Monday, June 14, 2010

Rolling towels changed my life!

I used to having a lot of trouble with towels and sheets until I started rolling them into cylinders. This changed my life.

In Australia we generally use a fitted sheet on the bottom and a flat sheet on top. Well - if you haven’t tried it - you cannot neatly fold a fitted sheet. It is not possible. You end up with a jumbled mess.

I have often been reduced to tears by recalcitrant fitted sheets.

I regret to say that I am a bit OC in the neatness stakes so I used to worry about this a lot and in the middle of the night I would get up just to look in dismay at the linen cupboard with bits and pieces of sheets poking out everywhere.

I would stand there for ages poking them and tidying them up until Cate came and dragged me back to bed where I would lie fretting - wondering if there were any loose ends - and just knowing that there were - and that the next day I would have to start again.

Towels were not much better. We have hundreds of towels - I don’t know why.

Yes I do - we have never willingly thrown a towel away. The only towel that we deliberately let go is in Carlingford NSW in the back garden of a house where we buried Banquo - the cat Cate brought with her when she discovered how special I was and that she needed to be with me.

We let Banquo go when he got old and sick (this is the euphemism cat minders use when they murder their cats). I sobbed so much the vet asked Cate if I needed to be sedated. I realized then how fond of cats I was.

I tried to dig Banquo up to get the towel back when we moved house but Cate accused me of being a grave robber and took my shovel away. Fortunately we have photos - of both Banquo and the towel - so I remember what they looked like. I am comforted by the thought that the towel is there if I need it.

Anyway - no matter how neatly you fold a towel as soon as you put it in a cupboard it starts to go wobbly around the edges because these stick out. Oh sure you can line them up when you fold them but the minute you lay the little bastards down flat they go all Tea Party on you.

Poking does no good at all because as soon as you straighten one out the others go all stupid. Then they slide off each other and get into a terrible mess. Makes me weep. And spare me the problem with face cloths!

Just when you think you have it sorted out someone (i.e.Cate) will come along and take a towel - and of course it will be one from the bottom of one of the piles - and complete chaos will resume.

I don’t know how I discovered rolling. I may have been watching one of these shows on TV where they give you really useful advice - you know like save all your slivers of soap and when you get enough you can press them together to make new cake - or how to store lemon peel so that it retains its freshness for up to 18 months, or how to make a Tea Cosy out of the purple rubber bands that you get when you buy Asparagus, or how to make a BMW 5 Series hub cap from baked bean tins. It's all fabulous stuff!

Anyway it was a Eureka moment for me and of course I spend the next two days in then linen cupboard experimenting with towel and sheet rolling. It was bliss.

This is a brilliant concept and I am now much happier with my linen cupboard. I roll the fitted sheet first and then put the flat sheet tightly around this. The loose ends go on the inside of the roll so that you don’t get corners poking out. The bedspread gets rolled separately otherwise the roll is too big.

The skill is in doing the set up properly then in the tightness of the roll. Towels are an absolute doddle - just make sure the loose ends go on the inside. And roll the little buggers up as tight as possible because they grow in there! Put the face cloths and hand towels inside the big towels.

My linen cupboard is now a sight to behold and I am very proud of it. It is a kaleidoscope of color. A cacophony of cloth and fabric nestled together in perfect harmony. You look into my cupboard Pal and you can hear the universe sing. Fairies would love my cupboard.

The visit during Australia’s World Cup catastrophe was more in respect or maintenance rather than remedial work - but it did give me the opportunity to sort the towels and sheets in categories and colors - and plan for the future.

The big news is that I am just now making the move into European linen. This presents a whole new set of problems and I am applying myself to this with some diligence.

Who cares about football anyway - stupid game!


  1. i no longer even try folding the fitted sheet. a jumbled pile is what it is, in the clean cupboard. that's how i know it's clean.

  2. Pictures please. Rolled sheets, not towels. I know what a rolled towel looks like. It's sheets I can't master. By the way, my husband rolls up underwear. I had never encountered this before I married, but it's very tidy. I'm now addicted to rolled panties.

  3. Boy, you need to get out more...

    There's a world class opera house on your doorstep. Forget the damned sheets and go see Renée Fleming tomorrow night.

    I don't even have a linen cupboard. I fold sheets and towels, perfunctorily, and toss them into any clothes drawer where there's space for them. If they get creased I couldn't care less.

    Some things in life are worth fretting over and sheets isn't one of them.

  4. Yeah - I find it really hard to retire a towel too.
    When they get a bit raggedy, they become dog towels - good for drying sandy, salty dogs home from the beach.
    Then they become paint drop sheets, lawn mower repair rags and are also useful when picking prickly pears.
    Do you have many prickly pears in Vienna?!

  5. Ed: Jumbled piles are fine for normal humans but not OC ones.

    Wanderlust: Underwear and panties? Is this the cause of the unravelling of your Partnership?

    Parsifal: See my comments to Ed - it is not that easy.

    freefalling: No but we have Prickly Viennese.