Skeleton in the Closet

For some time now I have been hunting for a tallboy to tuck into the corner of our bedroom, to take on some extra storage for bits and pieces, some overflow clothes storage (not mine, you understand!). We can fit everything in the cupboards we now have, but it is all a bit congested. So I have been trudging around shops (my absolute favourite and my best... not) with my measuring tape. I did find a simply darling antique cedar chest of drawers... but it was a little too long. The problem is, it is a very small corner we are trying to squeeze a largish piece of furniture into.. and I was very bored with shopping. I stood in our dressing room hoping for a solution.

Our dressing room used to be the walk in pantry, back in the day when our bedroom was the kitchen (a lot of our rooms have a history like that..). We have lined it with wardrobes, and the double wardrobe on this wall is our linen cupboard. I was staring at it vaguely, thinking about my mother's linen closet in the house I grew up in. Which was the size of a single wardrobe. Sure we have two more people in our family, but I don't store the towels in mine.. I decided to downsize the sheets.

Here is what I had to start with..

All the sheets, all the mess. The only reason there is a tiny gap on the right there is because I just recently passed on Posy's cot sheets. Yes, Posy who is eight. I can't believe I actually transferred them into the new linen closet last year..

Why is it so hard to get rid of sheets? I think I have manchester anxieties. I appear to have an excessive number of duvet covers, and slightly too many sheets. I took a deep breath and filled up a box for the Refugee Welcome Group.

I just kept going until what was left fit in the single cupboard.

Girls' sheets up the top. Everything in shades of blue and pink, so they can choose pink, or blue, or go mad with mix and match, and it all still looks OK for their control freak mother.

Master bed sheets. All white. So easy. The Boy has brown. And yes, he now only has one pair of sheets other than the one on his bed. In truth, that's all he has been using for a couple of years, because he didn't like the other two sets I had in the cupboard for him. So now they have gone to a better home.

And now The Man can arrange his clothes elegantly in the double wardrobe (as you can see, like me, he doesn't do colours!), and we don't need a chest of drawers in the bedroom any more. So I am thinking of one of those ducky little Edwardian glass-fronted book cases, the ones with the leadlight panes....

You see, there are so many benefits to decluttering, and not shopping!


Anonymous said…
Well done, Jo. That looks fantastic.

And I second getting a beautiful Edwardian bookcase. (If you can stand going shopping.)
we downsized heaps in our last move and the linen cupboard was one of the most overstuffed. It dawned on me (im a bit slow) that we really did not need ALL OF THIS STUFF. Really only have one on the bed one in the wash and maybe one spare. Ditto the towels went through and got rid of all the threadbare ones and ones that really arent used but take up space. Havent regretted it since ....did get a bit low and panicky in the midst of a gastro bug but we made it
Jo said…
Lucinda, I'm expecting the book case to be a long term project. The likelihood of there being the perfect one in the antique shop which I visit on a six-monthly basis... is pretty small.
Michele, one thing I never get rid of is old towels! I keep them in the laundry cupboard for mopping up the shower floor, big spills, winter condensation on windows - and as you say, to line the carpet next to Posy's bed if there seems any danger of gastro..
But everything else, I agree, two or three sets of sheets is enough. I think we have gotten away from the concept of 'enough', and need to revisit it badly, for the sake of the planet and our sanity.
Heather said…
Good for you! I have so many sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and towels SHOVED into my tiny linen closet, the doors don't even close all the way. When I talk about paring down the bulk my husband always talks about how we can use the extra sheets as drop-cloths when we paint, or how the old towels will be good for rags,so begrudgingly I just leave it all in there. That closet is my nemesis. I should just box up all the extra "useful" old stuff and leave it on my husband's work bench in the garage, but I don't want to be a witchy wife.
Weirdly, we have very few sheets. I strip the beds, wash the sheets, and then put them back on. Yesterday the Man actually went out and bought new sheets for our bed, as my feet had finally worn a hole in the fitted sheet. New sheets! Such luxury. But still only one set for our bed ... And still my linen closet's a mess. Sigh ...

Synchronicity - linen cupboard tidying is on the list here. Linen is amongst my many hoarding issues - I still have a duvet cover from when I was in my teens 30 years ago...
Jo said…
Heather, being a witchy wife, I sent a number of too-old-to-give-away sheets out to the shed to join the pile of old curtains out there for drop sheets, and I store old towels far, far away from the good ones, otherwise I'd find the children mopping up chocolate milk with my best towels..
Frances, congratulations on the new sheets. Agreed - sheer luxury! I like your minimalist style, but I am curious to know what you keep in your linen closet - it can't be sheets!
Sarah, I am super impressed at your thriftiness. 30 years is an excellent innings for a duvet cover! Good luck with your linen closet project. I found it an excellent way to procrastinate over cleaning the bathroom..
gret job, jo! i recognise a fellow organiser :-)
Jo said…
Not a natural one, e. I only came to it over the last couple of years when I couldn't stand the alternative any more. Hoping it will continue.
Unknown said…
Funny, ive been walking past our double door linen press and thinking the same thing. Too much stuff. We are a family of 3, why do we have piles of old, crappy sheets. Really. One on, one spare. That's all that is needed. I need to go mad and have a cleanout. Actually, throw the lot (to the garage) and just buy a nice new set for both beds next sale time. Last time Target had a sale on manchester, i bought a set of 1000 count sheets for master bed. Oh my, are they lovely. I think i got them for $70 queen. Such Luxury.
Anonymous said…
We recently moved and our new house has triple the land, an extra bedroom but all the bedrooms are smaller, less storage space and a LOT less living area. Just what we wanted but we are still working to downsize our stuff. The linen closet was one of the first to be hacked back. We each have 2 sets of summer sheets, 2 doona covers, and 1-2 sets of winter flanny sheets each although there are several sets of summer and winter cot sheets and a few extra summer sheet sets for the spare beds. We have 3 kids under 5, 2 still in nappies and so we have to have extra in case of nappy leaks and wet beds. We also have 2 towels each plus 2 extras for guests and a few raggy ones for mopping up spills, containing animals that need tablets and other such things, and that's it. Blankets and doonas we have a spare set each and that's it. It's still a huge amount but a lot less than we had. My mum keeps foisting off her unused linen and stuff on us (a double bed quilt was her last attempt. We only have single and queen-size beds here) but we simply don't have the space to store it. Having nowhere to put things sure makes it easier to say no to things like that.
Jo said…
Lynda, it is so easy to be 'out of sight, out of mind' while the door still shuts, isn't it? Enjoy your new luxury!
Jessie, one way to force the decluttering process is to have no storage space whatsoever! I am very impressed at the downsizing going on in the linen closet while your children are still tiny. It has taken years for me to get to it!

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