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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Create an Organized Linen Closet

Slowly, but surely, I have been organizing and cleaning every square inch of my home.  I think it helps me feel more in control of my days and whittling away the unnecessary objects in my house helps clear my mind too.  Does it have that effect on you too?  One recent area that got an overhaul was the linen closet.


It's hard to share embarrassing "before" photos of our home with you, but I like to keep it honest and I'm sure it's not as bad as I think it is (we are often our own worst critic).  We have a good-sized linen closet in the hallway that was in serious need of organization.  I hated to even open the double doors to try to find something because it was such a hodge podge mess.


Of course, the first step in any organization project is Clear everything out.  I find it's cathartic to empty the whole thing so you can stand back and see an empty space.  This helps when it's time to put things back because you should consider each and every thing you want to keep.

Which brings me to the next step.  After everything is emptied out, you can sort things into piles: Toss/Dontate/Trash or Keep

In our case, all linens that fit a queen size bed were donated since we only have king beds now.  Also, we had too many duplicates of mattress covers so those were donated too.  For me, knowing I'm giving gently used items to friends or family helps me let go of what we really don't need.

And if things are in your linen closet that don't belong there, Relocate them to where they should go.  I had random vases and fabric that didn't belong in the hall closet.

When you've whittled your pile into what stays, its' time to Organize things into similar groups. This means putting like-items together.  For a linen closet, you'd put all sheet sets into a group, pillows, blankets, etc.

At this point, Put your things in containers or bins. Things look prettier and well-organized when they are contained together in a basket, bin, or tray.  But, don't purchase any new containers/storage solutions for your things (if you don't already own something that will work) until the very end of the organization process.  Before this step, you really don't know what size containers or how many you need and you may end up wasting money.  I know most of us enjoy shopping for pretty bins and such, but if you wait and get what you really need, you'll be much more satisfied in the end.


I found the plastic bins at The Container Store, the large ones were $25, kind of a splurge when you're buying three, but they are huge and hide big bulky items like mattress covers. I mean, really, how do you fold those neatly?

I'm the type of person who likes all things organized, even when they are behind closed doors.  But most of all, I LOVE that now I can display on the shelf some very meaningful linens- blankets that were handmade for me by my beloved Great Grandma- and blankets I used as a baby so long ago.



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29 comments:

  1. I LOVE IT! The next thing for me to organize is the linen closet in my bathroom ! It's awful! Love how you are able to display your quilt treasures too!!

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  2. I really love how you organized your closet. And honestly the before picture was not that bad! I'm with you, I feel so much better knowing our spaces are straight and orderly, even though that's sometimes an unattainable goal. Thanks so much for your tips, you've inspired me to purge unnecessary items and start from scratch. Just a note, I love your blog! It's often one of the first ones I check when I get online :)

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  3. I love those quilts! What an amazing treasure that you have...and they look like they're in great shape! I'm a quilter, and it is SO nice to see that these are still loved and used in your home!

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  4. I dont even HAVE a linen closet! I have one set of sheets that I wash before bed once a week. is that weird??

    Anyway a tip i know (for those with multiple sets of sheets) is to fold the fitted sheet, flat sheet, and one pillow case and stuff them in the other pillow case. That way you can easily find all pieces of a set!!

    ...Im jealous of this giant closet though!!

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  5. Looks GREAT! I love clearing out and organizing spaces like this. The closets always seem to be the last to get love because it's so easy to shut the door and put it out of sight, out of mind!

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  6. I love how large your linen closet is. Mine is so cramped and subsequently overstuffed.

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  7. We've only been in our house five months and I already need to reorganize my linen closet. It looks great!

    --Sarah

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  8. Yes, I feel the same way. It definitely brings me a sense of peace when my home is in order - especially pretty order!! (although I'll admit it is not presently in that condition and it's killing me!)

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  9. My heart is racing! That looks so great...and now I fear you've just taken my Wednesday at home away from me!!! Prob with my linen closet, is its a corner, so the space is really weird. What would you suggest Ms Organizer? :)

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  10. Looks great Megan! It makes life so much easier when things are where they are supposed to be. We did a huge purge last year, getting rid of things we didn't truly love, need or use. It has freed up so much time for things we do enjoy!

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  11. It looks fabulous! I love how you still have some space between items in your finished closet... it just makes everything look better! Also love your idea to hide the mattress covers in the big bins.

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  12. Looks fantastic, girl. And yes. . the before was not that bad. I so wish I had an entire closet for linens! Been organizing over here as well. I love starting the school year off organized.

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  13. You're an organizing genius! I wish my linen closet was that big! Mine is so teeny tiny. I plan to reorganize it very soon - thanks for the tips! Oh - and trust my before is way worse. ;)

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  14. i am organizing my house too..i just did my daughters room..now on to maybe our linen closet or our master bedroom closet...thanks for your tips

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  15. I'm loving your organization in this Closet! Where did you get the white baskets with handles?

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    1. I reread your post sorry I see the answer now! :)

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    2. Okay good:) All the bins are from The Container Store for anyone else who missed it.

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  16. This looks great. My linen closet is such a mess right now and I've felt overwhelmed with the prospect of organizing it. I think I should try and tackle it following your lead!

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  17. Oh man, did I ever need this post -- THANK YOU!!!

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  18. SO pretty, love it!

    xo,
    Brooke

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  19. Awesome Megan! You have inspired me to get my butt in gear to tackle my hallway linen closet! Thanks!

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  20. I love this post. I am borderline OCD when it comes to organization (not that I really mind), and I like to often sort the stuff I own not to accumulate unnecessary things that can be useful to someone else. This is actually my plan for the weekend...and I'm very much looking forward to it.

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  21. It looks so good. I have a few of those closets that need organizing as well. My hall closet has been screaming at me for a while now. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  22. Looks great! I'd love to have such a big closet. Sadly, my linen closet is a bunch of bins in my attic. Check out how I keep it neat and tidy here: http://sueathome.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/organizing-the-linen-closet/

    Love your blog!
    sueathome.wordpress.com

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  23. This post came at the perfect time! I really need to make a move on my linen closet - thanks for the inspiration, yours looks fantastic!

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  24. I love having bed linen organised! makes making the bed ( my least favourite chore!) that little bit easier!! Love the baskets you've used. Also loove this blog. :)

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  25. Looks great! Do you remember where you got the peacock patterned pillow/fabric? I saw it elsewhere on a different blog but have been unable to find out where it came from! Can you help solve the mystery?? Thanks!

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  26. WOW! It looks soooo great! Such a fab before and after, I am always inspired when I stop by to visit :)

    xo,
    Jen

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I read every one! I try to answer questions in the comment section since many readers are "no reply" and so everyone can benefit from the response- so please check back. :)

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