One of the secrets to controlling clutter around the house is figuring out the most efficient ways to store your stuff. And one of the easiest ways to increase the efficiency of your storage (whether it’s food, clothes, linens, etc.) is to learn how to fold things. Seems too good to be true? Think about it – – properly folded items stack nicely together, meaning you can usually fit more of that item into the space available. Not only does proper folding enable you to store more things in the same amount of space, but it will actually end up tidier overall!
I believe it’s well worth your time to take a few minutes to learn how to fold things properly.
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Here are 10 short tutorials that will show you how to fold everything from chips bags to dress shirts.
Line up your two short socks, one on top of the other. Fold them in half, then fold them in half again. Pull the outermost sock layer over and around to secure the socks together. Stack them upright to save on drawer space!
Stack your pair of long socks one on top of the other. Fold them in half, then fold that section into thirds. Pull the outermost layer over and around to secure the socks.
Lay the underwear down flat, with the front side facing up. Fold the area between the leg holes up back behind the underwear to create a rectangle. Turn the underwear over so that the back side is facing up, and fold the rectangle into thirds. Turn the underwear over again so the front side is facing up, and fold the bottom half under so that the center of the waistband area is facing up.
Start with the back of the underwear facing up. Fold the boxers into thirds, then flip the underwear over so that the buttons are exposed. Fold them in half, then in half again.
Start by folding your jeans in half, so that one of the back pockets is facing up. Grab the crotch section of the jeans, and fold it in to create a nice straight line on both sides of your jeans. Now fold the jeans in half by bringing the bottom hem up to the bottom of the waistband. Finally, fold the jeans into thirds. Store your jeans upright in your drawer with the pocket visible on top for quick and easy identification!
No chip clip? No problem! Fold the top of the bag of chips down several times towards you, then fold the corners towards the back of the bag. Finally, roll the fold on the front of the bag backwards to flip it inside-out, which will keep the bag securely closed until next time!
This is one of my favorite folding tricks. :-) Start by laying your shirt out on a flat surface. Pinch the two “magic spots”, #1 in the middle of the shirt, a few inches in from the side seam, and #2 towards the top of the shirt, in line with #1. Pull spot #2 up and over the hand that is holding spot #1, and grab spot #3 (towards the bottom hem of the shirt, in line with spots #1 and #2) with the same hand that is holding #2. Now uncross your hands, pulling spot #1 out. Use your flat surface to fold the other sleeve underneath, and voila! A perfectly folded t-shirt.
Collared Dress Shirts
Most retail stores have folding boards to help their employees get the perfect fold on each dress shirt, but you can do it just as easily at home with a magazine! Lay your dress shirt face down on a flat surface, and place a magazine in the center of the shirt, below the collar. Fold one side of the shirt across the magazine, and fold the sleeve of that side back towards the edge. Do the same on the other side of the shirt. Fold the bottom of the shirt up towards the top in thirds. Slip the magazine out, then flip the shirt over. Perfect!
Fitted Bed Sheet
If there’s one thing I’ve really struggled to fold over the years, it’s fitted bed sheets. (If we’re being honest, more often than not my fitted sheets would end up being balled up and thrown into the bottom of the linen closet, where no one could see my shame.) I’m so glad I took the time to learn this method!
Start by folding the corners of your sheet into each other. Start with the one edge, then fold the sheet in half and tuck those corners into each other, so that all four corners of the sheet are lined up and tucked together (see 9 in the collage above). Then fold the sheet in thirds, and then in thirds again. You should end up with a neatly folded square.
Even if you don’t have a flag pole at home, it’s a good idea to know how to fold a flag. The American flag should be folded in half lengthwise, so that the stars are facing the ground, then folded in half again, so a section of the stars face up. Then starting at the bottom, fold the corner up and over towards the open end of the folded flag, to create a triangle. Continue folding triangles until you reach the other end of the flag, then tuck the excess part into the back of the flag. When properly executed, the folded flag should show stars on both sides.
What’s the most useful folding trick you know?