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December 7, 2010 3:52 PM   Subscribe

One of the biggest challenges you're going to face in your life is how to fold a fitted sheet.
posted by flapjax at midnite (138 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite

 
But does she know that that's a chamber pot sitting on the mantle?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:52 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fold?
posted by rtha at 3:56 PM on December 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


this is why I sleep in an ingenious nest made of newspaper and other found items I weave together nightly.
posted by The Whelk at 3:56 PM on December 7, 2010 [25 favorites]


But does she know that that's a chamber pot sitting on the mantle?

She does. And you'll be amazed to see how she has mastered that even greater challenge.
posted by The World Famous at 3:56 PM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Unfortunately, my favorite sheet set is fitted all the way around, and not just at the corners, so it's just a casserole of AAARRRGH all over.
posted by Gator at 3:58 PM on December 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


Okay, I was ready to mock, but then I WTFYTV and that is a pretty ingenious method of folding fitted sheets. Bravo, you weirdly saccharine-voiced lady! You have taught me something that I had encountered nowhere in my previous 46 years o' living.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:59 PM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Nothing makes me feel more inept than trying to fold a fitted sheet into a tidy package.
posted by peeedro at 4:02 PM on December 7, 2010


Fitted all the way around? Not enough patience to watch a video? Toss it in a trash bag and vacuum the air out! That page may say you should fold the clothes first, but pish-posh. I say: bag, vacuum, DONE.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:03 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh sure, if I lived in your happy little 6-dimensional universe where curves fold neatly and there's a smooth uncluttered space handy near the dryer and I actually owned more than one fitted sheet maybe I would be able to fold the goddamn thing so smugly and effortlessly and then my life would be perfect.

Sheesh, lady. Rub it in, why dontcha.

Actually this method is rather clever.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:03 PM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Why did no one tell me this? On a side note; I really hope this is the hardest thing I have to encounter, hell, I would love for it to be the hardest thing I encounter cleaning my house.
posted by Felex at 4:03 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Very helpful indeed, but nobody has yet solved the dilemma of how a short person can single-handedly fold the top sheet without dragging it all over the filthy laundromat floor.
posted by scratch at 4:03 PM on December 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


I would like to try this, but I am not a good folder. Nice lady seems nice, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:03 PM on December 7, 2010


I should say that my mum both a) didn't believe in fitted sheets, and b) sent the sheets out to a laundry, so I was kind of a stranger in a bed world I never made when it came to sheet origami.

Even so, I somehow didn't figure this neat hack out in the past several decades. Saccharine lady, I salute you!
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:03 PM on December 7, 2010


It's actually even easier to do when you iron them.

what?
posted by padraigin at 4:08 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


David Hilbert in 1930 proved mathematically that properly folding a fitted sheet requires seven spatial dimensions, at a minimum.
posted by Ratio at 4:11 PM on December 7, 2010 [12 favorites]


I first misread this as "how to hold..." and I was all "Just use your hands, silly!" But then I learned what was actually being said.
posted by Evernix at 4:11 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Related.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:12 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is a great idea, but I just know next time I fold my sheets I'll be all, "Okay, so, you just tuck this corner... and I think you do this one... uh maybe that's not right... wait... oh god, I have no idea what I'm doing."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:13 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fitted sheets? I must tell my girlfriend. We have been using those pockets in the corners as hoodies for our heads and feet.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:15 PM on December 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


How to fold a fitted sheet, the ArtW way:

Do not fold the fitted sheet. It's fucking pointless.
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM on December 7, 2010 [28 favorites]


My life is complete.
posted by HumanComplex at 4:20 PM on December 7, 2010


Since I had nothing better to do, I just attempted this on my fitted-all-around sheet. I now have a powerful urge to play a violent video game. WHEN IS DUKE NUKEM FOREVER COMING OUT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
posted by Gator at 4:20 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Related, related.
posted by jet_silver at 4:21 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Very helpful indeed, but nobody has yet solved the dilemma of how a short person can single-handedly fold the top sheet without dragging it all over the filthy laundromat floor.

By draping half of it over your head like a spooky ghostie, obvsly. Also if the laundrymat is empty you can make spooky ghostie noises and entertain yourself in a scooby-doo-ish fashion.
posted by elizardbits at 4:21 PM on December 7, 2010 [17 favorites]


1) I honestly thought this was common knowledge, but from the comments I guess this video's a Needed Thing after all. However,
2) Notice she barely patted the wadded sheet, deliberately obscuring the fact that an even simpler way to "double your storage space" is to moosh that sucker down and store your other crap on top of it. Hey presto! it compresses! Miracle of miracles!
3) On preview, what filthy light thief said but without the trash bag or vacuum.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:22 PM on December 7, 2010


You have to wonder what other knowledge these pleasant grandmotherly ladies have been keeping from us all this time.
posted by MrVisible at 4:30 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This seems to imply that I would be folding sheets in general. That's rather a lot to assume on my part.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:31 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like any new thing you learn
It might feel awkward at first
Don't worry
Because with a little bit of practice
You'll do just fine
posted by Nelson at 4:31 PM on December 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


I learned how to do this years ago while working for a hotel. It's one of the easiest things I've ever done at a job. Want a real challenge? Dial in a massive lathe chuck for less than .0001" deviation in concentricity and perpendicularity in less than 5 minutes.
posted by TrialByMedia at 4:32 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I did it wrong, thanks to a Dutch launderette dude who told me to lay the thing flat and fold all the edges sort of inward in order to create a rectangular outline. Then one forgets about the muddled mess inside that outline and folds the sheet up like any rectangular sheet. So: thanks, and thirty-five years of misguided practice to be erased.

I disagree about the biggest challenge, which is to finish the shit that I've started, even for me. Oh, and that lathe chuck, I can see that...
posted by Namlit at 4:34 PM on December 7, 2010


Delighted to learn at this late date how to do this. It appeals greatly to my compulsive side to know how to do it right. But I suspect I'll remember this for not much longer than I did the T shirt folding video.
posted by bearwife at 4:35 PM on December 7, 2010


MrVisible: You have to wonder what other knowledge these pleasant grandmotherly ladies have been keeping from us all this time.

They could tell you, but then they'd have to "disappear" you...
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:36 PM on December 7, 2010


I was flipping channels and came across an interview with someone who had written a book called Life's Too Short to Fold a Fitted Sheet. Normally I don't listen to TV, but I chose to take that title to heart.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:40 PM on December 7, 2010


My wife taught me this when she moved in. We generally put the sheets on the bed right out of the laundry, but every fall and spring when we change to and from flannel sheets and put the other set in storage, my mind. is. blown.
posted by notsnot at 4:41 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just remember, kids: if you do this trick to show off to your friends and family how clever you are, they will expect you to do all the folding from now on and it will become "your job" around the house until the day you die.

Sometimes, it just pays to be humble...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:41 PM on December 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I only own one fitted sheet.
posted by PHINC at 4:49 PM on December 7, 2010


I don't understand why somebody would fold sheets.

I just put them right on to the bed.
posted by entropone at 4:52 PM on December 7, 2010


You have to wonder what other knowledge these pleasant grandmotherly ladies have been keeping from us all this time.

You know Wikileaks' servers? The ones underneath that giant mountain in Sweden?

That's right.

She folded their sheets.

If you know what I mean.

activate reston 5!
posted by armage at 4:54 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never done this before and will never again. But:


Metafilter: a casserole of AAARRRGH.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:54 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I died while carving that.
posted by Gator at 5:01 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. I never knew it could be done. Very clever. Now, having said that, I'll never bother actually doing it.
posted by zardoz at 5:02 PM on December 7, 2010


I learned the trick when I was pretty young and have spent the rest of my life amused that people are so in awe of it.

My ex, when we were in (the final, failing days of) marriage counseling, listed it as one of the skills of mine that she admired. She was serious.
posted by not_the_water at 5:18 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


No joke....this has been a HUGE issue for me over the last few weeks. Mefi saves the day....AGAIN!!!
posted by pearlybob at 5:19 PM on December 7, 2010


Like any new thing you learn
It might feel awkward at first
Don't worry
Because with a little bit of practice
You'll do just fine


Did you quote that because it's sort of dirty out of context?

No? It's me then. Sorry.
posted by device55 at 5:19 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


SHE'S A WITCH!
posted by shen1138 at 5:21 PM on December 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


This is how I already do it. I was hoping that this would be some kind of genius topologist concept that would let me fold them without a horizontal surface. I love, love, love that t-shirt folding technique that came up a while back, but my wife hates it. As a matter of fact, last time I was visiting one of my sister's in law, her husband saw me doing it and said: "Paula is not going to like that", then called Paula over with a sort of gleeful anticipation to see her reaction when I showed off the technique. Sure enough: "Oh, I don't like that at all."
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:24 PM on December 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


The first time I used fitted sheets, I instinctively folded them that way (although I tuck pairs of corners together first, fold and then tuck all four corners together). The ones that are elastic all the can be done in a similar fashion, just tuck in all around the edge. If you straighten them out properly before folding in thirds they should be only a little more poofy than straight sheets.
posted by Alnedra at 5:29 PM on December 7, 2010


Great. I finally got over one laundry compulsion (and that took a bad break-up); now you have given me another. Bravo, MetaFilter; well played.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:35 PM on December 7, 2010


I did it wrong, thanks to a Dutch launderette dude who told me to lay the thing flat and fold all the edges sort of inward in order to create a rectangular outline. Then one forgets about the muddled mess inside that outline and folds the sheet up like any rectangular sheet.

Yes! This is exactly the same wrong way I've been doing it all these years! I have always hated it, too, but I can never figure out how not to do that. UNTIL NOW.

I don't understand why somebody would fold sheets.

I just put them right on to the bed.


Some of us don't have access to laundry facilities every time our sheets get dirty. And we have more than one set of sheets (because we don't have access to laundry facilities, &c.)

So the "I just put them right on the bed" option isn't always an option for everyone.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:38 PM on December 7, 2010


Time to upgrade our laundry folding robot overlords.
posted by CaseyB at 5:43 PM on December 7, 2010


Um, isn't this the way people normally fold fitted sheets? Were you people raised by wolves?
posted by Malla at 5:43 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you're attempting to live on a dime, I don't think folding your sheet is going to help all that much. It's just too plain big for that sort of real estate. You're going to need to go all Rick Moranis "Honey I Shrunk the Kids!" or something.
posted by cleancut at 5:44 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Were you people raised by wolves?

No, I was raised by someone so snooty she didn't believe in fitted sheets, and indeed in washing or drying her own sheets--they came to us in a big brown-paper stack every couple of weeks from the laundry.

You know how sometimes it feels like the good things in life are never as good as they were in your childhood? I'm that way with sheets. No sheets I buy and wash myself and fold are ever going to be as wonderful as my mum's sheets, smoothly pressed from the laundry.

(Do laundries even wash and press sheets anymore?)

Also, my mother wasn't really 'snooty', it was just her folkway. Sorry, Mum.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:47 PM on December 7, 2010


"a big brown-paper-wrapped stack" I should have said. We didn't actually sleep on brown paper--we slept mostly on cotton-linen mixture, but sometimes on just cotton.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:49 PM on December 7, 2010


Why bother? After all, I'm British and we only change our sheets three times a year.
posted by marvin at 5:53 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Next: how to clean shitted feet.
posted by bwg at 5:53 PM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


A few months ago I read a Facebook status from a middle school friend, who asked if there was any way to fold a fitted sheet. A chorus of females told him yes, there was. He replied "Forget it, I'll just do it the "man" way (roll into a ball and flatten)." Since this is the way that I used to fold fitted sheets, I was shamed into teaching myself how to do it via YouTube tutorials. It is kind of a pain in the ass, but the feeling of triumph is worth it, not to mention the extra closet space.

Oh, and you can still do it if the sheet is fitted all the way around. It just takes a little bit of extra effort.
posted by duvatney at 5:55 PM on December 7, 2010


Yes, sidhedevil, my mom ironed the sheets too. I miss that feel, the first night on a cool ironed sheet, but not enough to do it myself. (She also irons her jeans. Crazy.)
posted by Malla at 5:57 PM on December 7, 2010


Some of us don't have access to laundry facilities every time our sheets get dirty

yeah, right. no sink or toilet?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:58 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is how I fold fitted sheets:

"Honey, c'mere and fold this sheet for me."
posted by Lucinda at 6:04 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's how I used to fold fitted sheets until I found a better way:

1) fold sheets any old way. Roll them up if you want to, wad them, who cares.
2) turn one of the pillowcases inside out*
3) stuff pillowcase with the sheets and any additional pillowcases.
4) wrap excess pillowcase around the bundle
5) stick in linen closet

Now all of the sheets and pillowcases that are in a particular set are together, in their own storage bag that is easily identifiable.

*the pillowcase is inside out to keep any dust that may settle on the fabric side opposite of your face.
posted by jamaro at 6:13 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Folding fitted sheets is a freak talent, like wiggling your ears or touch typing. My mom and Mr. Arkham are the only people I know who can do it.

Now that I think of it, Mr. Arkham can touch type as well. I married a FREAK!
posted by JoanArkham at 6:17 PM on December 7, 2010


I call 110% bullshit on that huge "wadded up" sheet. A wadded sheet that isn't then crammed together with 20 other wadded sheets is barely wadded at all.
posted by DU at 6:27 PM on December 7, 2010


Although I'm intrigued, I can't watch. It took me ages to recognize that my inability to properly fold a fitted sheet did not mean that I was a failure as a human being. I'll just have to continue floomping (floomping = scrunching/folding/rolling into a semi-rectangular pile) my sheets in blissful ignorance.
posted by amyms at 6:27 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Valuable advice from the video: Like anything new you learn, it might feel a little awkward at first. Don't worry. With a little bit of practice, you'll do just fine."

I'm amusing myself by imagining alternate scenarios where she might offer the same advice.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:32 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm still going to wad them up and shove them in the pillowcase with the flat sheet. Life's too short to waste my time folding sheets. I could be fucking around online, for god's sake.
posted by dilettante at 6:42 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah my wife does this while ignoring my protestations that it is obviously impossible.

What a jerk.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:06 PM on December 7, 2010


I've always done something similar to that but it's always involved the other person who sleeps on the sheets.
posted by immlass at 7:10 PM on December 7, 2010


This video makes me miss my mom.

She and my dad used to fold the flat sheets as a team, it always ended with a kiss.
posted by stubby phillips at 7:12 PM on December 7, 2010 [22 favorites]


my mother never taught me how to fold a fitted sheet. I learned from a whore when I was in my 30s...
posted by supermedusa at 7:14 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


You can fold a fitted sheet?
posted by wierdo at 7:22 PM on December 7, 2010


"I hear evry mother say
The pusuit of happiness just seems a bore
And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose
No more running for the shelter of a mothers little helper
They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day
"
posted by pianomover at 7:23 PM on December 7, 2010


Wait, you wolvespeople use flat sheets? Just sleep under the duvet like God intended.
posted by mendel at 7:27 PM on December 7, 2010


Crap! I've always foldest fitted sheets that way. What does that mean for my life challenges?

Not a useful skill? Pah! One of the things that my better half found attractive about me is that I could fold fitted sheets. And wrap gifts. Ok, two things.
posted by phliar at 7:28 PM on December 7, 2010


Dear American Sheet Lady,
I have a round bed like Matt Helm and I am tired of putting my round fitted sheets away as messy, unfolded lumps in my round linen closet.
What should I do in this case?
posted by chococat at 7:32 PM on December 7, 2010


I like the part where she folded the sheet.... Sorry old Mefi joke and someone had to use it here.

I actually never change my fitted sheet so I DON'T have to worry about folding it. Yes, I still sleep on a twin bed with Star Wars fitted sheets...Thanks again mom!
posted by Increase at 7:38 PM on December 7, 2010


Thanks, I had come to the conclusion that it couldn't be done.
posted by nervousfritz at 7:46 PM on December 7, 2010


Just dropping back in, y'all to let you know (in case you hadn't noticed) that there's a gnome in this clip as well. He makes his grand appearance at 0:41.

Perhaps the chamber pot is for his use, although it seems rather inconveniently located, especially for such a little guy.

Oh, and while I'm here... How to fold a thong.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:56 PM on December 7, 2010


Forget about folding sheets. How the hell do you make the bed that you put the sheets on? Hospital corners, all that stuff. I've never been able to master it.
posted by blucevalo at 7:58 PM on December 7, 2010


"by folding it you can double your storage space, instantly"

I think that you can only do this if all of your storage space is currently occupied by incorrectly folded, fitted sheets.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:10 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


It is indeed a conundrum for the ages.
posted by unliteral at 8:23 PM on December 7, 2010


I learned how to do this just last week. I felt like a ninja.
posted by spilon at 8:28 PM on December 7, 2010


I'm with the crowd that doesn't understand why you fold sheets. I wash them and put them right back on the bed. No folding required.
posted by wv kay in ga at 8:47 PM on December 7, 2010


(some people own more than one set of sheets I know right)
posted by shakespeherian at 8:48 PM on December 7, 2010


No joke....this has been a HUGE issue for me over the last few weeks. Mefi saves the day....AGAIN!!!

This has been a HUGE issue for me the entirety of my adult life!!

Seriously, the only thing worse than trying to fold a fitted sheet is trying to put a fitted sheet on a mattress while stoned.

Not that I know anything about that.

Thank you so much for this.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:48 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh, I always found housework went much faster and more thoroughly if I was a bit stoned. You just devote 4 hours to listening to the radio while knee deep in soap.

This feeds into my I Am Secretly A Grandma theory.
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 PM on December 7, 2010


I am Secretly a Grandma, too! Seriously. Once I was stoned over this person's house and proceeded to clean her stove and her fridge for two or three hours. She was only mildly insulted. I hope.

But with the sheet thing, the ends just never stay on the bed! Over and over again, they keep peeling up! It becomes a Sisyphian task.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:00 PM on December 7, 2010


In retrospect, I really should have supported my college grass habit with a cleaning service job. It may take 5 hours, I may blast a lot of music, but your house will be fucking TIDY.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on December 7, 2010


Throw in the Feebreezing and scented candles for free.
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a man, I taught myself how to do this some years ago. To this date I have not figured out a way to display this is in plumage fashion for signalling the opposite sex.
posted by rhizome at 9:05 PM on December 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


When you guys say 'stoned,' are you talking about amphetamines?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:05 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


It doesn't work with jersey sheets, at least not my misshapen Target ones. :/ boo!
posted by Neekee at 9:06 PM on December 7, 2010


No I think we mean The Toker's Garden Delight. If you're kinda hyperactive, it's good to focusing you on a single task or series of repetitive behaviors cause suddenly mopping that floor is FASCINATING and you loose track of the squirrels in your head running around about how boring doing the same thing for more than second is.
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seriously, the only thing worse than trying to fold a fitted sheet is trying to put a fitted sheet on a mattress while stoned.

Nah, what's worse is trying to put a fitted sheet on the mattress when your playful cat can't TAKE THE HINT AND MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, YOU LITTLE BASTARD!
posted by MegoSteve at 9:17 PM on December 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yep. That's how I do it.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:24 PM on December 7, 2010


Seriously, the only thing worse than trying to fold a fitted sheet is trying to put a fitted sheet on a mattress while stoned.

You know they put handy alignment lines at the corners of fitted sheets, right?
posted by rhizome at 9:24 PM on December 7, 2010


You know they put handy alignment lines at the corners of fitted sheets, right?

Yes, but after indulging, I have trouble telling which sides are the width and which are the length.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:47 PM on December 7, 2010


Nah, what's worse is trying to put a fitted sheet on the mattress when your playful cat can't TAKE THE HINT AND MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, YOU LITTLE BASTARD!

Just go ahead and make the bed with the cat underneath the sheets. It'll wriggle its way out eventually (and it'll have the satisfaction of thinking it had the upper hand the whole time).
posted by amyms at 10:21 PM on December 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


We all know the secret to pepper steak is getting all the pieces the same size.
posted by not_on_display at 10:28 PM on December 7, 2010


...I was raised by someone so snooty she didn't believe in fitted sheets...

What is the alternative? Is there some kind of special way to mount a flat sheet on the bed, or is there a rare third kind of sheet?
posted by scose at 10:57 PM on December 7, 2010


Very helpful indeed, but nobody has yet solved the dilemma of how a short person can single-handedly fold the top sheet without dragging it all over the filthy laundromat floor.

Ah, but someone has.

This video is awesome btw. I have to practice this though, I think, before I get as awesome as she is at it.
posted by IvoShandor at 11:48 PM on December 7, 2010


It's only a challenge if you're the kind of challenged person who thinks it necessary to fold a fitted sheet neatly.
posted by Decani at 12:05 AM on December 8, 2010


Is there some kind of special way to mount a flat sheet on the bed...?

Hospital corners. Oh yes. My mother's like that too these days, but at least that means I got to take all the fitted sheets with me when I moved out.
posted by Lebannen at 2:19 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Very helpful indeed, but nobody has yet solved the dilemma of how a short person can single-handedly fold the top sheet without dragging it all over the filthy laundromat floor.

Easy. Fold it in the bathroom, whilst leaning a little forward over the bath so the excess sheet falls into the bath.
(NB - this only works if your bath is clean)
posted by talitha_kumi at 3:06 AM on December 8, 2010


Yes, but after indulging, I have trouble telling which sides are the width and which are the length.

I can't figure this out when I'm sober.

But I learned how to fold fitted sheets from an even higher authority - Martha Stewart. So there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:42 AM on December 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I looked at the wadded-up rolled-up messy one on the left and thought "YES! She uses my method!", then I realized she was going to show us how to make the tidy one on the right. Properly folded fitted sheets are suspicious activity that should be reported to the DHS.
posted by biscotti at 5:07 AM on December 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Very helpful indeed, but nobody has yet solved the dilemma of how a short person can single-handedly fold the top sheet without dragging it all over the filthy laundromat floor.

Stand on the bench whilst folding. Also good for issuing exhortations to the rest of the laundromat community there assembled to invade France.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 5:33 AM on December 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nelson: "Like any new thing you learn
It might feel awkward at first
Don't worry
Because with a little bit of practice
You'll do just fine
"

BurmaShave.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:34 AM on December 8, 2010


What is the alternative? {to fitted sheets?} Is there some kind of special way to mount a flat sheet on the bed, or is there a rare third kind of sheet

I think fitted sheets were invented in the 1950s, actually.

So, yeah, when you make a bed without fitted sheets, you have a larger bottom sheet (which you know is the bottom sheet because it doesn't have a deep border at the turn-over, but just the little hem like on the bottom of a modern flat sheet going all the way around) which you smooth tightly over the mattress and then fold under using hospital corners.

They stay on pretty much almost as well as fitted sheets.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:24 AM on December 8, 2010


But I don't know where one would even get flat bottom sheets today. I think the ship has sailed on this, and Team Fitted Sheet is victorious.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:25 AM on December 8, 2010


It's amazing how people can make a big deal out of very simple things...
posted by Gazetter at 7:43 AM on December 8, 2010


I know where you can get flat bottom sheets: China. I am sitting in a hotel on a bed made with a flat bottom sheet RIGHT NOW!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:46 AM on December 8, 2010


I went into the linen chest and refolded all the fitted sheets last night using Saccharine Lady's hack.

It was blissfully obsessive-compulsive.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:21 AM on December 8, 2010


Hotels seem to use flat bottom sheets, so they must be available somewhere. But perhaps not to mere non-hotel-owning mortals.
posted by rtha at 8:21 AM on December 8, 2010


This is the same method my mom taught me way back and I still can't do it. I've never been able to do it properly despite years of sort of half-assedly trying for as much as 12 seconds every three or four weeks. My daughter, on the other hand, just watched that video and folded the lumpy sheet she yanked out of the linen closet perfectly. "Great!" I said happily, "now you can fold all the sheets!"

I do not think this was the outcome she was looking for.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:27 AM on December 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


When you guys say 'stoned,' are you talking about amphetamines?

I thought almost everybody cleans better when stoned. Otherwise, like watching television, it's fucking tedium.

My wife has shown me this self-same fitted-sheet folding trick umpteen times and I can never do it right. Give it a fake fold and cram is my strategy.

I'm with the crowd that doesn't understand why you fold sheets. I wash them and put them right back on the bed. No folding required.

You must be able to imagine such a thing as an inflatable mattress.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:42 AM on December 8, 2010


Well, fuck my hat. You learn something new every day.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:35 AM on December 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is there some kind of special way to mount a flat sheet on the bed?

Hospital corners. The idea is that fitted sheets are less work, but if you end up in the military you get to learn how to do this.

How to, from a Sargent!

Personally I think hospital corners look more elegant, but the job of a bed is to look poofy, so that when you want to fall face first you sink into cuddly comfort (firm mattress underneath lightly fluffed comforter optional).

I don't make my bed, or even use a top sheet, but I claim it's so my bed will be aired.
posted by Phalene at 10:37 AM on December 8, 2010


What is wrong with me that I cannot follow these instructions? I just tried six different times and ended up each time with a twisted mass of failure! Arrrgh! Self definition crumbling, must go hula hoop to remind self that I can actually learn new tricks at ripe old age! (Just figured that one out after 40 years of not getting it...)
posted by eggkeeper at 11:58 AM on December 8, 2010


I am vaguely surprised this isn't common knowledge. Who knew I had secret sheet-folding knowledge? Maybe having an old-school nurse for a mother (who knew how to make hospital corners) taught me a few things (other than "never go to a doctor") after all.

Not that I bother to fold sheets now. I have two brand new sets of sheets in a huge wad on my laundry nook right now. But I had to as a child.
posted by threeturtles at 12:11 PM on December 8, 2010


Meh... she folded it with the wrong surface out. If one were to be perfectly precise, one would first fold the sheet down the middle lengthwise, with the sleeping surface inward, so that the sheet may be unfolded onto the bed, in place, and the crease down the middle can then help ensure that the top sheet is aligned evenly on the bed (assuming it is first folded down the middle, top surface inward, as well). The woman in the OP's video is just sloppy.
posted by dilettanti at 1:33 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


great, after seeing the "japanese way of folding a shirt" i'm now spending lots of time on youtube looking up more efficient ways to fold everything in my house. someone needs a folding things wiki...
posted by MysticMCJ at 2:03 PM on December 8, 2010


It's amazing how people can make a big deal out of very simple things...

hi welcome to metafilter this is what we do here

also there are beans
posted by elizardbits at 2:47 PM on December 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


flapjax at midnite: "But does she know that that's a chamber pot sitting on the mantle?"

I left a comment for her suggesting only a giraffe would be able to use the chamber pot.
posted by deborah at 3:19 PM on December 8, 2010


PhoBWanKenobi: Yes, but after indulging, I have trouble telling which sides are the width and which are the length.

I know, right?! So finally I took a magic marker to the corner with the tag and wrote a big TR on it for "top right" and now I never have to do sheets sober again.

What do you mean, my "problem?"
posted by Westringia F. at 3:45 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cat, do you not know I am trying to make the bed. Cat.
posted by mendel at 4:06 PM on December 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


mendel - You need to wait for them to fall asleep first
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


So finally I took a magic marker to the corner with the tag and wrote a big TR on it for "top right"

OMG, so this is what an epiphany feels like.
posted by jamaro at 4:20 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


So finally I took a magic marker to the corner with the tag and wrote a big TR on it for "top right"

But . . . how do you know it's the top right and not the bottom left?!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:21 PM on December 8, 2010


It is true. This is one of the biggest challenges I ever faced in life.

If I had seen this video before that day, maybe those five brave men wouldn't have died.
posted by kyrademon at 4:27 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


A buddy brought a friend to dinner. After a few bottles of wine, it came out that the friend could fold a fitted sheet. Said friend had also recently won a Pulitzer. But did we make her demonstrate investigative reporting? No, we did not.
posted by cyndigo at 4:28 PM on December 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


I am still confused about how to proceed. Question: Should I pick it up off the floor and launder the cat barf out of it first?
posted by bobobox at 5:05 PM on December 8, 2010


Why bother? After all, I'm British and we only change our sheets three times a year.



Oh. ACK!

I am now so gagging.


Great link, it's gone viral!
posted by ~Sushma~ at 5:56 PM on December 8, 2010


I am off to buy a table and a set of sheets to practice with and thus simplify my life.
posted by eegphalanges at 7:24 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


My brother rolls his sheets into a log. Golf Clap, bro
Start out the same way, fold the uneven sides & ends in towards the center. Put the flat sheet on top of the fitted sheet and the pillowcases on top of that. start at one end and roll up.
It would be cool if you unrolled the whole thing, aligned the center, flip it over, fasten the fitted corners, and the bed is made. Can someone make a video response to Chamber Pot Lady
posted by ohshenandoah at 1:46 PM on December 9, 2010


I finally washed the sheets. It worked perfectly the first time. Thanks.
posted by Xurando at 12:46 PM on December 12, 2010


i did it wrong and am now trapped in a six foot polycotton origami swan please send help
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:03 PM on December 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


stubby phillips, I am pleased to report that I have incorporated your parents' technique into my laundry repertoire. My sheets get folded without delay or demur now. Thanks for your help!
posted by immlass at 4:39 PM on December 13, 2010


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