GIF: Eric Ravenscraft

If you’ve only seen one of these laundry folding boards only once, it was probably in a scene from The Big Bang Theory. That alone was enough to keep me away for years. But now I must admit...I like it.

This awful Big Bang Theory scene, where Sheldon folding his laundry with a plastic gadget is played for unearned laughs, first aired in September of 2008. The gadget itself looks fine, interesting even. Yet I refused to try it out because of an old grudge with a bad TV show.

Now, I’ve caved. Not on the bad TV show, of course. But on the laundry folding board that, if we’re honest, did nothing wrong. The original, called the FlipFold has been imitated many times over the last decade. While the FlipFold costs $30, the knockoff I bought for $15 from BoxLegend works just as well.

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It’s a simple tool to use. You put your shirt or pants or whathaveyou on the board, flip the left side, flip the right side, and flip up the center. Boom. Your shirt’s folded consistently. Your pants look like they’re ready for a store shelf.

But is it really that much easier than folding laundry the normal way? Surprisingly...kind of! I’ll admit, I’m terrible at folding clothes. When I do it, fabric doesn’t seem to line up quite right, or every shirt is folded just differently enough to be messy. It’s why I prefer to hang up most clothes and skip the folding altogether (which takes up way too much space in my closet).

Photo: Eric Ravenscraft

What a laundry board gives you is consistency. It’s hard for your clothes to not end up in the exact same, square-ish shape when you’re done. If you need to save space in your dresser or your luggage, this is a convenience that could easily go overlooked, but is worth the price of admission.

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It also gives you the soothing psychological benefit of a rote, repetitive task. Folding laundry is pretty repetitive to begin with, making it the perfect task to perform while you watch TV. But using the board gives you kind of a centerpiece. This is your place. This is where you get things done. It’s like the difference between working on your laptop on the kitchen table and working at a proper office. One feels more like where you’re supposed to be productive.

It’s hard to find the infomercial product that lives up to its promise. Yet these folding laundry boards do, for the most part. They won’t revolutionize your life or anything, but if you care about consistency and neatness when folding your clothes, this is a small price to pay for it.

I just wish I wasn’t first introduced to the idea by friggin’ Sheldon.