My last blog entry was on laundry, it does seem most people struggle to keep up and get it done. Lately, it has been linens that I have been helping clients with. Do towels reproduce? How do we end up with 30 pillowcases?
Like anything else; towels, sheets and blankets must be gone through, culled and maintained. This doesn’t have to be a yearly thing unless you are a sheet hoarder. Most of us every 2-3 years get some new towels, sheets or both depending on need or a good sale or a change up in décor.
The best solution is to let the old ones go as soon as the new ones come in. You would never have to do a major go through if this is the case. But, if that isn’t being done, going through and taking out the ratty or old ones has to be done.
The bigger discussion here is, “how much do you need?” I guess the first question is how often do you change sheets or towels and then how often do you do laundry. If you take off bedding and put on a clean set followed by laundering the dirty ones…you will only need 2 sets of sheets for each bed! I know that is hard to accept when you have 10 sets for your bed, but really, that is how many you need. And we tend to grab our best ones each time so the others really aren’t being used.
I also understand the use of a winter set, usually a fleece. So, that would be a third (or fourth if you have 2 to rotate through in the winter.) So, for each bed in use, that is how many you should have. For guests, think about the size of the beds you have and keep 1-2 set for each of those (consider you are maxed out and all are in use.) Make each bed up and those sets for air mattresses, etc should all be put in a separate location for “guests” – don’t overcrowd your linen closet with barely used items. And, if possible, store the 1-3 extra set for each bed in that bedroom. Dedicate a closet shelf, tote for under the bed or 1 drawer for the bedding for that room. This is critical in homes with a shoebox of a linen closet. One lovely tip also is placing a complete set within one of the pillowcases. Much nicer looking on the shelf and you know you have a complete set together!
Towels, again, how many do you use for yourself in a week and then time in between laundering. Consider all stock needed for daily use in each bathroom as well as maxing out on guests within in the home. One per each guest is good. You could always do a load of towels quickly.
Extra blankets are nice too, but consider the current bedding on each bed. Is it year round or do you add one for winter months? Can that be stored in a tote under the bed? For guest beds, if it is a spare room, put the light blanket under the heavy one or vice versa or one folded at end. The one not needed and can be folded and placed on a chair. This allows you to store it where you need it. In doing all of this, the number of blankets actually folded in a closet should be minimal. If closet space is just not there, consider air sealing out bags or bins and placing them a storage area.
So, go gather up the linens and simplify your supply. Do the sheets first, gather and separate by size and then do each size by itself assessing condition and the quantity you have. Place back where they are used. Move onto towels, letting go of old/torn/stained ones first and then considering the quantity again. Lastly, blankets for each bed and then the extras. Those purged out sheets and towels can be donated to housing shelters or organizations as well as pet organizations love old towels to make bedding and use for clean-ups!