How to Fold Clothes to Save Space (Organizing Tip Using KonMari Folding Method)

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folded sweatshirt with words and laundry in the background

Ahhh… functional organization. 🙌

That’s why I love the Marie Kondo Folding Method, KonMari – it not only makes your drawers tidier but it makes sense, maximizes your drawer space, and it’s easy to keep up with. You might not have ever realized, but there’s a huge difference between organization and functional organization. Plus, now that many of us are at home during the Coronavirus pandemic, we think there’s no better time than now to get organized.

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pile of messy clothes

I recently de-cluttered all of the drawers in my home using Marie Kondo’s folding method. Prior to doing this, I used to stack all my piles of clothes or if we’re talking about my kids, they get pretty sloppy and just throw it all around. Let me just tell you that this new method makes such a huge difference!

organized dresser clothing drawer with various clothes

Besides maximizing the space in each drawer, I can now see every item that’s in it so no more shuffling through stacked piles to find the top you want! Here’s what one of our reader’s recently said about this folding method:

“I recently did the Marie Kondo folding method and it has made my life so much easier! My husband and I can now find shirts we want easily and we now have more room with 3 rows of shirts that I can easily identify instead of 2 aggravating stacks to dig through.” – Jan 

Here’s how to do the Kon Mari folding method:

steps to fold a green and white shirt

steps to fold a green and white shirt

Step 1: Lay the piece of clothing flat on a surface and smooth out the wrinkles.

Step 2: Fold in one side of the shirt completely down the middle, folding the sleeves until folded neatly.

Step 3: Do the same to the other side of the shirt.

Step 4: Fold the bottom of the shirt up to the front, almost folding in half.

Step 5: Starting from the bottom, fold the shirt from the bottom into thirds.

Step 6: Check to see if the clothing can stand on its own. This will ensure that when clothing items are taken out of the drawer. They’ll still stay neat and tidy no matter how many are left standing. 😉

Voila! Check out my before and after! 😍

before and after of messy drawer vs clean and organized

Now repeat this until all of your clothes and drawers are organized. If you’re not sure how to fold different types of clothing, I really think you’ll love this book or you can check out Marie Kondo’s video if you’re a more visual person.

Lina has been using this method for years! Here’s what she had to say –

before and after of messy drawers

“I started using this method a few years ago and have never looked back. I first de-cluttered my kid’s messy drawers using this method and the difference it makes is truly amazing! Not only does each drawer have more space, but you can visually see all clothing options at one time since every item is facing upright.”

cream colored dress drawer open with various color coordinated shirts

While this folding method sure does make life easier, there are even more tips you can implement to enhance your KonMari method at home. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Color coordinate your clothing.
  • Group pairs of clothes (like pajamas) together so they’re easier to find.
  • Use dividers to keep each row of clothing in its designated place. Shoeboxes are a great and free alternative to buying new containers.
  • Use a shirt folding board until you get the hang of folding on your own.

Want to learn more about Marie Kondo’s life-changing habits?

person holding blue and white book in front of their face

Buy it on Amazon

You’ll love reading the #1 bestselling book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing where this whole idea originated. Here’s what some of our readers said about the book:

“Reading this book has changed my life for the better. It’s so much more than just learning to neatly fold your clothing in a more organized fashion – it’s about decluttering your home and getting rid of things that no longer bring you joy. I went from using two walk-in closets, an armoire, a wardrobe, and an 8-drawer dresser to just the wardrobe and dresser after spending one day going through all of my clothing. I literally threw out 85% of my clothes and I still have space to spare. Her method is completely versatile too – I used it to declutter my pots & pans, utensils, cooking gadgets, etc. I highly suggest anyone who is interested in actually decluttering your home to read that book.” – Tricia ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I started folding all of our clothes like this about a year ago… the best thing ever! My life feels just a tad less chaotic.”  – Sheena ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Her book really makes you think about why you have what you do and to look at each item individually. It’s been easier getting rid of items than I thought it would be. I’m also learning to appreciate the items I have and take better care of them. Clutter drives me crazy so this book was a godsend!” – Vee ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Head here to see what our team’s homes look like now – after organizing for a month straight!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 35

  1. Kelly

    I πŸ’― agree! Before, my kids would shove clean, neatly folded clothes in their drawers and everything would get wrinkled. I’ve been folding this way for the last six months and everything fits and stays wrinkle-free! πŸ™ŒπŸ»

    • Sara

      That’s so wonderful, Kelly! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Melissa

    I re-did all our drawers like this a year ago. Life-changing

    • Sara

      Isn’t it, Melissa?! So happy to hear that you love it too!

  3. frugal-fit-sexy

    Just did this last week, what a Time saver when getting ready. I can clearly see everything and since I’m always running late , it really helps not having to take everything out to find something. I did get dividers for my bras, just need some help with the panty drawer. Cannot seem to find a good way to organize all of my vstrings..

    • Sara

      I love hearing that this has been such a functional switch for you! Thanks for sharing the divider idea. πŸ™‚

  4. Ivy

    Slightly off-topic, This site had an awesome idea in the past for printed Photo storage and I cannot find it. I thought I bookmarked it but I did not. Any chance anyone remembers this and has a link?
    Thanks in Advance!

  5. Shelly

    I have been doing my clothes this way for years without even watching the show so it made me really upset when my hubby was insisting for me to watch this show….. I guess his issue with me was to get rid of unnecessary stuff 😣 So when he told me about her technique of touching the stuff & feeling sparks or joy, I touched my husband & told him he’s not sparking any joy 😜🀣

    • Cathy

      This made me laugh! I can totally relate.

    • Sara

      LOL! Thanks for the laugh, Shelly! πŸ™‚

  6. mlj211

    I’ve been folding the kids clothes this way for a few years…. ever since I saw it here first. 😁

    • Sara

      That’s awesome to hear, mlj211! So glad it has been working out for you and your family so well. πŸ™‚

  7. Casey

    Been doing it this way since January of last year. I did the KonMari method on my entire house and it took 6 months, but it was so worth it!

    • Sara

      I love hearing that, Casey! Thanks for sharing with us! If you ever share any photos of your organization make sure to tag us so we can see! πŸ™‚

  8. obler

    Yes, my sons dresser looks tidy, most of the time. My husband was impressed. As I told him of the rest of the Marie Kondo ideas he told me I definitely needed to do this. Lol. I have the hardest time with keepsakes. I know I don’t need them all. Any suggestions how you sort through them?

    • Sara

      I know that’s so tough, obler! Recently, we shared some great advice in this recent organizational post.
      At the bottom, you’ll find how one of our team members discussed working to become more minimalist with things that have meaning to you. I hope you find it helpful!

  9. Marie

    Been doing this a lot longer than this person has been popular lmbo. Funny how anyone can come along and slap their name on something these days.

    • Sara

      It was definitely a “why didn’t I think of that?” moment for me too, Marie. Haha!

  10. Katherine

    I started this after learning the technique from Marie Kondo. Some adaptions I have made are placing folded items both the tall and long way so that nothing gets forgotten in the back of the drawer. Also with deep drawers I make two layers of clothes by using plastic dollar tree bins.

    • Sara

      What a great idea, Katherine! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Casey

    Been doing the folded technique for a few years, helps see everything in the drawer.

    • Sara

      It sure does! Glad it’s working out for you, Casey!

  12. Jackie

    I have been doing this for ever, even before it was a thing 😊. Now when it comes to the kids….that’s another story. I can fold them like this and give it to them to put it away (ages 10, 12 and 14) and they never keep it like that πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ. I guess choose your battles when it comes to the kids. But yes this is the best way to fold clothes πŸ˜ƒ

    • Sara

      Glad it’s working out for you, Jackie (aside from the kids) haha! You’re not alone!

    • MommySpendsLess

      I remember how hard it was to keep my dresser drawers organized as a kid so we hang up everything except underclothes and pajamas. If we start running out of closet rod space or hangers I know it’s time to go through the closet and make a trip to Once Upon a Child.

  13. katie

    So this may seem like a dumb question but I’m struggling to picture how I wou do this. I normally fold all clean laundry on my bed in piles. Then I walk around to each room putting the clean piles in drawers.
    I guess my question is does this method travel well throughout the house between getting folded and put away?

    • Sara

      Hey Katie! I often find myself carrying smaller piles to my kid’s rooms which works well. I do sometimes put them in the basket though and divide up the clothes as I go down the hall. I’ve never had too many issues doing it either way. I hope this helps answer your question, have a great day. πŸ™‚

  14. Lisa

    I can’t my teen’s thin, slinky dry weave sports shirts to do this unless they are being held up by the other shirts.

  15. Jojo

    What about for cube shelves, but without using the fabric cubes? TIA!

  16. seanawalkermodoski

    Are those Burts Bees jammies?

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Yes, the green and cream print featured in the photos are Burt’s Bees! πŸ™‚

  17. everybodyluvsmonkeys

    That’s it! I am doing this this weekend and teaching the kids as well. Been meaning to do this a long time.

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