Do you often feel like the title of today's blog? I do. Sometimes, especially after Christmas, I dread opening any closet because I just don't want to look at the mess I've created. Each spring, I force myself to take a long look at the storage and linen closets and do a little tossing and donating.
When I got married over twenty years ago, my husband and I received many, many, many lovely gifts. I remember, I wrote each thank you note by hand; this was pre-computers mostly! We recieved about ten sets of sheets and twenty sets of towels. I graciously packed them all up, put them in my little toyota tercel and had my father-in-law drive them to Indiana where we were living after the wedding in Oklahoma. I unpacked them into our first apartment and filled every nook and cranny of storage that we had.
A year later, we purchased our first home and I happily repacked those same sheets and towels and moved them across town into our little three bedroom, one and one-half bath home with very little closet space. Five years later, I grudingly repacked them to move into a large four bedroom home with more closet space but as kids began to move in, it seemed smaller and smaller. Notice a trend here?
Five years after that, my husband took a job to relocate us back to our old stomping grounds of Oklahoma. Back to grandma's, grandpa's, aunts, uncles and cousins. Someone else packed up our stuff so happily I went only to unpack those same towels and sheets I had moved away eleven years ago into a larger house with even more storage space. The only problem was it seemed that we never had enough storage!
You see, I'm kind of like the princess and pea story. I spend way too much time in my bed to have itchy, scratchy sheets covering my body. So those pretty sheets that were given to me mostly got to stay in the closet while I used two or three sets. We also switched to a queen size bed about a year after we were married so the only bed those sheets fit were the guest bed that got used a few times a year. Those pretty but tiny bath towels got placed in the closet while we used the big but ugly ones everyday.
A couple of years ago, my new year's resolution was to let go of possessions owning me. I began to purge my house of things that no longer gave me joy. Things I had around simply so I had something to dust. I occured to me that just because I didn't enjoy those things anymore didn't mean someone else might not cherish that possession! Purging my home took on more meaning when I realized that I had simply been hordeing those things for all those years! I could give them to someone to enjoy and free myself of needless stuff at the same time.
I donated five black plastic trash bags full of bed sheets only used a few times, pretty decorative towels that had been folded and refolded, bedspreads that no longer fit my decor, curtains from the first, second or third place we had lived but didn't fit at our new house. It was liberating! I donated it all to a women's shelter. They were truly overjoyed at recieving so many nice, almost new things!
Now when I look in my linen closet, I see every size bed with a label on the shelf. One that shelf are four sets of sheets, sheets that are comfortably soft and silky, or soft and flannelly (if that's a word!). Two for spring/summer and two for fall/winter. I no longer fold sheets everytime we wash bed sheets, they just get removed, washed and placed back on the bed. Each bathroom has four bath towels, four hand towels and six washcloths. Again, I don't spend time folding towels, I just wash them and hang them back up.
Cleaning my linen closet this year is simply a matter of looking at the fall/winter sheets and seeing if they need to be replaced with a new set that are conveniently on sale now! I just recently replaced the four towels in the master bath. They now hang in the kids' bathroom and their old ones are in the utility room for spills and Kate's many messes. The utility towels got tossed, it would give no one joy to inherit those!
Go out and purge something today! Donate those things and give someone else joy!