Linen Storage: Why I Don’t Need It

posted by Andrea | 12/16/2013

Unmade-Bed

One question I get on a very regular basis is how we store our extra linens — you know, sheets, blankest, towels, tablecloths, etc.

While I usually love to share my organizing wisdom, I often don’t have a great answer to these emails… because we honestly don’t store many linens anywhere.

We literally only have ONE set of sheets/blankets per bed — and (get ready to be shocked) we only have 2 bath towels and 1 hand towel for each of us.

This means that we never ever have to store any linens because we are either using them or washing them.

Washing-Machine

Some of you might be wondering how this works — well I can assure you, it’s extremely simple.

  1. We use our towels, sheets, napkins, etc. until it’s time to do laundry.
  2. We put them in the laundry (and yes, are without them for about an hour).
  3. We put them back on our bed, back on the hooks in the bathroom, or wherever else they go.

Done.Β 

This is how we’ve always done it since we’ve been married — partially out of desire for simplicity and not storing so much stuff. But also because that’s all the sheets, blankets, and towels we received as wedding gifts πŸ™‚

Since I realize many of you might be picking your jaws up off the ground right now, let me go into a bit more detail about how our limited linens work for us.

Our Bed:

  • One mattress pad and one set of plain white sheets.
  • Two thin white blankets that we keep on year-round.
  • One heating blanket that we keep on from October – April and then store in the summer months.
  • One quilt and one comforter that always stay on our bed, even in the summer.

Nora’s Bed:

  • One water-proof mattress pad and one set of sheets (when she starts potty training, I’ll probably get another set just in case).
  • One thin blanket.
  • One comforter and one quilt that stay on year-round.

Guest Beds:

  • One mattress pad and one set of plain white sheets for each bed.
  • Two thin blankets for each bed.
  • One quilt or heavy blanket for each bed.
  • We also have one extra heating blanket that we store and only use if we have guests in the winter.

crib

Crib:

  • Two water-proof mattress pads and two white sheets (I layer them so all 4 items are on the crib at the same time. This way, if there is an accident, I just pull the top layer off and am ready to go again)
  • White pumper pad and white blanket that stay in the crib.

Air Mattress:

  • We have a king-size air mattress that can also break apart into 2 twin-size air mattresses. I already have twin sheets for some of our guest beds, but I also have one set of king sheets that I store specifically for the air mattress.
  • When we need to use the air mattress, we just use blankets and quilts from our queen beds so we don’t need extra king-size bedding.

bathroom towles

Our Bathroom Linens:

  • Two bath towels per person (including Nora)
  • One hand towel for each side of our bathroom vanity
  • Three washcloths for Nora
  • One “loofah” sponge each for Dave and I (we use this to wash our bodies and periodically replace them via the dollar store)

Other Bathroom Linens:

  • Two hand towels for the bathroom off the kitchen (we don’t use the shower in there so we don’t keep anything but hand towels in this bathroom).
  • Four bath towels for the guest bathroom upstairs.
  • Four hand towels and four washcloths for the guest bathroom.

Kitchen Linens:

  • Five dishcloths (we use a new one every day)
  • Five washcloths for Nora (we use a new one every day)
  • Five small hand towels.
  • 4-6 “extra” towels for when we have lots of dishes or I’m canning, or we have extra people washing hands and everything we currently have is wet.
  • 12 cream colored cloth napkins (we usually only use 4-6 per week, but have extra for guests).
  • Four tablecloths of various sizes.

So as you can see, we still have A LOT of linens around our house — but almost NONE of them are in storage.

I have one smaller dresser in an upstairs storage closet (see photo below) that houses the 2 heating blankets (during the summer only), a few extra pillow cases, the sheets for our air mattress, and our tablecloths. Only one large drawer and one small drawer have linens in them. Everything else is always in use or in the wash.

dresser of linens

While I realize this method wouldn’t work for every family and every home, it does work extremely well for us (especially considering we have no linen closet, no coat closet, and no large closets or cabinets in any of our bathrooms.)

And if you really stop and think about it, the ONLY time my wash-and-replace method causes any sort of an issue is if someone wants to take a shower while I’m washing the load of towels. However, since I almost always do the wash mid-day, and we almost always take our showers at night, this is almost never a problem for us.

In our 7.5 years of marriage, I’ve only had to replace our sheets once after a large hole appeared in the fitted sheet, and we’re still using the same towels without any complaints — so not too bad if you ask me.

My Laundry Routine:

Some of you might think that with so few linens, I’d have to do loads of laundry every single day — well that’s not true at all.

Since almost all of our sheets, blankets, towels, washcloths, etc. are white, I simply do one load of whites in the middle of the week, and one load on the weekends. These loads include any white linens AND any of our other white shirts, socks, etc. I also usually do one load of “everything else” in the middle of the week and on the weekend (I don’t sort colors!)

And… believe it or not, we only wash our sheets once a month, so that cuts way back on laundry too (I know people who wash them EVERY day!)

Dave and I figure that since we both shower before we go to bed, and we regularly wash our PJ’s, there’s really no need to wash our sheets so often (I do wash the pillow cases every week).

I’ve never felt dirty in our bed, and I honestly think that a little less washing helps to prolong the life of the sheets — not to mention, saves a bunch of water, energy, and time!

This method works for us — and I love that I don’t need to store, organize, clean, or keep track of piles and piles of extra linens.

Do you share my love for minimalism when it comes to linens? If not…

How do you store and organize your linens?

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80 comments

  1. Margaret

    12/17/2013

    I have also found the all-white rule for bedding and towels to be helpful. All the beds in our home are either queen size (even the sofabed) or twin size, so white sheets are fully interchangeable.

    Another benefit to the white linens that I hope you never need is that they can be bleached. If you ever have someone come down with ringworm or some other topical skin infection, washing in hot water with bleach, and drying on hot, is recommended to sanitize them.

    Also, if you use flannel sheets, like we do here in frigid New England, the bottom sheets seem to wear out twice as fast as the top sheet, so I buy them in sets of two bottom sheets, one top sheet. I wash sheets weekly, and alternate the bottom sheet. It’s been working perfectly for 15 years!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I always bleach our sheets and towels — that’s why I love using all white!

    And I love your 2 bottom sheets idea. We don’t have a use for that, but I can see how the bottom sheets would wear out sooner.

    [Reply]

  2. Melissa

    12/16/2013

    My husband and I had both lived on our own for a long time before getting married so we both had towels and they were all in pretty good shape. I’ve pared back on most of our duplicate items, but towels seem so useful that I’ve kept them waiting to have some in bad shape to get rid of. We’ve been married for 4.5 years, and I think only one of them has shown signs of aging. I guess I’m using the ‘what if I need it’ excuse to keep things we may not really need. I will have to rethink our towels when we move into our new house next month!

    [Reply]

  3. Jennifer Lynn Casazza

    12/16/2013

    I have a small home with very little storage space. We keep two sets of sheets for each bed. One for winter (flannel) and one for summer. I store them in the closet that is in that bedroom. So, my kids rooms and the master have their own sheets in their closets at the top so they are out of the way. blankets are on the bed and washed weekly. We have one hall closet and I use the top of it to store a second set of towels as well as pool towels and the bottom half has drawers I use to store extra toiletries including tissues and toilet paper. Kitchen towels are out and washed weekly. Even if I had more space I think I’d stick to the same. No need to have more than you need. When they wear out then I replace them.

    [Reply]

  4. Kara

    12/16/2013

    I love this post! Simple, economical, and practical! I have 2 sets for our bed 1 flannel, 1 regular set. Then for our 2 boys in twin beds I probably have 4 sets total. I love the idea of layering!!! I am so doing that as they are in a bunk bed and they are a pain to switch sheets on. I have probably 4 crib sheets and honestly I use 2. Time to do some purging! Thanks!!!

    [Reply]

  5. Jan S

    12/16/2013

    I still use the two mattress pad system on my 10 yr old, as she has GI problems and ends up with frequent UTI’s. Its so convenient in the middle of the night to pull off the top sheet and pad and have her get back into bed when she has accidents due to infections. πŸ™‚ If its a really bad illness, we too use the sleeping bags. Those are so easy to wash.

    i need to purge my linens as we have quite a few sheet sets that we don’t use. I find that I use the same two sets over and over again, and I am wondering why I keep those other old ones. They don’t fit on any other bed as we have a king size bed.

    Same with the girls, we have quite a few sheets that they don’t use as they only like the fleece sheets. Also my girls HATE top sheets. They prefer to sleep only with a blanket or two. So when I need to replace the fitted sheets I think I will buy the separates and save myself the trouble of having to store top sheets for their beds.

    I hate my towels, I may just replace all of them and start fresh with a more minimal system.

    Thanks for sharing what works for your family. I appreciate seeing things from different perspectives and lifestyles!

    [Reply]

    Shana Reply:

    We don’t use the top sheet either. No body in my family likes them!! )I thought we were weird!)

    [Reply]

  6. Kelly

    12/16/2013

    Thank you for sharing. I always love hearing how other people organize, etc. We follow a similar plan too only we do have 2 sets of bath towels. one in use and one store. It’s just the 2 of us so not too much to store. We have a very very small house though so I’m always looking for space saving ideas.

    One thing we do different is we switched from the heating blanket to heated mattress pad a few years ago and I love it. 1st you never have to store them. I put the heated mattress pad on the bed and then the regular mattress pad over top of it so I only wash the heated mattress pad about once a year. Only washing it once a year helps it last a lot longer. when summer comes, I just unplug it but leave it on the bed. I love the way it warms the bed and so does the cat! πŸ˜‰

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  7. Julie

    12/16/2013

    One thought, when potty training or if you have a puking kid. We don’t have extra sheets for it (we have one set per bed too except our bed because they sent us 2 sets by accident and told me to keep them both). Have a sleeping bag nearby. When potty training, if the kid had an accident or would throw up from bring sick, I would throw the half asleep kid in a sleeping bag on the floor, then throw the sheets in the wash. If you do any camping you will have a sleeping bag anyways so nothing extra:). Just a thought.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, that’s what we’ve done too — sleeping bag or just on the couch with a blanket πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  8. Julie

    12/16/2013

    Love this and also your beige quilted comforter cover
    Could I ask where you got that? Been looking for that kind
    For a long time thanks much!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Julie,
    The cream waffle-weave duvet cover is actually a TWIN size duvet cover from Pottery Barn Kids — however I got it from a garage sale about 5 years ago (for $5!!) We LOVE it and I get so many compliments on it. It’s just the perfect addition to our bed πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    julie Reply:

    wow thats a great buy. I believe you have better yard sales where you live πŸ™‚
    So a twin duvet really fits on your queen?
    thanks

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, the twin duvet just sits on the TOP of the bed — it doesn’t go over the sides at all. The way I have our bed set up, the twin size actually works very well — but it would probably look pretty weird if I didn’t have the solid brown blanket under it and the quilt hanging over the edges.

    [Reply]

  9. Ann

    12/16/2013

    I just hope you never have kids with the pukes or the poops at night! Extra sheets/towels saved our sanity on many a sick night!

    [Reply]

  10. Kim

    12/16/2013

    I am thinking I have too many bath towels and this blog today has made me think I may just not replace them as they wear out……………since I wash often enough. The ONLY thing I am having trouble with is the washing sheets once per month. Other wise, some great thoughts.

    [Reply]

  11. Lydia @ five4FiveMeals

    12/16/2013

    I have just one question because I really do want to know- how do you prevent the towels from smelling between washes? We live in South Alabama along the gulf coast and it is extremely humid. I have to replace our towels after each use because even hanging them up they still stink by the end of the day.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Honestly, I don’t know πŸ™‚ Our towels are NEVER EVER stinky (and I have a super sensitive nose too). We wash them in the middle of the week and then at the end — so we usually use them at least 3 or 4 times between washes. It could seriously just be an issue with your specific towels — are they very old? I’ve found that sometimes super old towels (like e15-20 years old) just get kind of a funky smell that you can’t get out.

    You could try putting about 1 cup of vinegar in the fabric softener section of your washing machine — that might help. Otherwise, I’d try buying just one new towel and seeing if that also gets the same odor or not. If not, you know it’s your towels and not just your climate or your washing machine.

    [Reply]

    Lydia @ five4FiveMeals Reply:

    Thanks, I am going to try the vinegar approach. Our towels are only a couple years old. Vinegar is like a miracle in a bottle isn’t it?

    [Reply]

    Crystal Reply:

    I live in FL and we have the same problem. I used to live in Ohio and we only used 1-2 towels per week. One thing that helps is letting the exhaust fan run for quite awhile after a shower.

    [Reply]

    Candice Reply:

    I understand you problem, I am also in AL but not near the coast. My towels also get that musty smell when hanging up to dry between uses (we use them twice then wash). It still got that way if left in the washing machine wet after being washed for half a day or more ( 4 kids.. you get busy and forget sometimes you know?) I use vinegar for fabric softener and that does help some but we have hard water and high humidity so it can’t be helped. I also use homemade detergent so I don’t have that overpowering detergent smell covering it up like most people.

    [Reply]

    Caitlin Reply:

    I live on an island in the Caribbean and we have the same problem with towels not drying/stinking/being musty. My solution is to affix towel bars to any surface I can find (backs of bathroom doors being a favorite, we don’t have closet doors here). If I hang a towel on a single hook, they end up gross. BUT if I hang them in a single layer stretched out over the towel bar (not folded in half and draped over), we’ve got much better luck with stretching out washings. My husband has a more sensitive nose than I do, but we can usually get three or four days out of a towel now instead of washing every day. Limiting washing is key – my washer hooks to my kitchen sink and takes a whopping two hours to do a single wash load πŸ™

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    I was having trouble with my newly laundered towels still smelling not-so-fresh, even when washed with vinegar and hot water. I discovered OxyClean (a little late, I guess!), and it really works to get the musty smell out. I had been using it for stains, but now I add a scoop to the drum (along with my regular detergent in the dispenser). My towels always smell great now. Maybe that would help them stay fresher longer when you hang them up.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, we LOVE OxyClean here too πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  12. Lee Cockrum

    12/16/2013

    I need at least 2 sets of sheets for our bed, I am not that quick with the laundry! We have one set for the guest bed. No kids:(

    I like to have LOTS of towels! We have a dog (used to have 3!) so need them for that. We also have a hot tub, and we have a small boat , so take towels when we go out on the boat in case we get splashed. We have a large wardrobe from ikea, and we keep linens in there along with shoes and some of my husbands clothes.

    I would find it stressful to have a very limited supply of towels!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m guessing you have a little more space though since you don’t have kids?? If you have the space to store the extra towels and you actually need/use them — go for it! I’m the opposite of you and find it stressful to store so much stuff that I’m not using. I’d rather make-due with less so I don’t have to buy and store so much extra πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  13. KiwiKat

    12/16/2013

    I have several sheet sets, but mostly because I get my mother’s hand-me-downs….I was the sheets once a week (unless something has been spilled on them and they need cleaning urgently).

    I don’t own a dryer at all, so when I was sheets, it has to be a fine day so that they can try on the washing line outside. We don’t get snow in winter where I live, but we do get a lot of rain in winter, so sometimes it can be a challenge.

    I use the same duvet/comforter year round, with an extra quilt in winter (my house has no heating, so I use a gas heater in the lounge in winter and simply open the doors in summer)

    Anything else I can wash and put on my linen airer in the sunroom, where it dries overnight in winter.

    Makes life easy!

    [Reply]

  14. Candice

    12/16/2013

    My method is pretty close to yours with the exception that I don’t have white/cream of everything. I have 4 kids so my numbers are larger (our house is small!) We only have 11 towels (one died and needs replaced!) and 8 hand towels. We only have 1 and a half bathrooms and 3 bedrooms total so no need for guest anything here. Beds, queen for us we have 2 sets of sheets because one is getting old and I caught our new one on a black friday sale πŸ˜‰ and 8 twin sheets for the 4 twin beds. Each kid has one comforter and one blanket used all year long. We also use cloth napkins and unpaper towels.
    Now if I could only get our clothes paired down like that but unfortunately my husband won’t cooperate(he has over 40 work shirts!) and my mom acts like they have nothing to wear if they only have 10 outfits each.

    [Reply]

  15. Michelle W

    12/16/2013

    The most mind-blowing thing about this post was that you layer the crib bedding. YOU DESERVE A NOBEL PRIZE. Seriously, that’s so smart!!! My baby was a horrific spitter-upper and that would have been life changing for me and my husband πŸ™‚ So doing that for #2!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — it did make mid-night sheet changes super easy. Thankfully, we only had to change the sheets in the middle of the night 2 or 3 times, but the double layers of both definitely came in handy! Plus, it eliminated our need to store extra crib bedding!

    [Reply]

  16. Verity

    12/16/2013

    This is a great article! I wish there had been some of these ideas on the internet when I first started minimizing 3 years ago!

    I LOVE the idea to put two layered waterproof mattresses with sheets on the bed for Nora. That is brilliant! How did I just have my 4th child and never think of that?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well I’m sure someone told me that idea so I can’t take all the credit. However, it was definitely a time and space-saver that we will continue doing with future children as well πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  17. Sheri

    12/16/2013

    I always wash our sheets and put them right back on the bed. Always have and I am in my mid 60’s. In the summer though, I hang them outside on the clothesline to dry.

    [Reply]

  18. Michelle De Rooy

    12/16/2013

    I do have one spare set of sheets for our RV which I keep stored flat (in quarters on the bed base UNDER the mattress. This eliminates the need for storage space, one doesn’t ‘feel’ them and we wash both when the second set needs washing. As we are frequently free camping (boondocking) we don’t have the option of frequent access to a washing machine. I also store the beach towel (one each) flat under the bed. This doubles as a spare towel if there is a need for it. I find having a few extra hand towels eliminates a lot of bulk and the need for larger towels. I prefer to hand wash all my clothes including linen 95% of the time!. This eliminates the storage room required for a machine, uses less water. Don’t be so horrified. Think about it! In a RV the housework is very minimal and the 30 minutes it takes to do the washing once a week if that is nothing. I find that I do need to pick my drying days though! πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

  19. Rebecca G

    12/16/2013

    I wish I could downsize our supply of sheets and towels… and a lot of other things. It’s hard to start over when you’ve already established yourself with loads of EXTRA.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I totally understand — however if it helps at all, you could try to think about all the people you might bless by donating SOME of your unneeded linens. That stuff can be pricy and I’m sure there are many families who would love to have quality linens at thrift-store prices.

    [Reply]

  20. Cherie

    12/16/2013

    For the past month I have been going in and out of our linen closet and asking myself do I need all of these comforters that we do not use. After this post my mind is made up! No we do not!

    Thank you for reminding that being simple can equal staying organized…. I appreciate your blog!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re welcome! Comforters take up SOOOO much space too — you’ll love all the extra storage space you have once you purge some of them πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  21. Janice

    12/16/2013

    Wow! Andrea, you really do have a minimalist approach to linens! I’ve got to take another look at all my linens now as you have inspired me again. I have already downsized on so much when the tornadoes hit Oklahoma City by taking 10 large trash bags full to the local Salvation Army before they made a delivery there. I no longer needed the sheets, blankets, etc that had been used by our children since they had moved out and were on their own. I had also donated a lot of my teaching supplies when Joplin, Missouri was hit by a tornado and lost some of their schools. I am a retired teacher and I thought, “This is a way I can still keep teaching, so to speak.”

    [Reply]

  22. Katie

    12/16/2013

    This is such a nice reminder that I don’t need to have all those extra sheets and towels that never get used! I’m not sure if I could only do one set per bed, but I just need to toss those sets I keep on hand “just in case” that I never use.

    We keep a large laundry bag (like we used in college) full of rags, which means old towels, tshirts, stained dishtowels – which can be ready in a pinch for pukey kid or dirty pet clean-up, so no reason at our house to have extra towels for that purpose.

    [Reply]

  23. Lea Stormhammer

    12/16/2013

    Wow! Great job Andrea! I’m not quite brave enough to go with one set of sheets for our bed. I’m so glad that works for you.

    Here’s what we do – two sets of sheets for each bed plus one each comforter, mattress pad and blanket. The kids each have one extra blanket (for sickness or sleepover company). We have two towels and wash cloths per person and four hand towels per person (I find these wear out the fastest so two are in rotation and two packed away for when those wear out).

    We also have frequent long-term company so I have a full set of 4 towels, hand towels and wash cloths for them as well.

    I have short stack (4-5 of them) of “icky” towels (old, bleach spotted towels) for things like sick kids, muddy floors, dog paws (we don’t have a dog but a friend uses a service dog), etc. that I keep on a shelf in the laundry room along with the cleaning rags. When we get new towels for “good” towels, the old ones go into the “icky” stack and the “icky” stack gets donated to the animal shelter. The animal shelter doesn’t care if they have bleach spots or are fraying and we don’t have the clutter! We’ve only replaced the towels twice in 15 years of marriage, so they don’t get replaced regularly.

    Lea

    [Reply]

  24. Morgan

    12/16/2013

    Glad to see you’re like me! My boyfriend and I recently got new (white) towels and decided to get only 1 per person and one hand towel! We wash them every Sunday usually during football so no one is showering then anyways! However we do have about five dog towels which are basically bath towel sized rags we’ve accumulated but she has short legs so we have to dry her belly after messy/wet walks and she gets those very dirty πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  25. Julie Hamilton

    12/16/2013

    I like the way you think! We do have two sets of sheets for our beds, though, because I line dry all our laundry rather than use the dryer. I need a back-up set as it may take many hours for the first set to dry, depending on weather.

    [Reply]

  26. wilma

    12/16/2013

    In our old, tiny house, we had three closets in the whole house (including bedrooms). In our new place, we have a little linen closet, and it’s so nice!

    We have three queen sized beds in our house, and have five sets of queen sized sheets. We have two twin sized beds, and have four sets of sheets, and for the crib I have two full sets (and can always tuck a large receiving blanket or something if that is not enough). We have extra so that we can use microfibre or flannel in the winter (and it gets down to -40 celcius in this prairie city). As for blankets, other than what’s on the bed, we have three or four extra blankets, for extra cold nights, or thinner ones for in the summer.

    As for towels, we have about two per person, though the kids often end up getting dried with the same towel, as they bathe together. We go through a lot of towels, as we swim often, but they get dumped in with everything else (we’ve had no issues with lint or anything with our front loader).

    We have probably 15 or 20 kitchen rags, and go through three or so a day, but that includes using them for the kids’ faces (so I would get a clean one out for them, then rinse and wipe the coutnters/table, rinse and wipe any spills on the floor, and then put in the laundry). And yes, I use the same rags for faces as for floors (though only clean ones for faces), and have no issues with this as the kitchen rags are clean when they come out of the washer, like everything else :). We don’t have to worry about remembering which rag is a “face” rag, as a clean one comes out every time a face or hands need washing. This may seem like a lot of rags, but really, they’re small, easy to fold, and don’t take up a lot of time πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

  27. Kristin

    12/16/2013

    I would love to pare down my linens however, I know as soon as I do we’ll have a kid get sick and won’t have enough towels, sheets ,etc. There was one particular bad weekend where we went through every set of sheets and towels we own. Including the guest linens.

    [Reply]

  28. Terri

    12/16/2013

    I have to agree with a few extra sheets…for the “sicky” nights. (Snoopy sheets from my childhood!) Our kids are 8 & 11, so we’re down to only 1 extra twin mattress cover.

    We have 2 sets of sheets for each bed. Our cleaning lady changes the sheets on Tuesdays and I’m not getting everyone up at 5a, on a school day, so that I can put their sheets in the washer. (In the days prior to cleaning lady, I’d wash/dry the same set, so that I wouldn’t have to fold sheets…they’d just go back on the bed!)

    We have 12 towels for 2 bathrooms. Rarely do I fold them, when they’re out of the dryer, they get hung on the hooks in the bathroom. (The shower in the second bath rarely gets used…but once we have 4 morning shower takers, it’ll be another story.) I run at least a load of laundry each weeknight.

    Our old bath & kitchen towels are in a basket in the basement…we have a dog that needs to be dried off often!

    Next time you have to replace a washer, I’d suggest one with a timer! I load the laundry in the evening, have it run at 5a and then hang it up or throw in dryer when I get up. I also reload and delay the start for 5p and “deal with it” when I get home from work.

    Happy Holidays!

    [Reply]

    Lee Cockrum Reply:

    I LOVE the time feature on my washer!! I do exactly as you have described.

    [Reply]

  29. Pamela

    12/16/2013

    Well…..I got ya beat! But only because we live in a smaller house (2 bed/1 bath). One set of sheets for each bed (queen, full, and crib), 2 bath towels for adults, 1 each for kids, 4 hand towels total, and a few washcloths. HOWEVER, 2 nights ago both our kids had the stomach flu so now I’m realizing the need for more sheets! They’re getting new bedding for Christmas so I’ll just keep the old as replacement *just in case*.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — you did beet me — but I figure if we have 3 full bathrooms, we better have towels in each bathroom too πŸ™‚

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  30. Erin @ Magenta & Lime

    12/16/2013

    Yes! We also do the same thing with our towels and sheets and everyone tells me “I could never do that” or “You won’t be able to do that when you have kids”…

    Thanks for sharing so I don’t feel alone on this!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Erin — EVERYONE (as you’ll see by the comments on this post and on facebook) tells me I’m crazy or “wait until your kids get sick”… but I’ve already had kids get sick, and we just make due for that night (or two nights) with sleeping bags, a little extra laundry, or sleeping on the floor. In my opinion, that’s way simpler than buying, storing, and washing tons of extra linens ALL year long. But that’s just me πŸ™‚

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  31. Alicia

    12/16/2013

    This was one of the things I decluttered a few months ago then so regretted it when my daughter had a couple days of puking. πŸ™ I was like, “oh my gosh, I need more towels, why did I ever give away towels?” We don’t have much sickness luckily and then when it hit, it was such a shock how much laundry we ran through & at all hours of the night. So just a tip that while I love decluttering and having less, I will now always recommend a nice hoard of towels stashed away somewhere. πŸ™‚

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  32. tina

    12/16/2013

    We have two sheets for our queen bed and two for our toddlers twin mattress too. Not because I wouldn’t necessarily be against having more or anything but because we can never afford to buy anything! But its worked for my husband and I for 5 years and in the 16 months we have our son we’ve never had an issue with just two sheets. Easy peasy πŸ™‚

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  33. Organize 365

    12/16/2013

    Great minds think alike. I blogged about linen closet organization today too!

    I keep 2 sets of sheets per bed and 2 towels per person. Many of the clients I organize are able to pair back, but usually not that far.

    Organizing linen closets is like an archeological dig!

    πŸ™‚
    Lisa

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  34. Jen

    12/16/2013

    We do have two set of sheets per bed. I store them flat between the mattress and boxspring on each bed. Voila!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Great idea — this is actually EXACTLY what I recommend for people who do want to keep extra sheets around. People always think you’ll be able to “feel” the sheets between the mattresses, but I assure them you can’t!

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    Erin Reply:

    Awesome idea – thanks! With 6 kids and therefore 7 beds, this will come in handy!

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  35. Hope

    12/16/2013

    We are pretty close as well. We have two bath towels per person and one set of sheets per bed, plus a couple of sets of flannel sheets for really cold winter weather days (which we don’t have a lot of in Alabama, so last year those weren’t used at all). We keep a few extra blankets around in case we have a guest who needs to sleep on the sofa, but that’s about it.

    We are striving for simplicity as well. It’s so convicting to think about the luxury and waste we live with in the U.S.

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  36. Rachel

    12/16/2013

    I was close to this too. However, when my first turned two, we experienced our first bout with stomach flu and I realized that a middle of the night back up set for both beds is important!

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  37. Ashli

    12/16/2013

    I agree with most of what you said (that’s about what we have) although each of our kids does have two sets of sheets (as so we) because trying to wash sheets at 3 am when your kiddo has thrown up on them is not fun!

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    betsy Reply:

    I, too, have a few extra sheets for the twin beds (3 currently in use, and I have 6ish sheets). Washing sheets in the middle of the night is miserable.

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  38. Carrie

    12/16/2013

    I think your idea is very interesting. I always worry, however, what if something happens to my washer or dryer. What if I get sick and can’t get to the laundry. With five kids, I have had many nights being awakened to that sound that we all dread…the vomiting in the bed. I have had to do many late night sheet changes. I have had kids wet the bed. I have gone through stacks of towels with sick kids also.

    I try to limit my linens to 2 king size sheets (my beds) and 7 sets of twin sheets…5 go on all the beds and 2 are extra. I have two shelves of bath towels in my linen closet, but I have a large family.

    I have cut down on tableclothes to 2 generic that go with everything. I have a basket of assorted cloth napkins…we don’t use paper napkins. I also have a drawer of cut up towels and washcloths for cleaning my kitchen spills, wiping down tables,etc…as I don’t use paper towels.

    I have a bunch of blankets, but at any time, you are likely to see them hanging over chairs for kid forts. : )

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, like I said — this method probably won’t work for every family, but it works well for us at this point in our lives.

    I love that you just have 7 sets of twin sheets for your 5 twin beds — that’s smart. We have all different size beds so that makes things a little more complicated. When more kiddos start sleeping in “big beds” we’ll probably make the switch to all twin beds too, and then maybe just keep one or two extra twin sets around “just in case”. Thanks for the idea πŸ™‚

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  39. julie

    12/16/2013

    We do the same thing! I also only buy sheets with stripes — it sounds strange but it speeds up the process of putting them back on because there’s never a question as to which way they go πŸ™‚

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    Pamela Reply:

    GREAT idea!!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I always just get white sheets, but this is a really good idea as i too have been frustrated when putting sheets back on the beds the wrong way πŸ™‚

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    Mary Reply:

    I mark the fitted sheet at each corner in the seam allowance s/b b/s s/t t/s side, bottom, top with a permanent marker. Sure helps in finding the correct direction. Top or bottom doesn’t matter, but it’s easier marking it that way.

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  40. Jessica.hendricks22@yahoo.com

    12/16/2013

    I’m coming in close…we have 3 towels per person and two sets of sheets per bed. I’ve had people comment about it but know I can refer them to your post πŸ™‚
    A few years ago one of my girls (then 2) came into our room in the middle of the night sick, so I was thankful to have that second set of bed sheets at 1am. I think two is just enough.

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