I've always enjoyed folding laundry—that moment when it's fresh and toasty from the dryer, and you spread it out on your bed (or table), and for a brief moment your room smells like clean mountain air. When I know no one's looking, I burrow my face into that warm pile for a few minutes before I start to sort through the t-shirts, socks (always minus the pair) and sheets. I listen to my favorite podcasts as I organize each article of clothing, ready to fit neatly and securely in my closet. It gives me a feeling of having accomplished something significant.
All of that goes right out the window if I'm folding a fitted sheet. Because, despite my determined efforts to show it who's boss, and the fact that it's really not rocket science, I fail every. single. time.
Exhibits A & B: An able-bodied adult trying her darned best.Photo by Meg Macdonald
After one particularly long and exhausting head-to-head, I decided it was time to finally learn how to conquer a fitted bed sheet. Naturally, I turned to the internet.
Turns out, there are a heck ton of folding tutorials out there, guides from unnamed gentlemen and college kids to the Queen of Joy Sparking herself, Marie Kondo. It's a topic everyone seems to have an opinion on; one lady had three.) So, it took hours of watching and practicing, but I finally discovered this unsung hero—a reassuring, soothing miracle worker offering the kindest counsel.
First, her method is simple. She doesn’t waste time with distinguishing length versus width or inside or outside—it's all the same to her. She walks you through each motion, checking in to see if you’re on the same page, never going into lengthy explanations for every move. I also loved that she was so encouraging. “Do the best that you can,” she says. I’m not ashamed to say I actually said, aloud: “Thank you.”
But most importantly, by following her lead, I actually folded a fitted sheet on my very first try. What's even better, I tried it on a variety of sheets—twin, queen, cotton and linen—and it's worked on all.