We began with the kitchen and laundry room junk drawers. The partitions are made from sturdy little cardboard boxes my husband had saved for me. He thought they looked like pencil boxes. Yep. I labeled the partitions in hopes that they would be easier to maintain that way. We’ll see. We tossed probably half a kitchen bag full of odds and ends and broken bits of junk.
With that win fresh in my head, I decided to tackle our terrible linen closet. No before pictures, sadly. But suffice it to say it was stuffed from bottom to top with ill-folded items. Items on the very top shelf were in perpetual danger of falling on our heads, and lower shelves were so cram-packed that it was nearly impossible to find a matching sheet set. (Though I’m not implying many of my kids actually care about such niceties.)
Sarah of the 40-Bag Challenge says she keeps exactly ONE set of extra sheets in her entire house. That idea appealed to me in its lovely simplicity, but I just couldn’t go that lean. We have one queen bed, one double, and 8 single beds right now. We actually didn’t have many extra sheets for the larger beds, but over
the years we had somehow collected at least 30 sets of sheets for single
beds. Ridiculous packrat overkill, especially when you consider that
there are people out there who could actually use those sheets. I opted to keep two sets of sheets for each of the larger beds and one set of sheets for each of the singles — not counting what is currently on the beds, of course. So, that’s a dozen sets of extra sheets in the house. Probably way more than we really need, but a huge reduction.
We had too many towels as well. I tend to buy towels whenever I want to freshen up a bathroom’s decor, but in honesty they don’t get worn out that fast. I stuck a set out in our travel trailer, put another good-sized heap out in John’s shop for rags, and tossed a few horribly torn/stained items. Then I bagged up the rest to give away.
Altogether I ended up with four 13-gallon kitchen bags for charity from the linen closet alone. I am amazed. We are still abundantly supplied with everything we might possibly need. But we now have space to find what we do have. And it won’t be so impossible for kids to find space to neatly put things away. I’m still not really thinking I have the gumption to find 40 bags by Easter. But after 2 hours of decluttering, I’m more than10% of the way there. So who knows…? And the neatness of that closet has had me peeking into it at random moments all morning.
Current declutter total: 4.5 bags