In the Inner Game of Laundry I talked about the whole process of folding and sorting laundry. One critical element to this is the actual folding. It is rare that two adults living in the same house will do all of those things the same way. Matushka's Law states that if two adults are in the same house they will always load the dishwasher, make the bed and fold the clothes differently AND one person will care deeply and the other won't and will think the first person is silly.
Take towels, for instance. My sister Emily calls the way her husband folds towels "boy folding". I think this is very apt. My husband and Rebecca's husband fold them exactly the same way. They fold them in half, then fold them in half and call it done. This results in a droopy, flat towel that, no matter how you turn it, always has one "messy" edge visible. It is also too big to fit on the shelf without hanging off. Hand towels and dish towels folded the same way have the same result. See [Exhibit 1].
The proper way to fold towels is to fold them in half, then in thirds, then in half again. This results in a neat, compact fold that will not flop around and fits on the shelf. [Exhibit 2] I tried to teach Father this the other night when he was helping me with the five loads of laundry on the bed before bedtime. I demonstrated and said, "Just remember: half, thirds, half." In the end I wound up folding the towels and he folded the washcloths. Those are acceptable in quarters because they're so small.
Towels aren't the only things that fall under this law. Shirts do too. Hands up, how many fold t-shirts sleeve to sleeve (folded lengthwise) then fold in half? I feel the same way about that fold as I do about the towel in [Exhibit 1]. I hold the shirt up in front of me, fold the sleeves back, then fold the bottom half up to the back. I think you can guess how Father likes to fold shirts.
The secret to a happy marriage while working under Matushka's Law is for the first person to shut her eyes when the second person is willing to help. (Sometimes breathing into a paper bag is necessary.) In the larger scheme of things, is it worth a big argument to insist on things being folded the proper way? (Notice I didn't say "my" way. Ahem.) No, it is not.
At the very least, if you do go back and refold things, don't let the second person see.
P.S. Many thanks to my wonderful husband for helping me fold laundry on so many occasions. (: