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February 10, 2009

The linen closet. Possibly the most exciting thing since dryer lint.


Bob sleeping on his red blankie.

I bought that red fluffy blanket for Roy when he was very sick but by that time he stayed in his little kitty tent all day on his self-warming heating pad and never used the red blanket. I missed that cat so much after he died that I got rid of everything he'd used when he was sick, I had to let go that very day or I knew I'd somehow be locked forever in a weird place where I didn't want to be. The red blanket, never used, got washed and folded and stuffed away in the back of the linen closet.

My linen closet is in the hallway and it's actually pretty big for such a small house. I use the top part of the cabinet for linens and the bottom part for storage (tools, toiletries, miscellaneous sundries.) I have known for some time now that my linen closet was OUT OF CONTROL but I have done nothing at all about it except stuff more towels and pillowcases inside and close the doors. It's good sometimes to pull a Scarlett O'Hara and say, I'LL THINK ABOUT THAT LINEN CLOSET WHEN I FRANKLY GIVE A DAMN. Which I don't. Or didn't ... until I couldn't sleep. Then I was all over that linen closet like me on white Arborio rice.

I think I forget sometimes that I am just one person and I do not need 14 mismatched towels, eighteen sets of sheets and 22 blankets. After all, I only have one bed ... well, I do have a pullout sofa in the office that makes into a twin bed but scientific studies show that one can actually use bigger sheets and just tuck them in and apparently the law will not come to your house and arrest you for bad homemaking. Allegedly.

Part of this linen closet trouble started last year when I found a whole closeout sale on 1000-thread-count sheets and decided to stock up (that was prior to going all no-shop). My previous supply of sheets were 300 thread count (which were awesome right up until the moment I slept on a 1000-thread-count sheet and then I crossed over into a new level of uppity) and now all my old sheets have been relegated to the back of the cabinet in the ghetto area near the mismatched pillowcases and the raggedy beach towels.

Why didn't I just get rid of them? Why did I KEEP all my old sheets instead of donating them to Goodwill or something? This makes no sense, it is not logical thinking -- it is the part of the prefrontal cortex called the Clutterelis Unexplainedness. I am very sciency today what with my deep medical knowledge of the brain and all.

So the other night when I couldn't sleep I pulled everything out of the linen closet and stacked it on the bed in piles. I sorted it into basics: my awesome new fancypants sheets in one pile, towels that match in another pile, favorite blankets and throws in another pile, and "everything else."

The bulkier stuff, like the extra pillows, got smooshed down into space bags. Space bags! Why can't they make space bags for my thighs? (Oh wait -- they have -- they're called Spanx). It was hard to figure out what to let go of, but I did manage to pare it all down and I wrapped all the purged linens in two (!!) big plastic bags and sent them to the garage for Yard Sale day.

Then I put everything back into the closet:


Not bad for an hour's work!

For some reason I feel happier knowing that there is order and organization happening behind the closed doors of my linen cabinet. I have to walk past that linen closet ten times a day and now it's not nagging at the back of my mind, clean me! Help me! Free me of these ugly towels with frayed edges! Funny how clutter nags at you even when you aren't looking at it directly. While I was in full-sorting mode, the red fluffy blanket was out on the bed for just a minute and Bob started rooting around under it, then making biscuits on it and finally falling asleep in a happy round pile of cute:


The red blanket stays. It has a contented new owner.

Posted by laurie at February 10, 2009 8:22 AM