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Living Space: 7 things you can declutter from your linen closet in the next 5 minutes

Katie Holdefehr, Tribune Content Agency on

Quick: Make a rough estimate of how many pillowcases you own. Just enough to match your sheet sets? Or perhaps a few extras? Or perhaps you’re like many of us and are harboring a dozen spare pillowcases — or more — even if you don’t actually even have a guest room.

Guilty as charged? If not, we’re fairly willing to guess that you might be guilty of some other kind of linen-closet clutter, whether that’s old bath towels, torn pillowcases, stained dishcloths or kids’ bedding for the kids who are now out of the house. Whatever the source of the clutter, this list of items to purge will help you eliminate what you don’t need, so you can make space for the linens you actually use.

1. Old bath towels

Sure, most of us like to keep a tattered old bath towel on hand for messy cleaning tasks or for when the dog walks in with muddy paws, but you probably don’t need 10. Keep a couple, then call your local animal shelter (or other animal rescue groups) to see if they might want the rest.

2. Outgrown bedding

Maybe you’re still hanging onto crib sheets even after your child has graduated to a “big kid bed,” or maybe you’re keeping those full-size sheets “just in case” after upgrading to a king-size mattress. It’s time to let them go. If they’re still in good condition, give the sheets a wash and check with a local shelter or nonprofit organization to see if they are interested in the donation.


3. Holiday linens you never use

That tablecloth you got for Christmas five years ago and have yet to use? Donate it to Goodwill, or list it for free on Craigslist.

4. Mismatched bed sheets

It’s a mystery how it happens, but when you dig through the linen closet stash, you may find a spare blue top sheet without a matching set or one lone Euro sham pillowcase that doesn’t fit a single pillow you own. Add those to the donation pile.


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