How to Fold Clothes with the KonMari Method – KonMari | The Official Website of Marie Kondo

How to Fold Clothes with the KonMari Method

Clothing is the first tidying category of the KonMari Method™ for a good reason: We live in it. That’s why we encourage new tidiers to wear what sparks joy and makes them feel good — and why you should fold and store beloved clothes with care.

When KonMari’s founder Marie Kondo published The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she introduced a signature technique for folding clothing that has transformed countless closets. Sometimes called “file folding clothes,” Marie sees her method as much more than that. By folding clothes neatly and standing them up vertically — rather than stacking them or worse, piling them in a chair — you’ll prevent wrinkles, save space and express gratitude for every item that sparks joy. The results are transformative.

How to Fold Clothes the KonMari Way

Below, you’ll find instructions for the three most common clothing categories. These techniques form the foundation for file folding everything else, including heavy sweaters, children’s clothes and even socks and underwear. We start with Marie’s method for folding t-shirts because it is perfect for beginners.

How to Fold Shirts and Tees (Short-Sleeve)

  1. Fold one side toward the center.
  2. Fold the other side the same way.
  3. Fold in half lengthwise — and leave. Little gap at the edge. (It’s all about the gap!)
  4. Fold in half or thirds.
  5. Stand the tee upright.

Joy Tip: While folding, apply firm, loving pressure and thank your clothes for supporting you.

How to Fold Sweaters and Shirts (Long-Sleeve)

  1. Fold one side toward the center.
  2. Fold the sleeve to fit within the rectangle’s width.
  3. Fold the sleeve back flush with the edge of the rectangle.
  4. Fold the other side the same way.
  5. Fold in half lengthwise — and don’t forget the gap at the edge.
  6. Fold in half or thirds.
  7. Stand the sweater upright.

Joy Tip: After each fold, smooth your hand over the fabric in a soothing motion.

How to Fold Pants and Shorts

  1. Fold the legs in half.
  2. Fold the legs upward toward the waistband — and leave a gap at the edge.
  3. Fold in half or thirds.
  4. Stand pants upright.

How to Fold Tanks, Socks and Everything Else

Yes, you should even fold socks! As Marie puts it in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “When I see high school students wearing high socks that are loose at the top, I long to tell them how to fold their socks properly.”

To dive more deeply into folding Marie’s way (and into learning the KonMari Method), we recommend our Fundamentals of Tidying Course. In it, Marie will teach you her philosophy and process, so you can successfully tidy up every closet in your home and — more importantly — find what sparks joy in your life. You can also read answers to some frequently asked questions about folding the KonMari way.

The KonMari Method invites you to pull everything out of your closet to determine what sparks joy. You’ll then fold and organize all the clothes you choose to keep. By the end of your tidying festival, you’ll be able to file fold clothing with your eyes closed! For more about the KonMari Method, read our six rules of tidying or join our online Fundamentals of Tidying course!

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