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Killing the Beast (aka the Linen Cupboard) ~ the battle begins...

(20 Posts)
FlubbaBubba Tue 12-Jul-11 14:23:49

We have a wonderful linen/airing cupboard with two deep shelves (one, easily accessible, with ca. 75cm height available, the other, less accessible, with about 1.5m). We have everything possible stuffed into it (bedlinen, blankets, towels, spare duvets, children's 'blankies' type things, chidlren's' sleepbags, spare curtains hmm, iron, spare pillows and throws). (I think that's it blush). It is chokka and driving me insane. I've recently added to it as we've turned our only spare room into DS's room.

It's a beast that needs killing (or at least thinning down grin). So what do I chuck & what do I keep? What's the bare minimum we need (how many sheets/duvet covers/duvets/towels etc)?

We have a 3-bed house - so no spare room (but will occasionally have people to crash so will need at least one spare double duvet etc. 3 DCs (eldest is just four and won't need a single duvet for another three or four years).

Happy to be truly ruthless, but need handholding! (and advice!) grin

PaintedToenails Wed 13-Jul-11 23:11:36

This is in no way a scientific approach but I would say if you are feeling ruthless, I would go for two/three duvet covers/sets per bed plus one extra. Same with sheets (if you are past bed-wetting stage, and I mean your DC's obviously...if not, maybe some more. I would keep one spare duvet of each size, i.e. one single one double, and two sets of spare pillows. Children's Blankies, sleep bags etc, I don't know, one for each child??

Spare curtains.....not sure, how often do you change them? Do you have several pairs that you despise and hope never to see the light of day again? If so, get rid. Throws....what do you use them for? I'd keep a couple, or maybe one per bedroom and one spare.

Towels...ah, can never have enough towels. Keep every last one. Even the scratty ones, you can use them for hair dye/nit removal lotion etc, or use them as dusters/rags/cleaning the bathroom etc. Plus if any family pets pass away/snuff it/ go to live on a farm, you can wrap them up in it....most of my crappy old towels have been used in the...ahem...removal of 'late' guinea pigs over the years.

Chipotle Thu 14-Jul-11 04:16:10

Martha Stewart has a 'How to' on linen/airing cupboards.

FlubbaBubba Thu 14-Jul-11 16:24:06

Thanks painted I feel the same about towels. DH looked at me like confused when I said we couldn't throw if the scrappiest towel out grin

Spare curtains are a pain - they're so blinkin' expensive, while we have no use for them now, it'd be painful to replace them (but it may be years before we need them again) hmm. What to do...

PaintedToenails Fri 15-Jul-11 04:47:29

OK, how about one of those vacuum bag pop the curtains in and close the bag and then suck all the air out with the hoover. Apparently it reduces the size by three quarters.


In fact you could buy a few and stick all sorts of stuff from the airing cupboard in them, especially spare duvets and pillows....

ninedragons Fri 15-Jul-11 04:52:11

Yep, I have several sets of curtains in sucky bags (as they are called in this household). Linen cupboard is prime storage real estate - don't waste it on things that should be in deep storage.

Likewise scrappy old towels that you're saving for pet shrouds/D&V epidemics/in case somebody ever wants a home birth. I keep those under the laundry sink.

ninedragons Fri 15-Jul-11 04:59:49

<warming to topic>

Get a big sucky bag and put everything you need to make up a guest bed into it. You'll get two pillows, a duvet, a set of sheets and a duvet cover into a parcel that is about the size of one pillow. You can store it under a bed and then there's no need to rummage or wonder if everything is clean when a guest comes.

FlubbaBubba Fri 15-Jul-11 08:24:45

So sucky bags are the way forward? grin

I've got the spare set of duvet covers etc in a bag already, but doing the same to the duvet and 'suckying' it down sounds good smile

ninedragons Fri 15-Jul-11 10:27:50

Definitely, but buy good quality ones. If you buy the cheap ones, the seal leaks and it slowly puffs back up to normal size.

Pootles2010 Fri 15-Jul-11 11:49:08

I got some sucky bags from aldi, they are CRAPPITY CRAP CRAP. And still a fiver for three. Harumph.

PaintedToenails Fri 15-Jul-11 13:34:13

I love the idea of putting everything needed for a guest bed in a sucky bag....that is a brilliant idea!

I'm also deeply jealous as I don't actually have an airing cupboard.....

Deux Fri 15-Jul-11 13:43:19

I had the same dilemas. I now keep the sheets for each room in the room itself and it's been transforming. I was constantly rumaging around wondering if it was single bed sheet or whatever. Even 2 changes of bedding for our bed doesn't take up that much room.

I store ours in the underbed drawers and the the DCs in their wardrobes.

If your curtains are fairly plain then I'd keep them but put them in a sucky bag and in the loft. Otherwise I'd sell them or donate to a charity shop

What are the best sucky bags? I've tried loads from cheap to expensive and they all seem to explode at some point.

FlubbaBubba Fri 15-Jul-11 16:51:22

painted it's one of the main reasons we I decided to buy the house confused blush grin

That's a good idea deux - I've started to do that with The Boy's bed linen. May do that with the girls' room and ours. Already got the spare bed linen on top of the wardrobe next to the spare (futon) mattress so will add the duvet and sucky it. Will also sucky the curtains.

FlubbaBubba Fri 15-Jul-11 16:53:32

At this rate I'll have a virtually empty airing cupboard!! smile smile

What crap shall I fill it with?! grin

ninedragons Sat 16-Jul-11 10:08:36

Sucky the DC's sleeping bags, too. Each one should come down to about the size of a phone book.

dazzlingdeborahrose Mon 18-Jul-11 00:52:14

My top tip for storing bedding (wherever you store it) is to put the sheet duvet cover and spare pillowcases into one of the pillow cases from that set. that way you pull out one set at a time and you know you've got the matching sheet and pillowcases all in one handy spot. Putting them in the patterned pillowcase helps to identify which set it is. It also means that when you pull one set out you're less likely to pull a whole load of towels and duvets and sheets down on top of you which helps keep the cupboard tidier too.

TimeWasting Mon 18-Jul-11 11:34:50

Spare curtains should def be sucky-bagged and stuck in the loft/garage.

Do you keep on top of laundry? This is quite crucial in deciding how much of this stuff you need. I forever had huge piles of towels that needed washing. All our old scraggy ones, plus the multiple sets we were given as wedding presents, we'd still run out.
So I got rid of all the old ones, there's one dark one left at the bottom of the pile, but otherwise it's all the white smart(ish) wedding gift ones left. About half gone. And I don't run out, and I don't have huge piles of towels to wash.
Same with bedding. I have two sets of sheets/pillowcases for each bed which means when I strip the bed I must wash them straightaway.

One idea I've been keeping in mind when decluttering lately is to consider whether I would replace an item if it was lost/stolen/damaged. If I don't use it, and wouldn't replace it then I don't need it, do I?

FlubbaBubba Mon 18-Jul-11 13:48:14

Hey I like that idea dazzling - genius!

I like your logic TW smile

dazzlingdeborahrose Tue 19-Jul-11 12:32:55

Flubba: I aim to please - will now spend rest of the day basking in my genius glow :-)

FlubbaBubba Tue 19-Jul-11 14:52:48


Honestly, I'm planning on claiming it as my own from now on, it's that genius!! grin

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