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. 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!!)

  2. Amanda says

    Ilove this idea!!! Another great tip I got recently was to put the different sheet sets into one of the pillow cases that way you dont have to hunt just grab and go

  3. cowgrl808 says

    I think it is a great idea although, I would use a spacebag or ziplock storage bag as well.

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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….

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. says

    what an awesome idea!!
    I just had to share this with my sis, my daughter and several friends who have less than optimum storage spaces
    love your blog!