I’ve written about de-cluttering a fair amount on this blog. I always have a donate bag on the go in the house and every couple weeks, I drop it off at our local thrift store filled with clothes, household items, books, etc. Last week, we had an unexpected repair in the basement which meant I had to unload our
junk guest room into the main play/family space. This week, I started sorting out all those items and I was determined that the guest room would remain a guest room without looking like a junk room. Make sense?
Prior to hauling all the stuff out of this room, I had put things under the bed, in the cabinet and just piled up on the floor. If you are thinking we must not get a lot of guests, you are correct! When I finished sorting, the biggest pile of stuff that I had to deal with was linens! Blankets, sheets, towels and more blankets, sheets and towels. I went upstairs to my linen closet and pulled out even more items! I counted:
- 12 blankets
- 6 old sheets
- 1 set of sheets for the sofa bed
- 1 set of sheets for the guest bed
- 2 sets of extra pillow cases
- 6 towels for the dog
- 1 set of pillow protectors
- 2 picnic blankets
- flannel Christmas sheets
- baby blankets
- an extra mattress pad, duvet and pillow
- 20 tea towels
*I excluded the sheets we use daily on our beds in this initial exercise* Then I analyzed my lot. A fair amount of these linens had seen better days, so I quickly put them out of their misery and into the garbage. They were not even worth to become cleaning rags if you know what I mean. Next, I carefully looked at each item and decided if it was a keep or donate. This was tough. I became fairly ruthless and kept only what we needed. Off of this pile, I donated:
- flannel Christmas sheets (too warm for my kids)
- 4 blankets
- 1 baby blanket
- 2 knitted afghans
- 4 tea towels
The dog did pretty well. She got 2 blankets, 2 sheets and 4 towels. I think this is fair considering how often she gets wet and dirty and it means I won’t have to do laundry every other day for her. Based on this quick success, I headed into the kids’ bedrooms to suss out the linen and bedroom closets.
I keep the bedding for each child in their room. Easy to find and change the beds this way. I only found 1 extra set of twin sheets that was a little too young in pattern for my now 9 year old son. They were quickly put in the donate pile. My daughter only has 2 sets of sheets, so there was nothing taken from her room – except I found….more baby blankets! We no longer have any babies in our house and my daughter doesn’t play with dolls, so the 8 blankets I found in her room were pretty unnecessary. I kept 1 for sentimental reasons, 2 for her to play with stuffies and the other 5 were being donated.
Then I tackled the towels. In our powder room, there were 6 hand towels and only 3 were in colours I actually liked, so 3 were donated. The kids’ bathroom has 2 sets of towels in different colours and patterns to match their bathroom, so I kept them all. The master bathroom has 3 sets of towels in white and they were all in pretty good shape, so I kept them all. After all was said and done, our family now has the following linens:
- sheets for the sofa bed
- sheets for the guest bed
- 2 sets of sheets for my son’s room
- 2 sets of sheets for my daughter’s room
- 2 sets of sheets for the master bedroom
- 2 picnic blankets – which I promptly put in my car
- 4 blankets – for the couches and on the guest bed downstairs
- pillow protectors – I actually put them on the pillows
- 10 tea towels
- 3 hand towels for the powder room
- 2 sets of towels for the kids’ bath
- 3 sets of towels for the master bath
My 5 easy steps to declutter your household linens are:
- Go room by room and deal with each room on its own. Bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, mudroom, etc.
- In each room, pull out all the linens associated with that room and put into one big pile.
- Sort into keep, donate and garbage. Be ruthless and only keep what you need.
- If you are keeping them, use them! Right away, put on the pillow protectors, put the blankets where they are needed and hang those lovely hand towels. Donating is easy, too – pet shelters and thrift stores are always in need of clean usable sheets and towels.
- When you put the linens back, make sure they are neat, tidy and easy to access. If you have space in your bathroom, keep your towels there instead of a closet down the hall. I also store the kids’ sheets in each of their bedrooms.
Check out this link from Martha Stewart if you need ideas on how to organize your linens and what might work for your style. I found these images on Pinterest to also give you some ideas:
Hope this helps you reduce some of those extra linens you have stored around your house. If you have been following Marie Kondo, you will know that this room by room method is not what she would recommend. I haven’t read the book yet, but it is on my list as I am always interested in new ideas on organizing.
If you have read her book, let me know what you think and if you have any other ideas, please share!