How to fold a fitted sheet for a beautifully organized linen closet

Learn how to fold a fitted sheet so this dreaded chore will no longer be the bane of your laundry routine

a linen closet with folded sheets
This stylish linen closet was designed by the team at California Closets
(Image credit: California Closets)

There's nothing better than being enveloped by fresh clean sheets at bedtime, yet, it's the laundry routine that often leads us to delay that fresh clean feeling until the next day... and the day after that. Washing, drying and (if you're dedicated enough) ironing your sheets can be a mammoth task, but the worst is really saved for last. 

Folding a fitted bed sheet can seem like a task only fit for an organizing pro. But we all know that a neatly stocked linen cupboard is a key sign of an organized home, so we soldier on in determination. 

How many times have you found yourself tangled up in fresh linen as you desperately try to neatly fold that pesky fitted sheet? Chances are, after several failed attempts, you move to the floor where your sparkling sheet ends up collecting dust and dirt. Defeated, you make a lazy attempt at folding it flat enough to fit inside your linen closet, only for the the elastic corners to poke themselves out of your otherwise tidy pile. 

Neatly folding a fitted sheet is a notoriously difficult task and, until now, was only achieved by the most organized laundry professionals. The awkward elastic and inconvenient shape are almost enough to revert us to hospital corners. 'But folding sheets doesn't have to be the dreaded chore we avoid at all cost,' says Holly Bly, professional declutter and founder of Organize with Holly. 

So, to make everyone's life that little bit easier, we asked a few experts for their top tips on how to fold a fitted sheet, allowing you to refresh your linen cupboard. 

How to fold a fitted sheet

'While there are a few different ways to fold a fitted sheet, none of them recommend bunching it up in a ball and shoving it on a shelf!'

Holly Bly, Organize with Holly

1. Find a surface to lay it out flat 

We've all been there - playing an awkward game of fitted sheet Twister on the floor as we try to fold corners that seem to have a mind of their own. A flat surface will make the job easier, but we don't recommend using the floor for your fresh sheets.

According to Chrissy Halton, organizer and blogger at Organize my House, a bed or dining table is a far better option. 'These flat surfaces act like a third or fourth hand,' she explains. She recommends flattening out your sheet as crumple-free as possible. 

2. Tuck in the corners

Everybody can agree that corners are the most troublesome part of a fitted sheet. You can guarantee these pesky pieces of elasticated linen - otherwise lifesavers when it comes to making the bed - are what's ruining your perfectly folded sheet. 

The most convenient way to fold a fitted sheet involves tackling them first. 'Tuck the top corners into the bottom corners, lining up the seams,' says Holly Bly of Organize with Holly. Make sure your four seams are even as these will be your reference points throughout the folding process. 

You can do this lengthways or top to bottom, whichever you find easiest for you. 

3. Smooth and straighten before you fold

We know it can be tedious, but making sure you have a smooth sheet is vital to properly fold it. Plus, if they're creased when you're folding, you'll have unsightly sheets when it comes to making and styling your bed - even the most tightly fitted sheets can have creases! 

'Smooth and straighten the overlapping sides to prepare for folding,' says Holly. 'This will create a U-shape with the elastic.'

4. Fold side to side to make a rectangle

Fold your longer sides into the middle to make a rectangle shape. If you're folding a a sheet for a king or super king bed size, you might want in thirds to give you a neater shape. This will give you nice clean edges to work with.

4. Now fold top to bottom 

This step is best done in thirds, due to it being the longest length. Bring your bottom edge up into the middle of the rectangle, patting and smoothing as you go. You're now left with the top third. Fold this top edge over into the middle too, making a neat, small rectangle. 

'Don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect,' says Chrissy. 'You’ll improve over time and with practice, and any extra folding you can manage will eliminate lots of creases.'

'And while you'll undoubtedly improve with practice, in this case, don't expect it to always be perfect!' adds Holly.

White bed sheets

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

How should I store a fitted sheet? 

You might be so impressed by this storage idea that you want to proudly stack it at the top of your linen cupboard for all to see, but Holly recommends keeping all your bedding conveniently together on your shelves. 'Store your beautifully folded fitted sheet with the coordinating flat sheet and pillow cases for easy grab n' go,' she says. You can even place your fitted sheet inside a pillow case if it will fit.

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.