Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet … Me vs. Martha!

At my former company, one of our wonderful employees - on his own time - took Martha Stewart's "30 Things Everyone Should Know" list, printed out each tip in full-color, and placed it in a binder. He made one for each of us in the department.

The other day, while searching for a book, I spotted that binder sitting on the bookshelf. Flipping through it, Tip #21 caught my eye - "How To Make A Bed." "Hmmm," I thought, "I wonder if there is a tip on how to fold a fitted sheet."

There wasn't ... but, there was a note at the bottom of the "How To Make A Bed" page, that referred the reader to MarthaStewart.com for tips on "How To Fold A Fitted Sheet."

Brilliant! I navigated my way to her website to discover what I had been doing wrong for all these years.

The following is a step-by-step breakdown of her tips versus my own process:

Martha: Stand holding the sheet by the two adjacent corners of one of the shorter edges. With the sheet inside out, place one hand in each of these two corners.

Me: Roll your eyes and sigh deeply and loudly … because you dread this task. Then, grab two outer corners of the sheet … whichever you can find first.

Martha: Bring your right hand to your left, and fold the corner in your right hand over the one in your left, enveloping it. Next, reach down and pick up the corner that is hanging in front; bring it up, and fold it over the two corners in your left hand; the corner that's showing will be inside out.

Me: Bring your two corners together and secure them with your right hand while your left hand grabs the folded side. Shake vigorously to attempt to straighten out the remainder of the sheet that is now dragging on the floor picking up whatever you just washed off of it. Mutter something about how much you despise this task.

Martha: Bring the last corner up, and fold it over the others; with its right side showing, it should envelop the other three corners.

Me: Toss the whole thing up into the air gently and catch it smack dab in the middle; remove the fitted corner which landed on your head and is now covering your face; proceed to fold it in half, if possible.

Martha: Lay the folded sheet on a flat surface and straighten it into the shape shown.

Me: Realize there is something small caught in one of the corners. Unfold the entire sheet. Remove a damp, wadded, wrinkled pillow case from the corner. Start folding process from the beginning.

Martha: Fold the two edges in so all the elastic is hidden.

Me: Stuff ... I mean, tuck in the edges, attempting to hide the elastic.

Martha: Fold the sheet into a rectangle.

Me: Think of the song “Rolling on the River” and use that hand motion to ‘roll’ the sheet up into an oddly-shaped version of a rectangle.

Martha: Continue folding until the rectangle is the size you want it to be.

Me: After you’re done ‘rolling’, fold it in half one more time and smooth it vigorously to make it appear less voluminous and wrinkled.

Me: Place under the flat sheet, so only one edge of the fitted sheet shows when viewed from the already-cramped linen closet. This will give the appearance that it has been folded correctly.

Martha’s directions (and accompanying pictures) can be found on MarthaStewart.com from the October 1997 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Clearly, you don't want any more of my directions on this particular subject!


Abbi Glines said...

Oh, how easily I can relate to those directions. I bought the Martha Stewart HomeKeeping Handbook when it was released in 2006, thinking that it would make me a housekeeping genius...and after I spent one hour trying to figure out how to correctly fold t-shirts I found a nice spot on my bookshelf for the beautiful book. Now everyone who comes in my house can see the book and (hopefully miss the dust coating the top of it) assume I am well informed.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Too funny. I think I've been doing it this way all along. My mom taught me. Was Martha around way back then?

Kelly Polark said...

This is hilarious. I am so like you with folding the fitted sheets. My mother in law can do it perfectly, and I feel so bad if I am helping her do laundry and my folding (at any of the laundry) is never as good as hers. I hate folding fitted sheets so much, that most of the time I just wash the sheets, dry them and put them right back on the bed so I don't have to fold them (of course one set of sheets is much more worn than the others!)

Susan R. Mills said...

Really? There is an actual method to folding fitted sheets? Who would have thought? Sounds like too much work to me, though.

Kelly H-Y said...

Abbi! Thanks for stopping by! That is too funny ... love it!

Eileen - I'm impressed!!

Kelly - That's what I do!!! How funny ... we, too, have one pair of sheets for each bed that is worn more than the other for that very reason!

Susan! Who knew, huh?! Yes ... I still be doing my regular method of folding ... or, as mentioned above, doing what Kelly does and just putting them right back on the bed! :-)

Beth Kephart said...

This is hysterical. I gave up on that a long long long time ago. I decided that if I only had one pair of sheets that I washed in the morning and dried by night I'd never have to fold the fitted ones.


Keri Mikulski said...

Love it!! :)

One of the most valuable things I learned in nursing school. :)

Clementine said...

As soon as I read your title, I laughed out loud! I gave up on those darn things a long time ago. My are sort of stuffed in between the towels in the linen closet.

lotusgirl said...

For a fitted sheet I just fold it from the middle and tuck in the floppy edges and place it in the folded up top sheet with the pillow cases. It makes one nice bundle all good to go.

Hardygirl said...

Too funny! I usually just put it right back on the bed to avoid having to fold it.


Danyelle L. said...


No, I like your directions better. I do something sort of in between the two of you, but yes, fitted sheets were invented by people that didn't have to fold them. :D

Stephanie Faris said...

Hahaha! So true. I've never figured it out. Martha Stewart is not human. I think she's a robot, programmed to be "the perfect housewife." Only she's not even married, is she?

Hilary said...

Are you kidding.. I can't even fold a flat sheet very well. :) Your own instructions are hilarious and so true. :)

Unknown said...

LOL! Your process is SO like my own! Thanks for the laugh...and I suppose I should study up on what I too have been doing wrong all these years.

Kelly H-Y said...

Beth! I do that most of the time as well! Too funny!

Keri! They teach you that in Nursing School?! I had no idea!

Amy! Yes ... thank goodness for all the other stuff that we can stuff them in between! :-)

Lois! You made that sound much too easy!!

Sarah Frances - Amen to that ... I do that most of the time too!

Danyelle! You said it ... I think you're on to something!

Stephanie! I think you may be right ... and, no ... I don't think she is!

Hilary! Too funny ... it's true, though ... they're just TOO big to fold! :-)

Lizann! So glad to hear I'm not alone! :-)

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

That was great! I needed a good laugh to loosen me up a bit! I've seen Martha demonstrate this on Oprah years ago. Oprah was very funny about it. She couldn't do it either. I figured, if Oprah can't do it and she's fine with that, than so am I.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Or you could do it the way my 5th grader does it. He basically bunches it in a big wad and then spins his hands around, turning it into a wrinkled cocoon. He then hands it to me and says, "Here you go."
I don't redo it anymore. It's just going to go on the bed anyway. :)

Willowbrook Mom said...

My favorite part was the wadded, wet, and wrinkled pillow case caught in the remaining corner... there is always something there! Reading your method was like reading my own, complete with eye roll. :)


here's how i fold a fitted sheet:


there, so how simple?

thanks for visiting me over at the crib!

Sarah Laurence said...

Funny! I love your commentary. Life is too short to worry about the linen cupboard. The only time it mattered was cabin inspection at camp.

CC said...

Bwhahahaha!! Sounds just like me. But dont' forget to add that said sheet has been sitting in a crumbled pile for 2 weeks before this folding attempt actually happens!

MG Higgins said...

This is hilarious! I use the roll and stuff technique. It's my husband who knows how to fold fitted sheets (amazing, I know) so I let him do this task with my utmost gratitude.

Jeff B said...

I think your instructions are much more indicative of what really happens.

Good stuff.

Maria said...

These Martha Stewart types make me feel inferior. Nothing personal...

Unknown said...

Good read.
Congrats on POTW mention from Hilary!

Sandi McBride said...

Or you can do like I do and just roll the whole thing into a ball and put it in the linen closet behind the towels.
Congrats on POTW!

Lori said...

I think I like your way much better! Congrats. on POTW!

Brian Miller said...

lol. i feel your pain. congrats on the POTW!

Anonymous said...

This truly is one of those jobs that life is to short to bother with. I am a 'straight back on the bed' type.

Funny though, very funny...and a good choice for POTW mention.

blunoz said...

That's funny. My mother-in-law taught me to fold a fitted sheet sometime after I got married, and it just sort of clicked with my anal-retentive brain. Ever since, my wife has decreed that folding the sheets is officially MY job (both due to my arm-span and knack for employing her mother's method). Even so, I think my process of folding the fitted sheet is more like yours than Martha's. ;-)

Well written post. Congrats on POTW!

Kelly H-Y said...

Thanks for stopping by, POTW visitors!!! I love reading your comments!!

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

OH SO FUNNY! One of the great mysteries in the world....SOLVED!!!!

I would wager that MOST do the "Rolling on the River" move!

ispomyju said...

Many thanks have your share.......................................