Fold Clothes Like Marie Kondo

Folding clothes doesn't have to be a bore. Follow Marie Kondo and make the most of your space and have your closet as organized as a display window.
Fold Clothes Like Marie Kondo

Last update: 12 July, 2019

Japanese star organizer Marie Kondo is famous all over the world thanks to her methods on tidying and sparking happiness in a functional home. The KonMari method can help improve any setting and aspect of your life. One of the first lessons it begins with is folding clothes.

Before folding your clothes sort through them

marie kondo folding

If you haven’t checked out her books or Netflix series, start with the first lesson: clothes. Marie Kondo tells her clients to first remove all their clothes from their closets, drawers and anywhere else they might be and throw them all on their beds.

You might not even be aware of how many clothes you have until you start this lesson. Similarly, you might not have realized where you were stuffing them away because you ran out of space.

The next step involves sorting through the enormous pile of clothes one article at a time (yes, one-by-one even if it takes you an entire week and have to sleep on the couch until your bed is clear again). See which ones spark joy and which ones don’t.

This step doesn’t seem that complicated, but it’s much easier said than done with certain pieces. Gather the ones that don’t make you happy into a bag to donate or give away. Meanwhile, keep the ones you love and move the ones that you’re hesitant about into a different pile to review a second time.

When you’re finished sorting through your clothes, it’s time to move on to the third step. This is more complicated because it requires a little technique and a lot of practice. But the good news is that once you see how organized your clothes are, you’ll never want to see them in disarray or thrown all over the place ever again.

Folding clothes like packets

marie kondo instructions

The KonMari method aims to reduce the objects you have while organizing them to make it easier to find them later.

As organization is the main objective, she recommends using boxes and stacking them to keep things stored yet visible (like books in a library).

But going back to the art of folding clothes, the trick lies in folding or rolling your clothes into packets. Instead of stacking your shirts one on top of another, lie them next to each other just like you see in stores!

In her book Spark Joy, Marie Kondo explains how to fold each and every kind of clothing item in the most space-efficient way. Here’s how to fold shirts or other similar articles of clothing:

  1. Spread out the clothing article completely: you can spread it out on a table or a bed, or even on the floor. Just make sure the surface is flat and smooth. Iron before folding if you wish.
  2. Fold in half: take the right part of the article and carry it to the center, more or less to the center of the neckline.
  3. Fold in the sleeves: sleeves should stay neatly within the area that you created in step two. They shouldn’t spill over the edges.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the left side: the sleeves should be side-by-side but each in its own section.
  5. Fold in half: find the center of the article of clothing and fold it vertically (pulling the neckline down to the bottom hem).
  6. Repeat: fold again over itself to make it smaller. Now, it should look like a rectangular packet.

Make sure your packet maintains its shape. If it falls out of shape, start over and be extra careful with the creases.

Socks and pants

marie kondo socks

Not every article of clothing is a shirt so you need to rely on different techniques for each sort. For example, if you want to fold socks, place one on top of the other and fold them in half. Fold them in half again to make that nice packet shape. Or, you can also roll them after the first fold instead.

As for pants, fold one pant leg over the other. Then, tuck in the part that sticks out (the triangle that juts out) so your pants form a perfect rectangular.

Fold in half and repeat for another nice packet. Once you’ve learned how to fold clothes like Marie Kondo, you’ll love how useful and practical it is. Get started today!

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