The Konmari Guide on How to Fold Clothes to Save Space

If you are wanting to change in your housekeeping duties, having a well-organized closet is an ideal first goal. Using the methods of KonMari can help you realize how life-changing it can be. Organizing your clothes is a small part of that change, and will involve folding shorts, shirts, and other fabrics. You should definitely get to know KonMari for your folding party – you’ll learn folding clothes techniques which will save space, and learn KonMari’s many more benefits!


Marie Kondo’s KonMari Folding Methods

Marie Kondo, also known as KonMari, is a 35-year-old Japanese organization specialist who has been seriously into the organization since she was a child. In 2011, she wrote a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In this book, Kondo says organizing your life is not just about getting rid of stuff to make room for more stuff. She talks about “Tokimeki”, a state of mind which roughly translates from Japanese as “spark joy” - it’s about keeping the things that truly make you happy, and letting go of others so someone else can enjoy them.

Jamie Lee Curtis wholeheartedly recommends Life-Changing Magic to anyone who feels stifled by the weight of the materialistic tendencies of today’s society. And Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, shares Kondo’s passion for simplifying in order to magnify the joy in our lives.

Kondo’s KonMari mind-frame ultimately saves you money as well. The Finance Twins declare that if you are happy with the wardrobe that you own, you will be less tempted to spend more money on clothing. When you do shop, you can be clear-headed about acquiring items that speak to you, like a colorful blouse or a well-cut pair of pants.

In addition to several books and guest appearances, Kondo currently has a show on Netflix called Tidying Up With Marie Kondo where, among other things, she shows KonMari techniques for folding clothes to save space and store your belongings wrinkle-free. When it comes to folding clothes Marie Kondo is an expert.

Another great part of the KonMari folding method is that when you learn how to fold clothes to save space, you can see every item of clothing in your drawers because items are stored sideways, like files, rather than in a vertical stack. You can fold other things with the KonMari method as well, such as towels and blankets. Speaking of which, stay tuned – later we will see, once and for all, a simple way to fold a fitted sheet. But now let’s get to the folding clothes hack!


Pants-Folding Like a Boss

Learn Techniques to Properly Fold Your Jeans

Simple makes for easier practice, so we’ll start with pants - grab your nearest pair of jeans.

- Lay your jeans flat on the bed face up lengthwise as if you are lying down in them being lazy (but you’re not). Smooth out all of the fabric.

- Fold one leg towards you, over on top of the other leg. Smooth fabric again.

- If there’s a triangle of fabric sticking out at the seat, fold it in so the jeans make a straight column.

- Fold the bottom of the jeans up to the top, stopping short of the waistband.

- Fold up again to match up with the waistband.

- Fold up one more time, and voila - the result will be a well-packaged rectangle which you can store upright in your drawer.

I used this method to fold my jeans and it only took a few minutes to fold them all this way. And with the way each pair became a skinny packet, I was able to fit more jeans in the drawer.

Now let’s get a little more complicated.


Your Shirts Deserve The Folding Treatment

Next, I folded a tee-shirt, which can be trickier because the knit fabric sits in a wrinkly way, so smoothing is important. (I have actually been storing the shirts in my drawers in sort of a file format for a while, but more in sort of a wad, so I was eager to learn how to store shirts in a filing format where they don’t get wrinkled.)

Here’s the KonMari way to fold short-sleeved shirts:

- Lay the shirt open, flat and face up.

- Fold the left side all the way across so the left side of the shirt is lined up on top of the right.

- Fold the top sleeve to the left and smooth.

- Fold the full right side of the shirt to the left almost to the edge, and fold the right sleeve back to the right. Now you have a long rectangle.

- Fold the top of the shirt down to the bottom, not quite to the edge.

- Fold the top to the bottom again.

- Once more, fold the top to the bottom – and you’re done.

I was able to get this down right away. And the resulting folded shirts are not only easy to see in the drawer – they also take up less room width- and length-wise. FYI, If you have shirts that are a similar color and you’re concerned about being able to know which shirt is which, just start with the shirt face-down so the design will be on the outside.


Long-Sleeved Shirts Want In On The Action

How to Fold a Long Sleeved T-Shirt using The KonMari Method

Folding a long-sleeved shirt is almost the same as the short-sleeved shirt:

- Lay the shirt open, flat and face up.

- Fold the left side all the way across so the sleeve lies flat over the right sleeve.

- Fold the top sleeve to the left, then down and flat across the length of the shirt.

- Fold the full right side to the left almost to the edge (I found it was easier to hold the armpit and the bottom of the shirt to make this fold) and then fold the sleeve back and down to the right, making a column.

- Fold the top of the shirt down to the bottom, not quite to the edge.

- Fold the top to the bottom, then again.


Camisoles – Easy Like a Summer Breeze

- Lay the camisole flat and face up.

- Fold the left side to the right so that the edges are lined up.

- Fold the top of the straps down to almost the bottom.

- Fold-down to the bottom, then fold again. Then file away and repeat with the next camisole.


And Now - The Fitted Sheet Challenge!

The Easy Art of Folding Fitted Sheets

I’ve always been wistful about folding a fitted sheet - it always seemed like some sort of calculus to me. Good Housekeeping’s description on how people typically fold fitted sheets is very similar to my method – standing, holding it in front of me, folding top corners together, hoping the bottom corners will line up, folding it top to bottom, and upon observing the lumpiness of it, rolling it up and flinging it into the drawer so as not to see it. So I was excited to learn the “art” of folding one, the KonMari way. And it’s easier than I ever would’ve thought.

- Put the sheet down on a flat (large) surface lengthwise in front of you, elastic facing up.

- Pull the corners outward.

- Smooth out - the elastic edge facing the middle will look like an oval.

- Fold the far lengthwise edge toward you to a third of the width.

- Fold the closer edge across to the edge and smooth everything.

- You now have a long rectangle. Fold over lengthwise, one side to the other, and smooth.

- From the short width, roll it tightly and away from you, like you’re rolling a sleeping bag.

The result will be a small roll that you can store easily with your other soon-to-be-KonMari-folded fitted sheets. If you need a visual, here’s Kondo’s Netflix video. And Abby Lawson’s blog instructs on several KonMari techniques as well as videos of the KonMari folding method.

At the end of my session, and some good joy-sparking, I was able to consolidate my two shirt drawers down to one and shuffle other clothes storage spaces, simplifying my closet immensely. After this mind-opening experience, I can’t wait to immerse more into Kondo’s philosophy, and more organizing techniques - I hope you will check it out as well; you won't regret it!

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