A Fresh Start in the Linen Closet

Black Friday, Cyber Monday…One might think, after the holidays are over so are the sales but not so my friends!  Thanks to Mr. John Wanamaker, a savvy Philadelphia entrepreneur who created the “White Sale” as a way to increase sales and pass along special offers to his customers after the holidays.  Mr. Wanamaker’s idea was to promote a “fresh start” for the New Year by having a clean house. Since bed linens and towels were white during this time period, the “White Sale” it was named!  

As professional organizers, we love his idea and it must have been a good one since the White Sale has been a tradition since 1878!

So, do you take advantage of the annual sales to tackle the various areas of your home?  I try not to become victim to consumerism, but I do like to partake in a good sale when I am in need of new items.  For this reason, I always start my yearly cleaning and organizing with the linen closet.


Do you rotate the linens on your bed or do you wash and replace the same set of sheets each time?  

How many sets of sheets do you keep for each bed in your home?  

How many should you keep?  

As a general rule, one should have a minimum of two and a maximum of three sets of sheets per bed; one set that is on the bed and one set to change in case of sickness or while washing the other set.  I have two queen size beds and two king size beds in my house. I keep two additional sets of sheets for each size bed not each bed, which has been more than adequate for my family’s needs. Most days I simply wash and replace the same set.  While I am not a minimalist, I do value the art of minimalism and when it comes to sheets, I can certainly get on board.

Soapbox time…I have seen so many linen closets overrun with sets of sheets, blankets, and quilts for beds in sizes that are not even in their homes!  Yet people overwhelmingly wash and replace the same set of sheets that are on their bed because it is the set that matches their duvet, etc. So my question is, why are you keeping the rest??  Keep one or two sets of sheets for the size bed you have and donate the rest. Use this as your motivator: January is cold, and there are people in need of the warmth of your blankets. DONATE THEM NOW!

Once you have sorted through your linens, organize them by size or by room.  I find it convenient to place my linens in a basket labeled by size. That way I don’t have to perfectly fold them since they are inside the basket.  My closet has the appearance of neatness even though my sheet corners are not impeccably folded. I can be sneaky like that! If you don’t have a separate linen closet, you can store extra sets of linens in your bedroom closet or even in a bathroom closet.  Keeping them in a basket makes it easy to retrieve them.

What about pillows you say?

Oh, pillows!  Nothing becomes more personal during sleep time than the perfect pillow.  According to leading experts, we should replace our pillows every 12-24 months and you should wash your pillows at least every 6 months.  

So take advantage of the White Sales! Wash your pillows and donate your excess linens!  Ready, set, geaux!!