Yesterday the gray skies and frigid temps were starting to get to me. Instead of raiding my chocolate stash (oh so tempting, but I’m still working on getting rid of the last of the baby weight before Baby’s Girl’s birthday) I indulged in the endorphin-releasing activity of organizing. I decided to tackle a spot that always seems to get cluttered up – our linen closet. This is one of those default spaces, somewhere I shove things when I don’t know where else to put them. I’ve sorted and organized it before, but after having Charlotte it filled up again with baby bath supplies, new beach towels from our Texas Gulf trip, cleaning items that I moved after our kitchen redo…it was a mess. I knew it was time to revamp the space when towels started falling onto the floor as soon as I opened the door.
It really didn’t take very long once I got started. I had to wait until Charlotte was napping since organizing with the help of a ten month old is a bit counterproductive. I started by emptying everything out of the closet, sorting as I went into piles of keep, move to a different location, donate, and trash. I even went through my bags of old make-up – if I couldn’t remember when I got something I threw it out. I also moved Charlotte’s bath stuff into her bathroom…which now also needs more organizing but that’s a project for a different day.
Ah, so much better. It really didn’t take much to fix up this space, just some time and a ruthless trash-it approach. The shelves are organized by like items and frequency of use.
The top shelf holds extra paper towels, TP, tissue boxes, and hazardous material (like bleach) that I want to make sure Charlotte can’t get to. I also stacked our beach towels up here, though they may need to move to a bin on the floor once summer hits. 🙂
At eye-level I put our extra sheets and bath towels, with hand towels and wash-clothes tucked away in a basket. Just a side-note: notice how nicely folded the sheets are? I recently learned how to fold a fitted sheet so that it lays almost as flat as the top sheet. I’m very proud of this accomplishment, which I can do all by myself (although I do still prefer to have my hubby help with the flat sheet). I learned the method from this video tutorial. It’s hilariously hokey and a bit melodramatic (she asserts that “One of the biggest challenges you’ll face in life is how to fold a fitted sheet”), but once you get past the dated-decor the instruction is actually very good. It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it I promise you will be glad you learned (I use the same technique to fold the crib sheets, and now they all fit in one drawer!).
The next shelf down hold extra heavy blankets (which we don’t really need but I keep in case the power every goes out for an extended amount of time) and “his” and “hers” bins that we use to corral all the random bathroom clutter – extra shampoo, soap, body spray, travel-sized bottles, etc.
We don’t have a medicine cabinet, so I put all our meds on the bottom shelf (not ideal for keeping out of Charlotte’s reach, but if she does get into this closet hopefully the safety caps will do their job). I borrowed the idea from Pinterest to keep medicines organized by type in plastic drawers, which works great! Pain meds, sinus/cold relief, and tummy trouble meds each have their own labeled drawer. I put creams and gels (neosporene, anti-itch cream etc.) in a canister on top, along with a bin of children’s meds (it’s nice to have them all in one place, and to be able to pull it out and move it to the kitchen or nursery as needed). Items that don’t fit in the drawer are kept in a wire basket, next to the plastic tub that holds all my at-home mani/pedi supplies. On the other side I have my cleaning caddy that holds often-used supplies like vinegar/water, a shaker of baking soda, a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner and Windex, along with sponges, microfiber cloths and paper towels.
I kept the bottom of the closet mostly clear, since I know it will be over-flow for big bulk purchases that don’t fit anywhere else.
ALL of my cleaning supplies fit in this over-the-door shoe organizer. I absolutely love this solution for storing cleaning supplies. We’ll put a child-lock on the handle of the closet so that Charlotte can’t get in here, but even if she does turn out to be a mini Houdini I can put any dangerous chemicals up high. I’m trying to switch to mostly “green” cleaning products anyway. This keeps everything I need for cleaning in one spot so I’m not searching through multiple cupboards to find something. Someday I’d like to label each pocket too, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. 🙂
This whole organizing project took me about an hour and a half, and I didn’t have to buy a single basket or bin (because I have so many already) so it was a completely free project. It’s such a relief to now open the linen closet without worrying about what might fall on my head…to have a place for everything and everything in its place. 🙂 I know this wasn’t the most exciting post, but I hope you at least enjoyed the before/after pics (I actually remembered to take some!) and came away with a few helpful tips, or a smidgeon of inspiration. 🙂
Organizing is super calming and stress-relieving for me…very helpful during this never-ending season of winter when I can easily slip into the duldrums. How do you perk yourself up on days when it seems like the weather will never be warm again?