13 Tricks for Getting Your Laundry Folded Faster
Tired of searching for mismatched socks from among freshly laundered sheets? These brilliant laundry folding hacks will make light work of folding your clothes, sheets, and towels.
Folding laundry may be one of the most time-consuming—and tedious—household chores. Sorting and folding laundry can seem like a never-ending task, especially for those with large households. Luckily, we have some clever ideas to make this unavoidable drudgery a little more bearable. While these tips and tricks may not necessarily make folding laundry enjoyable, they can save some time and energy to help you to get back to more pleasant pastimes in a snap.
1. Create a Folding Space
The first step in folding laundry quickly and efficiently is setting up the right space for the task. We may not all have spacious, well-appointed laundry rooms in which to fold our clothes, but any reasonably sized flat surface is fine for folding laundry. Simply clearing off a dining room table or kitchen island can give you ample room to work. The process goes much more quickly if you have a generous surface for sorting clothes into piles and folding them.
2. Fold When Clothes Are Warm
While it may seem trivial, there’s a major benefit to folding clothes as soon as the dryer cycle is complete. When fabric is warm, it’s softer and more pliable, so it’s easier to fold neatly without having to smooth out creases. Promptly removing clothes from the dryer also prevents them from becoming wrinkled. You might want to change some of your washing habits too—washing laundry in cold water can reduce wrinkling, and most modern washing machines are able to clean thoroughly without hot water.
3. Sort Before Folding
Before you fold, make separate piles for shirts, pants, socks, and underwear so you can get into a groove folding the same types of item consecutively. Place clothes that need to be line-dried or receive other special care into their own piles to be dealt with after sorting or folding.
4. Dedicated Bags for Socks
One of the most tiresome parts of folding laundry can be pairing up socks. This is only made more difficult if you’re folding for a full household. One effective trick to simplify this is by using one mesh laundry bag (like these Muchfun delicates bags Amazon) for each member of your household. Have them put their dirty socks into their dedicated bag rather than directly into a laundry basket or hamper. This way, the sock pairs will already be together when the wash is complete, and there’s no risk of lone socks becoming mysteriously lost along the way.
5. Try a New T-Shirt Folding Method
There are plenty of tricks out there for quickly folding T-shirts, but the Japanese T-shirt folding method might just be the fastest. While it may seem tough to wrap your head around at first, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to fold a shirt in only a couple of seconds with two swift motions.
6. Learn How to Fold a Fitted Sheet
Is there any laundry item more frustrating to deal with than a fitted sheet? This piece of bedding has been confounding laundry folders for decades. Fortunately, one method helps get the job done quickly and efficiently. While holding the fitted sheet lengthwise by two of the corners, tuck one corner into the other. Repeat this step with the remaining two corners until you’re holding all four corners up in one hand. With the pesky corners under control, the fitted sheet can then be smoothed and folded like regular bedding.
7. Try a Folding Board
For those who struggle to fold laundry neatly and uniformly, trying to do so can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Luckily, there’s a modern innovation that simplifies the process and ensures a perfect fold every time. Laundry folding boards, such as this one from BoxLegend on Amazon, make it easier to fold T-shirts, pants, towels, and more.
8. Buy Matching Socks
This trick involves a modest monetary investment, but it will save you plenty of time. Donate, recycle, or repurpose your household’s old, mismatched socks and purchase new matching sets. Be sure to choose a brand and model that’s readily available so they can be easily repurchased over time. Paired with the mesh laundry bag trick, this can completely eliminate the time spent pairing up socks while folding.
9. Reconsider What You Hang
You may be accustomed to folding much of your household’s clothing, but many items can optionally be hung instead. Socks, underwear, workout clothes, and pajamas are probably best stored in drawers, but almost everything else can be put on a hanger, which can make clothes easier to access while also cutting down on folding time. Even sweaters, which are typically folded to prevent them from stretching out, can simply be folded over a hanger instead.
10. Roll, Don’t Fold
Creating a uniform stack of folded T-shirts may be satisfying, but it’s also time-consuming. Alternatively, consider switching up your technique and rolling your shirts. This speedy method lets you store your shirts in a row rather than a stack, making it easier to find the right one and saving you from having to refold shirts after rifling through them.
11. Use Individual Laundry Baskets
A particularly tedious part of folding laundry can be sorting clothing into different piles for each member of your household. Skip this step altogether by providing each individual their own laundry basket and doing each person’s laundry separately. When the laundry is done, it can be folded and placed back in the basket to be put away.
12. Share the Load
While it may seem more efficient for one person to tackle their household’s laundry alone, it doesn’t have to be this way. Adult housemates can (and probably should) help with the folding or do their own laundry, and even school-aged children are perfectly capable of making laundry part of their household chores. For kids, it may be best to first teach them to fold simple items like washcloths before progressing to trickier garments like T-shirts and pants.
13. Pair the Task
Entertain yourself while folding laundry by pairing the task with something you like. Laundry folding is relatively mindless, so it’s easy to do while watching TV, listening to a podcast or audiobook, or enjoying one of your favorite albums. This advice may not get your laundry folded any faster, but it can certainly help to make the time feel like it’s passing more quickly.