Friday, January 29, 2010

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

A friend of mine posted a list of random thoughts the other day. I had seen it before, you probably have too. It included things such as expressing the need for a sarcasm font, questioning why we had to learn to write in cursive (I don't think they teach it in George County, by the way), and a suggestion to Mapquest to eliminate the first 3 or 4 steps in their driving instructions since we should know how to get out of our own neighborhoods.

One item struck a chord with me, though. #5 on the list was this:

How on earth are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
Well, that happens to be something I have an answer for! My eldest daughter's best friend taught her how and she taught me and now I'm going to teach you. (I suspect the best friend learned it from her mother, who is a wise woman and whose counsel is worth paying heed.)

I thought about how to explain it using only words, but some things just need a picture.

Here's your sheet, just out of the drier or laundry basket,
probably with someone's sock or underwear
jammed damply in one of the corner pockets.

1. The first step is to untangle it and remove anything hiding in the corners.

2. Next, you're going to take your fist...
...and put it in one of those corners.
I find that it helps if I start with a corner on the left on the long side of the sheet.
(think 'landscape' rather than 'portrait' orientation)
Open your hand and get your fingertips up to the end of that seam.
3. Now do the same thing with your right hand on the right end of that same long side.
The part of the sheet that covers the side of the mattress will be hanging over your hands.

4. Now, bring your palms together, like this:

With your left hand, pinch through both layers of sheet to hold them together.
With your right hand, flip the right corner over the left,
so that both corners are now hooked over your left hand.

5. With your free right hand, follow the edge of the bottom layer,
(the one touching your left hand) until you find another corner.
Put your hand in that corner.

At this point, your left hand is under 2 corners
and you've just put your right hand in a 3rd corner.
There should be one last corner floating free out there.

6. With your right hand that is covered with corner #3,
ring corner #4.
It might be turned the wrong way. If so, pinch it through corner #3
and flip it over your right hand.

You should now have 2 corners over each hand
and the sheet will be folded in half.

7. At this point, essentially repeat step 4.
Bring both palms together, pinch through all the layers with your left hand
and flip so that all 4 corners are on your left hand.

8. With your right hand, smooth out the flap of sheet
that makes folding fitted sheets so difficult in the first place.
All the corner seams are in one spot.
(top right in the picture below)
The pesky sides are as smooth as they are going to get.

Keeping the fitted part to the inside,
the rest is just like folding any other sheet.

Looking at that, you'd never know it was fitted.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but once you've done it a few times, it moves right along.

And it wasn't nearly as tricky as trying to take pictures of the process without assistance! (I'd like to thank my Swiffer mop for standing in as one of my hands and the box of Kleenix for providing support for my camera.)


  1. whew! I'm worn out just reading that. But I must learn how to do that when I get home.
    So, was someone else using the camera or were you having to set the timer?

  2. A little of both me and the timer. And I learned to use the timer in the process. I'd never had a need for it before. (: