Thursday, April 22, 2010

Organizing the Linen Closet - Tips and Tricks

Did you read my post about my aggravating linen closet here? As promised here are some tips and techniques to get your closet organized and staying that way.

I'm making progress on my organizing job. This weekend it's painting time for the closet and I have my new baskets to organize all my items in. Next week you will get to see pictures of the before and after of my closet!

Photo Apartment Therapy

Linen closets are generally a multipurpose storage area. Many odds and ends -- such as vacuum cleaners, ironing boards and cleaning supplies -- can find their way into a linen closet. It can seem like a lot to ask from one small closet.

Decide what you want to use your linen closet for. Only bedding and towels? Medicines? Cleaning supplies? Remove anything else that doesn't belong there. We usually use 20% of what we own 80% of  the time.

When you start cleaning your linen closet, take everything out and sort it into like piles. It will be easy to see what you have.

Consolidate all medicine in one place. That way you can find them and don't have duplicates. This goes for cleaners also, although your linen closet might not be the best place for them

Use a revolving spice rack (flat no bottles) to store your medicines on. That way it's easy to see what you need and takes up little space. Once I see how many meds we have and need, I might implement this idea. My shelves are spaced widely, I might get a 2 tier rack  like this one and use one tier for first aid supplies.

Get rid of outdated products and medicine or things you know you won't use. Follow your local guidelines on proper waste disposal.

If you have unused toiletries that you'll never use donate them to a woman's shelter

When the closet is empty, wipe down the shelves with a warm soapy water. Let dry before you return anything to the shelves.

Roll towels to increase shelf space.

If you fold towels, fold lengthwise (long ends together), then the end with the top of the towel in 1/3 then the bottom with the fold over so all ends are enclosed in the towel and it won't unravel in the closet.

Keep a box of baking soda in the closet or you can hang a sachet of pine (I always just use a fresh bag of wood chip animal bedding from the pet store) or lavender in cheesecloth to keep the closet smelling nice. Hanging a dryer sheet also works.

Lay down acid free tissue paper so fabrics don't discolor over time. This is a good tip for my quilts, but I feel is unnecessary for my towels and sheets.

Use adjustable wire shelving for space organization and air flow.

Consider under shelf wire mount baskets (for wash clothes) and shelf dividers from the Container Store (I LOVE that place) to help keep you organized if your shelves do not adjust.

In addition to labeling baskets, label the shelves where things like towels and sheets go. Martha Stewart does this and her closets are like closet porn they are so good.

Use space bags for large bulky items used only occasionally like quilts and comforters.

If you don't want to purchase space bags, try a thicker ply garbage bag, suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner and tie securely. Just don't forget to label what's in it.

Keep frequently used items at eye level and in the front of the closet.

Keep infrequently used items toward the back of the closet or on the top hard to reach shelf.

Wash everything in the closet at least once every 6 months to keep it fresh.

Always replace newly laundered items on the top of the stack and take fresh from the bottom to rotate your items.

Sort your towels and sheets and have no more than 3 towel sets (towel, hand towel and washcloth) per person and 3 sets of sheets per bed. I think that is CRAZY Talk. We have one set of sheets, the one that is on the bed. You have to be efficient in your laundry at my house. We have 2 towels each, 1 guest towel and 2 large "cleaning" towels that can double as a small beach towel. Remember I'm in a very small space.

If you have more than this in your closet sort it.  Put left overs in the rag pile and donate the rest. If they are in too bad shape to donate to a charity shop, animal rescue organizations will usually gladly take them.

Keep extra sheet sets organized by storing them in a pillow case.

Don't cram the shelves too tightly. You want to be able to get your hands in there without scraping your knuckles. This is for two reasons. One you can then pull out an item without everything else coming out with it and it allows air flow around the items so they stay fresh.

If you have to cram stuff to get it all to fit, you have too much stuff.

Shelves should be 10 inches apart for sheets and table linens, 12-16 inches apart for towels and 18 inches or more for comforters and other bulky items.

Table lines are best stored on a hanger (just not a wire one)

If you have to fold table lines, fold them with tissue paper to reduce the creasing.

Store extra blankets and sheets in the decorative pillow shams that come with bedding sets on your bed. In the guest room, you can have the guest towels in the pillow sham and out of your linen closet. (I've never thought of this!)
                                                  How do you keep your linen closet organized?

                                                  1 comment:

                                                  1. latest tips and tricks collection at
                                                    <a href="></a>


                                                  I read all your comments and truly appreciate them. They make my day a little brighter. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Why not subscribe so you don't miss any of the fun?

                                                  Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...