Clearing Cupboards

Clearing Cupboards

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My favorite thing about the weekend (besides sleeping in past 6:00 a.m. and spending time with my adorable toddlers) is the opportunity to tackle some decluttering projects. As Saturday afternoon rolls around, I can see my clutter getting nervous. My eyes roam the house, searching for my next project. This weekend my gaze fell upon my “linen” cupboard. (The quotes are because I don’t think any actual linen resides in there. It’s mostly towels and an odd assortment of sheets.) Here is my linen cupboard before:

If you’ll note, we had A LOT of towels. We probably registered for the amount of towels recommended for new couples on wedding registries, which, in my opinion, are just a way to convince naive couples to register for more things than they could ever, ever actually use in a lifetime of wedded bliss. I asked myself, “How many towels do we actually need?” The answer was simple: two for me, two for Josh, one for each of the kids, two for guests. (Note: our au pair has her own towels in her bathroom upstairs, which I, of course, left alone.)

But the idea of having merely 9 towels in the house seemed crazy! The “what ifs” immediately popped up in my brain: What if there’s a flood and you need towels to sop up water? What if a towel gets stained or dirty? What if you need to use a towel to soak up something gross, like blood or mud or an oil spill? I thought perhaps my decluttering had gone too far. Only 9 towels? Are you crazy, lady?!

I was starting to sweat, so I brought in Josh for a consultation. To my utter surprise, when I presented the idea of eliminating roughly half of our towel collection, he seemed unfazed. “That sounds about right,” he said. (Did I mention I love this man?) So here is my linen cupboard now, with just the right amount of towels and sheets:

In case you’re wondering, in addition to the towels, I eliminated some washcloths, hand towels, sheets, and tablecoths (like I ever use tablecloths! Please, what was I thinking acquiring those?!). I knew the perfect home for these unused linen items: the homeless shelter where I used to volunteer. They are always in need of towels and sheets for their guests. So I packed up this bounty and took it to the shelter that afternoon.

I felt good knowing that my unused towels would be put to good use. I also felt good with the free, uncluttered space I’d just opened up in my house. That’s truly why I declutter – because it makes me feel free. That may sound corny, but it’s true. The newly opened space makes me feel like I’m looking at possibilities; it makes me feel calm.

I hope I’ve motivated some of you to take a look at that towel collection and consider culling some of it for a good cause.

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  • Bake-A-Holic
    Posted at 17:10h, 16 January

    My husband and I are very minimalist, but clutter has a way of building up in drawers, cupboards, etc. We've been taking one cabinet or drawer each day or every other day and completely reorganizing it and donating unwanted items. It is really calming to open up a cabinet or door and see a tidy space and to also know everything that's in that particular space. We've also been spending a little extra money on buying nice baskets and organizers. That makes a difference too!

    Love the blog! I'm off to organize something….

  • Judy
    Posted at 22:40h, 15 January

    I am inspired… just need to put some legs on that inspiration. But I will continue upon the path which is clear of clutter…one drawer, one shelf, one surface at a time.

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