Chock-A-Block With the Torn and Tattered by Janice Taylor, Life & Wellness Coach, Author and 50-pound big-time-loser.
Is your linen closet stuffed to the max? Is it chock-a-block with a large collection of mismatched, discolored and torn linens? Is it so jam-packed that when you pull on the placemats or tug on a towel everything comes tumbling down upon your head? OUCH!
Guilty on all counts here, and truthfully, it’s sapping my energy. Last night, I spent 15 fruitless minutes searching for a tablecloth, which I ultimately could not put my fingers on. Instead I came across cloth napkins that I have been holding on to for decades.
What to do? Dump, sort, toss and breathe!
1. Get Messy Missy: Sometimes you’ve got to create a bigger mess to clean a mess. Pull it all out. Yup, every bit of it. It’s easier to sort through when it’s all right out in front of you and doing so is absolutely necessary to complete step two in this process. (see below). Bonus … Who knows? Maybe you’ll find the missing socks that got tossed in with the sheets in the wash!
2. Do the Dust and Scrub: Sorry, I know you want to get this done fast, but honestly, it makes sense to dust the shelves, vacuum the floor and then give it all a once over with a damp rag, doesn’t it? I don’t even want to admit to the last time I did so! (Depending on the type of shelves, you may want to lay contact paper. Optional. Your call.)
3. Divide and Conquer: Sort bed linens (twin, full, queen or king size); towels by color and size; tablecloths and placemats; cloth napkins. Toss anything that you haven’t used in over a year and/or those items that are looking sad (stained, worn, torn).
4. Avoid Second Guessing: You are now at the precipice of orderliness and tidiness. This is tough part (for me anyway). As mentioned (above), those cloth tie-dyed napkins that I’ve been lugging around are clearly older than my one year rule, but so much older that it seems sacrilegious to toss them. Where was I when I purchased them? Who was I with? Why is this memory worth holding on to? (Yikes! Now that I realize with whom I bought them with and where I was in 1973, out they go!)
5. The Final Frontier: It’s time to put it all away, and we want to be careful not to create towers of towels that could at any moment, tumble, once again upon our heads. I highly recommend a trip to The Container Store for shelving dividers and whatever other organization supplies you feel to invest in! Be sure to measure first! And remember that there’s nothing better than fresh smelling linen (well, maybe there is something better; but not having to do with linen closets). If your closet is cram-packed, you will actually create a stale smell (Yuk!). Linens need air, space to breathe, otherwise you run the risk of mildew and mustiness.
6. Take a Bow and Get Out of the Closet: You did it! You cleaned out your closet; got rid of the old and the excess. What a good feeling!
Tasty Tidbit: Getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in an average home. ~ National Soap & Detergent Assoc.
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