The problem with the closet is not the closet.
The problem with the closet is that the light in the hallway does not work. We keep the bathroom light on in order to make our way up the stairs, but as you can imagine, trying to access the closet after 5pm can be pretty hit or miss. (We need to call an electrician but we're being ostriches about it as we know the house is not up to code and we're afraid of what the bogeyman might say.)
So it's a mess.
I've also been wanting to tackle this as part of my homework in the decluttering module with Joshua Becker, as part of Courtney Carver's year long course called "A Simple Year."
My first step was to determine just what all I wanted to keep in here. I won't bore you with the details, especially as nothing really changed.
The next thing I did was to figure out the number and kind of linens I wanted to keep.
Here's the breakdown:
In this family of four, my husband and I share a queen sized bed, the kids each have a twin.
For pillows we have:
Ben --1 queen, 1 standard
Emma --1 standard
Chris and I: 1 pair of Euro pillows, 1 pair of queen, 1 pair of standard pillows. (Well, that's the goal. Currently, we have one queen and on standard in addition to our Euros.)
So, if each bed is supposed to have (at least) two sets of everything, though Cheryl Mendelson wisely advises three, here's what we should keep:
2 pairs Euro (4)
2 pairs Queen (4)
2 non-matched Queen (for a total of 6 Queen)
2 pairs standard (4)
4 unmatched standard
Sheet Sets (Top flat and fitted bottom):
2 sets Queen
4 sets Twin
PLUS 1 set of flannel sheets for each twin bed.
3 or 4 Twin. (I can get away with three if I don't change the kids' mattress pads on the same day.)
Whew. Got all that?
You notice I left out comforters, duvets, duvet covers, and blankets. That's because I'm just not ready to deal with all of that just yet. Some of them are on the top shelf.
Professional organizers recommend that you have everything--from all over the house--before you start. So, I folded some sheets waiting in the laundry room, started a load of laundry, and collected a few things I had in storage down in the laundry room.
Later, I found another sheet set in my son's room--clean but covered in dust. I must have given them to him and told him to change his bed a while back.
The pillowcases and protectors.
Isn't that ridiculous? There are only two garbage baskets which take them. I decided that I would toss half of them and then sew up a grocery bag holder and put it on the door of the closet to hold the rest.
Several hours later, we have....
The Donation pile.
I can take them to women's shelters, Ronald MacDonald House, Homeless shelters, Compassion Houses, basically, any charity which has beds. Severely used or torn sheets are better suited to animal shelters for bedding.
And so, here we are, all loaded up again. I was just racing against the light at this point.
I decided to put Queen sized stuff on the top and the twin stuff on the bottom. The stuff in the middle is all bathroom related, since there's no closed storage in there.
(Yep, I kept waaaay more than my allotted 6 queen pillow cases! They're vital to surviving the zombie apocalypse. I'm just sayin')
Ironically, I have a shopping list. In spite of having a ton of bed linens, I am actually short in a few categories. I'm ready for a white sale.