Are you a fitted-sheet whisperer or a closet scruncher?
TV host Lisa Quinn, author of Life's Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets: Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation, is an unapologetic scruncher. "The real definition of insanity is folding a fitted sheet the same way over and over again, and expecting it to result in anything other than a migraine and a huge turban," she writes. "Stop stressing about it. Just wad it up the best you can and shove it in the closet."
Jill Cooper, who writes about domestic skills for Livingonadime.com, counters that folding saves you stress and time. "How many times have you found yourself digging in the linen closet for a sheet because everything is just wadded in there?" she asks. "The two minutes you take to fold the sheet you more than save later when you're looking for something."
Ms. Cooper points out that folding saves considerable space too. "You can get 50 per cent more space in your closet if you just fold your clothes and linens," she says. "And it's very simple once you figure it out. I've been surprised at how many people don't have a clue how to do it."
You can find a video tutorial of Ms. Cooper's method on Youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z5k9nWcuFc). Our variation is based on the same principle: tuck the four corners of the sheet into each other before folding. Follow these steps for perfectly compact bundles - no headaches, no turbans.
1. Stick your fingers inside two corners of a fitted sheet that has been turned inside out. They can be the short-end corners or the long-end corners.
2. Touch your middle fingers, bringing the two corners together.
3. Flip the right corner over the left corner, turning it right-side out in the process. Both corners should now be sitting on your left hand.
4. Straighten out the seams on the right side. Then move the stacked corners to your right hand, and straighten out the longer seams on the left side.
5. The other two corners will hanging loose just above the floor. Grip the sheet near the loose corners and allow the stacked corners to fall. They will hold together.
6. Put your hands inside the two loose corners and repeat the above steps. Bring your middle fingers together, then take the right corner and flip it over the left corner, turning it right-side out. Straighten the seams.
7. Now instead of four separate corners, you have two sets of stacked corners. Repeat the steps one last time. Put your hands inside the two sets, bring your middle fingers together and flip the right set over the left set. Straighten the seams.
8. Lay the sheet on a flat surface. The tip of your four stacked corners will form one corner of an imperfect square. The crinkly, elasticized parts are folded inside the square, leaving you with relatively straight edges.
9. Fold the square in thirds, then in half, or however you prefer.
Note: It's easier to stay oriented if you start with a smaller sheet that has a smooth hem between the elasticized portions, rather than a larger sheet that's elasticized all the way around.
*And don't do this … Stack folded sheets with the layered edges facing out. The rounded side looks neater.
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