January is a great time of year to organized, fresh start and all. Last week, I organized the pantry. Again. And this week, I’m all about the linen closet. Here are my tips for organizing a linen closet.
Do you have, or have you ever had a closet where you were afraid that if you opened the door, everything would come falling out on you, kinda like that plastic storage container commercial? Well, although I hate to admit it, we did. Case in point, our linen closet.
I am embarrassed to say that try as I might to keep closets, pantries, the fridge et all organized, our linen closet was not only a mess, but expired as well. Like, expired in every sense of the word. The sheets and towels that we keep in there were half-folded and stuffed on a shelf with other random linens that needed to be weeded out. I found some Tylenol Sinus inside a pillowcase. Random stuff like this, that called for an linen closet intervention. Clearly, we ask the small linen closet to store more than the capacity limits. And, we’ve been slack on staying orderly and on top of expiration dates.
I opened the door and that’s when it hit me that I hadn’t REALLY noticed the shambles that the closet was in. It’s always been, push in the towels and sheets however they’ll fit, and toss the vitamins, pain relievers, and allergy stuff on the shelf and forget about them. Nothing stayed nicely folded; there were piles and piles of half opened boxes and little bitty pieces of foil packaging from medicines on the floor where someone (most likely, me) was too lazy to walk the six steps to the garbage in the bathroom to throw the wrappers away. The practice of picking-up-and-shoving-everything-so-it’ll-stay, was common.
The only way I could solve this was to start over. Take everything out. Wash and refold the sheets and towels, and sift through all that medicine and dispose all the expired, according to local guidelines. (Remember, gone are the days where medicines get flushed down the toilet.) I’m a sucker for travel-sized anything and I weeded through all that stuff too. Only keep what’s going to be used is the name of the game.
Standing back and looking into a now empty closet, I took the tidying up a step further and decided it needed a fresh coat of paint. After all, I was on a mission and a crisp white inside could only help to brighten things up. Before, the color was a dirty-beige-y color, making my brow frown, and I don’t want that since Botox isn’t an option right now, so a couple coats of white paint was my answer.
Once the paint was dry it was time to put everything back, only the closet still looked messy; not the least bit orderly. This meant two things: 1) I had to pair down the sheets and towels. 2) I needed to rethink the medication shelf.
I pulled everything back out and started with another clean slate. Only keeping the sheets and towels that we use frequently, I carefully added the rest to a bin in the guest bedroom closet. For the over-the-counter stuff, I turned to my go-to good friend, lazy Susan. But this time, I went with a double decker.
What, with two shelves, one on top of the other, all with the ability of spinning around for saving space and convenience deemed a no-brainer to me. A quick prime click for the double decker, and a a couple of small canvas bins, and I was getting my order on. With these organizing aids, it didn’t take but a minute or two, to get everything set up and in place. Then, of course, I turned the lazy Susan for a few spins, just to maybe pat myself on the back.
Lately, for me, organizing has been therapeutic. Opening up my linen closet for all to see was a tough pill to swallow (pardon the pun). I had turned a blind eye for too long. Staring face on, I got into the groove, and I was a machine. Who knew that a two-tiered plastic thing would be the lifesaver to a linen closet? In this case, it sure is the little things that make the biggest impact.
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