Today’s project may be one that’s long overdue! Let’s tackle the table linens.
Let’s recall the process we are using throughout the month:
- Gather your supplies:
- Boxes or bags labeled with:
- Trash can/recycle bin
- Damp rag/wet wipe
- Boxes or bags labeled with:
- Empty challenge area for the day. And by empty, I mean EMPTY.
- Once the area is empty, wipe it clean with a damp rag.
- Now sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)
- R- “Restore”: items to go back in
- E- “Elsewhere: items to keep, but which don’t belong in this space
- D- “Donate”
- D- “Dispose”: trash or recycle
- S- “Store”: items to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which are not regularly used. (These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.)
- As you are sorting, put items into the boxes/bags you prepared.
- Once you are finished sorting, put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
- Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
- Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
- Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items
- Put the "Store" box aside for now. When the month is over, these items will be packaged for long-term storage.
Table linens are one of those possessions that we typically acquire at a time of need and rarely get rid of. We may have received some as wedding gifts, or purchased specialty ones for the holidays. The purchase of a new table may have had us rushing out to buy a new tablecloth. Maybe we were having a big event and needed a bunch of washable placemats. Periodically, we need to pull them all out and see what fits our lifestyle today.
So begin by digging into all your drawers and closets and bringing all of your table linens out onto a big sorting surface, such as the dining room table. Sort by type (tablecloths, napkins, placemats.) Now you can go through and remove:
- Items that are irreparably stained/torn/damaged
- Linens that don’t match the color scheme in your kitchen or dining room.
- Tablecloths which do not fit the table(s) you currently own.
- Placemats that no longer fit your family’s needs (sets that you have too few of, items that your family has grown out of, etc.)
- Napkins which no longer match other linens or your current décor.
As you are sorting, remember that it is better to have 2-3 sets that are easy to use and match your décor than to have 20 sets that you “may use someday.” If you come across some sentimental/heirloom items which you want to keep, even if you aren’t currently using them, consider moving them to a long-term storage location such as the attic.
When you reload, store items by type: placemats in one drawer, napkins in another. Sorting napkins by color is helpful for mixing and matching. Tablecloths are large, so they can be stored upstairs in a linen closet or in a chest of drawers in a hallway or guest bedroom. Under-the-bed boxes are a good option for holiday linens that are used only once a year. Remember to label any storage container you use. If you have tablecloths of multiple sizes (or that fit your table with differing number of leaves), pin a note to the top reminding yourself of which set up this tablecloth fits. For example “Dining Room with 2 leaves.”
Tomorrow is a rest/catch up day. Take advantage of the cold weather to get your inside spaces organized, and let us know how it’s going!
Submitted by Seana Turner, founder and President of The Seana Method