The Best Folding Tricks From Instagram's Folding Expert

Sophie Liard, aka The Folding Lady, smooths out even the most daunting tasks

the folding lady

The Spruce / Photos by @thefoldinglady

Everyone has their own kind of zen zone, a place or activity that resets or quiets your mind. Some people find that peace on the yoga mat or in the quiet with a comfortable chair and a good book. For Sophie Liard, she found that happy place many years ago in a department store and stacks of unkempt clothing. 

You probably know Liard better by her online persona, The Folding Lady. Her insanely popular how-to videos have earned her millions of views on Instagram and TikTok, and this spring, her book, “The Folding Lady: Tool and Tricks for Making the Most of Your Space Room by Room” hits the shelves.

Meet the Expert

Sophie Liard is person behind The Folding Lady, a popular social media account demonstrating how to fold different items.

Liard, who is based in England, found her passion for order as a 16-year-old working a retail job after school. “I folded a pair of Diesel jeans into the most satisfying pile and it went from there,” she says. “If we folded well in the store we could create beautiful displays, make it easier for customers to shop and save space in our stock rooms. I just applied this to the home and made it relative. It was also the most mindful part of my working day. Folding and tidying up after customers at the end of the day was my favorite part. I would have some amazing chats with colleagues whilst folding jeans back up or just some creative thinking when I tidied up alone.”

She started her folding career 15 years ago, so at this point it is just a way of life for her.  “I will always fold and respect my clothes.” But don’t feel too overwhelmed, because even The Folding Lady has her kryptonite: her pajama drawer. Not everything in her home gets the perfect crease.

“Everything is mix and match and for some reason, I don’t bother to fold it; it's all just thrown in,” Liard says. “There are lots of items I don’t fold but my followers do fold, like baby muslin cloths. I get asked to fold those all the time, so I show everyone how to fold them but in my life, I just throw them in a container.”

Ready to get your home in order? Liard shares a few of her top tips that will have you folding like a pro in no time.

Flat’s Where It’s At

The first trick for a fabulous fold is using the proper surface for staging. Liard says it is critical to take the time to lay the item you want to fold flat. “Make sure all your seams are straight and where they should be,” she says. “It will make the fold easier, neater and you’ll get less creases.”

Corral Your Clothing

Neatly stacking your apparel is definitely the goal, however none of that matters much if you can’t find the bottoms to your pajamas or that other sock. “Contain, contain, contain,” Liard says. “Whether that be using drawer dividers, Ikea SKUBBs or shoe boxes. Containing the folds in their drawers or shelves will keep them together and organized.” Even though her personal PJs get tossed in a drawer, The Folding Lady has tips for those of us who want to keep their night clothes neat, too. 

Keep It Edgy

You might be thinking that towels, those basic rectangles of various sizes, are among the easiest and most basic items to fold neatly. Not so fast, says Liard. “So many possible folds but I recommend my infamous 'thirds and thirds again' as a great starting place,” she says. “Using this fold, you will see how the edges keep tidy, which is often the folder’s trouble when folding anything. Folding into thirds is a great way to keep edges neat.”

Package Your Linens

Folding a fitted sheet is not for the faint of heart. We have all heard tales of this task quickly turning into shoving the sheet in a drawer or closet and possibly the shedding of tears. The tales might even be our own. Liard’s method works perfectly and makes you feel like a grown-up with super powers. 

If you like to keep your sheets and matching pillowcases together, The Folding Lady has a video for that, too. And what is more satisfying than being able to reach into a linen closet and pull out a full set of sheets and things, ready to go? 

Liard has great tips for organizing literally everything in your home, from kitchens to kids’ stuff and bathrooms to beautiful family holiday celebrations. Her approachable style and simple instructions for what might have seemed insurmountable will have you hooked!