Welcome to paradise, where having a home guarantees a constant influx of long-lost “friends,” regardless of the fact you haven’t seen most of them since before kindergarten, which brings us to today’s column called linen organization made easy.
With the invasion of the sheet-snatchers right around the corner, it’s time to get rid of those threadbare, torn, stained and mismatched sheets and towels, including the Little Mermaid and Spider-Man sheets your kids, who are by now grown with kids of their own, used to use. In other words, if you don’t have twin beds, why keep the sheets?
In my opinion, all you really need are two sets of sheets per bed and two sets of towels per person. If you’re like me and desperately want to keep it simple, opt for using the same towels in all bathrooms and buy only white bed linens and towels.
A few tried & true hints:
Pillows: Two pillows per “head.” In other words, if you have two twin beds (i.e.: two people), you’ll need four pillows. For each full, queen or king bed, you’ll also need four pillows.
Sheets: Two sets per bed maximum. Sheets should be washed once a week or after each guest stay. My personal choice: 100 percent cotton, 500-thread count white sheets with a simple white-on-white design. These are easy to wash and always look fresh and neat.
Pillowcases: Typically, when you buy a “set” of sheets for a king bed you end up with two “king-sized” pillowcases even if you prefer smaller pillows. If your pillows are standard-sized and not “king,” simply alter the pillowcase.
Mattress protectors: One per bed to be washed once a month. If (when) they get funky, and trust me, they will, do yourself a favor and buy a new one.
Pillow protectors: 100 percent cotton is best. One cover per pillow is sufficient. Remember to wash the pillow protectors once a month along with the mattress protectors. (Note: Even with a pillow protector, pillows have a tendency to get stained or lose their oomph and should be replaced every two years or sooner if necessary.)
Blankets, quilts & coverlets: Two per bed – max! All you need is one for winter and one for summer.
Towels: Follow the “pillow rule.” Two towels per person, per body. In other words, if your guest room accommodates two people, all you need are four towels, four hand towels and four washcloths! No more, no less.
Washcloths: Washcloths get grungy and need to be replaced more frequently than the rest of your towels. To avoid the issue of trying to buy replacement washcloths to match your existing towels, simply buy an assortment of 10 to 12 washcloths, either in a white-on-white pattern or in varied pastel colors, to use when the old ones get worn out.
Lastly, remember that towels and sheets should not be washed and/or dried together. Towels are made of a sturdier fabric, while sheets are more delicate and constructed to be softer. Also, drying times vary depending upon the different fabric weights.
Helpful hint: Who says linens have to be kept in a linen closet? Personally, I like keeping the back-up set of guest room sheets and towels in the guest room for easy access. Who knows, maybe your guests will take the hint and change the sheets before they leave? That’s it folks! Linen organization made easy.