When it comes to the things we care about, we get particular about how we store them. Grandma’s heirloom china is wrapped in paper and put on the highest shelf after Christmas. The Martin guitar you saved up for is tucked conscientiously back in its case and put in a room that doesn’t get too cold. We do this because we see the value in such precious times and want to keep them in good condition.
Similarly, if you see the value in a good night’s sleep, then you’ll want to keep your linens in good condition. That’s why it’s important to take the time to learn how to properly store sheets and bedding.
When To Put Them Away
We all know in the hustle and bustle of daily living, sometimes it’s hard to carve out time to put away laundry at all, let alone right when the dryer goes off. But it pays to take the time to fold up your sheets—and the rest of your clothes for that matter—when they’re still warm. It helps ward off wrinkles without using the iron, giving you a crisper, more comfortable night’s sleep.
Where To Put Them Away
A linen closet is always preferable when it comes to properly storing sheets and bedding. But we aren’t all lucky enough to have a dedicated space like that in our house, or to even have space left in our dedicated spaces. When you’re looking for a home for your bedding, keep these ideas in mind.
Keep It Dry
We can all relate to the experience of waiting just a hair too long to get our clothes out of the washer only to find they smell like mildew. The same thing can happen if you store your bedding in an area where moisture can creep in. Keep that in mind if you store your bedding in a basement or a closet with a window. If there’s moisture in the air, try sealing windows or plugging in a dehumidifier.
Let It Breathe
There’s a reason that generations of people hung their sheets on a clothesline and their quilts on the railing of the front porch in the spring. It wasn’t just about letting the clothes dry. It was about letting them breathe. Otherwise, they become musty-smelling. You can get a little of that springtime freshness year-round by giving your sheets some room to breathe when you put them away.
If you find space is a little tight for your sheets, don’t worry. There are still ways you can keep your sheets smelling fresh. When you fold your bedding, slip a few dryer sheets in between the folds before putting them away.
Chase Off Dust Bunnies
When we put our sheets in the washing machine, one of the main things we’re trying to wash out of them is dust. Dust can make asthma and allergies act up, which doesn’t exactly make for a comfortable night’s sleep. Even if your sheets are perfectly clean, they can still attract dust bunnies when they’re in storage. To avoid this, tuck your sheet in a container. Here are a few container ideas for your bedding.
Bins, Baskets, and Boxes
Bins, baskets, and boxes are a common sight in storage areas. Because they have lids, they’re perfect for keeping out dust and moisture, and they make it easy to keep linen closers organized. But remember, it’s important to allow natural fabric to breathe. Also, avoid cardboard; moisture can still seep into it and yellow your sheets.
Don’t stuff your sheets into any old garbage bag. Plastic bags allow moisture in without allowing airflow, making it a perfect storm for unpleasant-smelling sheets. Cotton bags or pillowcases are a good choice for allowing airflow without trapping moisture. Vacuum storage bags work well too—but avoid using them on authentic down duvets and comforters.
Under the Mattress
If you don’t have a bag or bin and don’t have much closet space, one clever storage solution is to tuck the sheets under the mattress they’re going to be put on. This keeps the dust out and ensures your sheets are right where you want them to be. The one caveat is the space under a mattress doesn’t allow for as much airflow, so be sure to fold them away with some dryer sheets.
How To Put Them Away
When you’re in a rush, it’s easier to toss things willy-nilly into a closet, bin, or bag and be done with it. But remember our analogy about the china and guitar. How we place bedding in its designated storage area can affect how long it lasts and how easy it is to find it.
Watch Out for Weight
Remember when we said you shouldn’t put authentic down duvets and comforters into a vacuum bag? The reason for this is you may potentially crush the feathers and ruin the blankets. For the same reason, keep weight in mind when you’re stacking blankets in your closet. Heavy blankets should go on the bottom, and nothing should go on top of down bedding.
Stack for Convenience
If your blankets are going on a shelf instead of a bin or bag, try stacking them with the creases facing out. This makes it easy to tell the sheets apart, looks neater, and keeps you from accidentally grabbing more than one set of sheets when you go to pull some out. This helps prevent linen closet avalanches, which can be a pain to clean up.
Keep Moths—and Mothballs—Out
Moths have been the bane of clothing storage since ancient times. So, back in the 1800s, some clever scientists created mothballs to keep those pesky bugs out of closets and drawers. But mothballs can potentially damage clothes, are toxic if your kid or pet happens to swallow them, and just make your clothes smell funny. To keep moths out and your clothes fresh, try using lavender, cloves, or cedar chips instead.
Whether you’re storing your grandma’s quilt or our American-made bed linens, it pays to take a few extra minutes to put them away properly. That way, you can ensure your next night’s sleep will be sweet as can be.