Once upon a time, John and I had plenty of bath towels, very few sheets, and a reasonable amount of kitchen linens. We received bath towel sets aplenty as wedding gifts. Along the way, the towels decreased, as did the sheets. In fact, we lived with one set of sheets for a number of years. The downside to this is that you have to wash, dry, and get them back on the bed pronto. Either that, or pull out the sleeping bags.
Over the years, we acquired quite a few hand-me-down linens from my parents. Which was great. And then one day, the linen closet(s) said, "We've had enough. We are too full." So purging the linens has been on the proverbial To Do List for some time.
I actually started to the purge some time back, but being the I am the Queen of Unfinished Projects, I didn't follow through. In this case, that turned out to be a good thing. Because when I actually tackled this for the second time, I had a plan. A solid, strategic plan.
Instead of following my normal M.O., I sat down with pen and paper and made a list. I wrote down each type of linen we have; Bath Towels, Hand Towels, Washcloths, Queen Sheets, Twin Sheets, and so on. Then in each category, I thought about the amount we ought to reasonably keep. For example, in the Queen Sheet category, we need two sets - one flannel (cold weather) and one cotton (warm weather). I did this for all the categories.
In the meantime, I washed and folded ALL THE LINENS and piled them on my bed. I also put on a movie, because I couldn't possibly get through all this without some sort of entertainment. It was a big job. And no, I did not get a photo of that pile. I think I was distracted by the movie.
Anyway. Once I had my nice folded piles of linens, I pulled out the list and went to work. Queen Sheets? Two sets. I pulled out my favorite flannel set and my favorite cotton set (well, the flannels are actually ON the bed, so I left them there). All the rest went into a donation bag. Ditto with everything else.
I am happy to say that all the linens now fit in the closet space and we gladly donated two big bags of linens to the thrift store.
I was so proud of myself for coming up with such a terrific strategy. In the past, I just look at everything and keep what I like. Well, that hadn't panned out so well, as it always left me with more than I needed. I'm planning to apply this to other areas of stuff as I continue to purge and pursue my Less is More lifestyle.