My husband learned another trick of folding, this time for fitted sheets, that I’ve never forgotten. It is harder to do alone than the towel folding but it is designed for one person, too.
Take two corners of the sheet and put your hands inside. Make ghost hands, wide spread, to smooth the wrinkles in the corners. Then point your index fingers into the very corner of these corners, and bring them together. Now, flip one of the corners over the other so they nest.
Here is the part that is hard to do alone: Straighten the whole, and fold into a square as closely as you can. Fold the rounded corners inward until they do not show. Fold vertically and then--as with the towels--horizontally once, then thrice until your result is a neat, smooth, trifolded packet. It’s hard to describe how satisfying it is to do this right. My husband would fold & refold until he perfected it.
One of his last full acts on earth was folding laundry. He was listening to the game in our bedroom, vague and spacey on a toxic brew of Valium and Oxycontin, barely able to stand as his hipbone now crumbled with cancer, but folding, folding, folding with care.
- Lisa Schamess is a Founding Editor of Dead Housekeeping. The companion piece to this essay is "How to Fold with Only Two Hands: Honoring the Integrity of Towels," which was the first piece we ran when we started this site three months ago.