for it that they are indeed under the mattress. As a matter of fact, they have BEEN under the hubster’s side of the mattress for over a week now and he has no idea! :-)  (Well, I guess he does now.)


storing bedding

Now when it’s sheet-washing time (or the sheets just “need changing” for whatever reason…but we won’t go into that!), no need to go hunting through the linen closet…all I have to do is strip the sheets off the bed and grab the perfectly-pressed and dust-free sheet set under the mattress. Admit it! Brilliant huh? :-)


storing bedding



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  1. says

    This is a great tip, thanks for sharing! We are currently in the process of renovating our upstairs and i’d really like to tackle our built-in wardrobes as well. This trick will save me an awful lot of time and space. Can’t wait to try it.

    Have a nice day!

  2. Georgia Beckman says

    Pure genius! And why have we not thought of this before now? I too have very limited space for sheets. Right now, they’re taking up valuable space in the dressers of each room! HELLO DRAWER SPACE!

  3. Cathy says

    I’ve been doing this my entire life….because this is how my Mom did it! You can also store other things under the mattress such as guest towels in the guest room…..beach towels during the off season…..even out of season clothes…….the possibilities are endless….

  4. Deborah J. says

    If I might add one more thing that works well either storing them the way you did or in a linen closet, after I fold the sheets I put both of them, and the extra pillow case, inside the 2nd pillow case so all the matching linens are together and I just have to grab the pillow case and make the bed.

    • Debbie says

      Great idea. I usually place the fitted sheet and pillow cases in the last fold of the flat sheet to make a neat package. My three sons and hubby like three pillows (I use one or none), so I bought extra pillow cases and keep three with every set. No hunting for a third pillow case.

  5. Lori Sue Johnson says

    Living in Michigan we have two seasons. There is the summer season with the cotton linens and the winter season with the flannel linens. I saw on a website somewhere months ago to stash each set in a pillowcase. This makes for a neat package on the shelf. Just might have to try this method for the pair that are in season! Thanks for the wonderful idea.

    • Stephanie says

      This is a great idea and one that I had not thought of. The first thing that came to my mind after my initial “Wow, what a great idea”, was dust mites. I am going to do this but put my sheets in a sealable plastic bag or something just to keep those little mite critters out.

      • Lisa says

        That’s the first thing that came to my mind too… Dust mites – because we have a houseful of asthma and allergies.

        I will tell you – the idea of storing in the space bags is brilliant in concept, not so great in execution, (I had that idea for my linen closet that way I KNEW they be perfectly clean, dust and mite free when I put them on our beds) so – what happened is that the sheets come out of the space bag smelling STRONGLY of plastic.

        Like REALLY not pleasant. So my next attempt – will be to go to Bed Bath & Beyond and pick up a few of those zippered allergy pillow covers – and store them in there. But the are like $20 a piece. :-( But I’m convinced it will work!!


        • Telina says

          I refuse to pay those ridiculous prices for Space Bags. I “make” my own.

          This is what I do.

          1) Take an old sheet, towel, t-shirt. Doesn’t matter what. Cut it into 3 inch squares and spray it/soak it in diluted fabric softener. Let it dry.

          2) Get some white garbage bags and vacuum cleaner.

          3) Place your sheets/clothes/etc in the plastic garbage bag being careful to not over stuff the bag.

          4) Wrap the edges of the bag around the suction nozzle of the vacuum, twisting the bag around the nozzle.

          5) Turn on the vacuum and suck the air out of the bag, gently pushing the air out as the vacuum sucks out the air.

          6) Once it has sucked all the air out of the bag, turn off the vacuum and quickly pull the bag off the end of the nozzle with a kind of twisting action.

          7) Fold over the twisted end and either tie it into a knot or wrap an elastic around it. I find for my purposes tying it into a knot works best but it does take practice.

          8) Store the bag where you will.

          I have been doing this for years now. The linens/clothing/etc come out special as fresh and clean as the day they were stored.

  6. Jo says

    I never thought sheets would get me so excited!!! That is terrific and reminds me of how I was taught to iron when I lived in Japan (place slightly damp top under mattress and next day no creases!!)

  7. Kim C says

    You can’t imagine how perfect the timing is for this!!! I don’t have a linen closet at all and yesterday afternoon we cleaned out my 5 year old son’s room and re-arranged it. Well, under his bed is where I was storing the box with the families sheets. Now I need that real estate for his things so I pulled the box out and it’s sitting in the floor in my room with no place to go. I’ve been trying to come up with some kind of idea of what to do with them. I don’t want to only have 2 sets of sheets per bed since
    with kids many times you need extras. I will, however be storing 2 extra sets per bed underneath the mattress and box springs!!! LOVE this idea! Now…..where is the magical place that I can store all the extra blankets?????! LOL

  8. liz says

    I have another neat idea. I did this with my daughter’s stuffed animals, but it will work for extra sheets, too. I love body pillows! Just take a body pillow cover and put the folded sheets inside, no need for the fluff inside the body pillow! To keep them flatter like a real body pillow keep each set inside its pillow cover, making it really easy to still find the set. I got the idea from something on pinterest suggesting to keep stuffed animals in a bean bag chair cover. This could work for the sheets too if you have extra comforters or something but i like the body pillow better myself. Just wanted to share. As far as the fluff inside? I cannot sew yet but i’m learning. I would think you could slice open the pillow at the seam, cut it down to the size of a regular pillow, sew up one side making sure to leave the other side open (for the middle of the pillow, the ends are already done for you), pull apart the stuffing and restuff the pillow you now have, and finish sewing up the other side. I believe this should make 3-5 more pillows for you! Thank you Jillee for your amazing site, you share and inspire so many great ideas (like this one, haven’t tried it out yet, just thought of it while reading this post). You are a real blessing!

  9. Tammi says

    Great idea once again Jillee. I love the way you folded the sheets. I’ve always tucked the corners of my fitted sheets together but finished folding differently. This way works much better…however I have a softside waterbed and there’s no way for me to lift the mattress. I can barely tuck in the ends..LOL. It will make my linen closet look much better though. :)

  10. says

    See how it goes…first the Mom teaches her child, and then at some point, the daughter teaches her Mom. What a great idea this is. Storing sheets has always been a blight in my life! This is great! How wonderful it is to know you just helped so many grateful people. I am very proud of the good you do. After all, that is definitely what life is all about. Don’t work too hard, sweetie, I love you!

  11. Natasha says

    I love this idea!!! I tell you, it’s like you are a mind reader sometimes. I was just looking at where we store our bedding and seeing how it is about to fall off of the shelves. Now I know what I can do to eliminate this issue!!! Thank You Thank You!!!!

  12. Kim says

    Whatever works best for each family. It works best for me to have a single set of sheets which I strip, wash, dry, and use to remake the bed same day. Our daughters are grown so we only have their beds to do when visiting. Like I said, whatever works for each family. :)

  13. Judith says

    So the one question I have is doesn’t it make the bed lumpy. My husband is convinced I am straight from the fairy tale the Princess and the Pea. I can feel even a microscopic crumb in our bed. It never ceases to surprise me that a totally crumb free bed can be full of crumbs after a day with 3 kids. Go figure. ;-) So I know you said your hubby didn’t feel it but I have a hard time imagining that it doesn’t cause a lump in the bed. HOwever with our sagging mattress it may be the answer to stretching the life of our mattress if I can get the sheets placed just right.

  14. Anne H says

    I feel so blessed to have an adequate linen closet but it isn’t big enough to store sheets for 3 different size beds + blankets + bedspreads + towels for 2 bathrooms. PLUS all the other stuff I put into linen closet. I do however, have space in my guest room closet & there I hang extra shower curtains + tablecloths + extra blankets + change of season curtains and some ecetera-s. Long ago I learned to store sheets folded into quarters with the the fitted sheet & pillowcases tucked inside. It makes one nice package when I am changing beds and it keeps both PCs nicely crisp. I just don’t like having one pillowcase with sharp creases and the other has none. Am I anal or what?

  15. cty says

    Well, smack my head and drop my jaw.
    This worked particularly well after a foot injury and the Dr said to sleep with the foot slightly elevated. Just never thought to continue the practice once it heeled (oops! healed;)

    Also I remember a Jillee “Best of” post where the suggestions for little ones was to make their bed with a few layers of sheets so that unexpected changes were quick and nearly painless. I would just make sure there was also a water barrier in between layers. I used to use flannel backed table cloths as a barrier.

    While on the subject of sheets. 2 yrs ago we downsized from a King to a Queen but I am still using the King sheets. This is where frugal meets priceless. The corners of the sheet never come up;even with my violent sleep habits. And the extra large top sheet means I don’t have to wrestle it away from DH. The King set also gives 4 pillow cases. I will buy the next size up sheets for now on.

  16. Michele says

    I have an extra set of sheets for each bed that I store in a drawer. I have put in “good smelly” bags and laid down scented paper and the sheets still have a weird smell. Would you happen to know why or what I can do to fix that?

  17. Kerry says

    Obviously in the minority here, but, NO WAY. I have different colored comforters that get swapped out for winter or summer, so no, I do not want to get my sheets down to one set. And do not like storing anything under the mattress. Under the bed maybe, but not under the heavy mattress.

  18. karen slaney says

    I see a problem. Since the mid-1970s, mattresses (and sofas, etc.) have been required to have in them about two pounds of “flame-retardant” chemicals. These are bad for the reproductive and other systems of humans. They don’t actually retard flames, either. They are there because the cigarette lobby didn’t want people burning up in their beds and so give cigarettes a bad name and got California to enact a law “protecting” smokers and non-smokers alike. Flame retardant chemicals are in such mammals as seals in the arctic and whales, in pretty much all humans, and just about everywhere.

    Since they probably tend to drift downward, sheets stored under mattresses wouldn’t seem so good to be near once retrieved. Maybe wrap sheets in something impermeable? (Maybe write to Congress?!)

    • says

      Are you serious….Are they really putting that stuff in everthing???? Even in 2013???? What a mess that does to any human being?? I just can’t believe; I am so ignorant of this factor….How can this be possible????

  19. STACEY says

    My suggestion would be to put the sheet set(s) at the head of the bed to slightly elevate it. I currently use a wedge foam to get the elevation I need. It’s great for colds and allergies, to help with drainage as well as under eye puffiness… definitely a win-win scenario !! THANKS FOR ALL YOUR GREAT SUGGESTIONS JILLEE AND ALL HER FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS !!

  20. STACEY says

    As for the chemicals (fire retardants) found in mattress’, I have a air mattress fitted for a king size waterbed that my husband and I absolutely LOVE. No more leaks, heavy lifting to make the bed and its heaven sleeping on air. I fill my side till it feels good and same with the other side (much like the number beds for sale) but so much more reasonably priced. We purchased it online at for around 100.00 dollars or so. We’ve had to replace it about every ten or twelve years, due to split seams or age…..So that’s my solution for the chemical issue….

    • says

      Thank you so much for this suggestion…..I have also a waterbed box, that I did ajust to my queen bed now, for so many years. But we still love it and still look brand new, because my husband re-done it while back….Anyhow thanks to you and Karen to let me know of these fire details that I had no clue about…And I guess I’ll try this air-bed and see… what do they get away with and we really have no clue about…things that are no good for us at all!!!!

      Million of thanks to both of you Ladies

  21. Chris says

    I read in a magazine if you have arthritis to try using a pizza peel (with the plastic wrapping left on for easier sliding) to push the sheet under the mattress when making your bed.

  22. Janet Manger says

    I store extra blankets, quilts, afgans etc. in the pillow shams that go on the bed. I don’t go out and buy extra pillows for these. I think just about any thing could be used for pillow shams if you lay the sheets flat inside and push them into the corners of the shams, filling out the pillow shape as you go. I then pin the back opening shut to keep the fit and so nothing moves inside. No one will know that the shams do not have pillows in them but you and the harder the sham the better they look sitting on the beds. Just don’t forget that you stored them in the pillow sham as I have spent time wondering where all the blankets in the house went. .
    Also, dust mites are only attracted and feed on the skin cells that flake off the body at night, not fresh clean sheets, so they should be ok under the mattress. Another fact is dust mites stay in dark, moist (warm body heat) places so if you don’t make your bed, you can get rid of most the dust mites!

  23. Robin Goodale says

    Awesome tip, Jillee! I thought you were going to show the tip about storing the flat sheet and pillowcases inside the fitted sheet. However, I’m glad you didn’t, because I think I like this idea better!
    What about all those extra pillowcases? My trick to being able to find the correct size easily: Standard size pillowcases get the double fold, while king size pillowcases get the triple fold!! Makes finding the right size a snap!!

  24. Karen says

    Perfect where I live now. This fall we will be moving into a home with more storage than I’ve ever had in my life. LOL Although now I will have 2 guest rooms, so I could use the closets for towels and blankets and store the extra set of sets under the mattresses.

  25. PG says

    Love it! Love it! Love it! I never know how to fold a fitted sheet properly and I hate having to “dig” through my linen closet for the right sheets. I have tried a few different ideas without success. Thank you for the tips and ideas. I will have to tackle my closet this weekend.

  26. Michael says

    Folding is for the weak! ;) My entire laundry system is built around never folding anything and I haven’t for at least 15 years. Sheets? What does it matter if they’re wrinkly? I toss ‘em in a cedar chest; if I decide to switch to this (very good!) idea, I’ll just stuff ‘em under the mattress.

    As for the rest, towels get chucked in a basket, underwear, socks, PJs & such in drawers. Shirts and pants get hung up the moment the dryer buzzes, or immediately after ironing if that’s needed (it almost never is).

    No fold, no fuss! :)

  27. Patty says

    I know it’s almost a month later than the last post, but I just had to reply after trying this. First, THANK YOU for showing me how to fold a fitted sheet. I am 47 and this is the VERY first time that I folded them right!!! I was so giddy that I had to show off to my daughter-twice :)Secondly, I pray that the people that were concerned about the “lumps” or actually any problems with sleeping on the sheets come back and read this. I wont bore you with my physical ailments, but just in the past few months I have woken with excruciating lower back pain. This was new and unexplainable. Well, I tried this with my sheets, never even noticed them, but immediately my back pain was gone!!!!!!!!1 I am completely stunned about this but oh so happy!!!!!! So I say to everyone., just try it and put them underneath any place that just might possibly help you also (even like the head elevation if you are sick)

  28. Andi says

    I have an extra tip for you, store the entire set inside one of the pillow cases, then you pull out the pillow case and you have the whole set inside it, or if you want to store extras in your linen closet for say a blow-up mattress for guests or camping you have all of the set neatly contained.

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