On folding with Marie Kondo

As you would no doubt imagine, once you have discarded all the clothes that are harshing your buzz, or whatever, you now have to put them away, either in a closet, but preferably in a drawer. Kondo suggests that you "hang any clothes that look like they would be happier hung up, such as those made with soft materials that flutter in the breeze or highly tailored cuts, which protest at being folded."


"Folding? But how?" you ask? "Is there some special method?"

Why, yes, there is! And it's all about making rectangles. With anything you are folding, your aim is to make that item into a long, skinny rectangle, in the most logical, appropriate way to the shape of that item. Then, you roll it up and store it vertically.

As Kondo says, "Every piece of clothing has its own 'sweet spot' where it feels just right--a folded state that best suits that item." For example, here is a diagram of folding pants:

  1. Lay pants flat.
  2. Fold in half, then fold inside seam over to make a rectangle (note crappily drawn arrow). Consider the height of the drawer you are storing your clothes in--you want to ensure that the width of the newly rectangled-item is less than the height of the drawer, so that it is small enough to clear the top of the drawer when you open/close it.
  3. Roll up the rectangle.
  4. It looks cool!
  5. Put rolled rectangle away vertically in the drawer with all the other rolled rectangles. Because, as Kondo says, "The goal should be to organize the contents so that you can see where every item is at a glance, just as you can see the spines of the books on your bookshelves." Additionally, storing things vertically allegedly mitigates wrinkles, because: "It's not the number of folds but rather the amount of pressure applied [i.e., from other clothes piled on top] that causes wrinkling."

This method can be applied to shirts, unders, etc. but NOT SOCKS. Kondo sternly admonishes to "Never, ever ball up your socks." Because it is not restful for them; they should feel like they are "on holiday" when tucked away in your drawer. Like the sock version of sipping margaritas on a beach with their sweetie. Which is to say, parallel, folded in thirds, and stored vertically, rather than balled up/folded over on top (because it taxes the elastic) and heaped in a pile.

Thanks to this method, I FINALLY figured out how to fold that floppy shawl-like sweater I have! Which sort of blew my mind. I made a video on how to do it, because I'm basically geeking out over how cool I think it is. (P.S. I know how that sounds: Lah-haaame. Embracing it.)

Now, on to the closet!


"The most basic rule is to hang clothes in the same category side by side, dividing your closet into a jacket section, a suit section, and so on." Which [puffs on fingernails and buffs them on lapel] I already do. Kondo recommends further breaking it down to a spectrum of fabrics, lightweight to heavy, but I confess I do not do that. I guess I'm some sort of rebel? (And, while we're on the topic of being a rebel, I actually hang a lot more than I fold, because [#humblebrag] we have big-ass closets and what the hell else am I going to do with that space.)

So that's on a micro-level--you hang things grouped by category.

On a macro-level, the line of lengths should go from long to short--so it looks like your clothes are sloping up to the right. The order, L-R, would be coats, dresses, jackets, pants, skirts, blouses. I personally have done the opposite--short to long--because I share a closet with my husband. He occupies the left side while I occupy the right side, and if I went L-R, I wouldn't be able to access the shirts as easily, which are the items from the closet I use the most. He basically does the L-R order--suits, pants, shirts (though mixed sleeve length---aieeeee!!!). Our clothes, meeting in the middle, actually make a lovely parabola. Someone tell my Algebra 2 teacher, please?

And that, my friends, is KonMari clothes storage in a nutshell!

I will confess that at present, I am the only one in our family practicing this method. Given that my kid can transform a nicely folded drawer into a clothing mosh pit in about 20 minutes time--clothes changing is her preferred sport--I have yet to implement this on a household level. Because, frankly, I don't want to waste my time if it is not a sustainable practice at this point.

Guess whose is whose?

Guess whose is whose?

However! It could be that the problem is that she can't see what is actually in her drawer (because of the piles) and that is why it ends up in such a state. So perhaps the next phase will be experimenting with keeping her clothes in the KonMari way.

Any of you keep your kids' clothes in the KonMari way? Please leave a comment and tell me how it works for your family!