Arguably the most revolutionary Kondo tidying tool is her folding technique. The instructions are complex, though, which is why we illustrated it below. In short: Rather than haphazardly laying things flat in a drawer, they should stand upright; the more folds there are, the less wrinkled the item will be once ready for wear. While the space-saving benefits are pretty far-reaching, Kondo’s other objective is to grant clothes—everything from coats to sweaters to socks—the respect they deserve by touching, appreciating, and properly storing each item.
- Lay socks flat as a pair, one sock on top of the other.
- Fold the toe inward about an inch from the top.
- Fold in to the center.
- Fold in half so it stands upright.
(the same process can be applied to bikini bottoms, briefs, thongs, and boyshorts)
- Lay underwear flat in front of you
- Fold in half lengthwise, crotch to waistband.
- Fold in the sides.
- Fold over crotch again so it stands upright.
- Lay tee down flat in front of you.
- Fold in the right side with the sleeve flat.
- Fold back the sleeve half way.
- Fold over the left side and repeat the sleeve fold so you’re left with a rectangle.
- Fold in the neckline an inch or so away from the hem.
- Fold halfway.
- Fold in half again so it stands upright.
(this is where sh*t gets complicated)
- Lay sweater flat in front of you with the sleeves spread out.
- Fold in the right side with the sleeve straight out.
- Fold the sleeve over and down so it creates a triangle.
- Repeat on the left side so you are left with a rectangle.
- Start from the top and fold inward until it stands upright.
- Lay jeans flat in front of you.
- Fold left leg over the right.
- Fold in the crotch.
- Fold over the bottom toward the waist leaving an inch of space.
- Fold inward until jeans stand upright.