Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Making Space - week 3

 


Week Three!  Yippee!

Spending just a little more time in the bedroom (and master bath), I pulled together just a few items this week.

But first a bit of a back story:

Many years ago when we were house-hunting, at one house I opened a linen closet and it was so completely full of disheveled sheets and towels I'm not sure what kept them from toppling out.   

Never mind being surprised that the sellers didn't think to remove some of the linens and neaten it up (if only for the sake of making the closet look more spacious), I still remember feeling kind of badly for these people at how frustrating it must have been to rummage through that mess of linens just to make a bed, or find a clean towel. And that when they did find what they were looking for, it would be wrinkled and no longer fresh looking.  For the record, we have lived in our current home for 22 years - so this memory is at least that long ago.  Which goes to show, I'm thinking, the degree to which the impression of this closet was made on me. While we've never had such a fully-stuffed linen closet, I decided right then and there we did not need nearly the number of sheets that we ourselves owned.

A related thing is that at some point (I don't remember when) I developed the habit of stripping the beds, washing and drying the sheets and pillow cases, and putting them right back on the beds.  Whether this habit made easier my decision to whittle down our sheets, or my whittling down sheets made developing this habit easier, the fact is these two things fit hand-in-glove with each other.

At some point in the raising of three boys and having four beds to regularly launder linens for, my idea of a necessary minimum number of sheets became to have one sheet set per bed, plus one extra set for each of the different sizes of beds we owned.  The only reason I kept an extra set of sheets per bed size was in case someone became sick in the night and a quick sheet change needed to happen.  And yes, I've been thankful that on several occasions I was able to instantly pull out a clean set of sheets and quickly remake a bed for a sleepy, ill child.  

Anyway, the years passed, and each son took his bed (and sheets) with him when he moved out.  We've been down to just one queen-sized bed for a couple of years now and I must have forgotten my rule at some point because somehow I've managed to amass quite a few more sheets than I ever intended to.  I got rid of some in the October minimalism challenge, but it's time to get rid of the rest of the superfluous sheets.  


I know what's pictured above doesn't look like much compared to the length of the back story, but it is this week's "declutter".  There's actually a bed skirt and two mis-matched sheets above.  The pillows have been on our bed for years.  They're a bit flat and really... no longer attractive, so out they go - finally.   The brushes and combs never got used (except for maybe once) because they don't work well with my hair, and the hairdryer parts don't fit on my current hairdryer (let alone that I never used them with the hair dryer they came with - however long ago that was), and then there's a small plastic box with too-small-sized compartments that are just fiddly to me.  

This next part is a last-minute (but important) edit:  

To be completely honest, when I first wrote this post, I wrote an admission that I was hanging onto to three sheet sets - one still new in the package that I brought home from MIL's this summer.  But today it came clear to me that I will be happier rehoming those brand new sheets.  And here's why:

It's a sheet set identical to one we had many years ago (I'm sure, given to us by MIL) and looking at it, I know I'm not going to really like them (neither the pattern, nor the feel of the sheets).  Truthfully, it's probably a more expensive sheet set than I will buy when we need new ones as I much prefer a coarser sheet that is crisp when new - so someone else will (hopefully) be extremely glad to find this set at the thrift store. 

I so appreciate how this exercise causes me to look honestly at things I'm hanging onto for no good reason, or for reasons that don't respect where I am in life, or what I know to be true about me and what I like or need.

So, for week three of my Making Space challenge, my running total of items outa here is:

Making Space:  67 items gone


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If you'd like to join in a low-key decluttering activity that fits with the pace of life, see my post my post explaining this Making Space endeavor.  Check out the bottom of same link for graphics you can feel free to use.

14 comments:

  1. OH! Linen closet! Gosh, another area I need to pay attention to. Thanks for the reminder. And mine is right next to Josie's room which is just about completed.

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    1. I will have to motivate myself to do it, but I really should go through a cabinet in what used to be our boys' bathroom and minimize some of what's in there. Everything from bath and kitchen towels, light bulbs, soaps, lotions, air fresheners, and more. Sigh. Too much stuff. I have gone through it in the past, but really... it could be better.

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  2. I hate messing in the linen closet. The lowest shelf is above the water heater, nice and warm for keeping linens dry and fresh, but I can't reach the back of it, need a step stool for the higher shelf, and sheets and pillow cases fall on me. I winnowed out a lot im the Great Winnowing, and it's my least favorite spot to organize.

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    1. Minimizing sheets means I can keep the one extra set of sheets in a drawer in the dresser. Our "linen closet" has stored toys, puzzles, and games when the boys were young; after they moved out, it became storage for my overflow of finished crafty projects. That's a different kind of problem altogether.

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  3. How I wish I lived close to you because I'd happily take those sheets off your hands. I use lots of them as 'underpinnings' in my landscapes and am always searching the thrifites for them. We have two pairs of winter and two pairs of summer sheets that fit our bed, plus two other sets that serve if we have company. Any company we have (had!!) was our son and his family so that would involve a mattress on the floor in the living room for them and our grandson got the couch in my sewing room. I always would remove a set, wash & dry it and put it right back on the bed but now that we're doing most of the laundry by hand it doesn't dry in time. The thought of using the communal machines in our building during these times does not excite us - and washing by hand means a savings of well over $60/month.

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    1. Oh, Mary Anne... If we lived close I would have so loved to have given you any of the sheets I've donated. Your comment makes me realize how being so warm-blooded anymore, I can' stand flannel sheets anymore. And I forgot all the flannel sheets we had for our boys' beds. Yeah... there was a time I probably had a fairly full linen closet. If we had more than one overnight guest we might be up a creek... Oh... don't do this to me. Don't make me second guess my decision. ;^)

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  4. You are doing a great job. I only keep one extra set of sheets as well and I like a crisp sheet. Actually the lower the thread count the better which means I can spend less on sheets:) I could probably empty quite bit out of the hair dressing drawer if I got real honest too.

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    1. That's exactly the type of sheet I like, too. I think I disappointed my MIL on numerous occasions. I prefer a firm-ish foam pillow (she had luxurious feather pillows), I prefer cheap crisp sheets (she bought expensive soft sheets - on sale). I tried, even when the boys were little to reject materialism (she loved to shop). We tried to minimize gift gifting in the extended family (she spent the whole year buying and storing gifts for Christmas and birthdays). I think we were both a bit of a puzzle for each other.

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  5. You are doing so well, making reasonable decisions! I, too, like one set on each bed and one extra set in that bedroom's closet. I do have a few extras for air mattresses when several grands spend the night. The important thing is determining what is need and what is excess!

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    1. This is so true. We're in a season of life where we're just not likely to have more than one of our sons as an overnight guest, and we can easily accommodate him. If we are eventually blessed with grandchildren or other likely overnight visitors, I can see how that would change in what we will want to accommodate. Life is always changing...

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  6. I have my things collected and ready for pictures - and I am hell-bent to get it all posted before the end of today! You are doing a great job.

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    1. I look forward to reading it. :) And seeing your pictures!

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  7. I think I’m going to make a start at clearing out some things this week and not wait until January. The huge suitcase and bag of clothes that are too small are weighing me down and probably contributing to the over eating, so I’m going to clear out the things that are way too small to start. Your posts really inspire me. I did our linen cupboard a few years ago but lots of sheets moved to the garage as painting sheets to lay on the floor when I redecorate.

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that this exercise I'm doing (and sharing) is helping anyone. When I post my weekly picture(s) I confess, I do it with a bit of trepidation - that anyone else might think it weird to do so, or even a bit too personal. Or - eek! - vulgar. But frankly, I feel the same way whenever we've had a garage sale - lol. Like I'm inviting people to come look at my junk. OTOH, I know how much it would help me to be honest with my stuff to see someone else doing this. So I share. Thanks for the encouragement, Liz!

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