Japanese clothes folding techniques – learn to do it like Marie Kondo

Read our 10-step guide to help you implement the Marie Kondo method into your day-to-day life.

Updated May 20, 2019

Japanese clothes folding techniques – learn to do it like Marie Kondo

Do you struggle to keep your clothes in order and find clean laundry often ends up in a messy pile? Cracking the art of clothes folding and organising will not only put your laundry in order - it'll help you love your things even more! The Marie Kondo folding technique is undoubtedly one of the most popular, so why not learn her method and get joy from your clothes while helping them stay in good condition for longer. The KonMari method is also a great calming activity that could help you feel more "zen".

Follow our top tips and step-by-step guide to KonMari folding to get your clothes in perfect order.

Donate clothes that are no longer worn, needed or loved before starting the process of KonMari folding. Before donating them, make sure you wash them well with a delicate detergent like Skip.    

The Marie Kondo method: how to do it like a pro

You might well have seen Marie Kondo folding clothes, but there’s more to her technique than just working out where to put the creases. Follow this full process to bring Marie Kondo calm to your life:

  1. Before you start folding, lay out three boxes or bin liners to put your clothes into categories. This Japanese folding clothes method can take a while, so set aside plenty of time to get it done.
  2. Remove your clothes from closets and drawers and lay them down in an open space – on the floor or bed works well.
  3. Pick up each piece of clothing and decide whether you want to keep it or not. Set aside anything you’re unsure of into a ‘maybe’ pile.
  4. With your ‘maybe’ pile, careful consideration should be made. Deciding whether the item ‘sparks joy’ is a big part of the KonMari method - if it doesn't give a feeling of joy when you pick it up then it's time to say goodbye.
  5. Once you’ve chosen the items you’re definitely keeping, it’s time to learn some folding techniques. Ensure your clothes are well laundered with a good quality laundry detergent like OMO, have dried fully, and been ironed (if necessary).
  6. Lay out the garment on the floor and smooth it gently to remove creases.
  7. Take one-third of the item and fold in from the outside edge. Next, fold in one third from the opposite edge, meeting in the middle.
  8. Work from the bottom up and fold your clothes four times. That should leave you with a folded rectangle, which can be stood up in a triangle shape – the folded edge at the top and the ends at the bottom.
  9. Put the item back in its drawer, standing up with the edge that’s been folded on top. Feel like you’ve perfected the Marie Kondo method? Folding clothes can go to another level with colour ordering. A progression of rainbow colours looks fabulous so why not organise your clothes in this way when putting them back in your drawers.
  10. Sit back and enjoy your newly neat and tidy drawers.

Now you know the Japanese folding method you’ll want to Kondo all your possessions. Once you’ve mastered the technique you’ll be able to complete the task in a way that Marie Kondo would be proud of herself, so keep it up! 

  • Take out all the clothes you want to sort from your closet and drawers.
  • Donate items that you don’t want to keep.
  • Fold them carefully with the KonMari method.
  • Return items to their drawers, standing them upright. Order by colour for extra organisation points.
  • Originally published April 8, 2019