It only takes a matter of minutes to perfect the art of folding tee shirts, sweaters, and towels. But learning how to fold a fitted sheet? That’s a whole different animal.
No matter how hard you try, do your fitted sheets resemble a messy blob rather than a neatly folded piece of fabric? Most people would say yes!
Fitted sheets that aren’t folded properly take up extra rooms in drawers and linen closets – and if you’re trying to Marie Kondo your way through life with perfect organization, it’s time to learn how to get it right once and for all.
Keep reading to finally learn the best ways to fold a fitted sheet, plus tips on how to store them.
Why Is It So Hard to Fold a Fitted Sheet?
So why do so many of us have trouble folding a fitted sheet neatly?
Because those curved elastic edges just don’t take to folding like flat sheets and pillowcases do. And it can be even trickier with a sheet that has not just elastic corners but elastic all around the edges.
Here are four different methods with simple step-by-step instructions to fold your sheets the right way. Perfect one of these techniques, and you can stack your sheets in a manner that saves space rather than wastes it.
Method 1: Fold On a Flat Surface
You’ll need a large flat surface (like your bed) to make this sheet-fitting method work. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Shake out the sheet and lay it flat on the bed with the elastic edges facing upwards. Pull the rounded corners and rounded edges as far into the center as possible so that the four edges on the perimeter are as straight as they can be.
Step 2: Grab one of the short ends and fold the entire sheet in half so that the corners from one end meet the corners of the opposite end.
Step 3: Tuck the corners from the top of the fold into the corners from the bottom of the fold. You’ll have one straight edge and one slightly curved edge with a sort of U-shape in the center.
Step 4: Fold into thirds. Start by bringing the flat edge towards the center, then fold the rounded edges towards the center to create a rectangle.
Step 5: Finally, take one of the short ends of the rectangle and start folding the fabric in sections until you have a neat, flat square. Tuck in the edges, and it will look just like a perfectly folded flat sheet.
Need a visual? Check out this tutorial.
Method 2: Fold into an L-Shape
This method is a bit tricky at first, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right the first time. It gets easier and easier the more you do it.
Step 1: Turn the sheet inside out, so the inside is facing away from you. Hold it vertically with the shorter sides at the top and bottom. Put one hand in each of the top corners.
Step 2: Move your right hand over to meet your left hand and flip the right corner over the corner you’re already holding in your left hand.
Step 3: Run your right hand (which is now free) down the right edge to find the next corner of the sheet, then bring that corner up and fold it over the other two corners. You’ll now have three corners in your left hand.
Step 4: Like step three, run your right hand down the edge once again to find the fourth and last corner. Once again, flip that over your left hand.
Step 5: Gripping with both hands, give the sheet a shake to smooth it out, and lay it on a flat surface with the elastic edges facing up. The elastic edges will form a sort of L-shape, leaving you with two straight sides.
Step 6: Fold into thirds, starting with the side that has the elastic. Then fold the smooth edge inwards so that you have a clean, rectangular shape with no elastic in sight.
Step 7: From there, fold the sheet upwards into as large or as small rectangular as you want it to be.
Method 3: Fold Into a U-Shape
Like method 2, this technique takes some getting used to.
Step 1: Hang the sheet lengthwise in your hands, inside out, with the elastic facing you. Put one hand in each of the top corners.
Step 2: Grip the inside of the corners and flip them inside out.
Step 3: Change hands to swap the corners so that the corner that was in your right hand is now in your left hand, and vice versa. Turn the sheet around as you do this so that the elastic is once again facing you.
Step 4: Put your hands back into the corners and bring your hands together as if you were clapping, then flip the right-hand corner over the left-hand corner, freeing your right hand.
Step 5: Move both corners from your left hand onto your right hand, and use your left hand to find the next corner. Once you locate the next corner, put your left hand inside it and hold the sheet up in front of you to line up the seams as best you can.
Step 6: Place the sheet flat on the bed with the elastic upwards. If you’ve done it right, you’ll see one straight edge, and the elastic in the center will form a U-shape.
Step 7: Smooth it out and fold it into thirds, bringing the more rounded edge into the center first. Then fold the flat edge up.
Step 8: Once you have a vertically folded sheet, start folding it horizontally into as small a square or rectangular as you like.
It sounds complicated, but this tutorial shows how easy it is to do!
Method 4: The Rolling Method
Of all the ways to fold fitted sheets, rolling them into a neat little cylinder is one of the easiest methods of all. Thank you, Marie Kondo.
Step 1: Start by shaking out the sheet and placing it flat on the bed with the elastic edges facing upwards. Bring all the rounded edges inward, so the outer edges are as straight as possible.
Step 2: Fold the sheet in thirds lengthwise, smoothing each fold as you go. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down so that the long edges folded edges are concealed on the inside.
Step 3: Fold the length in half to have a shorter rectangular piece.
Step 4: Grab one short end and start rolling! Roll it as tight as possible to make it a neat cylinder shape. Roll your flat sheets, too, and you can store them side by side in a perfectly organized drawer or storage bin.
The trick with this method is to keep smoothing out the fabric as you go so that there are as few creases and lumps as possible. Watch Marie Kondo do it!
Tips for Storing Sheet Sets
Even if you can’t fold bed sheets perfectly, there are some easy ways to store them that will make your lack of folding ability a bit less obvious.
Storage baskets and bins are pretty much the best way to organize anything. From open-top metal baskets to fabric storage boxes with lids, your linen closet will instantly look and function better if your store bed sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers, and other linens in a set of matching baskets or bins.
If you have multiple sets of white sheets or sheets in similar colors, there’s a good chance you’ve made the bed with a fresh set only to realize that the pillowcases you grabbed don’t match the sheets you just put on the bed. The easy way to prevent that from happening again is to store your sheets inside your pillowcases.
You’ll still need to fold your sheets to fit them nicely inside the pillowcase, but it’s a great way to keep your linen closet looking as organized as can be and store an entire matching set contained in one neat package.
Don’t have a linen closet or extra drawer space to store your bedding? Turn one foot of your closet rod into an instant linen cabinet with inexpensive hanging cubby shelves. Hanging shelves are the perfect way to stash towels, sheets, and other linens when you’re limited in storage space.
Is There An Easy Way to Fold a Fitted Sheet?
Folding a fitted bed sheet can be frustrating, but with a little practice, you’ll become a master in no time.
And if you really can’t get it down or just don’t have the time (or patience) to perfect sheet folding, that’s okay too. Just hide your bunchy mess beneath a neatly folded top sheet, and it will be out of sight and out of mind!
You might also be interested in: The 17 Best Full-Size Adult Loft Beds