Things I have learned as an Inn Sitter: The Fitted Bed Sheet

One of the great mysteries of the modern age is “How do you fold a fitted bed sheet?” In my early years, I let my mother do it. As a married man, when I got roped into helping with the wash, as I often did, I kind of folded (wadded) the fitted sheets to lay flat in the closet. As a widower, I just wash the sheets and put them right back onto my bed.

As an inn sitter, I was finally forced to deal with the dreaded fitted bed sheet. Not just one, but lots of them every day. I was finally shown how to do it, which I will explain and illustrate:

  1. Bring all four corners together with the sewn corners stacked on the finger tips of one hand.
  2. Adjust the elastic edges so they are neat and the sheet is again shaped like a rectangle.
  3. Fold one-third of the sheet, containing the corners down.
  4. Fold the other third of the sheet over it and turn the long sheet over.
  5. Fold one-third of the sheet, containing the corners in and the other third of the sheet over.
Bring the corners together and lay out the sheet as a rectangle

Bring the corners together and lay out the sheet as a rectangle

Fold down one third of the sheet containing the corners

Fold down one third of the sheet containing the corners and fold up the bottom third of the sheet

Turn over the sheet and fold it in thirds with the corners on the inside

Turn over the sheet and fold it in thirds with the corners on the inside

I’m not going to claim it is easy to do because, sometimes, the sheet just will not cooperate with me.

There is, however, a hitch with this method: What do you do when you have ten rooms, half with king and half with queen beds? The last thing you want to happen is to start putting on a fitted sheet only to realize it is the wrong size because someone (me) got the sheet in the wrong pile! I think I have the answer: I bring together the four corners with the corner with the tag exposed. Then I fold the sheet exactly backwards so the corner with the tag is out instead of in the middle of the folded sheet. It’s not as pretty, but I and/or the housekeeping staff will appreciate the chance to double check the sheet size before it is totally unfolded.

Folded exactly backwards with the tag exposed!

Folded exactly backwards with the tag exposed!

Stop the Presses!!!! We visited a B&B, last Sunday that had another solution. Their housekeeper didn’t enjoy folding fitted sheets and asked why she couldn’t hang them up? They now have a series of coat hooks in their laundry room. They put together the four corners of the fitted sheets and hang them on the hooks. They have none of the creases you get with a folded sheet. I wish I had taken a picture.

John Lang

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