52 Weeks: #20 Take Back Your Linen Closet

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Week 20, whoot!  Are you hanging in there?

Today I decided I wanted to talk about the linen closet.  Whether your house has a big one or one that’s not so big, it’s often a neglected space.   Regardless of the size, is yours bursting at the seams?  This might be a good week to go through the PROCESS and tackle that area.

A couple of years ago I posted about how I organized my own linen closet and I encourage you to go on over and read how I followed the PROCESS myself.  I took my overstuffed closet from this:

to this:

Those pictures are from 2007 and in my old house.  Since then I have learned to downsize even more yet after looking at the state of my new linen closet I think it’s time for another overhaul.  I’ll have to do that this week also.

I think the majority of people have just way too many sets of sheets and towels.  The general rule I write about in my book, Clutter Rehab, is two sets of sheets and towels per person.  One set of sheets for the bed and one towel per person for the towel bar.  Then one for spare.  You may also want one set of each for guests along with a few blankets.  I find Space Bags to be especially convenient in the off season to help create additional space.

Remember to purge until it fits!

With some paring down and a little creativity perhaps you can use the extra storage space you uncover for other things looking for a home…craft supplies, a donation station, kid’s clothes to grow into, extra pantry space, etc.

I just have to show you what my sister did with her linen closet.  Since she lives in a small home with no garage or basement space she needed somewhere for her cat’s litter box where her girls couldn’t get into it.  So she moved her linen into her bedroom closet, added a animal door to the bottom of the closet and voila, problem solved.  Now that’s thinking outside the box!

Does your linen closet need an overhaul?

Note: most animal shelters would be more than happy to take your old linen off your hands to use for the animals 🙂

Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.

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Filed under: 52 Weeks of Organizing, Before and After, Closets, Purging


19 Responses to 52 Weeks: #20 Take Back Your Linen Closet

  1. 1
    Karyn says

    YES! again. We don’t have a linen closet but I have a messy shelf in my cupboard and my children’s cupboards and am looking forward to sorting those! thanks for the inspiration once again, Laura!! love, Karyn

  2. 2
    Newbie says

    That is just great! I am just starting out trying to get organized and wow is it ever addictive… & I love it
    The best linen closet tip I read yesterday on another blog was in reference to a Martha Stewart tip
    “Keep all sheet sets together by folding and placing each set in one of its own pillow cases!!”

  3. 3
    The Bearded Iris says

    That cat box solution is BRILLIANT! I’ve seen my dog get his head stuck in the swinging door of our litter box lid while he’s snacking. Awesome. Never have my camera when I need it!

    Speaking of which, I’ve been organizing photos this week, and it’s not really a blog worthy task, although I did post some of my favorite pics on my blog. Spoiler alert: my daughter is a hoot.

    I did discover something very cool though! I downloaded Google Picasa and it automatically scanned my entire hard drive for any photos so I could organize them in one place. This was critical for me because I’ve used two different cameras on that computer and the pics were all over the place. I was dreading this task and putting it off forever, but now I can organize them and upload to Picasa for the Web the ones I want to share. Great security in knowing my pics will be in multiple places since I’m not very disciplined about backing up my stuff. Happy organizing!

  4. 4
    Linda Stoll says

    One day I bravely opened my linen closet and pulled everything out. Everything! And I only put back what I use or love.

    Christmas Tree Shops had wonderful 8″ x 11″ x 11″ canvas bins that I scooped up for $1 each. All the health and beauty products in my linen closet are now corralled in 3 of those. Works better than the jumble of stuff that used to greet me when I opened up those doors.

    Blankets are folded neatly on the top shelf. Sheets and towels are on the second shelf. The canvas bins are on the third shelf. And the fourth shelf has neatly folded linens that I don’t use that often. A plastic bin rests on the floor and holds odds and ends of small totes and travel bags.

    Gone are all odds and ends of sheets and tattered towels that have seen their day. Expired medicine is outta there. Personal care items from way back in the day have made their way to the trash.

    Now I know what I have and I know where to find it!

  5. 5
    Jessica says

    Have you ever written about organizing family games? I feel SO overrun with them, kids games in our linen closed and more adult/family games in the pantry. It’s such a MESS!

  6. 6
    Nicole says

    I was wondering how your experience with space bags were in the past. I used some before and put winter coats in them, only to vacuum them and the result was a huge, very clumpy ball-type “thing” which couldn’t be stacked or stored without taking up a LOT of room! Any tips on how to do this better in the future? Otherwise they’re ALL going in the yard sale next Saturday!! THANK YOU!! -Nicole

    • 6.1
      Laura says

      Yes I love them and will be posting about it soon. Basically if you put everything in relatively flat before sucking the air out they stay pretty flat. I stand them up though and it saves even more space. Watch for that post soon!

  7. 7
    Sinea Pies says

    Oh, getting my linen closet done is going to be a dream come true!

  8. 9
    Space Savers Correspondent says

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for sharing your tip for using Space Bag vacuum-seal storage bags to hold extra linens when not in use. Just wanted to let you and your readers know Space Bag has an online community called Space Savers where we have organizing tips and ideas for how Space Bag products can be used. Feel free to visit us at http://www.SpaceSaversCommunity.com to share your tip. Thanks again for the shout out in this week’s post!

    Best wishes,
    Space Savers community correspondent

  9. 10
    Dawn says

    One small linen closet for 8 people. 2 sets of sheets and 2 towels per person? Ha ha. Not possible, lol. I do need to pare down the comforters a bit, but they take up some extra space, and most of them are needed for our cold winters. We can’t afford space bags. We have one towel per person, and maybe 2 extras, one set of sheets per person, and maybe 2 extra sets, one comforter per bed with probably 3 extras and 2 extra blankets in the closet. IT IS FULL. It doesn’t look too bad, but there is absolutely no way I could fit another thing in it! 🙂

  10. 11
    krista says

    I love your ideas! I would love to post some of them on my Blog!


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