Clear the Clutter from Your Linen Closet in 5 Simple Steps

Saffron Marigold - Updated: January 4, 2016
linen-closet-collage

How many of you love the “fresh start” that the New Year brings?  I sure do.

 I am a “project person”, and not necessarily a “maintenance person” if you know what I mean.  Because of this, it serves me well to tackle infrastructure when I do household projects.  Done well, an organized space can be easily kept up for months!  (Or even until the next new year, as the case may be.)

Today, we’ll take a look at the linen closet, and lay out a plan to get it ordered in 5 steps.  This should take approximately one hour.  If you don’t have an hour, don’t start!  There’s nothing worse that pulling everything out of a closet and leaving it around for days… weeks…

1.  Clear.  

Take everything out, and lay it on a nearby bed.  I like to sort while I do this.  Bath linens go in one area, bedding in another, random this-and-that that has somehow snuck into the linen closet goes in its own pile.

2.  Clean.

Wipe down the shelves and walls with a damp cloth, then grab a broom or vacuum with an attachment and go after all the dust bunnies.

3.  Cull.

 – Sheeting –

You know the sheets that you had in elementary school and that you’re saving in case your guest room sees an inordinate amount of use someday?  Thrift them.  One set of sheets is fundamentally fine, as long as you can turn laundry around quickly.  The trouble is that sheets that get that much use (and especially cotton sheets – which are the best!) will not have great longevity.  Two sets per bed is preferable.  Let’s say that at the high end, we’ll keep 3 sets of sheets for each bed. If you have more than that, pass the extras along to a local Goodwill.

– Bedspreads, Duvets and Blankets –

If bedspreads and duvets are part of your bedroom decor, you may have a different print for each season.  Especially, I might add, if you love Saffron Marigold!  We just have so many gorgeous choices!  I’ll say then, that each bed might have from 1 to 4 bedspreads.  Depending on the climate where you live, you’ll want a minimum of two blankets for each bed.  I keep more than that, and even stock extra blankets in bedroom closets, because we are cold in the winter here!

– Bath Linens –

Manageable numbers of bath linens are as follows:  2 sets of hand towels per bathroom, 2-4 bath towels and washcloths per person, 2 bathmats per bathroom.  Now, we’re talking about orderliness here, and so minimalism is emphasized rather than personal preference.  To be honest, I prefer to have a LOT of washcloths.  There’s no number on that.  I keep a basketful of white washcloths in my linen closet.  When they’re retired because they’ve seen too much mascara, they go into the cleaning tote.

I like to keep two cotton shower curtains and two fabric liners for each bath.  Everything seems to stay a bit nicer and last a bit longer if the fabrics can take a break from the shower every once in a while.

4.  Plan.

When everything that you’re keeping is on set out on the bed, take a look at the kinds of items you have.  Then look at your linen closet, and decide what will go where.  Bath towels and washcloths get regular use, so they should be positioned below eye level, at “hand level” so that they can be easily grabbed.  Sheets can go directly above that, since they get slightly less use.  Blankets, bedspreads, duvets and shower linens can go up top.  No one wants to put linens on the floor, so line that area with neat baskets or wire bins and store excess bath items or cleaning products. (We keep our sleeping bags and tents there, but I’m not really recommending that. 🙂 ).

5.  Put Back.

Now that you’ve sorted and culled and planned, putting everything back is a cinch.  I’ll offer just one tip:  keep the bedding for each bed all together.  Smooth a pillowcase out and fold it in half.  With this dimension in mind, fold everything else (both sheets and other pillowcase) to a size that fits a space slightly smaller than your halved pillow case.  Insert them into the pillow case, and fold the excess fabric underneath.  Voila!  One bed set at your disposal.  This is particularly efficient if you’re teaching kids to change their own sheets.  You’ll save yourself from hearing lots of “where is ______”??

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 Isn’t it nice to have everything neat and clean?  I love it!  Enjoy your sparkly linen closet.  Don’t be surprised if you want to show it off to guests!