We’ve all had “the chair”, right? When the thought of putting your clothes away just seems like far too much effort so they end up dumped in a designated spot in your room? Sometimes it’s a chair, sometimes it’s a floordrobe, or even on top of a box in your room (that’s definitely not me…). I used to absolutely hate folding my clothes because I could never get them neat enough, or I knew they’d just get creased again anyway so I didn’t bother. And at the end of the night when I get undressed for bed, once I’ve told myself “Girl, you’re about to be in bed” there’s no way I’d defer that gratification by actually putting my clothes away, so they end up somewhere else.
That was until I read a couple of books by Japanese author, organising consultant, and lifestyle guru Marie Kondo. I’d always wanted to declutter, so when I found her books; “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“, and “Spark Joy“, I went straight out to buy them. I read them both cover to cover in about three days and honestly, it’s changed my life. The first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is about the concept of tidying and decluttering as a whole, and Spark Joy is an illustrated guide on how to actually put it into practice. The whole idea behind it is to appreciate your items and to take care of them, and they will in turn take care of you. To start this process, you need to gather all your items by category (not by room), and only keep the things that spark joy, so when you’ve finished you’re left with a house full of only the things you love. This is called the KonMari method.
In Spark Joy, there is a chapter on how to fold your clothes properly, in a way that will make you actually enjoy folding. I know right?! How could anyone enjoy folding? But trust me, once you’ve learned how to do it properly it’s so satisfying when your wardrobe is full of neatly folded and organised wonder, and you do grow to weirdly enjoy it.
When you’re folding your clothes, the basic idea is hat you need to fold them into either squares or rectangles and store them vertically so that you can see everything you own at a glance, like books on a shelf. (This is obviously after you’ve decluttered). I’ve found that since doing this, my clothes have become far less creased because there aren’t bundles of clothes stacked on top of each other weighing them all down. It’s amazing how much space I’ve also freed up by folding clothes rather than hanging them up, but just be aware that if you’re trying to fold something and it’s not really cooperating, it’d probably be happier hung up!
Tops & T Shirts
First, lay your item out on a flat surface and smooth out any wrinkles.
Then fold the item into thirds lengthways. Start by folding one side across the front, then flip the sleeve back and smooth down. Do the same on the other side, leaving a small gap at the edge.
On this item in particular, the sleeves had come up higher than the neckline when folded, so I folded them down slightly so that there was a smooth edge for the next part.
Now fold the item in half from the bottom, again, leaving a small gap at the edge. Then start folding again either in half or thirds, depending on the thickness of the item, and also the height of your drawer. Thin material will need more folds to be able to stand up on it’s own, and thick material doesn’t fold as many times, so just use your own judgement here.
The item should be able to stand up on it’s own, not relying on the other clothes to keep it upright. Voila!
Long Sleeved Tops & Jumpers
Lie the item out on a flat surface, smoothing out any wrinkles.
Fold one side over and smooth out, then flip the sleeve back and fold back and forth a couple times, then lie the sleeve on top of the part you’ve just folded over.
Do the same thing on the opposite side, and then you’ll end up with a long rectangle.
Fold the bottom up to the top, leaving a small gap at the edge. Keep folding until you have a square.
Camisoles & Tank Tops
Lay the item out flat, smoothing out the wrinkles.
Again, fold one side over into the middle. Then fold the other side over, leaving a small gap at the edge.
This time, you want to fold the item downwards with the straps. Keep folding until you have your square or rectangle.
Odd Shaped Items
Lie the item out flat and smooth out any wrinkles.
In this example, I folded the straps over first to get a smooth edge.
I then folded it in half down the middle.
I then folded the rounder edge into the middle, then did the same with the other side so I ended up with my long rectangle.
Then I folded it in half from the bottom, and kept folding until I had my small rectangle.
Trousers & Jeans
Lie them out flat, smoothing out the wrinkles.
Fold one leg over the other and smooth out, if the seat is sticking out at the back, fold it over to create a smooth edge.
Keep folding from the bottom up until you have a square. This same method for trousers can be used for shorts and skirts.
Lie them out flat. (For this example I thought I’d use my trashiest pair).
Start by folding the erm, ‘crotch” part up towards the waistband, then fold each side to the middle like in the other examples.
Fold in half from the bottom, so when they are organised in your drawer the pretty waistband is showing.
Start by fastening the clasp, then fold the straps and the sides into the cups, then stack against your other bras. Easy!
Since adopting this method I’ve found that I have not once rebounded into having a cluttered wardrobe, and it’s really made me take a lot more care of my clothes and possessions.
I hope you found this guide helpful, and if you have any pictures of your neatly organised wardrobes you know I’d love to see them!