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How To Declutter Sheets And Pillowcases

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Today's mission is to declutter sheets and pillowcases in your home, as well as other bedding.

Organize Linen Closet Challenge
This mission is designed to be done while working on the Organize Linen Closet Challenge here on the site, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, although of course you can do it whenever the mood strikes you.

The beauty of focusing on one small task like this is that you can get it done in a short period of time, and then feel accomplished because you've made forward progress in your home, which is what all of these daily 15 minute missions are about.

As mentioned above, today focus on sheets and pillowcases, as well as bedding such as mattress covers and pads, and dust ruffles.

Some of the other missions we're focused on this week, when decluttering your linen closet, include:That means you can focus on those other common linen closet items on other days, and today have a more narrow focus on sheets and pillowcases.

How to #declutter sheets and pillowcases from your linen closet and home, including tips for how many you should have and what to do with ones you get rid of {a #Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101} #DeclutterSheetsuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
With such a narrow focus in mind, doing this declutter mission is pretty simple.

All you've got to do is gather up all of your sheets, pillowcases and other bedding, from wherever you store it in your home, and then begin to evaluate what you'll keep versus what to get rid of.

As always, I am not suggesting you get rid of them all! After all, you need something to sleep on each night! But this is your chance to only keep what you need and will use, and get rid of the excess.

Criteria To Help You Decide Which Sheets & Bedding To Keep

Here are some criteria to help you choose what sheets to keep versus to get rid of.

Get rid of ones that:
  • Are worn out, such as those that have holes or are fraying;

  • Don't fit beds that you currently own (example, get rid of king size sheets if you no longer own a king size bed)

  • No longer have the full set, if that is important for you (example, you are missing pillowcases or the fitted sheet)

  • Don't match your decor or that you don't like (if you've got several sets to choose from)

  • Excess, if you have too many sets
This last criteria is what often trips people up. How many sheets is too many?

I've answered that question for you below, so scroll down to see my advice.

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How Many Sheets & Pillowcases Should You Keep?

General guidelines for how many sheets and pillowcases to keep in your home, which is helpful when either setting up your home or when decluttering, to decide how many sheet sets to keep {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

As always when I approach the subject of providing a definitive answer to "how many" of anything you should keep in your home, I feel a bit of trepidation.

The answer is always, at least to a certain extent, "it depends" and also has a lot to do with your personal preferences and your personal situation.

Therefore, instead of taking this discussion which follows as rules of law, I suggest you take them instead as rules of thumb, where you can at least consider what I'm saying, apply it to help you out, and still give yourself permission to do something different if it really does work better for you, either less or more.

General Rule Of Thumb For Sheets & Pillowcases

My general rule of thumb is to have two sets of sheets, with both a top sheet and bottom sheet (which is often a fitted sheet), plus either one or two pillowcases (one if a single bed, or two for a full size or larger bed) for each bed in your home.

That means, for example, that if you have two full sized beds in your home you'll have a total of 4 sets of sheets, with 4 top sheets, 4 fitted or bottom sheets, and 8 pillowcases.

This minimum amount of sheet sets allows you to have one set dirty and waiting to be washed while the other is ready to be put onto the bed immediately. That means, most of the time you're never without sheets on any bed.

Emergencies or accidents happen, and also sometimes people, including guests, may sleep somewhere in your home beside a bed, so you may also choose to have an additional 1-2 sets more of sheets that are extra. These can be used for making up a bed that would be used with a blow up mattress, or for a couch if needed, or for emergencies if there is illness and more than one set of sheets is used before the other can be washed.

You can choose for yourself if you'll have one or two mattress pads per bed, since they are not washed as often. I tend to lean toward having two for each bed, so you don't have to rush to wash and dry the mattress pad when it's time to wash it.

Babies & Young Children May Need More

If you have a baby, or young child that is still in diapers or potty training, or someone in your home deals with illnesses often, you may want to get a few more sets of sheets, and more mattress pads, than the general rule of thumb suggested above, for those particular beds, cribs or bassinets.

There can be a lot of bedwetting accidents, spit up, and late night tummy troubles that will have you wishing for more sheets or pads, since caring for a sick child and doing laundry at the same time can be difficult.

Don't Forget About Seasonal Sheets

Some people have winter sheets and summer sheets. I don't, personally, because of our air conditioning and central heat, but I know there are others who enjoy switching out sheets as the seasons change.

If you do this you'll still want to have two sets of winter sheets, and two for summer, per bed, so you're basically doubling the total amount of sheets you will own. However, if it makes you more comfy for sleeping, and you have room for them, I say go for it!

Photo courtesy of a reader, Ellen

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Ideas For What To Do With The Bedding You Declutter From Your Home

Before and after of a linen closet when a reader, Barbara, decluttered sheets and other bedding {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Once you've decided to declutter some of your sheets and pillowcases, and other bedding, you'll be left with a pile of fabric, and will need to decide what to do with it.

Assuming that the bedding you're getting rid of is still in good enough condition for someone else to use, your two main choices are to sell or donate the items.

If you're going to sell the bedding it's best for it to have all parts of the set, because otherwise people aren't normally as interested.

When deciding where to donate, some ideas include:
  • Someone who is setting up a new home for themselves

  • Homeless shelters and similar places

  • Consignment shops or churches with clothes closets, which also have a household items area

  • Pet shelters, which are often looking for bedding for the animals
The most important thing is just to get it out of your house and somewhere else, where someone else can use the items.

Sheets, pillowcases and other bedding that was decluttered and donated as part of the Declutter 365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101

A reader, Marlo, sent in this photo, above, of what she ended up donating. She said, "Old bed linen: comforter, bed skirt, set of sheets, pillow shams and accent pillow covers along with a random top sheet! It's been in this bag for 2yrs because I hoping to give to someone in need...DUH that's what The Goodwill is for, so I pulled it out from under the bed and it's going to be donated tomorrow!"

*** Update ***

I recently got another ideas for repurposing old fitted sheets, which is to use them for hauling away yard waste. You can check out this and lots more ideas for decluttering your yard in the linked article.

Top photos, of before and after of the linen closet, submitted by a reader, Barbara. She explained in the before picture that "Many sheets were not a size to match any of our beds!"

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Getting Rid Of Bedding Clutter Will Make Life Easier

Getting rid of bedding clutter will make your life easier, since you're not keeping track of so much stuff {decluttered sheets for 7 kids, featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}

Are you ready to declutter your own bedding clutter now? I hope so, but if not, check out this quick story from a reader, Stephanie, who sent in the photo above.

Stephanie said, "Not that anyone asked (!) but this is the bedding for all my kids. Two sets per 7 kids. It takes up very little room. They all have an easily washable comforter from IKEA that slips inside the duvets.

Before I standardized the bedding, I think we had five times the amount. Keeping track of everything was overwhelming for me.

Now it's much simpler, and I'm so glad I got rid of the excess!"

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Getting Rid Of Bedroom & Closet Clutter Hall Of Fame

Go From How To Declutter Sheets, Pillowcases & Bedding To Home Page

Comments for Getting Rid Of Bedding Clutter Will Make Life Easier

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Sheet sets
by: Paula

Good article! I have been needing to go through all of our sheets to see what we actually have! I have a lot of kids, so we end up with a lot of clutter when there isn't a place to keep everything. We have been given many sheet sets, and sometimes they are near the end of their lives - so we end up with torn bottom sheets and frayed top sheets, and TONS of orphaned pillow cases. We also had a small flood in the basement so we had to move furniture and bedding that I had stored there. There isn't a place, currently, to store the bed linens, so they are piled up on top of dressers, on the couch in the living room, and who knows where else.

This is the perfect time to gather it all up, sort by bed size, and see what I need to get rid of and what I need to buy. We have hot summers with no AC, and cold winters in an older house, so we need both summer and winter sheets. I am thinking of getting new sets of summer sheets this month, and buying warmer flannel sheets this fall, after I see what we need.

Thanks for the inspiration!

old sheets
by: Toni

My mother used to use the old sheets for bandages when we children got hurt.

Pillowcase declutter
by: Due

Decluttered pillowcases (especially king size) make great folding chair covers.

Storing sheets inside pillowcase
by: Gail

When folding the sheets set one of the pillowcases aside fold top, fitted and 2nd pillowcase (if there is one) to the width of the remaining pillowcase. Take the sheets and extra pillowcase and slip them into the unfolded pillowcase. Fold the case over and now when ready to change the linens you have one item to pickup and take to the bedroom. No more searching for matches. And storage looks more organized. Saw it on Pinterest long ago.

Three sets for each bed
by: Anonymous

I was taught to have 3 sets -- 1 on the bed, 1 in the hamper and 1 clean ready to use. Accidents happen and I may need clean sheets before the soiled ones are laundered. Also we have lost power for over a week and it was wonderful to be able to have a clean bed waiting for the power to be restored. Old school, LOL

Store in pillowcases
by: Val

Ours were always here there and everywhere and I had to hunt drawers to find matching sets. Now, I fold the bottom, top and 1 pillowcase and slide it into the 2nd case. Fold in half and put in drawer. When i need sheets I can just reach in and grab one case & it's all there.

I do that too with storage inside pillowcase
by: Carol

I put the sheets and one of the pillowcases in the other pillow case and have the sheet sets all in one place. This makes a nice neat flat bundle and you can very easily pull out the correct sheet set that you need.
No more searching for the top and bottom sheets and matching pillowcases every time you make up a bed as it’s all in one neat bundle.

No fitted sheets
by: Sharon

When I was a kid, there were six of us (four kids) and we didn't have fitted sheets. When it came to change the sheets, the bottom one got washed and the top sheet went on the bottom. Less laundry!

sheet "yarn" rug
by: sanityy

You can make a rug out of unwanted sheets.

Turn The Folded Edges Of Bedding Forward And Stack Like Books In A Library
by: Mary Fifer

I so enjoyed reading this article as it is the chore I have set to do tomorrow.

Folding sets into a pillow case is brilliant!

So is having two or three sets per bed. I am thinking of marking the shelves for the King, full, and twin sizes. I've seen that at a Monastery where we stayed in the guest house. So nice and easy for the next visitor. Or proof for the child putting them away or getting the next set. :-)

A trick I've learned with my towels and rags is to fold them all the same way and line up the rounded sides like books in a library. It looks nice and neat.

I'll bet this will work with my linen closet, too.

Tomorrow. :-)

Sheet sets
by: Anonymous

I don't mind not having matching sets but I hate having to figure out full, queen, king or twin sizes. I have started putting a set of the same size in one of the pillowcases, then keeping the set of the appropriate size in the room with the same size bed. It has made it a lot quicker to find the size for the bed and I know all items fit together because I determine that at the point of putting in the pillowcase. I tend to do laundry by the room or by the person so, if the sheets come out of whatever room, when they are "done" they go right back in the same room. And when possible, off the bed, laundered, and right back on the bed because I hate folding sheets. Just my 2 cents worth.

Fabric is fabric
by: Linda

Remember that all that fabric from sheets, pillowcases, bed skirts, etc. can be used as fabric for making other items. I've used them for pieces in quilts, the backing for quilts, curtain valances, and all kinds of other projects. If you sew, the possibilities are endless.

OTHER USES: light-weight picnic "blanket," making tents with the kids inside or outside, covering plants to prevent them from being frosted, as drop cloths when painting, covering a chair or couch that the pet likes so it can be washed often, etc.

Use plastic zippered bags for storage
by: Lezlie

I keep the the zippered pouch that the sheet sets come in, remove the labels and inserts etc, and then reuse them for my sheet set storage. The pouches act much like compression or packing ‘cubes’, keep all the pieces together and stack together nicely.

extra pillowcases for when people are ill
by: Patty

I always keep extra pillow cases for when someone is ill. I change the pillow cases every day if someone is ill, so they aren't laying on the same germ-laden case.

Uses for excess sheets
by: Anonymous

Like many others I fold my sheets and 1 pillowcase and store inside the other pillowcase. Very convenient. When I have excess sheets that are in good shape, I make extra pillowcases for beds, sometimes we use 2 each. Or I make pillowcases for the large body pillows, you can make 2 or 3 per sheet, depending on the size. We always have extra pillowcases. They seem to get dirtier than the sheets. Or use the extra for quilt backings, or in the blocks for quilts and sometime to help mend various items. Always a lot of uses for extras.

Fewer sheets
by: Anonymous

My last house had twin, queen and king beds. New one has 3 queens for 1 person. And in house laundry. Only need 4 sets of queen sheets now.

Where I donate old sheets
by: Anonymous

I have given old sheets to churches who make quilts for missions. They use them to make the backing.

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