You’ve made it to Day 2 of the 30 Day Minimalist Home Challenge! (Hip Hip Hooray!)
Today’s Challenge: The Linen Closet.
Linen closets have become much more that just storage for …well… linens! They seem to be a ‘catchall’ for all things bed and bath. In mine, you’d find towels, extra beauty products, bubble bath, an attachment for my shower head (to wash my dogs…), bed linens, first aid supplies, medicine, extra bathroom supplies (like toilet paper or tissues), extra feminine hygiene products, and the list goes on…
Before I started organizing my linen closet, I made a trip to my local IKEA (or any store will do…), to get some baskets/bins. They weren’t expensive and will help me keep similar items together.
Here are the ones I got:
Much like my last post on: The Closet you’re going to have to pull everything out of your linen closet in order to assess and organize the situation. Try to lay all of the items out elsewhere (in a bedroom perhaps) for examination, as decluttering is far more effective when you remove items from their usual spots.
Now comes the challenge of putting things back into the linen closet. Since the point of a linen closet is to be accessible, you should be able to get to everything without having to pull things out or move things around.
Try storing bulkier items (like pillows) in a different spot in your home (or get rid of them if you aren’t using them… I sometimes take the stuffing from old pillows and fabrics scraps I have to create handmade toys for my dogs… boy they sure are spoiled!)
Let’s talk towels.
These things multiply in my house like bunnies. Why? Because I buy new ones and don’t throw the old ones away (what if I need to clean up a spill?) If you’ve read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” you also know the practicality of a towel. But in reality, how many towels do we really need? How many people are in your household and how many people visit (that may have a shower at your house) at one time?
If the amount of your towels is greater than that total, you should be getting rid of some. If they’re still in good shape, sometimes local animal shelters can use them (for bedding, drying a nicely bathed animal, or for wiping dirty paws). If you’re an extreme minimalist, you can probably get away with one towel, however most people are comfortable with two (one to use and one as backup while the other is in the laundry).
If you store medicines or vitamins in your linen closet, be sure to check their expiry date! If it’s past its date, trash it! I’ve opted to organize mine in a bin.
First aid kits. At my work, we have a policy that when we take something out of the kit, you have to record it so it can be replaced. This not only ensures that the item will be there when it’s needed, but it also that it’s not overflowing all over the place. And, although printed bandages are cute (Disney Princesses or Spiderman anyone?), they can be stored together in one box.
Since my husband travels for work, he always comes home with hotel soaps, shampoos, etc. I’ve taken these out of my linen closet and put them in an apothecary jar for guests when they come over. It looks chic, and my guests think I’m the “hostess with the mostest”
As for extra toilet paper, I keep this in the bathroom in a drawer in the vanity. There’s nothing worse than doing your business and not having any TP!
I have an ‘empty’ room (guest room) in my home, so I’ve actually taken my bed linens out of my linen closet and folded and hung them on clothes hangers in the closet. They remain less wrinkled and are easy to keep together on one hanger. If you don’t have extra closet space, a clever way to keep your sheets together is to fold them and store them in the matching pillow case.
Keep your linen closet fresh by placing a lavender sachet on the shelf, or simply with a box of baking soda. Place the items you use most often front and center, and those you use less often on the top or bottom shelves. Our linen closets usually get out of hand because we don’t maintain them. If you love labels like I do, label your shelves and your baskets, that way if you aren’t the one putting something away (or taking it out), everything will have its place and people will know where to find/put them.
Is your linen closet looking more spacious? Did you find any random items tucked away in there? Do you have any other tips on how to minimize this space?
See you tomorrow for Day 3: The Book Shelf !