Linen closets provide great storage space in your home. The most common things stored in a linen closet are extra supplies for nearby bedrooms along with bathroom supplies. You might keep extra towels, a spare shower curtain, pillows, sheets and blankets in your linen closet and when you use them infrequently, it's fairly easy to keep them organized.
What's Hiding in Your Linen Closet?
When you buy in bulk or have a hard time letting go of things, you end up storing items in places that don't lend themselves to being found. If you store kitchen overflow, laundry supplies or winter clothing in your linen closet, you're not likely to find them when you need them.
It’s also possible you're stuffing these extra items into your linen closet quickly because you're cleaning up for a party, so you're not really focused on organizing them. The problem is you won't remember what you stuffed into the linen closet because you don't go there often enough. In contrast, if you stuff things into your dishwasher, you are sure to clear things out within a day or two. Hopefully you won't forget and wash your purse or the mail before you do this but I'm sure it's happened. Most often, home owners use this trick when they're trying to sell their home and only have a few minutes to get rid of clutter before prospective buyers arrive to see their home.
The goal is to keep your linen closet organized so you can see the kitchen and laundry items each time you open the door. That way you're more likely to remember the location of those “lost items”. Another approach is to keep a list of items on the door to remind you what's hidden there.
Lists to Help You Organize
Lists are a great tool to help you stay organized. Keep one in the linen closet and any other storage space where you keep things that don't naturally belong there. I keep gift wrapping supplies in my bedroom closet along with those picture that aren't hanging on the wall. Because I see them every day when I get dressed, I know they're there.
Once a year collect all your lists (putting dates on each list helps you know when it's time) and review them to see if there's a better solution, i.e. to save on the number of times you have to go up and down the stairs. Ideally you want to store items close to where they will be used. While it's obvious that you need to keep extra rolls of toilet paper in each bathroom, you might keep tissues and paper towels in a single location. With a new puppy in the house, I finally started storing extra rolls of paper towels in the laundry room on the second floor.
When you review your lists together, you will find ways to move hidden items closer to where they're used. You may also find ways to combine the same type of items that are stored in multiple locations. The most important part of this exercise is to go through everything and discard what you no longer use, i.e. if you haven't used something for a full year, chances are you never will. Start a give-away pile, and make sure to finish cleaning out all your hidden storage spaces within a few days.
Take the give-away pile to your local thrift shop … and then treat yourself to a new book, coffee with a friend, or some other fun activity to recognize your accomplishment. Many times the clutter and confusion accumulates because it’s hard to find the time to go through everything.
Simple tips to keep your linen closet looking its best
Don’t let the disorder get you down! Here are a few simple tips to help you keep your linen closet organized. If you find the closet gets messed up easily, look at those things that are in disarray and find another way to arrange them. If they're little items, I love putting these into baskets so my organization focuses on what goes in each basket, and then I don't have to worry about things inside the basket.
- Use adjustable shelves for better control of organization.
- If your linen closet is in the bathroom, use wired shelving to increase airflow to linens.
- Keeps towels and sheet in the front for easy access since these items are used the most.
- To keep linens smelling fresh, place a box of baking soda on a shelf.
- Use separate storage for seasonal items such as flannel blankets and down comforters.
We've given you some great tips. Get started and if you need help taking action, find a professional organizer who can work with you to start these organizing tasks until you're comfortable working on your own.