Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Linen Closet Challenge - Four Weeks to Clutter-Free Closets

Week one is up, and it's time for an update! First up is the linen closet.
Let me start this week's update by stating that I definitely created this month's challenge for myself. My closets have actually been bugging me for a few weeks, but I held off because I knew I wanted to blog about it. Talk about commitment, right? ;-)

This isn't the first time I've addressed our linen closet. As I mentioned the last time I organized it (way back in August), it's a prime stash-and-dash zone. After its little makeover, it looked like this:

Not bad! Unfortunately, it took less than 6 months for it to return to something like this:

It was definitely in need of some order, and I was excited to get the job done!
You may notice that the wire rack on the door wasn't there before. My mom got it for free at the end of a community yard sale, but they decided not to use it after all. I had admired it when they first got it, so my parents were kind enough to pass it on to me. (Free storage? Score!) Hubby put it up last night, and I was so anxious to get started that I forgot to snap a true "before" picture.

Anyway, I didn't do anything too dramatic in the closet. I did add some bins, though.  I shopped my home and played "musical bins" to fit these babies into the linen closet. I'm in the process of clearing off and removing a shelf in our living room. I took four ITSO bins from the shelf to my bedroom closet, and moved these two canvas bins from my room to the linen closet.

The ITSO bins were holding my table linens and some extra throws, so I pared the tablecloths down into one of the bins. We don't really use fancy tablecloths regularly, so it isn't a big deal to keep them upstairs and away from the dining room. The other bin contains three sets of queen sheets for the master bedroom. We currently store Kiddo's sheets in his closet.
I really love these bins. I got them about three years ago at Target and they no longer sell them. I've looked elsewhere and I've found similar ones, but no one seems to carry them in white. Bummer.

Anyway, one of the reasons I love these bins is because they have a built-in slot for labels, which are key to keeping a space organized. I used some cheerful green paper from an envelope and a sharpie to make my labels. Nothing too fancy here!

Once I had figured out my new storage plan, I got to work. I left the towels where they were and moved the blankets from the guest room back to the shelf where they belonged. The inside of the closet came together pretty easily.
I put toilet paper and our beach bag on top, table linens and sheets below, and towels and blankets on the bottom shelf. Hanging from the bottom shelf is a basket filled with vacuum bags and accessories. At the very bottom is a hamper and a place to put our laundry baskets. Now, I just need to empty the baskets long enough to keep them in there! ;-)

The door baskets came together pretty easily too. The bottom shelf holds cleaning products and my rubber gloves. I hung a basket using shower curtain rings to eventually store reusable cleaning cloths. (Now I just need to buy some!) Above that I rolled up the wash cloths and hand towels for the sets we most often use. For the nicer "guest" towels, I have everything all folded as a set, but since we only really use bath towels, these would always end up stacked haphazardly or piled on the floor. This keeps the hand towels and washcloths neatly in place and easy to reach in case we need them.

Above the towels are one of Kiddo's hooded towels and the start of my "medicine cabinet." This house has 2.5 baths without a single medicine cabinet, and it drives me a little crazy! I have tried and tried to figure out what to do with our meds and have had the worst time finding a system that worked. The most recent attempt was to put all the meds in a basket in our kitchen cabinet, but it was overflowing! What I decided to do was to move the "sick medicines" - Emergen-C, cold medicine, cough syrup, and cough drops - up to the linen closet. I keep the everyday medicines like pain relievers and band-aids in the kitchen basket for easy access.

I also placed Kiddo's meds in its own bin (simply labeled with a piece of the same envelope attached with packing tape). I know I'll appreciate having his tylenol, aspirator, thermometer, and Vaseline all in one easily-accessible place the next time he gets sick. Or the next time I need to find his aspirator to assist in removing a raisin from a certain toddler's nose... I had to search high and low to find that sucker (pun intended)! I'm pretty sure the experience was traumatizing enough that I won't have to perform another raisin-ectomy anytime soon. :)

Since I was on a time crunch, and the wire rack was only installed on the door yesterday, I attempted to do this re-org while Kiddo was napping even though the linen closet is right next to his bedroom. Bad idea. I ended up doing most of the organizing with Daniel Tiger in the background.

But having an organized linen closet and a place to store our medicine will be worth the crankiness I endured until bedtime. 

Are you ready for next week's challenge? I know my coat closet definitely needs some work. And with warm weather officially here, I'm anxious to swap out our heavy winter coats for light spring jackets. Here's the game plan: 

Week 1 (April 3-9): Linen Closet
Week 2 (April 10-16): Coat Closet
Week 3 (April 17-23): Clothes Closet
Week 4 (April 24-30): Pantry
You can check out the full post here for all the details on this challenge. I have some lovely readers who are sending me pictures of their progress, so I'll be sure to share before and after photos early next week.
Happy Organizing!
I'm linking up at these fabulous link parties.

PSST! Tomorrow will be my 100th post! Be sure to come back and enter a giveaway. :)


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