Organizing My Linen Closet | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Organizing My Linen Closet

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Organizing My Linen Closet



Our linen closet is chaotic!  Can you relate?

Linen closets often contain a lot of stuff behind their doors and ours was no exception.  I tried to imagine it wasn't as bad as it was, but in reality, I was overwhelmed with the chaos.  Time to get this closet organized!


We don't have a lot of linens and we don't store many of the ones we do have in our linen closet {sheets are in each bedroom and the kids' towels and wash cloths are either in their bedrooms or in the bathroom}.

So, while our upstairs hall closet is designed to be a linen closet, it kind of functions as a storage area for a lot of things that we use upstairs.  The problem is, it gets out of control quickly and I get overwhelmed every time I need to find something in it.

I've seen some beautiful linen closets on Pinterest and on some of my favourite blogs and I wanted to make my linen closet something that functioned better and made me smile when I opened the door :)  I followed the tips I mentioned in the linen closets post from my 31 Days of Organizing Tips series.

Today I'm going to show you the before and afters of the linen shelves and share some organizing tips I incorporated.  Then in my next post I'll show you the before and afters of the toiletries shelves and a total reveal.  

First, here's a picture of what I started with.


{Sorry for the lighting in these pictures - there are no windows in the upstairs hallway where this closet is located}.

This is taken on an angle from the bathroom across the hall so it's hard to get the whole thing.  Here are a few close-ups of what the linen shelves were like before I organized them.


The top shelf has a bunch of linens that we don't use often.  There are some extra sheets and blankets.  Several of them used to be mine when I was growing up or when I lived on my own before I was married.

I've also been storing some new towels that we received as wedding gifts (almost 15 years ago!).  We haven't needed them yet but I know we'll use them when our current towels wear out, so I'm just keeping them up here in the top of the linen closet until then.

I think this shelf is overdue for a purge.  I kind of forget about it up in the top of the closet :)

Next is the towels shelf.


At one point, this shelf was much neater.  But over time, clean towels just get added to the top of the pile and it begins to topple because the sizes end up being stacked sort of randomly.  I can't really complain because I'm really happy that my hubby puts away our laundry more than I do :)

This shelf also currently houses our travel cosmetic bag.  There are more towels hiding behind it too.  And we store extra tissue boxes here.  There's only one right now {went through a LOT of them in December!} but there are often 6-8 piled up here.

OK, so on to what I did to organize this mess!  I took everything out of the closet and looked at it with fresh eyes.

I set aside things that really belonged somewhere else.  And I purged things I no longer needed or loved.  My goal was to free up some space in this closet so I can move more out of our bathroom.

Once I decided what I was going to keep, I grouped everything into piles.

Next I "shopped my house" for baskets.  I had some pretty brown baskets that I bought awhile ago but I didn't end up using them where I had planned to.  I was so happy to find out they fit side-by-side in this closet.  I also had some small plastic baskets from the dollar store that I hadn't used yet.

So here's how it turned out!


There's a lot less on this top shelf.  The basket has 2 blankets I want to keep (one is an electric blanket that we use every once in awhile when it's really cold and the other is for our futon).  The clear blanket bag has those new towels that I want to keep.  Since we'll likely be selling our house in the next 1 to 1 1/2 years I figured I could use those nice new ones when we stage the house.

I wish I had one more of these baskets but they came in a set of 3 and another set is not in my budget right now.  Oh well :)

Here's the next shelf:


I love it!  Those baskets hide all the chaos :)


{Those are the same baskets in all the pictures.  Not sure why they look black in some and brown in others but they are a pretty brown colour!}


By rolling the hand towels and wash clothes and storing them vertically like this, it's easy to find what we need, or put clean towels back, without having to deal with that pile we had before.  I've kept the large towels stacked, but we only have a couple of them so it's not nearly as bad as before.

Here's a peek inside the other basket.


I'm getting a little ahead of myself... I'll show you more of how I organized the toiletries in the next post.  But let me just say right now, it's nice to have these things hidden :)

One more look at the top shelf:


And the 2nd shelf:


So far so good with this closet!

If you've been following my updates on Facebook this week, you'll know I bought a secret weapon to help organize the rest of the linen closet.  You'll see it in action in the next post!  You can check out the From Overwhelmed To Organized Facebook page if you want a sneak peek :)

How do you store your linens?  How many sheets and blankets do you have?

Happy organizing!





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17 comments:

  1. Well done! I re-organized my linen closet about a year ago, and it still makes me happy any time I look at it! If you're curious it's at http://www.happycanadianhome.com/2012/01/big-linen-closet-makeover.html ... I love all of your great ideas!!

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    1. Thanks Laura! Great job on your closet. I love those baskets and labels!

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  2. My linen closet is a triangle. I hate it so much, but I like your idea of storing the kids sheets, etc in their own closets and then using the linen closet for smaller more manageable things, that fit in baskets. Thanks..I might be able to tackle my linen closet now...after the girls closets...

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    1. Wow Melissa... a triangle shaped closet would be a challenge. Storing sheets in the rooms they're used in will definitely save you space in your linen closet. Good luck with all your closets!

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  3. If you have serviceable linens, but you don't really want them anymore...pass them on to a domestic violence shelter. If the linens and towels are torn or stained, give them to an animal shelter. That's what we do at the inn

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    1. Thanks for the reminder Liadan! I mentioned it in part 2 so others can see it too.

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  4. Great job! It'll make your life so much easier!

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    1. Thanks Daisy! It's already making a big difference :)

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  5. I love your storage solution! Do you flylady btw?

    New fan via Delightful Order!

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    1. Thanks and welcome! I've heard of flylady but am not that familiar with it. Will have to check it out.

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  6. Love the baskets. Great job!

    Hopping by and following your lovely blog's FB, G+ and Pinterest. I blog @ Lipoid Pneumonia, Breast Cancer & Petroleum Jelly

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  7. Where did you buy those pretty baskets? I love them! I just followed you on Google Friend Connect and would be so happy if you could follow my blog too :)

    I also did the Linens & the Loo challenge:
    http://twentysomethingbows.blogspot.com/2013/03/linen-closet-organization.html

    Happy Wednesday!

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    1. Hi Ashlee,
      I bought those baskets at Costco awhile ago. I love them!

      I just checked out your linen closet post and you did a great job too! Your colourful baskets make the closet look so pretty :) Following you back!

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  8. Great bins! (over from Mary Organizes)

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    1. Welcome Alison! I love those bins too :)

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  9. These kinds of before and afters are like crack to me. I could look at them all day and never get tired of it. What a huge difference organizing a space can make. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. You're too funny Mary! I know what you mean...I love good before and afters too :)

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I love hearing from my readers! This is a great place to ask questions, answer questions, and share your organizing tips. Thank you so much for commenting! I look forward to getting to know you better :)