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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Organizing Linens

Does your linen closet look like this?

Most of us can relate. My linen closet is not where I want it to be. Face it. I want it to look like Martha Stewart's linen closet.. perfect, ribbons, lacy edged shelf liner, etc. But most of us have to live in the real world. We are doing good to be somewhere between the messy and the perfect. I can fold a fitted sheet but it never looks like Martha Stewart's. She would fire me. But, at least mine are folded and stacked.

But I want mine to look better. I'm always looking for a better system. It has to work for me! If it doesn't and I'm not satisfied, I look for a new way. Research and development.

The first thing I would do is pull everything out of the linen closet. If it needs cleaning, it gets cleaned. If it needs painting, wallpaper, new shelf liner, etc this is the time to do it. Wipe down your shelving. Get those baseboards. Clean the door, door handle.

Next purge.Get rid of everything that you don't use. I keep an old set of Queen, King, Twin for those times when you rent a house for vacation. Those are kept separate from my houshold bed linens. Make sure those are clean, folded and labeled or stored in a labeled container.

Go through your sheets and towels and if anything is getting bare, raggedy, stringy, stained, faded... put them to the side. For old towels you can cut into rags or donate to an animal rescue organization, your local pet groomer or vet. For old sheets, you can save a few to be used as paint rags. I keep them in a large plastic bag with the paint supplies in the garage. After that I either throw them away (if they are in too bad shape) or donate them.

Make sure every thing is clean and neatly folded. Label or place in labelled containers. You want all your King size sheets together. Same with Queen, Full or Twin. Basically you only need 2 sets per bed. And you can get away with 1 set if you just take them off, wash and put them back on. Since I have dogs and we have unexpected accidents sometimes, I keep 2 sets for my bed. I have 2 of mattress pads, waterproof mattress pads, cloth pee pads, sheets and quilts. Because I use all these layers, the accidents don't penetrate to my mattress. But that's why I keep 2 of everything. Because it takes several hours to wash and dry all those layers.

Anyway, you don't have to keep 14 sets of sheets. Get rid of the extras that you don't need. Be ruthless. If they are pilled up and you avoid using them, if they are the wrong color, if they are faded, etc go ahead and toss them. If you never use them because they were the wrong thread count or because you like percale instead of flannel, it's OK to get rid of them. Keep what you use and what you need. But don't keep what you don't like or what you don't use. Some people still have the sheets that matched the comforter back in 1987. That's silly. If you use them and like them, by all means keep them. If you don't, get rid of them.

Decide what works for you. Some people store their 2nd set of sheets between the mattress and box springs or under the bed.

Others store each set in the bedroom that uses those sheets. Some people store them in a cabinet in their laundry room and others store them in the hallway linen closet. Decide what works for you and your family.

For me, my bed linens go in the hall linen closet. The bathroom linens go in each bathroom. My bathroom doesn't have a bathroom closet. I purchased an old vintage metal kitchen cabinet. I put it outside my dressing room and that is where I store my bathroom linens. It wasn't made for linens but I use it for that. You can think outside the box, it's OK.

The old entertainment centers can make wonderful closets or wardrobes.

Next decide how you want to fold your linens. Each person is different. It depends on you and you alone. But you do want them neatly folded. Some people roll them, others fold in thirds, etc. If you fold, rather than roll, place them with the spines out.

Although others don't do that. Do it the way it works for you.

Decide how you are going to fold your sheets. Some fold them and fit them inside a pillow case. This makes for a neat package.

Others like to wrap with a ribbon.

Now you've cleaned, purged, folded and it's time to put like items together. You can keep all your King size sheets together. Or you can keep all the sheets for John's room together. Again, whatever makes sense to you. You can label a shelf, or label a container, a basket, drawer, etc. You could use a safety pen to label each set of sheets and then stack them together. Then decide on containers if you want to use them.

I hope these ideas inspire you like they do me.

While we are talking about linens, let's look at table linens. Just because they sell tablecloths doesn't mean you have to use tablecloths. They can be beautiful but they can also be a pain in the butt to keep washed, ironed and stored. But if you like to use tableclothes, here are some great ways to store your tablecloths. Storing large tableclothes on dowels can help keep them wrinkle free.

Here are some great ideas on how to store your napkins. If you use cloth napkins you might need a way to organize and store them.

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