Here’s How to Fold Clothes Exactly Like Marie Kondo

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The absolutely most space-efficient way to fold your pants, socks, and underwear.

Organizing expert Marie Kondo has been helping people organize their closets and their lives since she published her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (It was originally published in Japanese in 2011, and the English translation hit bookstores in 2014.) Thanks to the runaway success of her Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Kondo’s advice has resurfaced—and gone viral. Her KonMari method has given people a new take on decluttering, and Marie Kondo folding tips are officially the most efficient way to organize your wardrobe. Check out these sock-folding tricks and unusual uses for old socks that Kondo would be proud of.

Below is an excerpt from Kondo’s second book, Spark Joy, which offers step-by-step illustrations of the popular Marie Kondo folding technique for tidying up the messiest parts of your house and life.

01-fold-like-a-geniusMasako Inoue/Spark Joy

The secret to folding clothes is this: Never give up. Clothes are simply rectangular pieces of cloth sewn together, and regardless of how it looks, any garment can be folded into a rectangle—the ideal shape, even for your pants, underwear, and socks.

Does folding these items sound like too much work? Try it once. Folding properly deflates clothes and maximizes the amount you can store. Anything that can be stood on edge should be stored upright in a drawer. That way, you’ll take full advantage of the height of your storage space and be able to tell at a glance what is stored where. This is Marie Kondo’s one condition of keeping items that don’t “spark joy.”

02-fold-like-a-geniusMasako Inoue/Spark Joy

Having folded clothes properly once, you’ll find the next time that much easier, as if the fabric remembers the shape.

03-fold-like-a-geniusMasako Inoue/Spark Joy

Next, if these Marie Kondo folding tips worked for you, you need to check out these 50 other organizing tips you’ll wish you knew all along.

Marie-Kondo-Spark-JoySpark Joy

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest