Many people do not go through their linen closet on a daily basis, so it’s often forgotten and unloved. But instead of it being the “dumping grounds” read How To Organize Your Linen Closet to get a fresh perspective!
Get Your Linen Closet Camera Ready in A Snap!
In my previous post, “The Diary Of Your Linen Closet”, we took a light-hearted look at your linen closet… and boy did they have a lot to say! With this post, we’ll look more into the practicals of how to clean a linen closet, starting from scratch, and share some practical on how to maintain order. I like to break things down to make things easier to “chew”.
How to Organize Your Linen Closet: One Washcloth at a Time
Stage I: Getting Started
- Before you do start anything, think about what you want to accomplish. Is it just some minor organizing or do you need to do an overhaul? Did you want to paint, put up wallpaper, or maybe add some shelves? Think about it, get some ideas, then jot it down so you won’t forget.
- Make sure that you’ve blocked off a good chunk of time towards this project. Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed to get your linen closet organized. If it’s been years since you have done any sort of cleaning or organizing, I would suggest to set aside a few hours. I did housecleaning for someone whose linen closet was madness, to say the least. Her linen closet was in such a disarray I probably spent at least 3 hours going through everything! Seriously!
- Be realistic in establishing the time. If you selected Saturday to be your day to organize your linen closet, don’t put down 6 am if you normally don’t get up until 10 am. You want to push yourself a bit, but there’s no sense choosing a time that may have you feel drained even before you begin! Also, if you have other commitments that same day, it would be better to reschedule your cleaning than trying to squeeze it into the day.
- Treat like you would a doctor’s appointment (no, don’t cancel 3 times!). Put a reminder on your phone; if you still use a paper calendar, write it in colored ink. If you live with other people, let them know your plans so that they can give you a little nudge, in the event you want to flake.
- Once you’ve blocked out a significant amount of time, you want to make sure there are no distractions. Put your phone on vibrate, or if possible, silence mode. Answer all necessary texts, voice messages, and emails. You may even want to send a quick message to people you chat with regularly, to let them know that you won’t be available for a few hours
Stage II: Movin’ Out
- As with cleaning out your bedroom closet, you will want to have some boxes or storage bins on hand. These will be for the items you want to discard or give away.
- I’m a fan of emptying everything out and starting with a clean slate! Now, if it’s just a few sheets and towels that need to be folded, this may not be necessary. But if it looks like there’s a battle being waged in there, you may end up saving yourself a lot of time just starting from scratch.
- If you chose to go the route of emptying your closet completely, make sure that you have the space to do so. A suggestion would be to have some bins or boxes for those items you’re keeping, so as you’re emptying the closet, you can just throw all the towels together, sheets together, etc. There have been times when I placed a clean but old bedsheet on the floor, then placed the items on that sheet, so you don’t have your linen sitting on the floor. The amount of space you have in your apartment or house will determine how you go about emptying out the contents of your linen closet.
- Once everything is emptied out, fill a small bucket with warm water and your favorite cleaning products, then use a clean rag to wipe down all the shelves, walls, and any other permanent units in your closet.
- Sweep, mop or vacuum the floor, making sure to get all corners. Don’t miss vacuuming the ceiling corners as well.
- If you’re painting or putting up wallpaper, make sure everything is dry completely before starting. Remember, you gave yourself a schedule, so make sure that you give yourself sufficient time to paint or wallpaper and organize.
Stage III: Organizing Your Linen Closet
- Going back to the “Getting Started”, you should already have an idea of how you’ll be using your linen closet, whether it will be strictly for linens or other miscellaneous items. Be very clear on the function of your linen closet; this will make organizing it much easier.
- Look for any basket, bins or container you can be especially helpful in keeping the small items in order. Instead of folding washcloths and keep them on the shelf, you may decide to place them into a small basket, box, or container.
- Remember, you don’t just want the closet to look neat, it has to be functional. So it doesn’t make sense to have items stacked up that may keep falling over.
- Place rarely used items up top with regularly used items within reach.
- FOLD, FOLD, FOLD!!! It’s weird, but you can have the same number and sized items on two different shelves; the shelf with the items folded will have more room than the ones that are not folded. Don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet? Watch a YouTube video! There’s no excuse!
- Arranging everything just right will take your time, so don’t rush the process. It would be better to take the time and do it right the first time, then rush through it, only to have to go back the next week to redo everything.
Stage IV: Maintenance
- If you don’t have time to fold your sheets and towels right after you finish doing laundry, make sure to set aside that week to do it, do leave it for the next week.
- If you’re able, wash your sheets and towels on a separate day from when you wash your clothes. You may think to do everything on one day may save time, but if you’re not able to put everything away, properly, the same day, you may end up making more of a mess.
- I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Every item must have a home. If your linen closet is also functioning as your medicine cabinet, cosmetic cabinet, and other, make sure all items are grouped together in their own separate compartment.
- Act quickly in getting rid of unwanted items. If there’s not enough room in the linen closet, set up a “drop off” box in your room, which holds all items you plan on giving away. Don’t wait until the box is completely filled, see if you can empty it out every week or so, to avoid things just piling up in the box. Plus, you don’t want to get too sentimental. Think of the rule, “out of sight, out of mind”.
Hopefully, this was helpful. As with anything, taking baby step will help you get the desired results. I’d love to hear your own secrets for maintaining your linen closet, so please leave your comments below.
Until next time, be safe… be merry … and keep the clutter in the gutter!!!