Updated: Aug 17
Today I am going to out myself as the folding hack that I am. Perfect folding, such as what Maria Kondo suggests, is just not my strength, plain and simple. This is a topic I have put off writing about. For a long time, it felt embarrassing to be a professional organizer and to not be great at a task such as this.
My effort to fold perfectly has always conflicted with my strive for efficiency since it requires more time and energy than I feel should be devoted to the task.
However, it’s clear from my experience working with clients that my lack of skill with perfect folding is a benefit. Our clients rarely fold all their items perfectly and even if they would like to, they don’t have the time to do it. This is why I am going to talk about the simple process I have developed that works for me personally. My folding system is a set of shortcuts that allow me to fold items quickly, keep them and my space looking good, and ensure they are easily accessible.
Get ready to jump into my closet to see what I do every day!
Learn how I manage to fold in my closet by watching the videos below and reading through my tips.
Disclaimer: I wish there was a way to put everything in your drawer and have it magically fold itself but since there isn’t, there is still a modicum of work you need to do. However, it’s not hard and you will improve your closet health if you follow my suggestions.
Fold standing up
Fold by placing the item against your body while you are standing. This takes a minute to get used to but once you have it, it works great for some quick folding while on the go. You can use it when folding piles of laundry too but it saves you the most time when you have an item or two to fold and don’t want to sit down or find a surface to fold on.
Use drawer dividers
Drawer dividers are extremely helpful in corralling like-with-like items in a way that is easy to quickly see what is where. The smaller divided spaces within your drawers also allow you to stand items up and see all your items at once if you fold the way I suggest below.
Underwear drawer dividers - You can literally stuff a pair of underwear in each opening of a drawer organizer like this or this set and you are done. I place thong underwear in one half of the openings and full butted underwear/boy shorts in the other so that I know exactly what I am grabbing when I need a pair. You can go one step further and roll or fold your underwear before placing them in the openings but this not needed to get the effectiveness of an organized space.
Bra drawer dividers - Using drawer organizers that have spaces for your bras is game-changing. Some of these have bra size dividers so you can slip each of your unmentionables in separately without folding. This helps ensure they do not get mixed up or out of shape.
Sock drawer dividers - The same goes for socks as for underwear. This kind of drawer organizer works great for socks! No longer will you have to search for a pair within a mess of a drawer. Put the pairs together and then slip them into each of the openings. I suggest placing different kinds of socks in different general areas of the dividers. For instance, if you place exercise socks in the left side sections of the divider, you can easily grab what you need when you are looking for those kinds of socks.
T-shirt, yoga pants, and other medium item drawer dividers - I suggest two sizes of drawer dividers for these types of items, around 12” x 12” and 6” x 12” like these. Use our Simple Fold method (see videos below). For these types of items, I fold in half left to right and then use your hand to fold the item down from top to bottom in approximately 4-inch sections. I literally roll the item over my hand to quickly make the 4-inch sections. Then you can line your items up within these drawer dividers based on the type of item.
Rolling Clothing - For some items in your space, you might consider rolling them. Rolling is super quick and can maximize drawer space for certain items. I suggest rolling items like medium weight sweatshirts, sweatpants, and bulkier exercise attire since these types of items do not lend themselves to our Simple Fold method.
Jeans work best when folded flat and stacked on a shelf or hung on hangers. To fold jeans, we keep it simple and suggest folding in half hip to hip, and then in half lengthwise and again in half lengthwise.
Sweaters work best when folded flat on a shelf or hung since they are bulky (see video below). Fold in thirds across the shoulders, taking care to fold the sleeves too, and then fold in half once lengthwise.
Honestly, I have tried all the folding and clothing storage methods as it’s my job to know them and be able to implement them for clients when needed. What I have shared here is what I have pieced together from the various folding methods as well as my own preferences to make a quick, efficient, effective, and beautiful closet management system.
If you are like me and don’t love to fold your clothes, invest in some drawer organizers and learn my Simple Fold method so you can save time and energy every day in your closet.