Yet Another Boring Chore
Folding laundry is a pain to everyone. Sure. Some may not mind it. Others, like me, dread it. The reality is most of us could think of better ways to spend our time rather than folding loads upon loads of laundry. But there are so many ways to fold towels, it’s definitely worth checking out this post to see if one of these folds could make your life better.
The Back Story
I’ll be honest with you, I’d rather be shopping. I really don’t want to buy more stuff, but there’s something therapeutic about looking at displays, feeling warm inside on a cold day (or cool on a hot day), and also touching different products. I’m convinced touching satin or silk may lower your blood pressure though I have zero scientific evidence of that. Sitting on that ridiculously expensive sectional in a high end department store can also make you feel like a million bucks. Smelling food in a mall’s food court can be exhilarating. In my experience, when I shop, I tend to eat less because my other sense are overloaded, and for that moment in time, I feel completely carefree and stress free.
If I am not shopping, I’d rather be outside in my yard planning and figuring my dream garden. I won’t lie. It’s an eyesore right now. But every year I devote time to some part of the yard, and it does look better than it did 7 years ago when we moved into our home. But I don’t think Michael is convinced of my never ending monetary devotion to this cause. Thankfully, I have found a trick or two to cut back on my flower gardening obsession. But I digress yet again from the topic at hand. Maybe someday, I’ll have a post to link to this line.
Michael and I used to work for the hotel industry. I worked for 2 years for Holiday Inn and Mike worked there a couple months and moved to another Intercontinental Hotel chain called Candlewood Suites. He worked as their weekend auditor, and did a fantastic job (in my opinion).
While the staff at Holiday Inn was subpar at the time, the job itself was fantastic! Working for ICH (Intercontinental Hotel Groups) was an amazing experience, and I still find myself utilizing these skills in my everyday life. I worked mostly for the banquet department. But I dabbled here and there helping the kitchen and restaurant staff a tiny bit of the time. I also tried my hand at front desk and night auditor which I failed at miserably. I am still trying to forget that chapter of my life.
And finally, when banquets were slow, I helped out the janitors and housekeeping (and housekeeping, you have my utmost sincere apologies for all the times I seriously screwed up and you had to fix my mistakes!). Folding towels, napkins and linens was a chore but surprisingly therapeutic. But using the hotel press for ironing? Now that’s another story that I dare not horrify you by telling. Needless to say, me and the iron/press are enemies, and my clothes can tell you that by how I dress.
Growing up in Western Kentucky, I was raised by my mother and great grandmother. There was help from the rest of my family as well. Anybody ever seen that Greek Wedding movie from the 90s? It was something like that without roasted lamb. Just add bbq sauce, lots of cole slaw and potato salad, and fried chicken. No wonder I am obese. But the majority of my parenting came from my mother and great grandmother. Here’s a picture of my great grandmother at age 96 with my youngest, Liam. They were best buddies!
My great grandmother folded what I am calling the traditional fold as pictured below. Basically, this is a square type fold where you meet each corner and fold in half. Then you fold it in half again two more times (which makes this a quarter fold), and you’re done. Mamaw (the common Kentucky name for your grandmother) folded her towels this way because she had a deep built in cabinet. Honestly, it was the size of a small square shower, and it could have easily been converted to one since she had an old baby blue retro tub right beside it. So it was much easier for her to fold her towels square to fit into such a deep cabinet. She could store many towels and even her bed linens easily and even still have tons of room for beauty and hygienic supplies (which is exactly what she did). And a fact besides the point, she had an awesome laundry chute built into this thing since her washer and dryer were down stairs. But that’s besides the point.
TOP 5 WAYS I LIKE TO FOLD TOWELS
The Traditional Fold
We jokingly call this the “Ethelized” fold in our family. It usually entailed, you did it her way or you didn’t do it at all. Seriously nice lady with serious household habits and rituals. No joke there!
Step 1: Lay your towel flat.
Step 2: Fold each corner together to make a half.
Step 3: Fold in half again.
Step 5: Press down flat. Finished product.
My mother, on the other had, had limited cabinet space. Her name is Kay, and she’s an RN. Isn’t she cute?
She eventually remodeled the house over the span of the 21 years she lived there. But her fold (pictured below this paragraph) is what I am calling the trifold. Like Mamaw’s fold, you fold the towel in half and then in half again to achieve a quarter fold. But instead of leaving it in a quarter fold, you then fold it into thirds for a very compact and thick fold. Why did my mom take so many complicated steps? Well that’s because her over the toilet cabinet was very shallow, and it could only hold towels in this shape. She was lucky to get eight to ten towels in there plus wash cloths and hand towels.
The Kay Fold
Step 1: This looks just like Mamaw Ethel’s first fold.
Fold it in half.
Step 2: This also looks like Mamaw Ethel’s second fold. Don’t worry, the next step is where things become different.
Step 3: So here’s where we begin the trifold. Fold the top (or bottom should you prefer. I just like the look of the seam) down to the middle of the towel.
Step 4: Fold the bottom (or top depending) overlapping the first fold to the middle. And here’s what it looks like at the end
For years, I folded my towels these two ways just because I didn’t know there were multiple ways to fold a towel. Honestly, I am still learning more and more about towel folding the older I become.
When I landed in the hotel industry, towel, napkin and linen folding became an art. These folds are strategic to allow the housekeeping cart to hold a set number of towels and linens before reloading. Also, you have to clean rooms quickly in order to prepare for guests. Most check outs are at 11 am while most check ins are at 3 pm. That means you have 4 hours to clean and flip rooms. And if a convention comes to town, watch out! You better have extra staff or figure out how to speed clean.
While I am certain I could watch YouTube videos all day and study other moms better suited at towel folds and such, these are the five I have first hand experience in folding.
Folding is a serious deal in the hospitality industry. You don’t want your towels and linens coming unfolded while you’re trying to flip the guest rooms. And that’s how it should be in our households. Who likes doing double duty on laundry? I know I don’t! That’s where part two of this towel folding series comes into play.For those who missed my post about the towel folding methods I grew up with, you can click the link here to read before coming to this post. For those who are ready to read the remainder of this post, read on.
You may recall that I once worked for the hotel industry in college. While it was hard work, it was so much fun helping guests and making people more comfortable. I spent most of my days in banquets, however during slow periods, we would help out other departments like housekeeping. Housekeeping is probably the hardest working most underappreciated department in the whole hotel industry. Front desk and bellman often times takes credit for their labor. While banquets and kitchen staff are more of the showier departments on their own. Housekeeping (along with maintenance) are often left out of the picture and in the background.
But I did enjoy folding linens in housekeeping and learned a trick or two along the way. Here’s an example on how to fold towels like we did at Holiday Inn. I am calling this the “get it done quickly” fold.
Get It Done…Quickly!
Hurry the boss is here and the guests will be here any minute! If your fold isn’t just right, watch out because that means you’re in serious trouble. Nope, not a write up. Guests will think twice coming to your establishment if rooms are not clean and tidy! I know I wouldn’t!
Step 1: Lay towel flat. Fold lower corners of the towel to what is about the middle as pictured below.
Step 2: Fold opposite end to meet 1/4 of the towel with your first fold. This should look like a wide strip like the picture below.
Step 3: Fold one quarter of the towel toward the middle. Then fold over the same length again.
Step 4: Fold the other end to make a mirror image. Fold both ends into the middle like so.
While Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn are both part of the same hotel group, that does not mean it’s the same thing. Candlewood Suites are designed with the home in mind. Actually, it’s designed to where people can have contracts month to month to live there. Holiday Inn focuses on the full hotel experience. They want to provide excellent accommodations and usually room service. This is not to be confused with the Holiday Inn Expresses which is to provide a quick service to guests for people who are on the road traveling whether it be vacation or on the road living. And there are so many more, I could go on.
This fold I am going to show you is what I have named the Mike fold. This is what we use in our home. Why? Well it isn’t my favorite fold. When I need Mike to fold laundry, I can set him on auto pilot and have perfectly folded laundry every time without a fight or mishap (most of the time). Michael is a fantastic help to our family, and while I try to do the brunt of the housework since he’s the breadwinner, he isn’t opposed to jumping in and doing his share. I love it, especially because it’s an excellent model for the boys to follow. And the older they are becoming, the more they help Mom.
The Mike Fold (Also quick and easy)
Step 1: Lay towel flat. Fold lower corners of the towel to what is about the middle as pictured below. This will look very similar to the Get It Done Quickly fold.
Step 2: Fold opposite end to the length of about 1/4 of your towel with your first fold. This should look like a wide strip like the picture below. Then fold over as pictured below with a total of 3 folds.
Step 4: Fold over one last time to create a very neatly folded square.
And that’s it!
The last fold I am going to demonstrate is one I learned while in the Smokies. We stayed at the Economy Inn and Suites in Gatlinburg, and while it was a bit older, it was nice, clean and walking distance to the main strip. I would stay there again in a heartbeat! But their towels were a different approach than the “get it done quickly” fold and the Mike fold. And, honestly, I like it better than the ones I have learned over the years. I am calling this technique the economic fold, and it looks like this below.
The Economic Fold (Just an extra fold that I really like)
Step 1: Lay towel flat. Fold lower corners of the towel to what is about the middle as pictured below. This will look very similar to the Get It Done Quickly fold and the Mike fold.
Step 2: Fold opposite end to meet 1/2 of the towel with your first fold. This should look like a wide strip like the picture below.
Step 3: Fold in half long ways.
Step 4: Fold in half one more time long ways to make a clean rectangle shape.
And there you have it, folks! Here’s my top 5 favorite laundry folds. I hope that this post helps someone out there, and if it does, please give a like to this post. Even feel free to share this post with others if you feel so inclined. Hopefully, your laundering experiences can be better utilized so you can get back to what you really want to be doing. Until next time, remember to just add these towel folds to your life to make it that much easier.