Welcome back to the WHO Challenge, where my aim is to organize my whole house in 14 weeks or less.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, the organization that happens (or doesn't happen) in the spaces behind closed doors, directly affects the function of the rest of the home.
Since I started this challenge people have been hounding me about covering today's space. Many tell me this area of their bathroom is a total disaster. Today we're decluttering and reorganizing the linen closet.
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The linen closet is an area of my home that I am constantly revamping. Why? Although it is small, there's a TON of stuff inside of it. Believe me, if I don't stay on top of it, things will get chaotic very quickly. Today, I'll share with you my 7 tips for keeping it tidy and organized.
Before getting started you'll want to have the following items ready:
Step 1: Empty the Entire Space
Things will have to get messy before they can get clean. So take everything out of the space. Even if you're already satisfied with where it is. Why? Clearing the space allows you to start with a clean slate. You may find that once the space completely empty, that there is a better way of organizing what you have.
Step 2: Scrub it Down
Using your favorite cleaning solution, scrub down the walls, floors, and every shelf. If you're using a strong cleaning liquid like bleach, be sure to ventilate the space with fresh air. For good natural product options try: A mixture of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water, baking soda, Mrs. Meyers, Castille soap, or J.R. Watkins.
Step 3: Group Like Items in Two Ways
Now that you've got the cleaning out of the way, it's time to start sorting. Hopefully you measured your space, and have decided on some practical baskets for storing things. If you have the room for it, I recommend grouping items in two ways:
A: Common/Inventory Items: These are the products that everyone in the household pulls from for personal use. (i.e., general lotions, soaps, towels, overflow toiletries, etc.
B: Personal Use Kits: I designate one basket per person for private use. Each one is responsible for his/her own kit. They can store anything they wish inside, but are not allow to go beyond their designated basket.
Below is an example of how I use this grouping system in my small linen closet.
Step 4: Use the Inside of the Door
If you have the space for it, use the inside - or even the outside - of the door to your small linen closet. This is prime inventory. There are tons of over-the-door storage solutions on the market. Just make sure it has enough compartments for all of your items - especially - if like me, you like to have extras on hand. Below is an over-the- door storage solution that I purchased many years ago.
Step 5: Label Everything...Everything
Some people may find this a bit excessive. But when you think about it, labeling is the way most things are organized. In the workplace, at the grocery stores, in department stores, everything is labeled. Why? Because labeling helps you find, and put things away quickly. It also makes it easier to get things back in order, when you've had a crazy-busy, stressful week, and have gone through your house like a tornado, leaving "debris" everywhere. Let's be real - it happens!
Step 6: Store Seldom Used Items High Up
I don't know what it is about linen closets, but even the small ones seem to have really high shelves. If you attempt to store items that you use often on the shelves closest to the ceiling, the result will be total chaos. Why? Because you can't see a darn thing up there. So you wind up just tossing items onto the shelf. The most practical solution is to store daily use items at eye-level or lower, and seldom used items on the higher shelves. In a future post, I'll share where I store my bed linens. But for now, extra linens for guests, tabletops, and curtains go on my upper shelves.
Step 7: Repeat Steps 1-6 Periodically
As mentioned at the outset, to keep this area tidy, I have to do regular maintenance. This means that from time to time, I have to repeat the previous steps. As our lives change, so do our needs. Some systems that work today, may not work next year.
So there you have it! Now you can have an organized small linen closet in as little as 7 steps. Please tell me in the comments below, how you like this challenge? I'd love to hear from you!
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Welcome to "my place". I'm Ola, a self-confessed décor addict and DIY think-tank. I love working with small spaces. Make yourself comfortable, and feel free to "shop" my ideas.
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