Stack of folded bed sheets

The Ultimate 10-Step Guide to Folding a Fitted Sheet

Part of having your own household is keeping it clean and tidy. Sometimes, that means learning to do things your grandmother could do when she is not available to teach you. One of these elusive homemaking skills is the ability to fold a fitted sheet. We've all been there, trying diligently to find or create a corner, finally giving up and stuffing the sheet into the cabinet unfolded. Don't be that person (that we have all been). Instead, learn how to fold a fitted sheet through the Internet like we do everything else!

Take it from someone who has struggled through the long "adulting" road on their own; here's a step-by-step guide to folding a fitted sheet into a cabinet-ready stackable rectangle of fabric.

1) Stretch Out the Sheet

Step one is to stretch out the sheet. This is easier with a friend, but not necessary. Flap it out like a flat sheet and get a feel for the size.

2) Find One Long Side

Stretch out each side until you determine which is the long-vs-short side, then select a long side. Hold it from the elastic edge to start with.

3) Tuck Your Hands into the Corner Pockets

Now find your corners and tuck your hands into them, seams facing outward if possible. Give each hand a fitted-corner-hat so that the seam-tip is pointing upward and your hands are perfectly centered in the cup. Use a finger or knuckle to point the corners at the seam tip.

With a Friend

If you have a friend with you, have them do the same on the other side. One hand in each corner, seams facing up, with the sheet stretched out between you and hands apart.

4) Fold Inward, Touch the Corner Seam Tips

Now bring your hands together. Touch the two corner tips of the seams so that the two points of your fitted corners are touching.

5) Fold One Corner Over the Other - Forming a Cup on One Hand

Lift one hand and carefully fold the corner over the other corner so that the two cups stack like bowls in your cabinet. Use one finger to maintain the seam-tip point in both corners now. It really helps to line up your seam tips perfectly.

With a Friend

If you have a friend, have them mirror you and match your direction. Make sure they fold over the same side corner so that one side of the sheet neatly folds over the other at both corners.

6) Shake the Sheet Inward

If you don't have a friend, here is where you shake your fitted sheet while reaching for the other two corners. Make sure the entire sheet folds inward. Place the two cupped corners on the side and carefully fold over the other two corners in the same direction, with the entire sheet down between instead of twisted or looped. This part is the trickiest part of folding a fitted sheet alone.

7) Lay the Sheet Out 

Now you have one crinkly fitted side and one almost-smooth folded side. Lay out your sheet on the bed, table, or clean floor.

8) Fold the Fitted-Edge Inward

Fold the crinkly fitted side inward to create an outer folded-edge that you can work with. Pull the center fold out and smooth it to form a crisp outer non-fitted edge. Now you should have four folded corners on the outside, with a crinkly middle. It won't look perfect, so don't worry about that at this stage.

9) Fold the Ends Inward Into Thirds to Create Crisp Outer Corners

Now fold inward into thirds. Use the thirds-type folding to encase the crinkly parts of the fitted sheet and create a generally rectangular shape with discernible corners.

10) Complete Your Folding

Finally, finish folding the sheet into whatever size or shape fits best in your linen closet. It takes a pro to make a folded fitted sheet look crisp when finished and even this writer isn't that good, yet. But now you can finally fold a fitted sheet so that it looks right in a stack with the flat sheet and matching pillowcases instead of turning your linen closet into an avalanche-prone mess.

Happy folding!

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