It’s probably a combination of school starting again and moving our son from his nursery into the larger guest room that has prompted a major purge, organization, and cleaning session lately. That, and I’m reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m already an organized person by nature so I wasn’t sure this book would make any difference in my life. But it has! I’ll share more on that later. This weekend, I worked on three kitchen drawers, the linen closet, the massive amount of books in our house, and the paper clutter. No wonder I’m starting this Monday morning off tired! I’m also feeling invigorated because our home already feels lighter!
Today, let’s start with the newly organized linen closet. Because James moved into the guest room, I had to clean out that closet that was full of luggage, blankets, pillows, and extra decor items such as picture frames, lamps, and mirrors. It was pretty well organized, but there was just too much stuff so we had to start fresh. I forgot to snap a picture of the pile of things inside the bedroom closet, but needless to say, the linen closet was already full. So of course, I had to do a major purge of both areas.
I don’t think you can truly appreciate the organized “after” shot unless you saw the “before” and “during” progress pictures. That blue bin below is full of picture frames I still need to go through. The other frames leaning against the stair railing house my diplomas. I’m not ready to part with those yet, but I don’t want to hang them, so they were moved into the office closet. I also had to make a new place for my sewing machine (on the far left) in my office.
The first step to tidying and organizing is always to remove everything so you can clean the space really well (here that meant wiping down the shelves). Then you can touch and examine each item to see what stays and what goes. In the book, the author talks about keeping only things that serve you and give you joy. If you have quiet around you while you’re going through this process, you can physically ‘hear’ and feel how your body reacts to each thing as you hold it in your hand. This makes deciding what to part with much easier. You’re shifting the emphasis of your thinking from “what to get rid of” to “what to keep”. That was key for me. I also only wanted to keep what would easily fit inside the closet with room to breathe.
Next, I grouped things into categories and you can see I have mainly pillows, bedding and blankets here.
I still like many of my pillow covers, but lots of the inserts I had weren’t good quality. All of the lower quality inserts were a big part of what I donated. Those inserts took up the majority of the space in my closets. Getting rid of them provided so much more space. I gave my mom and brother first dibs and they were happy to have some “new to them” things.
Once I was left with just a few pillows, everything else fit nicely back inside the linen closet. With pillows on the couch and in our sitting room, we do need to keep some of the inserts!
To easily see what’s inside each bin, I made labels from paper tags I had on hand and leather string. It was easier to just neatly handwrite each label. These baskets are pretty deep, so they make great storage and provide a pretty warmth and texture to the closet. I like to keep my organization bins consistent so they’re more visually appealing.
The two large plastic bins are from The Container Store.
The key to this process is to keep only the things you love. I know that inside this closet are only things I will definitely use in the future – and that feels good.