Neat Freak Chronicles: Folding Sheets

I was talking with two of my closest friends the other day and we were discussing pet peeves.  We hadn’t even begun the list when we got caught up in the conversation of linen closets.  It drives me insane to have sheets and towels messy in a linen closet.  They are clean, so fold them the same way every time so every item sits neatly on a shelf and look clean when they are put away.  Why should clean linens not have the same rights as clean shirts or socks? You fold shirts the same way, you pair socks the same way, sheets and towels are no different.  One friend admitted that her linen closet was a mess because she didn’t know how to fold sheets.  Even if your mother didn’t teach you, you must be aware of Martha Stewart’s plight to have the whole world know how to fold a fitted sheet!  I am sure she has video and books on the subject.  I began to show them what to do using napkins and a sugar packet (of course the sugar packets were the pillow cases), but I thought it might be easier to demonstrate in photos so that they could reference back to this post on laundry day.  Don’t roll your eyes – if you are a neat freak you will appreciate the lesson.  And if you are a true neat freak, you can fold sheets already, so pass this on to a messy linen closet keeper.

I am using a twin sheet set so it will fit in the pictures.  Here we go:

Step one:  Fold your top sheet in half the short way so the top and the end touch.  Then fold in thirds for a twin, or side to side for a larger set until the sheet is about 10″-12″ wide, depending on the size of the sheet.  Fold in half from top to bottom once. Then put it aside.


Fold in thirds first.


Fold from top to bottom once, then set aside.

Step two:  Fold your pillow case (or cases if there is more than one in the set) in half top to bottom.  Then fold it in thirds from side to side, and then in half, so you are left with a square.   Put it aside


Fold from top to bottom once.


Fold in thirds.


Finish the fold in thirds.


Fold in half from top to bottom.

Step three:  Here comes the most challenging part, so stretch, crack your knuckles, jog in place, and get set.  This part works best if you use a table or a bed.  Once you get the hang of it, you can do it in the air.  Do not use the floor.  The floor is dirty and you sleep on these sheets.  Ew, gross.

Match the top corners to the bottom corners, flipping the bottom corners inside out so that the fit inside the top corners.  Fold in each side to the width of the curve of the corner.  Then, fold the sheet in half, side to side.  Fold the side with the corners back toward the other edge so it is now in half again.  If you are folding a sheet bigger than a twin, fold the corner edge one third in, and then the other edge over that.  This will put the corners inside the folds, leaving straight edges on either side.  Fold the sheet in half from top to bottom until you have a neatly folded rectangle.  If you are folding a larger sheet, you may need to fold it in thirds to get the rectangle.


Corners tucked, sides folded.


Fold so corners are together at the top.


Fold in half again. I flipped it so you could see what it looks like on the other side.


Fold from top to bottom to get a fitted sheet rectangle.

Step four: Assembly!  Place the fitted sheet at one end of the top sheet.  Put the pillow case(s) on top of the fitted sheet.  Then fold the top of the fitted sheet over the pile.  Voila!  You have a neat bundle of linens that will fit perfectly in the linen closet!  Holy sheet – you did it!


Fitted sheet goes first.


The pillow case goes next.


Fold the flat sheet in half over the pile.


Face your sheet set this way in the closet. Repeat with every other set and you will have a nice stack!

If there is not enough room once you have refolded all of your sheets, it may be because you have too much stuff in that closet.  If you have hooded baby towels in there, but your baby is in college (you know who you are), toss it, donate it, or cut it up for rags.  If you have sheets and towels with holes in your closet, mend them, toss them, or donate them.  Purging is a cleansing activity that we neat freaks thrive on.  If you are not a neat freak, befriend one.  You would be surprised how happy they will be to fold your sheets and reorganize your linen closet for you.  If you are inspired to refold your sheets, because it’s been on your “to do” list all summer, take a crack at it.  If you succeed (and I know you will) don’t forget to check the box and send me a photo!



6 thoughts on “Neat Freak Chronicles: Folding Sheets

  1. My brain is exploding from your first paragraph on fitted sheets. I will need to go back to school for a doctorate to follow that, even with the pictures. Roz says she understands it so maybe she can teach me.

  2. Just a note that I was not at that lunch. I can’t garden or cook or do crafty things but I COULD HAVE been your trusty tool-time girl for this great sheet demo. ;)

  3. So perfect. I do all of the above, but with King sheets. Huge. Can’t remember where I saw it or read it, but started putting my folded sheet sets inside a pillow case that matches. All stay together :)

  4. you’re giving me an in-person demo on the fitted sheet process. i’ve seen it done before (years ago) and still never mastered it. i HATE king fitted sheets. you would vomit if you saw my linen closet (with the exception of the towel section)….

  5. Pingback: Felicity Huffman’s What The Flicka? | A Site For Moms & Women | What The Flicka?

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