How To Neatly Fold And Store Kitchen Towels

Having an organized kitchen can make cooking and cleaning tasks easier and more enjoyable. One simple way to keep your kitchen neat is by properly folding and storing your dish towels.

How To Neatly Fold And Store Kitchen Towels

Kitchen towels get used frequently for everything from drying dishes to wiping up spills. Because they get so much use, it’s helpful to have a good system for storing them in an accessible yet orderly fashion.

Folding your towels in a particular way can:

  • Allow you to easily grab a fresh towel when needed
  • Prevent towels from getting bunched up or wrinkled in storage
  • Enable you to neatly fit more towels in a drawer or basket
  • Give your kitchen an overall tidier appearance

The key is choosing a folding technique that works for the size and shape of your towels as well as your available storage space.

Marie Kondo’s Standing Towel Fold

One of the most popular methods for folding kitchen towels was introduced by Marie Kondo, the organizational guru. Her technique results in towels that can stand upright, making them easy to grab and put away.

Here are the steps for the Marie Kondo standing towel fold:

  1. Lay the towel flat on a surface
  2. Fold it in half lengthwise
  3. Fold it in half widthwise
  4. Fold it into thirds widthwise
  5. The towel should now be able to stand up on its own
  6. Place the folded towels upright in a drawer or bin

The key to this fold is making sure the towels can stand independently. If yours won’t stand, re-fold it more tightly following the steps.

When stored upright, these compact folded towels make it easy to see all your options at a glance in the drawer. You can quickly grab one without disrupting the rest.

The File Fold For Shallow Drawers

If your kitchen drawers are quite shallow, the Marie Kondo fold may not work as well. In this case, try the simple file fold instead:

  1. Lay the towel flat
  2. Fold it in half lengthwise
  3. Fold it in half lengthwise again
  4. Fold it into thirds lengthwise
  5. Store the towels horizontally like files

This flat fold allows you to neatly stack towels in a shallow space. Place them in the drawer vertically, with the triple folded edge facing up.

You can easily see and access any towel without messing up the pile. If the drawer opens from the side, you may want to alternate the folds facing opposite directions.

Quick Tri-Fold For Countertop Baskets

For a fast fold that works well in countertop baskets or bins, use this simple tri-fold method:

  1. Lay the towel flat
  2. Fold one long side to the middle
  3. Fold the other long side over, creating three layers
  4. Place folded towels upright in basket

The tri-fold creates a neat, compact rectangle that stands up nicely in a basket or container on your kitchen counter. This makes fresh towels very accessible for everyday use.

You can easily see all your towel colors and patterns at a glance. Just grab one from the top when needed, then re-fold it and place it back in the basket.

Key Takeaway: Choose a folding technique based on your available storage space – upright for deep drawers, file folds for shallow drawers, or tri-folds for countertop baskets.

The Rolled Towel Method

Another simple but effective way to store kitchen towels is to roll them up. This works especially well for dish towels and hand towels.

Here’s how:

  1. Lay the towel flat
  2. Fold it in half lengthwise
  3. Starting from one long side, tightly roll up the towel
  4. Place the rolled towels horizontally in a drawer or bin

Rolling keeps towels compact while preventing wrinkles and bunching. The cylindrical shape makes them super easy to grab and put away.

You can stand the rolls upright or lay them sideways, depending on your storage container. If laying sideways, it may help to alternate the direction the ends are facing.

For countertop storage, roll up a few fresh towels and place them in a small basket or bowl. This gives a neat yet rustic look while keeping clean towels handy.

Storing Kitchen Towels Properly

Along with folding your towels neatly, it’s important to store them in a designated place away from moisture and grime. Some smart storage solutions include:

  • A kitchen drawer close to the sink
  • cabinet or shelf near prep areas
  • A pretty basket on the counter
  • towel bar mounted on the cabinet face

Choose sealed containers if storing in damp areas to prevent musty odors. Line any bins with a clean cloth for added freshness.

It’s also a good idea to use separate storage spots for clean and used towels. That way you won’t mix up soiled rags with your fresh linens.

For easy access, keep a small container for used towels near the sink or stove. Empty it regularly into the laundry hamper.

Maintaining Neatly Folded Towels

Of course, no matter how perfectly you fold and store your towels, they’ll eventually get mussed up again with daily use. Establish a simple routine to keep them looking tidy:

  • Re-fold used towels before putting away
  • Remove any stained or ripped towels for the rag bin
  • Smooth out the folds if towels get knocked around
  • Rotate new, freshly laundered towels to the top

Doing a quick tidy of your kitchen towels each day only takes a minute but goes a long way towards keeping this high-traffic area looking neat.

You may also want to use decorative baskets or containers to conceal towel storage. This gives a polished look while hiding any minor towel disarray.

Key Takeaway: Along with folding neatly, designate specific storage bins for clean and used towels, and routinely re-fold and tidy them up.


How often should you replace kitchen towels?

Aim to switch out kitchen towels at least once a day, more often if heavily soiled. Used towels are breeding grounds for bacteria.

Can you fold kitchen towels with the KonMari method?

Yes, the standing towel fold is the organizing technique introduced by Marie Kondo in her KonMari decluttering method.

What’s the best way to store dish towels?

The best storage keeps dish towels visible yet contained. Some good options are shallow drawers, countertop baskets, or shelves with towel bars.

Do you have to iron kitchen towels after washing?

No, it’s not necessary to iron dish towels. The folding or rolling process will remove most wrinkles. Just take care when removing them from the dryer.

Should you store damp kitchen towels?

No, never store damp or wet kitchen towels as they can quickly grow mildew and bacteria. Always ensure towels are completely dry before folding and storing.


Taking a few minutes to neatly fold and organize your kitchen towels makes a surprising difference in how clean and put-together your kitchen looks and feels. Once you get the hang of one or two folding techniques, keeping your towel situation tidy is a breeze.

Try out the standing, file, tri-fold, or rolled methods depending on your storage needs. Combining smart folding with designated “clean” and “used” towel bins will make your kitchen linens easier to access and maintain.

Emma Kellam
Emma Kellam

I'm Emma, and I run Towels Edition, a website for fellow home goods enthusiasts who, like me, are passionate about textiles. After working in high-end retail, I was amazed by how little most people (myself included!) know about all the towel options out there.

I research and write all the content myself. Whether it's specialized towels like bar mops, Turkish cotton production methods, or comparing hair towel absorbency, I cover it. My goal is to share my knowledge and enthusiasm to help others.

Running Towels Edition allows me to constantly expand my own expertise too. I love learning about innovations in bamboo fabric or ideal bath towels. It's so rewarding to receive emails thanking me for recommendations that improved my readers' routines.

I want Towels Edition to be the ultimate online towel resource, making this overlooked necessity far more fascinating. My aim is to open people's eyes to how specialty towels can thoroughly enhance hygiene, cleaning, recreation and self-care.