Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Create an Organized Linen Closet

Slowly, but surely, I have been organizing and cleaning every square inch of my home.  I think it helps me feel more in control of my days and whittling away the unnecessary objects in my house helps clear my mind too.  Does it have that effect on you too?  One recent area that got an overhaul was the linen closet.

It's hard to share embarrassing "before" photos of our home with you, but I like to keep it honest and I'm sure it's not as bad as I think it is (we are often our own worst critic).  We have a good-sized linen closet in the hallway that was in serious need of organization.  I hated to even open the double doors to try to find something because it was such a hodge podge mess.

Of course, the first step in any organization project is Clear everything out.  I find it's cathartic to empty the whole thing so you can stand back and see an empty space.  This helps when it's time to put things back because you should consider each and every thing you want to keep.

Which brings me to the next step.  After everything is emptied out, you can sort things into piles: Toss/Dontate/Trash or Keep

In our case, all linens that fit a queen size bed were donated since we only have king beds now.  Also, we had too many duplicates of mattress covers so those were donated too.  For me, knowing I'm giving gently used items to friends or family helps me let go of what we really don't need.

And if things are in your linen closet that don't belong there, Relocate them to where they should go.  I had random vases and fabric that didn't belong in the hall closet.

When you've whittled your pile into what stays, its' time to Organize things into similar groups. This means putting like-items together.  For a linen closet, you'd put all sheet sets into a group, pillows, blankets, etc.

At this point, Put your things in containers or bins. Things look prettier and well-organized when they are contained together in a basket, bin, or tray.  But, don't purchase any new containers/storage solutions for your things (if you don't already own something that will work) until the very end of the organization process.  Before this step, you really don't know what size containers or how many you need and you may end up wasting money.  I know most of us enjoy shopping for pretty bins and such, but if you wait and get what you really need, you'll be much more satisfied in the end.

I found the plastic bins at The Container Store, the large ones were $25, kind of a splurge when you're buying three, but they are huge and hide big bulky items like mattress covers. I mean, really, how do you fold those neatly?

I'm the type of person who likes all things organized, even when they are behind closed doors.  But most of all, I LOVE that now I can display on the shelf some very meaningful linens- blankets that were handmade for me by my beloved Great Grandma- and blankets I used as a baby so long ago.

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