To make things neat, first one must make a mess. I had a HUGE mess yesterday. Sitting in the living room surrounded by sheets and towels and pillow-cases, I had a revelation. Part of being organized, is simply not having so much stuff. Really, why am I keeping those sheets with the floral pattern I hate — the ones that make me feel like I’m crawling into my grandmother’s bed? Why am I keeping sheets with no mate? Why the pillow case my husband used in college? Why the thread-bare towels? Do I really need 14 sets of twin sheets for 4 beds? I don’t actually use all of these things and yet they take up space in my linen closet year after year. I did something bold . . . I got rid of what I didn’t need. Getting rid of things is difficult for me. I think that Great Depression mentality my grandparents passed to my parents — waste-not-want-not, keep everything because you never know when you will be without — seeped into me as well. I have a fear of being without, and so I tend to hold on. Yet in Matthew 6:25 – 33 Jesus makes it pretty clear that we aren’t to worry or hold on:
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
The number of sheets and towels and pillow-cases I have really isn’t important. I’m to be seeking after “His kingdom and His righteousness” and He’ll take care of the rest. Who knew I’d find a spiritual application in my linen closet?!
After I pared things down I got to folding. If you read my very brief plan for this week, you know that my plan for my linens was modeled on a Martha Stewart’s concept of folding sheets and placing them inside the matching pillow-case. In her picture the shelves appear to be the exact size of the pillow-case, however my shelves are significantly shorter. I folded my sheets into a rectangle about half the size of the pillow-case, and placed them inside leaving the top half empty. I then folded the top portion back over the bottom, and placed it on the shelf with the closed end of the pillow-case facing out.
I organized the sets by size and labeled the shelves accordingly.
I’m almost embarrassed to post my before picture, but here it is.
It was actually even worse than this, but I had already started clearing things before I remembered to take my “before” picture (cringe!).
This is the “after” picture.
I even found some empty shelf space. My weekend project is complete, and I’m pleased with the results.