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Life & Events > Cleaning Out the Linen Closet

Cleaning Out the Linen Closet

After years of a messy linen closet I decided to take everything out and see what I have and organize it better. I have all my mother's linens plus my own as well as some from my father's mother. I'm not one for one buying new stuff, so everything is venerable and there's a lot of memories.

For example, there's a blue twin size electric blanket that came from my sister. After college in 1972 she was in a dietetic internship at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. She was engaged at the time to guy she ended up marrying, but that didn't stop her from going to the bars and meeting new guys. The blanket was given to her by 'Vern' a National Cash Register (NCR) employee from Pittsburgh who was in Dayton for training. She went to Pittsburgh to visit him, and he bought that electric blanket for her because she said it was cold in the housing she had in Dayton. I have no idea what she said to Vern when it was time to come back to Colorado and get married - probably 'it was fun while it lasted.' She gave me the blanket, and I used it for several years. Now, the controls are lost, and I was saving it to use for a moving blanket someday. But I have lots of other 'moving blankets' and no plans to move.

Plus, and this is why I've decided to send it to the landfill: While it was folded up in the far corner of the linen closet a mouse used it for nest - and died there. There is mouse poop and a skeleton, and old fur stuck to the blanket. Yes, I could wash it, but not going to waste the water and time to deal with it. Can't give it to thrift store because it's not sellable.

And there's so much more - dish towels, pillow cases, bedspreads. I was resolved to look at them with a cold eye and get rid of anything that is stained or developing holes. Oh, but that's easier said than done. There's kitchen things I bought when I was just out of college and then as a newlywed, and seeing them reminds me of those days. I did throw away a couple of pot holders that are getting raggedy and I have similar (but not as special) ones to replace them. But guess what - they are near the top of the trash, so there is still a chance of them getting rescued. We'll see ...

posted on Sept 29, 2019 5:50 PM ()


At least the mouse met his maker in a soft bed.
Considering your vintage linens, I guess it would be hard to decide what is no good anymore. I despise the textures of new towels and sheets. They just aren’t made decently anymore — towels don’t seem very absorbent at all, and new sheets feel awful. Oh, suddenly I remember Miss Marple, in an Agatha Christie story, remarking to herself that the quality of household linens in the London sales had really gone down since the war.
comment by drmaus on Sept 30, 2019 10:41 AM ()
I remember Miss Marple complaining about how Americans refer to biscuits and muffins - 'They have a lot to answer for,' she said.
reply by traveltales on Sept 30, 2019 2:14 PM ()
I've never been very good at this either. The thought of buying something later after having given a perfectly good one away just bothers me too badly. One would think I had come up in the great depression.
comment by jerms on Sept 30, 2019 9:18 AM ()
It's Murphy's Law of Packrattery: if you finally part with something, two weeks later you'll find a use for it. I saw something about the Great Depression, and they said they learned to never throw away any container because there would always be a use for it, and I think of that all the time. And it reminds me of when I was a kid there was a little article in Popular Mechanics about how to make a boat by cutting a section out of the side of a bleach bottle. I did it, and spent many happy hours playing with it in the irrigation ditch behind our house.
reply by traveltales on Sept 30, 2019 2:21 PM ()
I cannot be brutal enough to really clear things out. I am not very sentimental but I still have a lot of Bobby's clothes. He and ted were the same size and ted can't bring himself to wear them even though Bobby
had an expensive wardrobe.
comment by elderjane on Sept 30, 2019 2:56 AM ()
So far, all I've accomplished is shifting things around.
reply by traveltales on Sept 30, 2019 2:25 PM ()
I did a 'cleaning out' about 6-7 years ago--if I didn't use something in the past 2 years I got rid of it and that include books, CDs, clothes, can openers (I didn't need 4!!), dinner ware, glasses, coffee cups and mugs, etc. Now before I buy anything I ask myself if I will throw it away in 2 years!!
comment by greatmartin on Sept 29, 2019 8:09 PM ()
I have the easiest time getting rid of glasses and dinner ware, am grateful for that at least.
reply by traveltales on Sept 30, 2019 2:27 PM ()

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