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!