Last week I was delivering a workshop locally on understanding how our homes impact on our wellbeing. One of the recommendations that drew the most vocal response was to fold your knickers.
Some were groaning at the idea while others were echoing their support of it, backing me up on how good you can feel from this simple little exercise.
A former squirrel (I never identified with the “hoarder” label), I’ve learned through experience just how cathartic cleaning, decluttering, and organising can be. Despite this, I struggle as much as the next person to get started. The idea of it all can be overwhelming, but once we get going a momentum gathers that carries us through. And the completed task brings such a sense of peace.
And that applies just as much to a single, organised underwear drawer as it does to a whole room.
I have been folding my knickers and socks for over two years now, and it still amazes me. I hardly iron a stitch of clothing, as I generally think life is too short for that. But knicker folding is now an exercise in mindfulness for me.
On top of that, it frees up so much space! My underwear and socks now fit into a third of the space previously required. That might be the reason why I managed to make this a regular practice rather than a once-off. And now that it is a regular practice, I’ve become somewhat evangelical about the concept.
It’s a Marie Kondo practice, but I don’t worry whether or not they can stand up on their own as she recommends. (Life really is too short for that.) Rather than dumping the lot into a drawer, I leave them in a pile on top of the dresser until I have ten minutes to do it right. And honestly, it can feel like a chore to be done when I eye up that pile, but once I start it morphs into a self-care feeling.
And when it’s done, there’s a sense of satisfaction that far outweighs the time input required to do it.
I understand the feeling of scepticism that might greet this idea. As I enthused to the workshop participants last week, you really have to do it to get it. And all you need is ten minutes to try it out. A simple swap of ten minutes scrolling on social media (which can be a huge anxiety trigger) for ten minutes of folding, could herald a surprising new self-care act.