The Minimalist Linen Closet

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably noticed that my subject matter drifts from the profound to the mundane, from the philosophical to the practical. In exploring (and celebrating) a minimalist lifestyle, some days I feel like pondering the meaning of life, and others just pondering how many shoes I own.

Today, I’ll tackle a matter of great significance: the sheets and towels in our linen closet. ;-) (Actually, we don’t really have a linen closet, but rather a container for such items in our coat closet; but “linen closet” sounds more elegant, and those of you blessed with more storage space may actually have one!)

When we decluttered before our big move, we found that we had somehow accumulated way too many sheets and towels for a household of two adults. We’re not sure exactly how it happened, but we ended up with quite a collection: “everyday” linens, “good” linens, “guest” linens, “emergency” (ie. shabby) linens, etc. I have to confess, sometimes I’d buy a new set just because it was pretty, or I was in the mood for a change. Then instead of decluttering an older set, I’d hold onto it “just in case.” Embarrassingly enough, one set of sheets was still in its package.

When we started over here in the UK, we were determined to keep a lid on our linen count. To accomplish this, we’re using the following strategies:

1. We only use one size of towel, and dispense with the hand towels, face towels, fingertip towels, and other single function towels.

2. We think of our towels as functional items, not bathroom décor, and don’t feel the need to change them for aesthetic reasons (different colors, designs, etc.).

3. We don’t change sheets with the seasons, as we’ve found simple cotton to suffice just fine. Neither of us likes flannel sheets, so we don’t find it necessary to have separate summer and winter sets.

4. We’ve purchased only what’s absolutely necessary: two towels, and one set of sheets. We used to keep at least a second set of each, for use while laundering the other; but we’ve had no problems washing and drying our single set before putting it back into use.

5. We’re waiting until the last minute to purchase “guest” linens. We’ll purchase an additional set of towels and sheets when the arrival of our first overnight guests is imminent. During the 98% of the year that we’re not providing accommodations for friends and family, that set will serve as our “backup” when we’re laundering the first.

In summary: one set for now, two in the future (if circumstances dictate). It’s just enough to meet our needs, and provide comfort to our guests. Who knows, maybe you can find the meaning of life in that after all. :-)

So what’s in your linen closet? Let us know in the Comments!

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67 comments to The Minimalist Linen Closet

  • I have two sheet sets for our bed. Our kids each have one sheet set. I have 4 extra pillows, 4 extra blankets, and 4 top sheets for our frequent overnight guests. Each kid has 2 towels. My husband and I each have 2 towels.

    That’s it!

  • Funny, we had an over abundance of sheets before leaving the country too. Now we have 2 sets of sheets (they fit our bed or the ‘click-clack,’ which is our guest bed, something like a futon).

    We have 5 towels–all roughly the same size. We use one for drying hands, one each for drying our bodies, one on the floor as a bath mat and 1 ‘in case.’ I always throw in one of the towels whenever I do a load of laundry, since our towels are interchangeable, I just replace the one I wash with a clean one and cycle through.

    We need two sets of sheets as we don’t have a dryer and live in a damp-ish environment. It takes a couple of days for sheets to dry. Also I was happy to have the second pair when I had ’emergency’ guests after DH’s accident. I didn’t have time to shop for sheets then!

    BUT I’m also happy not to have a huge pile of ‘linens’ yipes!

  • Joless

    We have far too many and I have really realised that before. We have a lot of single sheets from when we were both in college (ten years ago now I realise) which are still fine and we use them for guests on the two single beds. We had three double beds in two sizes in our old house (one in storage temporarily) so we have a lot of sets in two sizes for those. At the moment it takes a few days for stuff to dry (winter in the UK) so I can’t get down to one per bed anyway. Maybe I need to go through them and limit them. Trouble is, I guess, I can’t see the point in giving away stuff which is still fine and I like, but really, we don’t need as much as we have.

    Towels – we also have too many. Hmm….. They were all bought or received at different times so none of them match at all. Again, maybe a some work to do.

    Mind you, even the dog has about six towels (all shades of brown – her’s at least match, and they are generally cheap!) as she loves to swim in the summer and gets very wet and muddy.

    • miss minimalist

      Yes, Joless, absent a big move or other circumstance, it can be hard to declutter such things. But it’s really nice to live with “just enough!” :-)

  • janet

    We have one set of white sheets for our bed. I love washing them, hanging them to dry while the mattress airs out and then putting them back on a few hours later. It’s aromatherapy for me.

    We have 4 white towels purchased at Big Lots for $3 each. I love these towels because they are not huge so they dry fast. I do have a set of decorative towels in my bathroom. White with a black stripe. They just look good there and they are good for back-up but really I’ve never had to use them as such.

    I don’t have a linen closet per se. Just a couple of shelves in our laundry room. Oh yeah, my husband has 6 small handtowels for the gym. One for each day of the week. I am going to do a post on my laundry room soon. Maybe check it out.

    • miss minimalist

      That’s funny, Janet, we also like the cheaper towels because they dry quickly! In our experience, those plush, “luxury” towels stay damp a lot longer and shed a lot more.

      I’m looking forward to your laundry room post!

  • Let’s see, having purged before coming over here and doing it again before heading back…I’m down to:

    3 flat sheets (2 organic cotton, 1 organic cotton flannel)
    1 pillow case
    1 bath towel

    And that’s it. I can shuffle the flat sheets between duties, covering the futons or as a top sheet, and I just toss the towel in whenever I do a load of wash (roughly 1.5x/week with my minimal wardrobe). This works really well for me.

    BTW – great post idea, thanks!

  • Wendy in Seattle

    Just like you, I have only sheets and towels necessary for me and my maximum number of house guests (me +2), with one exception…I keep a hand towel in the bathroom.

    An article I read about 10 years ago (in Maxim, no less) stuck with me. It gave advice to bachelors on making their place appealing to women. It said that you should provide women guests a clean, fluffy hand towel in the bathroom because a) they know where your bath towel has been, and b) a clean hand towel suggests clean sheets!

    That cracked me up, but resonated with me as well.

  • I moved recently and had most of my towels – a dozen or so – packed away in a container. I was using just one sheet set and two sets of towels. I thought, “This is all I really need. I should get rid of the rest.” Then one Sunday night, the washing machine broke down. Water poured out all over the floor, and I used every single one of those extra towels to clean up the mess. Maybe if I hadn’t had the towels, I would have figured out a way to deal with problem, but it sure was helpful to have them! Now my just-in-case mentality is at war with my minimalist desires.

  • I have 2 sets of sheets and I’m trying to get my significant other to reduce towels, blankies, and other unnecessary items. It’s so much easier, and linens are the kind of thing that can easily pile up without you noticing. And yes, hand and face towels are so pointless and wasteful!

  • Carla

    Funny you should bring this up today. I am in the process of decluttering and had just assigned myself the task of going through sheets this afternoon. Our situation is complicated by the fact that we regularly have extra people in the house for a week or weekend (grandchildren) so there must be enough for all of us. I’m going to have to consider this in my culling out.

  • Unlike you, I really like flannel sheets and use them on the bed on all but the 2 hottest months of the year. I have more sheets and towels than I need, but i don’t like to throw perfectly good towels out and somehow, i’ve accumulated more. I probably have about 8 or 9 sets of sheets all together, and too many towels to count.

    • miss minimalist

      fern, I agree, perfectly good functional items are the most difficult to purge.

    • Ruth

      You can always give towels and sheets that are in good condition to charity shops. We sometimes have charities post bags in the letterbox. One of these had a list of useful items including towels and blankets. I was so glad because I had a pile of NEW towels that had been gifts but we had never used. So I was able to give them to a good cause.

  • Marie

    I have two flannel & two cotton sets for two double beds and one set for a twin bed. Fairly minimal. I do miss the days when flat sheets were made larger and could be used either on top or bottom. Fitted only go on the bottom and wear out sooner.

  • Heather

    I have 2 sets of bedsheets for our king size bed. I like to mix and match to suit my mood. Our son has 2 sets (potty training time – always needs a back up). We each have a down comforter for those colder nights and a lighter blanket for summer. Son has a his comfy blanket that goes with him everywhere and I have 2 extra twin size blankets for cuddling on the couch or to have an “inside” picnic on icky weather days or just to throw in the truck when we take a day trip.

    Towel wise, we each have 2 each in beach towel size. Mine a hot pink, hubby’s are bright orange and dear baby boy is turquoise. I have a set of 10 face clothes because all I use is soap and water and I like to scrub my skin well. The pops of color are great to add to decor without adding extra stuff..if that makes sense. : )

    Anything that gets worn out gets designated to the garage for cleaning the vehicles, spills or pet oopsies. Oh..and the dog has one large beach towel for her bath time. : )

  • Fox

    Only one set of sheets for the bed, in fact, I ditched the flat sheet because I don’t ever use it…I just have a fitted sheet. I only launder them on nice sunny days when they’ll dry quickly.

    I don’t have a guest bedroom. I do have a couch that folds into a bed-like object. So I just keep two quilts on hand for anyone who stays over. They were both made by my mother, and one lives on my bed in the winter, so I have no qualms about hanging on to them.

    There’s an extra towel in the bathroom cabinet for guests, but I ditched the hand towel in the bath because I just use the body towel to dry my hands. If I need a hand towel (for the guests), I just pull out one of my clean towels from the kitchen. Of those, I have…two? Maybe three.

    Being a broke college grad has it’s perks…anyone staying over here is certainly expecting less than five star accommodations! :P

    • miss minimalist

      LOL, Fox! We don’t have the excuse of being broke college students, so we try to spin our spare accommodations as a “zen-like retreat.” ;-)

  • Anna

    Towels really are the biggest con of all! Different sizes for different drying activities is really about getting us to buy, buy, buy. Years ago I worked out: that one size is fine for bathing showering and drying hands; that huge bath sheets are just unwieldy and you only use a part of it; the more fluffy they are the less functional they are; a good dry-off with a rough cotton towel is a healthy thing to do! (I never understood Americans’love of huge fluffy towels.) I now buy linen towels as they are superb at drying the body. Also they are plain and functional. I have two. And lastly, never ever use fabric conditioner on towels (or anything else!) as it just smothers the natural fibres in a toxic chemical syrup and ruins their drying capacity.

  • Frances

    I had a sort out a while ago when I moved into a much smaller apartment and realised I only had a small shelf for linens. I got it down to 3 fitted sheets, 2 duvet covers, two sets pillow cases, two sets of towels (and yes, a couple for “just in case!”). Got rid of the rest. Had lovely set of towels for visitors given to me by friends who cannot believe I dont need much and take pity on me – and buy me stuff! Donated those to charity. When younger I could not afford lots of stuff and managed very happily with one set of bedclothes. I should be able to do it again. Think I will wait until things wear out and just not replace. Sheets and towels can be stuff that just creeps on you when your back is turned – moving every so often concentrates the mind wonderfully!

    • miss minimalist

      You’re absolutely right, Frances; that’s why I *love* to move. It makes you think about what you *really* need, and gives you a great excuse to purge the stuff that has mysteriously accumulated.

  • Jen

    A good use for extra sheets and blankets is keeping them for kids to play with. We have a bunch of old ones behind the couch and my kids play with them more than anything else, even though they have tons of toys. The blankets come out every single day to make “jump piles”, “cozy nests”, forts, etc.

  • uenderson

    Think of all the towels and sheets and blankets you would never want to have in your closet. I have them in mine. and when I get to see them, I always see something I have never used or will ever use.

  • Remember as you purge, there are many animal shelters that would appreciate your items. And yes, you can receive a tax deduction.

  • […] then, I’ve written about everything from philosophy, to practical techniques, to how many shoes, towels, and plates I […]

  • JMK

    With a family of 4 we need a minimum of 4 towels on the go at all times in the bathroom. We have 8 because the day I decide they have been used enough isn’t always the day I plan to do the laundry… When guests visit, the backup set becomes the guest towels. We also have 3 hand towels. With 4 people washing up after 2-3 meals a day and after evening toothbrushing it seemed sensible. Our shower area is separate from the sink so using the bath towel means the kids drip 6 feet from the sink to the towel (they never plan ahead and bring the towel to the sink).

    The big change I made was to switch to all black towels. I love a white room, but settled on a black and white scheme for practicality. The walls, fixtures, shower curtain are white. The floor is black slate with black grout which hides a multitude of sins. Our old white towels were destroyed by my daughter who never quite gets all her mascara off in the shower. A black hand towel by the sink also looks clean much longer. I change it every other day, but now it’s only because I know it needs it, and not because it looks nasty. No need for bleaching to keep white towels white which means they last longer, and because much of our clothing is also dark, there are more opportunities to launder the towels. No more waiting until there is enough to run a white load.

  • Andrea

    I had always been so proud of my love of linens. After shopping in thrift stores for years and acquiring stacks of curtains, sheets, duvets, pillows, etc…..I finally realized that this was just silly. I never used this stuff. It just sat in piles…no one was enjoying it or making practical use out of it. More clutter, that’s all it was. So, now we live with 4 dark brown bath towels and 4 matching wash clothes. My mother couldn’t believe that this is all that my husband and I owned.
    She is alone and has a whole closet of washclothes and towels, but I’m sure that she uses the same few over and over again and the rest are just more added space-taker-uppers. I refuse to have space-taker-uppers in my house anymore. All STU’s are banished from our home!! I have a washer and dryer, so how big a problem is it for me to wash towels and washclothes a couple of times a week? Now my linen closet looks so neat and spacious. What we think is “necessary” is not always the truth.

  • Jaime

    I found the linen post! I had to use Google search, I still think you need a search button feature so people can easily search on your website ;)

    Anyway, we had one sheet set but found out that it was quickly being worn out when we were washing it every two weeks. I like being hygienic, so this past week I bought a new cotton sheet set. I got it at and it was for $50. I read the reviews for different sheets and got a good one.

    I want to buy 4 more sheets sets so we can change them and not have them wear out so fast. I don’t believe in excess but I need a certain amount of stuff to make my life comfortable, that’s why I don’t get the minimalist movement sometimes, its like they even want to make you get rid of things that are useful and I just disagree with that.

    I don’t have a linen closet either and I don’t plan on having one, we store anything besides clothes in those plastic storage containers. They’re affordable, mobile, and easy.

    We had 4 towels, but they were being worn out as well, I use one on my body and one on my head after I shower. My BF only uses one. Anyway, I just figured out we need at the most 10 towels. I just can’t have one sheet set and one towel, when you wash your linens and towels every two weeks that one item tends to wear out sooner and faster than if you changed it out.

    Again I don’t believe in excess, but I just can’t have one item. I’m more middle of the road about it. We also have had some accidents in our apartment, and have had to use one of our good towels to clean up the mess, so now we’re down to three towels. And yes we do take care of our things.

    The same happened with my shoes, I bought one pair of black sneakers. They were about $60 dollars, only pair that I wore for the past 9 months, and it has only lasted 9 months, I finally got a new pair and I plan on getting 4 more sneakers so my new pair doesn’t wear out so fast.

    I really don’t know how you get by with only one sheet set. The new sheets that I bought are cotton and I feel that cotton is perfect for all seasons, I threw out the old set (they were really nasty), I’m not one of those girls obsessed with house decor, but at the same time, I have realized what amount of stuff I find necessary.

    So I guess you find one set of sheets necessary and I find 4-5 set of sheets necessary. I have mixed feelings about minimalism, on the one hand I think its great, on the other I just can’t live with one item of certain things. I can live with one computer, one printer, etc.

    But I can’t live with one towel, one sheet set, etc. Sometimes I feel like the minimalist movement is about getting rid of stuff, even useful stuff and I don’t agree with that. I tried living without an ottoman too and I just couldn’t do it. I finally caved and bought a small affordable one (under $40) for our apartment. Its nice and it makes me happy having one. :)

  • I recently decluttered our linens as well. I got rid of everything except a towel for each person and 2 sets of sheets (I like to put fresh sheets on immediately when I change them). It is amazing how much laundry this has eliminated! Gone are the days of doing load after load of nothing but linens! Oh, and I also have an extra towel and sheet set for guests, whom we have over quite often, and as such, it’s a necessity.

  • I didn’t even know that people changed their sheets with the seasons! I only have one set for my bed that I launder and put back on before evening falls again. I also use one towel a week – the towels don’t get dirty if you do a good job getting clean in the shower. At the end of the week, the towel is washed and I use it again. The only reason we have so many towels is because my other half is not a minimalist (yet?) and uses a different towel every day. Sigh. :)

  • I only have 2 sets of sheets, but my towels are run amuck! Actually, hubby and I each have our bath towel, and we do have a small stack of washcloths and hand towels. The problem comes in with my older teenagers. I have a conglomeration of mismatched towels for them. I may possibly consider the single towel like hubby and I have, but they are not as good with hanging to dry between showers. It would eliminate a messy bathroom cabinet though!
    10 steps to learning for life

  • Tracy G

    We’ve torn out the linen closet, which appeared be a 1980s addition to our 1920 bungalow. That nicely reintroduced elbow room into our bathroom.

    One set of sheets for our bed, two sets of towels per person, that’s our inventory. I sometimes miss the second set of sheets, however. Until they wore out last year, we put snuggly flannel sheets on our futon each winter. We’re now attempting to make do with the one set of lightweight cotton sheets year-round. It’s admittedly not as pleasant.

  • ElizMcK

    I too found out recently that I had too many towels. I was “taking inventory” in order to provide some to an adult child that was moving away. He received four giant bath towels and eight wash clothes, plus two hand towels. All were blue or grey and came from his childhood bathroom, but were still in really good condition. I knew I did not have to shop to replenish these towels. I just took half the towels from the other bathroom. Part of my minimalism has been passing things off to my children as they move out and on with their lives.

    I have one set of sheets for each our two guest bedrooms, (with children in their 20’s, we still have to maintain two guest bedrooms) and two sets of sheets for our master bedroom.

    My linin closet is quite large and is half empty and I have to desire to fill it, so I’m fairly contented with that.

  • I have a three-shelf linen closet that must also serve as my medicine cabinet, bath supplies holder, laundry supplies holder, nail care, and other various sundry. This “closet” is about four feet high by two feet deep. It doesn’t hold much at all.

    In the linens department I have:

    -6 towels (I have a dog to bathe, so it’s nice to have extra, plus they double as pool towels. They’re all different colors too, so not bent on bathroom color design)
    -10 washcloths (I use them as part of my basic face care. Soap, washcloth, moisturizer)
    -2 sets of sheets (I never use a dryer when laundering my clothes, but doing sheets requires it as I don’t have the room to air dry sheets inside my apartment. I can use both sets of sheets before doing my next “sheets” trip the laundromat, thus having two is useful. Plus it can double as a set for guests (which I don’t have frequently, people find my apartment uncomfortably small)

    Suddenly I feel a little minimalist!

  • Deborah Rolston

    I read this post at 5pm, and by 6pm I had a big black plastic sack of unwanted sheets. I’d meant to get round to it for ages and reading your post reminded me to do it!

    I believe that minimalism is all about learning to let go of attachments. I find its a journey, not a destination. I see my stuff in a whole new way and I really understand something I read in a book called “freedom from clutter’ years ago that everything you have costs you something – storage, cleaning, moving it from place to place and headspace (the most important). Thanks for the blog – its like a spiritual teaching every day. I love it!

  • ashlye

    You are such an inspiration. After reading your book cover to cover, I have begun a whole house transformation and I am LOVING IT!!! One of the first places I tackled was my linen closet. I have one set of sheets and a backup for guests, four towels (two for use, two for guests) and the kids each have two sets of sheets and two towels because most of the time when the kids get sick it is in the middle of the night and sheets are involved. This works great and has done wonders to limit the amount of excess in my teeny tiny linen closet. In a closet that began with nothing but sheets and towels, now contains our first aid kit, locked tackle box of cough/cold/prescription medications, my personal toiletries (toothbrush, shampoo, excess soap bars, deodorant, toothpaste, coconut oil moisturizer, shaving supplies), a shelf of towels, a shelf of sheets, and our emergency flashlight on the bottom of the closet floor. I am so pleased each time I open the door to remove an item because things are stacked neatly and well organized. I was able to donate my superfluous linens to Purple Heart and felt really good about giving my extra items to someone who needs them more than I need the excess. Thanks so much for your inspirational book and blog. The book gave me a kick start, but your blog keeps me motivated and going. De-cluttering, minimalizing, organization – here I come!!!

  • Still moving through these. Not as good as some, for sure – and I could definitely get rid of more!
    Bath towels – one for each person (4), plus one extra.
    Hand towels for the bath – 4.
    Dish towels – a LOT. But I refuse to use paper towels, so we go through several a day with small children.
    Sheets – 2 sets for our queen-size bed. but I have a ton of crib sheets (both kids still sleep in cribs). Trying to figure that one out. I know I started out wanting extra in case of accidents at 2am, so I could just change the sheets and be done. But the reality… we really don’t use them. Time to pass them on!

  • Kris

    Whoa. Last night when I couldn’t sleep I read your blog for the first time. I’m always feeling cluttered in my house and struggle between my inner minimalist and super sentimental sides. I am even sentimental over linens! I was inspired after reading your blog last night though. I just kept telling myself how much someone else will enjoy my wonderful towels. I accidentally woke my partner up while I was decluttering with fierce vivacity, afraid I would start reminiscing about the day I got that hand towel as a gift or when I got this rag when I was a kid. I know, it sounds crazy, but now that I woke up this morning with an enormous pile of linens by the front door, ready for charity, I feel great. Today I’m off work so I’m going through my closet. Those pink docs I wore in high school and that shirt that says 2000 that I haven’t worn since 2000 are going to be hard to give up. I can only dream about owning 10 pieces of clothing, but I know I don’t need 2 full drawers of socks. I’ve caught the bug at last!

  • Lynnie Ha

    i love flannel and jersey sheets for cooler weather, and 100% cotton percale sheets for summer, so i have a set of each for my bed (the only bed in the house). i have two lightweight 100% cotton quilts, and one cotton thermal blanket.

    for bathroom linens i vastly prefer to have many washcloths and a limited number of hand towels and NO large towels (aside from a few beach towels for trips, mop ups, chair covers etc.) i use washcloths almost exclusively for washing AND drying. to me, large towels are the wasteful things… a huge square of fabric to wash over and over again? or a bunch of little squares i use fresh each time, then throw them all in the wash once i run out? i think the latter is the more economical, simple option for me. :D

  • White_Butterfly

    We have a fitted sheet for every bed (5 beds) and one Extra SB fitted sheet. And we all have a warm quilt with a quilt cover each and a spare one (one not one each). We also each have a wool blanket for winter because it is so cold. We have a pillowcase each and 2 spares in the linen closet. As for towels we have about 10. I do wash towels often. It’s a little quirk of mine. I get freaked out by the thought of drying my face where someone else has dried the backside… Eeewww.,. ANYWay… That’s about it. Oh and it’s all white. It matches everything and looks so nice when clean :)
    I love love love your site and everything you write. I always thought I was strange being this way but it’s so nice to see others living this way too :)

  • catlady

    I have been using two sets of cotton sheets for my double bed since it replaced my single bed over a year ago; a spare for when the other is still soaking to get stains out or drying. It worked very well but the cotton sheets were chilly in winter. I only have heating in my lounge and I don’t trust electric blankets, so I decided to put my summer sheets into storage over the winter and get two sets of flannelette sheets. It means I have four sets of sheets for one bed but it’s “just enough” for me. I also have two summer quilt covers and one flannelette quilt cover, each of which came with two pillow cases. The sheet sets also came with two pillow cases each. That makes 14 pillow cases– way too many for one bed!– so I’m going to decide on which ones to keep and which ones to donate while they are still in good condition.
    I don’t like to use a dryer if I can avoid it, because of the amount of electricity it uses (green house gases & all that) but lately my cat has started climbing on the clothes horse that I use to dry my clothes in front of the heater in the lounge and she is leaving dirty paw prints on the sheets! Looks like I will have to embrace the dryer after all– only the flannelette washing instructions say “do not tumble dry” so I’m hesitant to do this. Sigh!

  • Kathleen

    Decluttering the house for our, hopefully, final move of life (minus nursing home…ick.) Had the linens, sheets, and blankets down to absolute, bare minimum for hubby and myself. Two sets of sheets, two summer blankets, two winter blankets, two bath towels, four hand towels, no wash cloths since we prefer to use luffa scrubbers (which we grow,) two linen cloths to put over the bread for when it’s rising, and four dish cloths. A lot by the looks of it, but it seems to work for us. The bad thing though is when my mother went into assisted living last winter my siblings decided I NEEDED all of mom’s sheets, linens, etc.

    The very best towels and some of the blankets I gave to the local women’s shelter. Next best towels, sheets, and some of the blankets to a daughter whose bed the linens would actually fit. There are still a few blankets left over, but will see if any of the other kids would like those when they come to visit for the winter holidays.

    The roughest/holiest bunch of our old towels were set aside to be used as bath towels for the dog, shop towels for when hubs is working on motorcycles, or for cleaning windows/floors/etc. before we make the move. So glad to not have to wade through bags of unneeded things when good homes could be found for them. Love minimalism, but do not like to waste things either.

  • Tina

    The oldest towels got cut up for rags. Extra sheets were given away. We still have lots of washcloths and pillow cases.

  • Tina

    My brother invited me to come and straighten out his huge linen closet. He says he has sheets that don’t fit his beds.

  • […] every bath or shower. And depending on how many people live in your house, you really only need one towel per person. Again, look at quality. A big fluffy, organic cotton towel is worth all 20 of your low grade […]

  • Jessica

    Thanks for this. I’m mentally preparing to begin decluttering. I feel linens will be the easiest place to start. We have blankets, sheets, towels galore. I have towels for the dog and we haven’t had a dog for 2 years?! We have a very small linen closet and I am determined to make that space be all the space I need. One question, what is your recommendation for beach/pool towels?

  • I use the rattiest towels for rags. Give the ratty sheets and blankets to the vet. Then I have 2 sets of sheets for each bed. Two towels per person.

  • One cat sleeps on a shelf in the linen closet so I always leave an old towel in his favorite place. He is jet black so his fur makes clean towels look dirty.

  • Elizabeth

    I do not have a linen closet and the only linens I have are 3 towels, 1 washcloth and one bottom sheet I do not see a purpose for a top sheet.

  • Tina

    I help people declutter and they give the money they would pay me to charity. One woman had at least 40 towels and 24 bars of soap and she lived alone. I told her to pick her 12 favorite towels and she said she needed all of them. I said pick your 6 favorite bars of soap. She couldn’t do that either. I keep 2 fabric scissors and 2 paper scissors. She has at least 16. And more in packages she has never opened. Since I am 5’2″ tall and DH is 5″6″ the top shelves are seldom used. I couldn’t live with my home stuffed.

  • Noelia

    Would you take the same 2 towels for the beach? And the gym?

  • Stephanie

    We are a family of 5 and are dramatically downsizing. I can’t believe all the “things” that stuffed our linen closet. While I appreciate that my siblings gave functional items as gifts but with 3 kids we had 12 sets of sheets. I was so happy to donate them to a homeless shelter but also embarrassed by all we had. We currently have one set of sheets for the master bed, 2 sets for each of the kids beds (they still have occasional potty accidents) and one set for our air mattress since we do have over night guests multiple times a year.

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