Laundry and Bath Mission #3 The Functional Linen Closet

Filed under: Laundry & Bath,Monthly Missions — Colleen at 10:19 am on Monday, December 22, 2008

Linen closets are relatively small spaces. So it’s really amazing how much stuff you can actually fit in there! But if your linen closet is overstuffed, chances are you can’t find your spare deodorant on the day of your important interview, and you find yourself in a crisis when you use that last square of toilet paper.

  • When you tackle this project, don’t let size fool you. Avoid the impulse to pull everything out at once or you’ll be overwhelmed by the mess. Start by sorting one shelf at a time. Put like objects together.
  • Take inventory. How many spare sheets do you really need? The less you have the more likely you will be to stay on top of your laundry. Five sets of sheets could mean that you’ll end up with 4 sets of dirty sheets stinking up your home- which as awful as it sounds, may actually be tempting to those of us who hate doing laundry. Get rid of the temptation.
  • Put an end to digging around for matching sheet sets. Store each set of sheets in their coordinating pillowcase. Changing sheets becomes grab and go!
  • If you’re cramped for space, store spare linens in their appropriate rooms using under-the-bed storage containers. Changing a bed is a snap when the spare sheets are so handy.
  • Take a close look at your towels. Pitch the ratty towels or recycle them into cleaning rags. Stack in a pile using shelf dividers, or try rolling them to maximize space.
  • If your linen closet door is wide enough, use a clear plastic over the door hanging shoe organizer to house your spare health and beauty items. You’ll be able to easily find your q-tips, and of course, that spare deodorant. Keep any potentially harmful products in the upper pockets, out the reach of children.
  • If in the process of clearing out your linen closet you discover your collection of “free” shampoos/conditioners/soaps from every hotel you’ve ever stayed, use them or lose them! Before you open a new shampoo bottle, use a trial sized one from your “collection”. Or donate them to your local Ronald McDonald house.
  • If you’ve been meaning to line your shelves, now is the time to do it.
  • Make sure to keep frequently used items easily accessible. Use your top shelf for seasonal or other infrequently used items.
  • Not sure where to start? Set Me Free! offers hands-on help.

If you are motivated by this project or have a great organizing idea that works for you, please leave a comment to inspire others!



Comment by Patricia

June 20, 2006 @ 8:05 pm

Wow! I like that idea of storing sheets in the coordinating pillowcase for an easy find. Also, I agree that you really don’t need too many sheets. I have a couple sheet sets for each bed but usually, I just strip the bed , wash the sheets and put them back on the bed after they’ve been through the dryer. This way, you don’t pile up the dirty laundry, and you have the bonus of not having to fold the sheets to put them in the linen closet. I’m also in the habit of using the same towels over and over. I let them dry for re-use for a few days and then wash them, dry them and back on the towel racks they go.One advantage of this is that I’m wearing down the same set of towels and so therefore have a lot of nice towels available when overnight guests arrive.Thanks for all the good ideas. As always, you come up with some new ones for me each week. I also like the fact that my house is slowly but surely getting organized one section at a time. I truly am beginning to feel Set Free!


Comment by Annie

August 23, 2006 @ 6:33 pm

When we were kids, Mom put a towel rack in each of our bedrooms — no cluttered bathroom, and we had to use the same towel for a few days. I’ve also heard of assigning one color towel to each family member. That way, you don’t throw towels in the wash that you’re not sure about. Everyone uses one for a few days and can keep track of it.


Comment by Eileen Wylie

December 21, 2006 @ 8:16 am

My hint was discovered by me in the last two weeks as I had two dinner parties. Usually I shop for food on Thursday, clean on Friday, then do some food prep, and prep, set table and cook on Saturday [day of party.] So, here’s the hint. Lots of food prep is messy and the kitchen in my house is very much a part of the evening. So I kept the vaccum cleaner plugged in, with the nozzle end attached, and when those darneed garlic skins or flour splashes or whatever hit the floor, they stayed there only a very short time. After each task, I sucked ’em up. The result was as clean a kitchen floor as when I started – no chance to grind it into the floor surface. Happy entertaining!

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