Is your linen closet one of the places where things sort of “end up”? For many of us that little hall closet can become a magnet for hidden clutter. We feel it when it’s time to change the sheets on our bed or any of the other tasks that require us to move random items around to get to what we need.
It’s one of four areas in the house that are functionally connected: Bedroom, Bathroom, Laundry Room and Linen Closet. We’ll talk more about each of these in the weeks to come – what belongs in each, and what to do with stuff when it “ends up” there.
Clearing out the linen closet and making sure that what stays there, belongs there, will have a positive impact on your quality of life throughout the house. From changing your sheets to taking a shower, everything else will feel better and go more smoothly.
1. Start from Empty
Never underestimate the power of elbow room! Clearing out the space you’re about to organize reduces the overwhelm, and adds clarity to the task.
2. Review and Reduce
With the closet emptied and its contents spread out before you, now’s the time to do a quick inventory. How many towels, pillow cases, and so forth, do you need? Most of our bed and bath linens have a practical life of about three years.
3. Bed, Bath, or Begone!
Every room in your house has a reason. The reason you have a linen closet is to help you keep a clean and clutter-free bedroom and bath. Anything that doesn’t support that reason is “stuff” – it should either go to its proper place in the house, go in a donation box, or in the trash.
4. Shelves, Baskets, Bins
While I’m mostly neutral on the question of what kind of containers you should, I like to be able to see clearly. If I must take down a basket or bin to find out what’s in it, that’s clutter. Anything that can sit on a shelf, should do so. If it doesn’t need a container, I recommend you don’t use one.
5. The Regular Rotation and Seasonal Storage
All the above said, there are shelves and then there are shelves. Your linen closet has things in it you’ll reach for on a weekly basis, and others that come out once or twice a year. The shelf at eye-level and the one below it should be the home for the things you use most frequently. The uppermost shelves are for those seasonal, change-of-weather items that need to stay out of the way most of the time. Those less-often-used items can benefit from a clear plastic bin to protect them from bugs or other damage. The bottom shelf is where I like to store the cleaning supplies and equipment that I use to keep the bath, laundry, and bedroom clean.
6. The Secret Weapon: Review and Redo
If you’re like me, you may sometimes dream of a ‘once and it’s done’ organizing session. But the secret weapon that will keep you clutter-free is a regular review of how things look now. If it’s time to take some towels and bath cloths to the bathroom, take an extra minute to make sure nothing has magically crept in that shouldn’t be there. When the season change, it’s time to look a little more closely and what you’re taking out and what you’re putting back in. A regular inventory of what you have will help you resist the temptation to buy too much, while making sure you don’t run out of the things you need.
The linen closet is a small space in your whole house. But keeping it organized and free of “stuff” will help keep the entire house clutter-free. If you want to learn more about tackling this project, here are some resources to explore: Tips for a Well-Organized Home [From Experts]
And of course, reach out to us for professional organizing services at Clutter Corrections if you would like to set up a time to work together on a home that is filled with good times and warm memories instead of stuff.