How to File Fold Clothes to Keep Them Organized

Some people love the KonMari method of tidying up, and some people just don’t. I’m sort of mixed in between and can see pros and cons. But if you are looking for the perfect method of how to file fold clothes to keep them organized, Marie Kondo is the one to see.

There is truly no better way to fold clothes and store them in your dresser than her file system. Items stay neat and unwrinkled, and everything is visible at a glance.

Never again will you have to dig to the bottom of a pile of sweaters to find what you are looking for!

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pastel clothing neatly folded in drawer

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

Have you been watching the Netflix miniseries Tidying up with Marie Kondo?   

As a self-described Organizing Nerd, I binged right through it when it first came out – and I may have re-watched an episode or two since then.

I freely admit that I love Marie’s style, her positivity, and yes, her ability to appear to float through the air.  Have you noticed that?  “I love mess!”  she proclaims, as she floats from the front door through the living room and into the kitchen.  “I love mess!” and her laughter sounds like little bells.

Marie’s style of organizing is great for some people, but not for everyone.  This is because she organizes by category, not location.  So its ALL the clothes, all at once.  And then ALL the books.  There is no room for partial effort.  And that’s great for people who respond to that sort of intensity. 

For others, though…just thinking about it can cause them to run screaming out the front door before they even get started.

It’s maybe not the best method for casual organizers.


Except that her method of folding clothes is something EVERYONE can and should do.

woman folding baby clothes

How to Fold Clothes to Keep Them Organized, the KonMari Way

In the traditional stacked method, the tendency is to just grab whatever is on top, and all too often the clothing items that are at the bottom of the stack rarely get worn – or even remembered. 

In contrast, the KonMari Method recommends a specific way of folding clothing into small rectangles, then storing them vertically in drawers – like files. 

The genius of this method is that it allows you to see all the items in your drawer all at once. 

And BONUS, this filing system takes up A LOT LESS SPACE!

I learned Marie’s style of folding a few years ago when her first book, The Magical Art of Tidying Up, first became a sensation here in the U.S.  My efforts were frustrating at first and took a bit more time than my old way of folding, but I quickly got the hang of it and now it’s quick and just seems normal to me.  When you first get started, it helps to watch a video or two! 

How to Fold Clothes – A Quick Review

Here’s a quick review of her method. Again, the goal is to turn every clothing item into a long rectangle, and then fold it to make a small “package” that can stand up on its own.


how to fold clothes: red sweater laying out smoothly, unfolded
Spread the garment out, front side down, and smooth the wrinkles.
how to fold clothes: red sweater with one side folded
Fold 1/3 over on the left side, the fold the sleeve even with the new edge of the garment
how to fold clothes: red sweater with two sides folded
Repeat with the right side, to form a long rectangle.
red sweater folded in half
Fold the rectangle in half.
red sweater now in thirds
Now fold again, in thirds this time.
red sweater standing up like a package
And there you have it – a perfect little package. Smooth, unwrinkled clothes that take up very little space!
woman folding clothes

How I Used KonMari to Fold My Clothes

I’ve used her method pretty consistently, with a few changes such as I just roll my panties and socks rather than folding them.  And I hang my jeans and most of my t-shirts, but that’s just a personal preference. 

Recently, though, it seems I’ve been letting things slide and my dresser drawers were far from Marie-approved condition.

I had a little burst of ambition this morning, coupled with a strong desire to stay cozy at home. That may have something to do with the fact that we are in our fourth day in a row of drenching rains here in Southern California.  I am happy to say that I am back on the clothes-folding bandwagon. 

I didn’t change a lot, and I didn’t remove any clothing except for one sweater that I saw stains on that I hadn’t noticed when I put it away (I hate when that happens!).  But I ended up with one completely empty drawer!

file folded clothes in drawer

How I Organized My Drawers

Once all my clothes were properly folded, here’s how I organized my dresser:

Top drawer, left side: bras.  I lay them out flat, straps and backs tucked under.  I will spare you the visual. 

Top drawer, middle:  panties and sausage casings (aka Spanx).  These I do not fold Marie’s way, I just fold them once and roll them up, then order them in neat little rows.  Panties in the front, jiggle-controllers in the back. Camisoles are on the left side.

Top drawer, right:  socks.  I have a plastic container for regular socks, and gym socks next to it, just to keep it neater.  I also store my compression socks, ankle support, and elbow support in here, like a little physical therapy stash. 

Sometimes I hide a little extra cash in this drawer.  Shhh – that’s our little secret!

Middle drawer, left:  ahhhhh, here’s a pretty picture.  Yes, I fit ALL of my sweaters plus a couple of miscellaneous tops in here.  Seriously, these took up two drawers before I Kondo’ed them.  Don’t they look nice?  I love that I can see every one of them at a glance.

Bottom drawer, left:  shorts (out of season, but hopefully not for too long – I am in SoCal, after all).  Sweats, leggings, workout tops.

Bottom drawer, right:  Jammies, swimsuits, cover-ups.  This drawer is not full.

Middle drawer, right:  This is where the KonMari effort really pays off, ladies – once I folded everything properly and stored it –  this drawer was EMPTY!  This is the beauty of KonMari folding!  Try it, I urge you.  You’ll be glad you did.

jeans and tops file folded in drawer

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Final Thoughts on How to File Fold Clothes to Keep Them Organized

What do you think – do you understand and approve of how to fold clothes using the KonMari Method?  What positive ideas did you take away from the show (or the book)?  Do you have another system for folding clothes you like better?   I’d love to hear your thoughts!

woman folding striped shirt with other neatly folded items around

2 thoughts on “How to File Fold Clothes to Keep Them Organized”

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