Proper Laundry Folding Techniques

Learn how to properly fold laundry to keep clothing and other fabrics crisp and free of wrinkles.


Certain techniques create nicely folded clothes.
Folding makes the fabrics more compact, opening up space in dresser drawers and closets. It also ensures an organized laundry room. Rather than clothes piled in a heap, they are neatly folded to be stored away. .

Properly fold shirts, casual jackets, sweater, t-shirts and blouses to make them look tidy and neat. Button the top, middle and bottom buttons on all button-down shirts. Begin folding by laying the shirt face down. Fold both sides of the shirt in half, aligning the sleeves with the side folds. If the shirt has a tail, fold the tail of the shirt to cuffs, forming a straight line across the bottom. Depending on the size, fold the shirt in half or into thirds crosswise.

Pants and Shorts

Fold pants and shorts to store away in a dresser drawer. Begin by aligning the inseams and outer-seams of the legs. Fold the pants or shorts in half, forming a crease at the front center of the legs. Run the crease to the top of the pants and join front waist pleats, if any. Fold any front placket in. If desired, hang pants or shorts on a sturdy hanger. Fold a thick paper guard over the bar of the hanger, and fold the pants or long shorts over the bar. Or hang pants from their cuffs by clipping them to a trouser hanger.

Skirts and Dresses

Nicely fold skirts and dresses to be stored in a dresser or for putting in a suitcase. To fold a skirt, close zippers and plackets and lay the skirt front down. Fold the sides into the center. Depending on the size, fold the skirt in half or crosswise into thirds. For a dress, close all buttons or zippers and lay it front down. Fold the top as you would a shirt, and then fold the bottom at the waist. For a longer dress, fold the bottom up to the knees and then to the waist.

Socks and Underpants

Join socks together so they do not make a jumbled mess in your drawers. Start by laying one sock evenly on the other. Roll them up together from the toes. At the ribbing, pull the top of the outside sock over the entire roll. To avoid stretching the ribbing as much, align the socks and pull the ribbing of the outside sock over the ribbing of the second. Or, simply align the socks and roll them up together, without folding ribbing over at all. To fold underpants, set them face down. Fold them in half, and then into thirds.

Sheets and Pillowcases

To fold a flat sheet, stretch it out wrong side up on a bed or table. Fold the sheet in half crosswise three times, making neat folds. Fold it in half lengthwise three times, folding the hems together first, then the fold to the hem, and again the fold to the hem.

For a fitted sheet, lay it flat, with the underside of the middle facing you and the right side of the corners facing you. Fold the sheet in half crosswise, and tuck the top corners into the bottom corners. Next, fold the sheet in half lengthwise, aligning all of the corners together. Fold the sheet in half along the length, and again two more times crosswise.

Pillowcases and Towels

Folding pillowcases and towels is relatively easy. Fold pillowcases in thirds lengthwise and crosswise. Fold towels in thirds lengthwise. Fold them in half crosswise. For larger towels, fold them in thirds crosswise.

About the Author

Audrey Pannell has been writing since the year 2000. She has written for AOL and eHow. She holds a Bachelor of Science in public administration from the University of Texas at Dallas and also completed a certification course to obtain a teaching certificate for early childhood through fourth grade.