Linens and Things

In the corner of our bedroom there is an old steamer trunk.  It's where we keep all our linens; sheets, towels, air mattress, quilts, rag rugs and more stuff I can't remember.   It's big and it is won't shut.  It's been on my hit list for a while now.  I don't think I've ever evaluated what's in there.  I just kept cramming more stuff in. 

Before I even opened the lid I made list of what we need for linens. 

Queen Bed:
- 2 sets of sheets
- 1 quilt
- 1 fuzzy blanket

Guest Beds:
- 2 set of single sheets
- 1 air mattress and pump
- 2 quilts
- 1 comforter (Jeff insisted on keeping this.  He does have veto power.)

- 1 Foy towel
- 1 Jeff towel
- 2 Guest towels
- 2 Beach towels
- 1 big blanket towel

Then I took everything out of the trunk and put it in stacks around the room.  I went through my list and pulled out what was on my list.  I put those things back in the trunk. 

This is what was left over: extra towels, throw blankets, throw pillows and a bunch of cloth napkins.  The napkins were from our wedding.  I collected vintage napkins for the reception.  My grand idea was to make them into a quilt.  However, I don't have the sewing skills and upon closer examination many of the napkins aren't too thin and flimsy.  I did save ten of the large dinner napkins for entertaining.  All the rest of the napkins were gifted to a local artist who uses fabric as her medium.  Everything else was boxed up and sent to Goodwill. 

Now the linen trunk closes!

If I can just clear enough space out of the closet so we can store the window air conditioner, red box and bike rack out of sight that corner of the room will be much less crowded. 

I'm close to going through everything.  I'll tell you about cleaning out the bathroom and dresser drawers next.  Then all that is left is the closet and under the bed. 

I'm excited to be living in an apartment with less clutter.


  1. Looks awesome! Keep up the minimizing, that steamer trunk looks a lot like every container I used to have in my apartment in that it was filled to absolutely overflowing.

  2. We sold our house a couple weeks ago and are now settling into a 3 bedroom apartment while we find a new place. This 6 month apartment stint is going to be the best move we ever make. Every person is going through stuff, again, to get rid of even more.

    My decluttering process looks very similar to the photos you've posted.

    I just went through towels last night. I bought 4 nice towels to help our house show better. Those are now in our bathroom. The kids ended up with all the old towels (one is even from my husband's dorm room). When I got 4 towels for Christmas yesterday, my daughter screamed "yes" when she saw them. They are going into their bathroom. That gives us 2 towels/person on a regular basis. The toddler had 8 baby washrags and 3 baby towels. I am keeping 2 of each. I am turning 2 into a towel and washrag set for her baby doll and donating the rest. These are still in great shape. I wish I could keep 1/person but I have too much laundry with 5 people to know that I will always have them clean when needed. All the old towels are going - hopefully to my brother for shop rags because he is too young to have a stash of old rags - yet really needs a stash.

    In my kitchen, my goal is to have things that will stack together. I had so many miss matched dishes that they took up twice the space they should have. I had things from two grandmother's houses from when they moved into assisted living. Pyrex is Pyrex and not a family treasure. I just had too many large casserole dishes I NEVER used. Those are gone. We do have a large stash of drinking glasses from their houses. Since we do break glasses, we are keeping them in a box in the closet to replace what is in our cabinet as needed.

    Toys - um yeah. If it is not an $80 doll (American Girl), or doll clothes my grandmother made, I've helped my 12 year old realize that it can go. I ask her this:

    If I pull this out of my attic in 20 years what will you want me to do with it? Will you want it for your daughter or a decoration? Will you want to store it in a box in your closet for eternity? If you already know NOW that you will trash it THEN, let's just go ahead and say goodbye now!

    I am excited to see just how simple we can live here.

  3. So i have to say:
    cloth napkins. Why aren't you using them instead of stuffing them in a trunk? we only use cloth napkins. I think we have a dozen or more and we always need more since we do a laundry every 2 weeks or so and use two napkins an evening. We generally use the napkins for a few nights in a row unless eating something messy.
    As far as the sheets- i'm always looking for extra sheets to use as -row cover -recycled clothing (for myself or our hand puppets) -dog bedding. etc.
    I used to hold on to ever scrap piece of fabric until we moved last and i culled a lot. Iwasn't sewing as much then. Now i wish i still had it, but will probably cull my supply again before we move next.

    Feel free to mail me some of your sheets. I'll make them into some nice clothes. ;)

  4. Nice. I have a linen closet that scares the crap out of me every time I open it. Stuff just pours out of it, and I shove it all back in and cram the door shut. I think I need more sheets and towels than you do, simply because I have messy kids and no in-house laundry, but more than half of that stuff could definitely get the boot.

  5. Love the trunk as linen closet! Congrats on purging the excess stuff and giving it to charity. And it's great you have the his/hers towels. Never thought of them that way.

  6. Congrats on the steamer chest success! That has to feel good to be able to shut it. Talk about a visible accomplishment. The napkin quilt really was a wonderful idea. I'm sorry it didn't work out.

  7. I kept an old wooden toy box from my boys that I use as chest for my sweaters. I love sweaters, and I have many, so I needed a place to store them. I hope that by reading your blog, I get the inspiration to de-clutter my house. starting in the basement:)

  8. Wow, now I am focused on decluttering the house, one space at a time. It's astonishing how "stuff" multiplies and then lingers, especially when there is ample storage space. So many forgotten items lurk on closet shelves, in under-bed storage drawers, etc.

    Your post has inspired a worthy 2011 project.

  9. i've been wanting to scout your blog for a while now. nice posts on clearing clutter. we have constant movement and the only ONE good thing about it is clutter clearing. wish i could glimpse the vintage napkins before you gave them off!

  10. I like it because they dorm bedding .
    are not as big as a bunk bed and it looks pretty cool