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Why Good Folding is Good Organizing

One of things that people seem to enjoy the most about Marie Kondo is her folding. It looks neat. It looks pretty. I favor neat and pretty, but what really makes good folding valuable is how it keeps you organized. Good folding makes clothes and linens more visible and accessible. The time savings from that really adds up.  Here are four ways how good folding is good organizing.

1.Vertical in drawers

Folding your clothes so that they can be stored vertically in your drawers is nothing new. It’s what every professional organizer I know does and for a very good reason. When t-shirts, for example, sit flat in your drawer, you can only see 3 choices. When you fold them once more and store them vertically, you can see ALL your choices. The same is true for underwear and socks. Another benefit is that you can fit more into your drawers. When I applied vertical filing to all my drawer clothes, I actually freed up a whole drawer.

2. Horizontal on shelves

Storing your t-shirts flat still makes sense if they go on a shelf in your closet. Since you are looking horizontally at these shelves you can see every shirt. There are several products available to create structure on your closet shelf. However, these products  may not be necessary if your shirts are folded well. If shirts are folded unevenly, the stack tends to tip over the higher it gets. Even folding can prevent this, assuring visibility.

3. Bundle sheets

One of the greatest folding challenges is the notorious fitted sheet. There are several approaches, but they all start with inserting the corners into each other. The goal, as with the shelf shirts, is to get them as even as possible. Also, fitted sheets don’t present straight sides and angled corners. That wastes space on shelves. A well-folded fitted sheet sits flat and plays nicely with others. I like to take the folding a step further and include the top sheet and pillow cases. I make a neat bundle of them, elbow side facing out. Not only does this look calmer in your linen closet, but it creates an easy grab and go. You don’t waste a second matching top-sheets and pillow cases.

4. Circulation Prevents Accumulation

When you can clearly see all the individual units, you know what you have AND what you don’t have. When you know what you have, you can see what you don’t need. You can also see which colors may be missing.  As a result, you can see what needs to circulate in and what needs to circulate out.

In my book, The Circulation Solution, I describe a simple approach that goes hand in hand with good folding. The circulation solution is a plan for movement in a series of manageable reliable stages. Laundry is a good example. Laundry stages start with easy collection, then easy transfer, to the washer, then to the dryer. It’s then important to get the dry clothes to a table for manageable, reliable folding. It takes just as long to fold well as it does to fold badly. So why not fold well? When you get to the dressing stage it will be manageable and reliable. You will choose the clothes you want in a flash and save time, when you need it the most.

You Tube has dozens of videos showing you how to fold well (including Marie Kondo of course). Therefore, I won’t get into the details of how to fold well. The purpose of this post was to explain why the benefits of good folding are more than just superficial. Good folding is good organizing.

Comments 2

  1. I tell clients that folding is all about fit. There are many approaches, but whichever you choose should allow you to maximize your space and functionality. Great post – funny how much we like talking about folding!

  2. Post
    Author

    That’s a good point. However, I avoid the word “fit” with clients who pack everything into a closet and declare it “organized.” What they really mean is it all “fits.”
    If fitting helps visibility and accessibility, great! I think that’s true with folded clothes, not so much with a utility closet packed tight with boxes.

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