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24 June 2007

Organising the linen cupboard

When I decided that I would stop spending, along with that decision came the imperative of looking after what I own. We have always bought the best quality we could afford at the time and when you live simply that is a necessity. You aim to have good quality that will last a long time, and to look after everything you buy so you don't have to keep replacing it. In the coming weeks I'll write about looking after various items in your home, today it's the linen cupboard.

One of the things I do every six months or so is to clean out my linen cupboard. It gives me the opportunity to clean down the shelves and get rid of what I'm not using. I cleaned my cupboard out this morning and now have a small bag of sheets and duvet covers that I'll take to work with me next week to give to families who come in. I also have a nice bag of flannel rags that I cut up from old sheets.

sheets. sheetsW

When you clean out your linen cupboard, remove everything to give yourself a clean slate to start with. Your shelves should be painted or covered with plastic sheeting. Wooden shelves tend to stain linens over time. Fill a small bucket with soapy water and wipe down the shelves, dry each shelf well with an old towel. You can add essential oil to your soapy water to give the cupboard sweet smell. Look for any signs of cockroaches, silverfish or other pests. If you find any such signs, place some borax traps at the back of the linens to kill whatever has made their home in your cupboard.

Go through all your linens and refold all of them. Hopefully you won't have too much folding to do but it is worth it to make sure they're not harbouring pests or mould. Put back only those linens that you use. Don't be fooled into thinking the rose and primrose comforter your granny gave you will be used in the future. If you haven't use it in the past year, give it to someone who will use it. What use is a comforter, even if it is a cherish one, that is not used? When you've made the decisions on what will go back, place it all on your shelves in a way that makes sense to you.

We have a queen size bed so all my queen fitted and flat sheets are together on my main shelf. Under that shelf, I keep duvet covers and pillow slips. Over them I have sheets, duvet covers and odd sided pillow slips to other beds in the house that are only used when guests are here. Below the sheets are guest towels. The towels we use regularly are in our bathroom. Organising my cupboard like that makes sense to me so when I need new sheets, I don't have to sort through the lot of them to find what I need.

This is an easy task that should take you about 30 minutes to complete. I tell you, you'll feel wonderful when it's finished. So if you've yet to start organising your home, start with this small thing and we'll take it from there.


  1. Hey Rhonda, lets see if this comment comes through. I have decided I too will clean out the linen cupboard. Have a good day and thanks again for all the good tips. Neisha

  2. My linen cupboard is actually one place in the house that is well organised all of the time. I love linens and towels! So much so that a couple of years ago I had to start asking myself 'want or need?' when I saw something I liked. It's under control now though :-).

    No bread today either I'm afraid - I'm having a devil of a time finding gluten flour! Still it's fine and sunny so back into the garden I shall go. Rhubarb and garlic to be planted and, as always, weeding and mulching to be done.

  3. Wow that is super organized!

    Mine is stuffed full. Partly because it is a very small closet. I also have 3 complete sets of bedding that I rotate...just the comforters take up most of the room!

  4. I spent an hour this afternoon organising my linen cupboard as well as it doubles as my stockpile cupboard.
    I bought 2 sets of sheets from the Linen service today for $5 they are perfect and made by Actil so now we have plenty to rotate.
    Regards Rhonda

  5. Hi! Killi here via your comment :). My linen cupboard for towels,would be my airing cupboard which is the hot press in the kitchen. Because the house isn't finished, the electrician has taken it over to store his stuff! My towels are in a lidded box by the hot press (basically the cupboard with the hot water/immersion heater in it ~ cold presses are other unheated cupboards). For bedlinen I have an ottoman in my room for all mine, a wheeled underbed drawer, currently under my bed, but which will go under Annon's for hers, then the bed linen for the other rooms will be stored in that room. It makes it easier as the beds are different sizes & shapes, so I'm not trying to work out if things are double, king, single or the 2'6" bed! Also it will keep the stuff each of my childer have chosen separate. I only have 1 child living with me at present, but we're hoping my eldest will be able to study in Ireland & my son will come to live with me again at some point.

  6. hello Neisha, Susan, Lyn, Rhonda and Killi!

    Neisha, did you clean out your cupboard?
    Susan, I love livens and good towels too, they are such a gorgeous extravagance.
    Lyn, yes, rotating it's the way I do it too. Much better than wearing out your favourite sets.
    Rhonda, I remember you telling us about the cheap sheets at the linen service. I think that's excellent!
    Killi, you're going through renovations now aren't you? That would make finding cupboard space a difficult thing. I hope you're coping well despite the upheaval.

  7. There are times when I get so frustrated. Strange times when I want to sort everything out, but then can't because of things in the wrong rooms that can't go in the right rooms or outside because ~ because the older chicks need a new house/run that my petshop is making for me, but he can't because he's having to mind the shop & stock because his wife is nursing her dying father in England, so chicks & ducklings live in the house with us; because I've only recently had a door put on the work/animal shed & then the builder filled it with his stuff, so my tools are still in the house; because I can't carry a wardrobe alone across the yard & push it up to my bedroom through the hole so I can finish furnishing bem's room; because the house isn't finished so I can have my bedroom as I want, my clothes, my books accessible & the garage & container cleared. But the chicks will go outside in the end; the renovation stuff will be used & the shed cleared & maybe shelves & boxes put in for next year's hatching & I can lock it when all the tools go in there; I'll grab any unsuspecting Traveller Lads to help shift the wardrobe; the house will be finished & then I'll start saving for the outhouses to be done & for electricity to them...........

  8. If I open the door to my airing cupboard and peek in I am probably risking my neck. but no more! I am going to line the bare woodshelves and edge with lace and organise it all and finally i will add a little step we can all use as throwing stuff in got us in this mess in the first place! lol Thank you for your tips :)

  9. Hello, I have only just found your blog today and therefore know that this is quite an old post to comment on but I am working my way through your blog from start to finish :-) I just cleaned out my linen cupboard the other day and decided to try something that I had read somewhere (probably on a blog on being organised!) that if you have different duvet sets (either for different rooms or different bed sizes) to put the bottom/top sheet, the duvet cover and all but one of the pillow cases inside the last pillow case and store like this so you can get everything you need when making up/changing a bed by taking out the "pillow case pack". I thought this was a really neat idea, AND it keeps the linen cupboard beautifully tidy!


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