Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Linen Closet

I have been wanting to get to this dratted closet for a while, now. It is upstairs in the hallway between our bedroom and my daughter's. It holds our bed linens, stuff for the powder room (also on this floor) and travel bags.

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:

Pillow Protectors:
6 queen
8 standard

Pillow Cases:
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.

Mattress Pads:
2 Queen
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.

Here are all the grocery bags I fished out of all the hidey holes in the closet.

 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....

Ta Da!

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.


Anonymous said...

Have you tried the stick on battery operated lights?

Alana in Canada said...

Interesting idea. Thanks.

Chris K in Wisconsin said...

I was just at the home improvement store the other day and they have an entire area of battery-operated lighting options. Just an idea!

Marian said...

This is a really timely post, as it reminds me to rectify the situation I discovered when I cleaned out our linen cupboard recently: a whole host of twin sheets, but no extra sheets for either my 16 year-old's double, or our queen bed! Personally I think two sets per bed is plenty, and I have a strict policy of washing the stuff and getting that very set back onto the bed the same day, as that saves on folding (fitted sheets are such a pain to fold neatly!)

Instead of waiting for a white sale, you could perhaps check out Winners (TJ Maxx to your American readers) - they usually have great deals on bedding. (And it wasn't until a couple of days after your Target post that I thought of Winners as a good alternative for reasonably priced home decor items...)

Janina Laird said...

I'm not sure how many sheet sets I have at this point. I did do a major purge when I moved about a year back since I 'lost' 3 bedrooms and the beds from them in the move. Then I even had to downsize my 'king' bed for a queen sized one. Smaller house. Smaller rooms. I needed a smaller bed. My son took the queen bed from his room with him when we moved. Yep! That's how you make them move out. You downsize! He took all the linens that were for that bed.

When I had to a queen bed for this house, I needed new linens. All my king and double sized linens was donated. Comforters, blankets, and sheets were all washed and neatly folded and carefully bagged up in the correct bed sizes. It was really beautiful stuff and I'm glad I'm able to pass it on where it is needed. Same thing with 4 bathrooms full of stuff. I'm paranoid about everything being pristine clean when I donate it. As far as I'm concerned, everyone deserves the best if everything.

The things that I didn't think we're top notch were donated to the animal shelter. They love it when you walk in the door with a load of 'new' and clean towels and blankets. They give our furry friends a soft cozy place to lie upon.

After all that purging, I managed to get all my linens into one closet just ever so dlightly larger than Alana's. I have 2 sets of sheets for my bed along with the flannel winter ones I can't live without.

Purging/cleaning is a job I always put off but this move made it unavoidable. My next down-sizing purge will be only to get me into a small pine box!!

Oh, Winner's and HomeSense ARE great places for bedding and towels. I watch the clearance shelves closely when I have needed anything new and could almost always find what I needed if I kept my eyes open

I love your blog Alana!

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