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Friday, 13 April 2012

No More Fitted Sheets For Me


Have you ever wondered why hotels don’t use fitted sheets?  It’s all about the bottom line…and the bottom sheet. 

A sleeper’s body makes more sustained contact with the bottom sheet on a bed than it does with the top sheet.  The top sheet rests more lightly against the sleeper and is, therefore, subject to less friction.  When you use the same sheet for the bottom sheet each time a bed is made, the bottom sheet wears out more quickly than the top sheet.  It’s why, when you go to the thrift shop, you see flat sheets but you rarely see fitted sheets.  The fitted sheets have worn out.

Fitted sheets also need to be folded in a different manner from flat sheets.  In hotels, where time and space are both equivalent to money, allotting extra time to fold fitted sheets and extra shelf space for their storage does not make good fiscal sense.  Using flat sheets not only saves on laundry time and storage space but also ensures that the sheets’ usage is more likely to be rotated between top sheet and bottom as the beds are made.

I used to buy fitted sheets because I bought sheet sets; convenient packages containing a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and matching pillowcases.  There are lots of lovely sheet sets out there and I enjoyed all the different patterns and colours. 

I don’t buy those sheet sets any more.  This year we made a pledge to buy all of our clothing (except undergarments) second hand, and to buy as many of our household goods as possible that way too.  That means we’re buying those flat sheets you see at the thrift stores. 

In truth, now that I’m back in the habit of using them, I’m coming to prefer flat sheets over fitted.  Fitted sheets always seem to have pockets that are either too shallow or too deep for our mattresses and some are ever-so slightly too short for our mattress.  If you've ever tried to stretch a barely-fitting fitted sheet over a mattress when you're in a hurry on a work day, you'll now how frustrating that can be!  Flat sheets may seem like more work but they can actually speed up the process of making a bed because they're more easily adjusted to the particular size and shape of our mattresses.  They certainly save me time when folding laundry:  No fussing around with those elasticized corners.

Prior to the introduction of fitted sheets, frugal housewives were in the practice of extending the lives of their flat sheets by “turning” them.  They would cut worn sheets down the center, turn the worn edges to the outside, and sew the less worn edges together at the center.  

Modern Princess-and-the-Pea sensibilities make most of us reluctant to sleep on a sheet with a center seam these days but frugal practice is not just about saving money; it’s about reducing waste too.  If we are not going to turn our worn sheets, we can (and should) repurpose them in a myriad of other ways.  Worn sheets can be made into aprons, pillowcases, children’s clothing, curtain linings, quilt pieces, gift bags, lingerie bags, produce bags, and jelly cloths.  They can be used as a foundation for needlework.  They can be made into cleaning rags or cut into strips that can be crocheted into pot holders, hot pads, or rag rugs. 

I’ll be working on some projects made with sheets in the coming weeks and, hopefully, sharing them in my here.  In the meantime, if you go shopping for sheets, consider buying flat instead of fitted.  You’ll be surprised, over time, at the money it saves you.
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This post is linked to Gallery of Favorites hosted by Premeditated Leftovers and The 21st Century Housewifeand to The Weekend Wrap Up Party hosted by Tatertots and Jello, to the Pity Party at 30 Days, to Sunday Roundup with Kayla, Rose and Heather, and to Link it up Wednesday hosted by {Junk in the Trunk}, to Making Mondays Marvelous with C.R.A.F.T.and to Tip Me Tuesday hosted by Tip Junkie.

Gallery of Favorites    

 


{Junk in their Trunk}     Tip Junkie handmade projects

28 comments:

yummychunklet said...

I definitely like flat sheets. Easier to fold!

Alea Milham said...

What a great money saving tip! I look forward to seeing what you make from sheets. I have used sheets to make curtains and shower curtains because it costs so much less to buy a sheet than it does to buy fabric by the yard.

Aunt B said...

Yes. :) Far less fussing in the laundry room.

Aunt B said...

Thanks Alea. My daughter has a sheet/shower curtain in her master bath that's very pretty and you're right: It was much less expensive than buying fabric by the yard. :)

Christy said...

What a great way to be frugal and "earthy crunchy" at the same time. I think the idea of "turning" sheets is great. Women of old really were amazingly frugal.

amyg @ My 3 Monsters said...

Hmmmmm.... I had never thought about any of that before. It really makes a lot of sense. Good for you for trying to be frugal and earth friendly at the same time. I'm going to jump on the bandwagon!

Aunt B said...

Thank you for stopping by to check out my post Amy. I'm glad you found it interesting.

Aunt B said...

Yes they were, weren't they? I know I could sure learn a lot from their example. :)

Heidi said...

I have NEVER thought about this! Never realized that hotels don't use fitted sheets. But it all makes so much sense!!! Great idea!! I would love for you to link this up at our link party...junkintheirtrunk.blogspot.com/2012/04/link-it-up-wednesday-24.html

Aunt B said...

Thank you for the invitation Heidi. I'll do that. :)

Rose Jesky said...

Wow I have never thought about that. But you are right. I hate folding Fitted sheets anyway. Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Round Up.
Rose @ http://www.arosiesweethome.com/

Aunt B said...

Thanks for stopping by to check out the post Rose. :)

Shiloh said...

I've never in my life used a flat sheet on the bottom, so I don't even know how to start. I should keep my eye out though. I never realized that you can't find fitted sheets in the thrift store.
Shiloh
everydaygameplan.net

Aunt B said...

I'll have to see if I can take some pictures and do a bed making tutorial. :)

Amanda said...

You have just reminded me why I love flat sheets! Fitted sheets can be a pain in the bum, next time we need new sheets I will be purchasing flat ones!

The 21st Century Housewife© said...

What an excellent post with great frugal tips! I must admit I do hate trying to fold fitted sheets - no matter how hard I try I can never get them quite right!

Aunt B said...

Thank you for stopping by Amanda. I'm glad I could provide a reminder. :)

Aunt B said...

Thank you April, and thank you for hosting. I appreciate the opportunity to share my posts.

Heather Kaluf said...

I don't like folding fitted sheets. Sometimes they happen to fold the way I want them to and then there the other times I get frustrated with them. LOL GREAT POST!
Thanks for sharing.
xoxo
Heather
New follower

Heidi said...

This is being featured today at {Junk in their Trunk}...thanks for linking up!!

Aunt B said...

Thanks Heather, and welcome. :) I'm alway happy to see another person join the conversation here.

Aunt B said...

Thank you Heidi! I'm honoured. :)

Eileen said...

I am a new follower to your blog. And I have just enjoyed reading this blog page. Isn't it funny how we do the same thing for years, because someone tells us it is how we should. And than we realize that a different way is better.
Thanks for the tip of using the flat sheets. You are 100% right!
Eileen at ~Taking the Time~
Have a wonderful day, will enjoy reading more of your blogs.

Aunt B said...

Welcome, Eileen. :) Thank you for joining the conversation.

I'm glad you liked the post. You're right: it is funny how we do the same things for years. I think one of the things I like best about blogging is all the good new ideas I encounter along the way. It help to shake me out of my regular routine.

ginny said...

Loved finding this Blog, Aunt B. I grew up using flat sheets and hate folding fitted ones. I will be going back to nothing but flat sheets, don't know why it took me so long!

Ginny

Aunt B said...

Thanks Ginny, and welcome. :) I'm glad you liked the post.

mub said...

I use fitted sheets for my own sanity. Whenever I sleep at a hotel I end up with the sheet all pulled out and a huge mess... having the maid there to make the bed makes this not matter quite as much but if I had to remake my whole bed like that everyday at home I'd cry! That being said, it is really uncommon to buy sheet "sets" here in The Netherlands. You buy them separately and the flat sheets are WAY more expensive and hard to find in my experience.

Aunt B said...

Each to their own, I guess. :) I worked as a maid at a hotel though, and remaking a bed is very simple. There's a trick to it. Once you learn it, remaking a bed completely takes five minutes or less. I really do have to make a post about it one day!

We buy our flat sheets in the local thrift shops. They rarely cost us more than a dollar a piece.