Controlling the Chaos in the Linen Closet

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The linen closet is probably one of the most forgotten areas in the home. This space is often very small and only equipped with a few shelves. Finding enough storage space for all of your towels, linens, additional toiletries and bath supplies can be a challenge. The following tips can help you begin to control the chaos lurking in your linen closet.

Take stock and organize into groups

UndershelfBasket_lBefore you spend any time organizing, take stock and ask yourself if it is necessary to keep “everything” in your linen closet Check to see if any old bottles hiding in the back are leaking and need to be tossed. You may find sheets or towels that don’t make the cut, so tear these up and use them for rags to wipe up the bathrooms. Next, organize items into categories that make sense to you. Bath supplies, towels, sheets, blankets, and toilet paper will all need a specific area to call their own. Top shelves should be reserved for those light and bulky items such as pillows and blankets. The middle shelves are for the items you use most regularly. These items might include towels, extra sheets, toiletries and bath supplies. Lastly, the bottom shelves are a great location for toilet paper, tissue boxes, and heavier items like a vaporizer or foot tub.

Tricks for sorting and storing

When you sort your sheets into sets, take it a step further and fold the 2 sheets and 1 pillow case neatly into the second pillow case. The next time you need to change the sheets, the matched set is all there for quick retrieval. Finding appropriate storage for table cloths once they have been ironed can be a challenge. One solution is to install a towel rod to the back of the closet door and hang it to prevent wrinkling. If your door is particularly small, install a couple of hooks and hang the ironed cloths over a wood hanger instead. Need to grab a face cloth or rag quickly without having to scour the entire closet? Roll these small towels and store on an under-shelf basket from the Container Store and make the search a little less painful. My last trick is for storing bulk supplies of paper rolls. Find a large basket or bin, tear off the plastic packaging and line up your rolls inside. Sending your child for an extra roll will be much easier when stored this way.

Keep it all “contained”

Implementing simple solutions to keep your supplies from spilling into each other is well worth the effort. I often use open baskets like the newsprint bins from the Container Store to keep bottles, sprays, and toiletries contained. These baskets also work well laying on their side to store rolled face and hand towels. If you have wood shelves in your linen closet, placing a shelf divider in between two tall stacks of towels helps to prevent the tower from toppling over! Hang onto your sheet and comforter bags when you purchase new sets. Bulky blankets and extra pillows store well into these zippered bags.

Now that your linen closet is neat and organized, add a few final touches to make opening this door a pleasure. If dryer sheets in between towels and blankets doesn’t appeal to you, place a couple of sachets to add a mild fragrance to this space. If many of your linens sit for any length of time, I would recommend purchasing a few cedar blocks to prevent moth damage. Last but certainly not least, label the shelves and baskets to maintain order in your fresh new linen closet.

Photo: The Container Store


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