I'm convinced the hardest housekeeping task is folding bed sheets. Top sheets can be a pain because of their size, but it's folding the fitted sheet that has driven many of us to ball up the offending bedding items and stuff them in the back of the linen closet until they're needed. But if you need more closet space, one way to get it is to take that space back by actually folding your fitted sheets.
Folding a fitted sheet seems like it should be simple and straight-forward, like any other household task. But it feels more like a complex crafting project. There aren't any real corners to line up, and bunchy elastic does not want to lay flat. The best way how to fold a fitted sheet is to start off not trying to fold it at all.
Let me explain before I walk you through the steps. With a flat sheet, you have straight edges and corners. With fitted sheets, you have edges and corners, too, only they're round. So when you start to think about folding a fitted sheet, think about lining up the rounded set of corners by stacking them instead of matching the edges. It's like you're making an inside-out pocket of the first rounded corner and layering the other rounded corners on top.
Let's walk through the steps on how to fold a fitted sheet. It's easy, I promise; if I can learn how to do this technique, so can you!
Here is your step by step guide on how to fold a fitted sheet
Step 1: Hold the sheet out in front of you, inside out, with your hands inside the top corners on the short side of the sheet. Your left hand is creating an inside-out pocket.
Step 2: Take your right hand to meet your left hand and fold the right sheet pocket over the left. Imagine your left hand as a fist and your flat right-hand covers it, wrapping the right corner around the left so the inside seams touch.
Step 3: Now for the bottom corners. Reach down and pick up the third corner; it'll be the closest one on top. Do the same motion (fold over your left hand); the seam will be right side out now.
Step 4: Do the same thing with the last corner, so that all four fitted corners are draped over your left fist.
Step 5: Lay the sheet on a flat surface. It will be a bit bunchy, but you can smooth it out and fold the elastic edges over so that the sheet now looks like a rectangle.
Step 6: Now you can fold the sheet lengthwise by matching the edge of the sheet, into thirds or whatever size fits into your storage space.
You can also lay the sheet on a flat surface, start off the same way with your hands inside the corner pockets, and tuck those corners inside the other corners, then shape and fold. (This way feels far more like a magic trick!)
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You may have to practice a few times before it feels natural, but once you get the hang of it, you might actually learn to like folding this bit of laundry!
And once you get folded sheets down, you'll be ready to tackle other spring cleaning and organization projects. We've got all kinds of hacks that help you tackle projects like organizing your pantry, making some space in your laundry room and cleaning your fridge.
This article was originally published on June 24, 2019.